Lately, CBD products, and more specifically – CBD oil extracts, have enjoyed a significant boom in popularity in the UK. Widely recommended as a dietary supplement or a natural addition to a “greener lifestyle” by celebrities and marketers alike, their fame has been spreading like wildfire. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you can blindly trust any CBD product that you see. Just like any other dietary supplement, the quality and properties of the product are largely dependent on its manufacturing process.
But how do you know which CBD oil is the right one for you? Here’s a quick checklist of questions that will help you make things clear.
How and where was the Hemp Grown?
More and more people today are turning towards natural and organic products, both for their diet and their everyday lifestyle. When you’ve got a wide selection of green foods, clothing and everyday products, is organic CBD oil really too much to ask for?
Being an all-natural, plant-based extract, CBD oil comes from Hemp plants. And, when it comes to staying healthy, knowing that the Hemp was grown properly is just as important as knowing that your veggies are GMO-free. Unlike some other plants, however, hemp is a “bio-accumulator”, meaning that it is capable of absorbing most elements from its environment, such as:
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Heavy metals
- The level of environmental pollution in the region
Because of the potential dangers of these chemicals, the list of organic products people should seek out absolutely includes hemp – and the only way you can be sure that the CBD oil you buy is pure and free of foreign substances is by purchasing CBD oil from an organic source that can be traced all the way back to the field.
As with all other dietary supplements, consuming polluted CBD products can open the door to potential problems. The best way to protect yourself against this is by ensuring that you’re working with a reliable supplier. Here’s a list of the three most important factors to consider:
- Where the hemp was grown
- Was the growth process organic
- Seller transparency
What’s the Concentration of CBD in the Supplement?
Not unlike other supplements, CBD oil can also be the subject of watering down. And while generally picking a reputable supplier is enough to avoid problems with this, it will never hurt to check. Depending on the product and its intended use, the CBD concentration can vary quite a bit – some manufacturers boast difference as big as 250g to 1 000 mg per fluid ounce. Always make sure to check what it says on the label, and, if need be – consult with your supplier.
It is important that, while CBD oil is completely legal and safe for use in the UK, THC is not. All CBD products, sold in the UK, can contain no more than 0.2% THC, as per the governmental guidelines.
When working with a reputable company, this sort of thing shouldn’t be an issue, but it never hurts to check – better safe than sorry.
How to read the label of your CBD Supplement?
As noted in the previous point, the concentration of CBD contained in your supplement will vary, based on a number of factors – the guidelines for your country, the supplier’s policies and type of product that you’re purchasing. Luckily, most products in the UK are all labelled in a similar way, clearly denoting the contents. A bottle labelled “4% (400mg) CBD”, for example, will contain 400mg CBD.
CBD Extraction Methods
The CBD extraction method, chosen by the manufacturer has a big impact on the final quality of the product. The cheaper and easier production methods will generally yield CBD of lesser purity and quality, along with higher chances of leftover toxic residues. Generally, manufacturers will use one of the four following methods:
- Steam distillation
- CO2 extraction
- Hydrocarbon Solvent Extraction
- Natural Solvent extraction
Additionally, there are also a number of other, less popular, yet no less potent methodologies, which rely on natural patterns of extraction. On the flipside, these innovations end up a lot more expensive for the manufacturer, making them a lot less attractive to most companies. And while not every supplier will openly share their preferred approach to extraction, it never hurts to ask.
Price versus Quality
When it comes to product quality, cheaper is very rarely better and this most certainly holds true when it comes to premium products like CBD oil. The advanced CBD extraction methods often require complex equipment and experienced personnel, none of which come cheap. Additionally, high-quality organic Hemp is also substantially more expensive than its run-of-the-mill counterpart.
The only way to cheaply produce large quantities of CBD oil is by utilising chemical extraction processes, which are dangerous both for the environment and for the consumers. Most such practices are nearly guaranteed to leave traces of toxic residues like butane, propane and even ethanol in the CBD oil. On the flipside, while more expensive, innovative and advanced extraction methods will also result in higher quality, purity and potency for the product.
Here’s a quick list of factors, capable of impacting the price of CBD oil:
- Hemp cultivation methods
- Hemp quality
- Extraction methodology
- Employee experience
- Additional tests and third-party quality control
- Additional, company-based rules and regulations
- Additional, country-based rules and regulations