Are you a part of the wellness crowd? If yes, consider the healing power of hemp and read what you need to know about CBD oil.
In this post we will cover:
- What is the difference between commercial and PCR hemp?
- Effects of CBD oil and FDA regulations
- What is COA and how to read the CBD oil lab report?
- Types of CBD oil and preferred extraction method
As a result of learning fundamentals, you will be able to compare and choose a top-notch product.
Why is it so important?
Because you should know what you are ingesting, right? And it’s not an easy task.
Notably, today the CBD booming market is flooded with CBD-based products, and some of them are NOT what they claim! Besides, there are products with questionable quality and blunt fakes. So, don’t be naive and let anyone fool you!
Good enough reasons?
In short, be cautious and crank up your knowledge.
Let’s separate all the noise and get down to CBD essentials.
1. What Is Hemp in Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil?
What to explore first?
Well, CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound cannabinoid derived from cannabis-type hemp and marijuana plant.
CBD was first extracted from hemp in 1940.
It is important to emphasize that quality CBD oil comes from hemp flowers and terpenes.
Another key point: even though marijuana and hemp are cannabis-type plants, they have different phytochemical makeup and unique specific strains.
Additionally, The Farm Bill made hemp production legal across the US and started the new era for American hemp growers. (1)
Our focus is specifically on hemp-derived CBD.
Types of Hemp
It must be remembered that sourcing and cultivation methods can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your CBD oil.
Certainly, that high-quality CBD oil can only derive from high-quality hemp. It is phytocannabinoid-rich or PCR hemp.
PCR hemp is specifically grown to produce beneficial cannabinoids and those fabulous terpenes. And it includes not only CBD but other healing hemp compounds.
Next – what is another type of hemp out there?
It is industrial hemp.
In contrast with the PCR crop, the industrial hemp is bred primarily because of its seeds and fiber. On average, it is not rich in cannabinoids and terpenes and might also contain harmful toxins.
→ TAKEAWAY: Your CBD oil should come only from PCR hemp.
2. Effects of CBD Oil. FDA: CBD is Not a Drug!
There is a point often overlooked that for centuries hemp was known for its potential healing benefits.
Most people used CBD oil for:
- blood pressure
- chronic pain
- multiple sclerosis
- anxiety disorders
- rheumatoid arthritis
- as anti-inflammatory
- to boost the immune system
However, I must point out that in the eyes of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and according to the law, no cannabis product company can post any claims that CBD oil cure or treat any diseases. In this case, the product becomes a “drug” and no longer “dietary supplement.”
For this reason, you should know that at the present time there is only one FDA-approved CBD-based drug Epidiolex — a purified form of CBD for rare types of epilepsy.
Recently FDA released a few warning letters to different companies, addressing numerous concerns about misleading marketing practices and unsubstantiated claims. For instance, the FDA has a big concern about statements that CBD fights cancer or has an anti-tumor effect.
So, be aware of it and remember that CBD oil should be marketed only as dietary supplements for overall wellness.
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3. Why Organic and Why American Grown Hemp?
Why Organic Hemp?
If CBD oil comes from low-quality hemp, then you might have exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides. And with hemp, the problem can skyrocket. Why?
Because hemp, like other cannabis-type plants, is a fabulous bio-accumulator. Therefore, it will absorb from soil heavy metals and dangerous contaminants. And since it acts like a sponge, everything from the soil will end up in the plant. (2)
So, overall your choose the organic hemp, right? Or if not organic, it should be PCR hemp with a “clean” lab test. I will cover it shortly.
What else you need to know about CBD oil?
USA-Grown or Foreign?
It is true that some foreign hemp growers might adhere to some appropriate level of quality. However, at the present time, your CBD oil should be only(!) from the American-grown hemp.
US producers have the highest standards of agricultural practices and production.
Opposite to this, the low-quality CBD oil comes predominately from China and a few other regions.
Even though the Asian hemp market is rising rapidly, they grow predominately industrial crops.
It shows a low amount of CBD and essential terpenes. In addition, it might also contain dangerous chemicals and pesticides.
Western Europe is the only exception among overseas producers. Like in the USA, they also have a strict regulatory regime.
→ TAKEAWAY: Choose high-quality CBD oils from PCR organic American-grown hemp. Don’t make a compromise. Ditch cheap CBD products.
4. Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate CBD Oil
When you get your CBD oil bottle, you might see the following label facts: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.
What does it mean and what’s the difference?
Full-spectrum CBD oil has all possible cannabinoids. It might include THC—the psychoactive compound.
As you will see in the next section, when buying a full-spectrum CBD oil, please check the company lab report.
