Finding the right CBD brand isn’t easy. Since the cannabidiol market remains largely unregulated, it’s no stretch to say that most of the CBD companies out there are snake oil salesmen. Even if they don’t outright rip you off, they cut corners because they know they can get away with it. You don’t want to work with someone who isn’t producing a professional product.
Some CBD products on the market are actually fake, and others might contain heavy metals or other substances that are dangerous to consume. Whether you’re looking for CBD flower online or you want to buy CBD direct online for another reason, not every online CBD store will turn out to be a match made in cannabinoid heaven.
Disreputable brands like Yolo CBD continue putting dangerous synthetic substances in their vape products that have hospitalized over 50 people, which is giving the world the wrong idea about the vaping crisis. As I detailed thoroughly in a recent article, there’s no reason to believe that CBD itself has anything to do with the recent vaping injuries.
Can you buy CBD oil online?
All these factors are making people wonder if they can even buy CBD online anymore. Searching for “CBD products near me” is a pain, especially when you live in a remote area, but how can you tell which products on the CBD market are safe and which aren’t?
Thankfully, you don’t actually need government regulation to tell which products are safe for you. Regulatory agencies like the FDA exist to protect consumers who aren’t properly educated on the products that they decide to use anyway. While you don’t have access to the FDA’s clinical trials or team of lawyers, you have everything you need to determine which CBD brands are safe to work with in this article.
Is it legal to buy CBD flower online?
CBD flower, also known as hemp flower or CBD bud, is the mature flower of the Cannabis sativa plant. Throughout the centuries, human beings have repeatedly bred cannabis plants to yield high levels of THC without focusing on simultaneously increasing levels of CBD. Recently, however, breeders have been able to cultivate Cannabis sativa strains that contain high concentrations of CBD but THC concentrations of 0.03% or less.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, Cannabis sativa products with less than 0.3% THC are generally exempt from Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Despite what you have heard, this change does not mean that “CBD is legal.”
The definition of “legal” is so complex that you could debate the true legality of the ingredients in a ham sandwich for hours on end. What this change means for practical considerations is that Cannabis sativa flower with less than 0.3% THC is not an illegal drug in the United States.
You can buy CBD flower online, and in a couple of weeks, CBGenius will become the new best place to find CBD flower for sale anywhere on the internet. Subscribe to our newsletter, and keep your eyes peeled for awesome deals when this new product rolls out.
Things to keep in mind when you buy CBD edibles online
CBD gummies have been trending for a while now, and I’ve personally taken a look at more CBD gummy products than I can count. What I’ve found is that there’s a huge disparity in quality within the industry. Some brands offer surprisingly clean and natural CBD edible products, and other companies pack in all sorts of disgusting, toxic junk.
As you find the right place to buy CBD edibles online, make sure to check the ingredients. Trust companies that provide lots of product information, and run the other way at full speed if you find a brand that doesn’t even list the ingredients in its CBD-infused products.
General guidelines for buying CBD online
Now that we’ve covered a few of the basics, here are some quick guidelines for making the best CBD purchasing decisions possible:
1. Trust your intuition
If something feels off about a CBD website, you aren’t imagining things. No, the CBD industry isn’t perfect. And yes, there certainly are predators out there waiting to snag your hard-earned cash in exchange for junk products that will make you sick.
Ultimately, you’ll have to rely on your own discretion. Even once CBD makes its way through the proper regulatory framework and becomes a fully mainstream substance, there will still be good brands and bad brands. The very fact that cigarettes are still available on the market tells you that regulation only goes so far. Do plenty of research, and back away from the sale if you don’t feel completely comfortable.
2. Cheaper isn’t always better
Unfortunately, it’s expensive to make decent CBD products within the existing regulatory climate. As the market stabilizes, prices will go down, but until then, companies charging rock-bottom prices are also most likely offering bottom-of-the-barrel quality.
There’s no magical, cheap way to make great CBD products. You have to buy high-quality hemp if you want high-quality products, and you have to invest heavily into the other ingredients and production infrastructure you use if you want to make your operation is truly professional.
Companies that skip steps just to take more of your money are more prevalent than you’d think. That high price tag you’re dreading might actually be a sign that you’re getting a genuine product that will provide you with the exact results you’ve been looking for.
3. Check the extraction data and lab reports
There are a million different ways to make a CBD product. While you get the best results when you use certified hemp and extract your CBD in a regulation-compliant facility, plenty of bad actors still get by with using inferior extraction methods and junky hemp.
Like all other plants, hemp is only as good as the soil in which it is grown. Conventional agricultural practices include the use of genetic and neurological toxins, heavy metals, and other contaminants that make their way into finished agricultural products like CBD oil. Organic agriculture, however, eliminates most or all of these hazards, which makes this cultivation practice ideal for hemp and other crops.
Even the best organic hemp can be ruined with a botched extraction job. Currently, the most effective and safest way to get CBD oil from hemp flower is CO2 extraction, which uses low heat and high pressure to remove the terpenes and cannabinoids from hemp flower while leaving chlorophyll and other unwanted constituents behind. CO2 extraction is 100% solvent-free, and it doesn’t leave behind any toxins of any kind.
