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A Buyer's Guide to CBD
Whether you’re well versed in the world of CBD, or this is your very first time trying it, sometimes it can be difficult to find the correct product. Nowadays, we know that there is something for everyone, but how do you find that one thing for you? With this ultimate buyer’s guide for CBD you should be well-informed to make the correct decisions for you. So what are we waiting for, let’s dive in!
The most important aspect throughout this journey is that you, the customer, are well-informed on what you’re buying, where it has come from, and how it will interact with your body. The CBD popularity is growing steadily each and every day, meaning more and more research is carried out and answers are coming to light - so check back regularly for any important breakthroughs! But for now let’s start with the basics, what is CBD, and where does it come from?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of many cannabinoids which originates in the cannabis plant. There is often some confusion surrounding CBD and marijuana, but it is important to emphasise that while they belong to the same family (cannabis), marijuana is one strand and hemp is another, each with a different composition.
Marijuana does contain CBD, but it’s defining component is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive element, providing the ‘high’ which is associated with the plant. Meanwhile, hemp contains little to no THC, particularly the hemp grown to produce CBD. Consequently, CBD products will not have any psychoactive effects or make you feel high.
Distinguishing the difference between hemp-based CBD and marijuana is important for the consumer to know what is going in their body, and what kind of effect to expect, but this is also very important in understanding the legality of the product. Hemp-based products (e.g. hemp CBD oil) are now completely legal across all 50 states, as well as across most countries of the European Union, provided that the THC content is below 0.2%. Please double-check the amount of THC in the product to ensure it fits with all regulations.
But how does CBD actually work? As complex as you may imagine this to be, the reality is that it is quite simple. In each and everyone of us there is something called an endocannabinoid system which consists of CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, found in the brain and nervous system, and the immune system, respectively. When these receptors interact with cannabinoids they can greatly influence the activity of compounds in the body affecting aspects such as stress, pain, energy, mood, and blood pressure - all of which affect our day-to-day lives. Other reported effects of CBD include: alleviated dermatological issues, improved sleep, muscle pain relief, and anti-stress.
When it comes to choosing and buying your CBD product, there are several factors to take into consideration.
This will be the first obvious thing to decide, what kind of form do you want your CBD in? The CBD market is expanding every day and new products are constantly appearing, currently the most popular choices include: oil tinctures, skin creams, capsules, vape liquids and edibles. Finding the right product type for you might be based on convenience, taste, or duration, which will be covered in the next section.
Onset of effects
Depending on whether you’re looking to feel the effects immediately, or would prefer a delayed and slower release, your product choice will change. To alleviate sudden onset effects, some people choose to vape CBD as the inhalation means the CBD enters the system almost instantaneously. This, however, is not a lasting effect and will pass quite soon after. For a slower and lasting release forms such as capsules or oil might be a better choice.
Dosage and concentration
Everyone is different, and there is an optimal different dosage for each one of us. No one knows your body as well as you do, so it is up to you to start small before finding out what the best amount is for you. It’s worth noting that many CBD products are available with differing strengths, which will ultimately affect the amount you should be taking.
Easy to use?
Incorporating CBD into your life should mean that you are relieving yourself of stress, so be sure not to add more with your choice of application. For example, if you are not a vaper, or have not familiarised yourself with vaping equipment in the past - now is probably not the time to try and learn about it, as well as CBD. Oils and capsules can be quite convenient, as they are easy to transport and take on the go. Oils are particularly useful as you can incorporate them into food and drinks, whilst controlling your exact dosage - matching it to what’s best for you.
Knowing that your CBD product is high quality, and that your body is getting only the best, is essential. As the market is expanding rapidly, and people are starting to understand the scope of potential for this plant power, more and more businesses and entrepreneurs are starting to get involved.
Of course it is overwhelmingly positive that more and more people are learning about the powers of CBD, sharing their knowledge with others, and encouraging a wider education on the matter. However, this market which is currently void of definitive rules and regulations leaves room for low grade operations who wish to cash in on the hype with a low quality product. Companies tend to offer a sort of transparency as a way of gaining the customers trust, this is done via the display of a CoA (Certificate of Analysis).
This may seem like a lot of information to take in, but this concise summary (including a crash course into CBD) should let you know everything you need to know about buying your first CBD product, or to branch out and try out a different one. First and foremost you must know what the product is and how it will affect your body, additionally, you need to consider which form is the most appropriate for you whilst taking into careful consideration where to shop. After having mulled this over, you should be ready to make the right purchase for you!