All of them work in concert with each other and have a synergy effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is my preference because any unwanted cannabinoids are removed. They use the principle “Keep the best and leave the rest.”
In general, what is removed is THC. It does NOT affect the therapeutic power of all other compounds. Minus THC, broad-spectrum CBD oil contains:
- fatty acids
Would you like all that?
CBD Isolate is a pure 99% CBD contained oil.
If you have some known sensitivity for other cannabinoids, CBD isolate is your option.
→ TAKEAWAY: For my health, wellness, and beauty, my choice is a broad spectrum. I want the whole orchestra in my CBD oil and get the best out of all cannabinoids.
5. How To Read CBD Label
Do you always read labels?
If not, think twice!
According to the Brightfield Group and it’s 2019 U.S. CBD Market Report, around 40% of the CBD products today don’t contain the amount of CBD they claim.
If so, should you know how to read the CBD label?
I was not lazy and copied the label below from one of the bottles from my nearby health food store:
Ingredients: Pressed Hemp (seed)oil, CBD-Rich Whole Hemp Extract, Natural Peppermint Flavor.
Source: Product is made from industrial hemp plants.
CBD oil type: Full Spectrum
Extraction method: CO2
Do you grasp it? Let’s tackle it line-by-line.
Now you know that full-spectrum CBD oil includes other cannabinoids and maybe THC.
Well, I didn’t find anywhere on a bottle or a box indication that it is THC-free or following the legal THC limit of 0.3%.
Also, do you care about the phrase that CBD is “one of over 85 cannabinoids that are identified in the hemp plant?”
You need to know how many and what kind of cannabinoids are IN YOUR BOTTLE!
Red flag? What do you think?
CO2 extraction method
It is good news since it is a preferable method of extraction. Cannabinoids and terpenes here are intact.
Why is CO2 is most desirable?
Carbon dioxide is safe, works as a natural solvent, and even approved by the FDA as an extraction method. It has no artificial ingredients, chemical preservatives or thinning agents. (3)
CBD oil is extracted under high pressure and low temperature.
As we have discussed, it is not bred to be rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.
Therefore, it might mean a low content of CBD in the oil. Or if the product was refined, it possibly lost its beneficial effect during processing.
So, what is in the bottle?
We have some questions unanswered. What to do?
It’s time for due diligence!
→ TAKEAWAY: Read the CBD label and be sure your CBD oil is not from industrial but PCR hemp.
6. What Is a CBD Certificate of Analysis?
Want to double-check the quality of your CBD oil?
Well, request the company’s Certificate of Analysis or COA.
It is a third-party independent test report about the contents of the product—cannabinoids and other compounds. Any reputable manufacturer who stands behind the quality of its products sends every batch for testing.
The amount of CBD on the label must(!) match the lab report.
So, read carefully!
How to Get COA
In addition to knowing about the COA, it is important is how easy it is to get a report.
Want a clever tip?
Do you have a QR code scanner on your phone? If not, get it from the app store.
Next – scan a QR code on the label by your smartphone and get to the web page with the product’s COA. Done!
1. Amount of CBD—label vs. lab report
If CBD content on label and COA don’t match, is it a signal to be concerned?
2. Legal Tetrahydrocannabinol THC content
You should know that the legal level of THC presence for CBD oil is less than 0.3%. No ifs or buts!
3. Other ingredients
It is critical to realize that all advertised cannabinoids should match a lab report. In the same manner, base oils–hemp seeds or coconut–must be on COA. Besides, pay attention to all tested compounds like heavy metals or other harmful chemicals.
→ TAKEAWAYS: Do your due diligence. Don’t be lazy and get facts about CBD oil from the Certificate of Analysis. Be aware of mislabeling. If in doubt, STAY OUT!
Conclusion: CBD Oil – What You Need to Know
Well, are you interested in plant-based healing?
In this case, hemp-derived CBD oil should be part of your routine.
Wild-Wild West of CBD Market can be tricky. So, do your homework and remember what you need to know. To repeat, choose CBD oil with the following characteristics:
- derive from phytocannabinoid rich or PCR hemp
- organic and American-grown
- broad or full-spectrum
- has label matching lab report
- has an easy-accessible Certificate of Analysis
Extraction method, legal THC level, quality of other ingredients…
Too much to swallow?
Well, that’s not all what you need to know about CBD oil. Some other topics I will cover in future posts, such as “Where and How to Buy CBD Oil.”
So, be smart, intelligent, and choose wisely.
I invite you to enlighten us with your thoughts. Leave them below.
Founder of Detox Generation
Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author. All content, including text, images, and other formats, is for information purposes only. The author is not a medical professional, dietitian or integrative treatment specialist. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health specialists with any questions you may have.