CBD oil that has been grown and extracted safely must still be formulated into products in a safe environment. In the CBD industry, third-party lab testing is the standard, and most labs can test for:
- Cannabinoid concentration
- Terpene concentration
- Foreign matter
- Moisture content in flower
- Microbial organisms
- Residual solvents
- Heavy metals
- Residual pesticides and fertilizers
Some CBD companies may test their products in all these categories, and some might not. Lab tests are expensive, and many brands have trouble affording lab testing early in their development. If an established company still doesn’t post lab tests, however, there’s reason to worry.
Make sure that the tests are performed on the final products instead of the CBD oil itself. CBD products have to go through multiple stages before they are complete, which provides plenty of chances for contamination along the way. Called batch testing, these product-specific tests give you the clearest idea of the safety of your CBD product.
4. Where did the hemp come from?
Not all hemp is grown equally, and the country of origin of hemp matters for more reasons than mere product quality. Lots of hemp used by American CBD companies is sourced from China, and like most items made in this authoritarian dystopia, Chinese hemp is sub-par at best.
European hemp is a little bit better, but the EU is hardly the economic ally of the United States. It just so happens, however, that domestic hemp production is highly profitable for American farmers, so purchasing USA-grown hemp helps the economy and improves national security.
Plus, everyone agrees that the USA produces the highest-quality products out of any country in the world. American hemp farmers pay close attention to the latest trends in organic agriculture, and they do their best to produce products that will put their names on the map. This competitive spirit leads to better product quality. For these reasons and more, always prefer companies that choose American sources for their CBD-rich hemp.
A variety of other location-specific factors also affect the quality of hemp aside from nationality. For instance, some areas are inherently better for hemp agriculture than others, which results in more robust plants. Each CBD-rich cannabis strain also has its own terpene and cannabinoid profile, which results in different properties.
NOTE: In mature CBD-rich hemp agriculture economies, such as Colorado and Washington, intra-market competition has caused effective producers to rise the top and eliminated bad hemp growers. Colorado-grown CBD-rich hemp is guaranteed to be among the most high-quality options the nation has to offer.
5. Understand CBD product types
Once you’ve found a reputable brand, you’ll need to choose the right CBD product type for your purposes. Here’s a brief rundown of the different ways you can use CBD:
CBD can be ingested via vaping or smoking. Out of all the options, vaping CBD flower is the best. Smoking anything, even CBD, is bad for your lungs, and vape juice may not be an ideal option for some people. At the same time, however, vaping is always better than smoking, so if you’re looking for the right way to try oral administration of CBD for the first time, a CBGenius 200mg CBD Vape Cartridge would be a great place to start.
From tinctures to capsules to edibles, the oral administration route is a hit among CBD products. At the same time, however, ingesting substances orally reduces bioavailability, so there’s a trade-off when you choose this convenient administration method.
Application under the tongue
You can apply CBD tinctures under your tongue to facilitate rapid absorption through the mucosal layer that lines the tissues of your mouth. In layman’s terms, holding your Full-Spectrum CBD+ Oil Elixir under your tongue before you swallow it provides an instant effect.
From patches to balms, there are tons of ways to apply CBD to your skin. Here at CBGenius, however, we’re awfully fond of our Scented Topical CBD Cream 1000mg Full Spectrum CBD. Like other water-based topicals, this lotion absorbs through your skin quickly before delivering its active ingredients into your bloodstream.
Yes, CBD suppositories do exist, but we’d only recommend this administration route if none of the others are viable.
6. Familiarize yourself with the different types of CBD
There are lots of CBD terms being thrown around out there, and in some cases, “CBD oil” may not be synonymous with “CBD.” Here’s a breakdown of the different types of cannabidiol that are out there:
Full-spectrum CBD oil
Also known as raw CBD oil or full-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD oil is the form that CBD takes when it is first extracted from Cannabis sativa. This viscous, oily substance contains trace amounts of THC, but it also contains lots of other cannabinoids and terpenes that may make CBD more effective.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is full-spectrum CBD oil with the THC removed. This type of CBD oil contains levels of THC so small they are undetectable by even the most high-tech lab equipment. However, all the other terpenes and cannabinoids naturally found in Cannabis sativa remain intact.
Isolate CBD crystal/powder
CBD-rich hemp oil can be put through a secondary extraction process that removes everything but the CBD molecule itself. It’s possible that isolate CBD is less effective than full-spectrum CBD, but it’s desirable for certain applications.
7. Remember that hemp oil and CBD oil are different
“CBD oil” and “hemp oil” sound similar, but these terms often refer to two different products. Hemp seed oil is an extract from the inert seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant, which contains lots of nutrients but no cannabinoids. CBD-rich hemp oil, on the other hand, also known as “CBD oil” or just “CBD”, is an extract from the flowers of Cannabis sativa plants that have been bred to contain high concentrations of CBD but less than 0.3% THC.
CBGenius bottom line – Trust companies that comply with regulations
The CBD industry may currently be the Wild West, but it won’t be that way forever. Sooner than later, the FDA crackdown will commence, and companies that have gotten away with abusive greed for too long will finally get their comeuppance.
In the meantime, however, steer clear of any brands that make direct medical claims. For instance, you can’t directly imply that there’s a beneficial relationship between CBD and cancer, and you aren’t even supposed to mention any positive results of clinical CBD studies. Companies that ignore these regulations just to make a quick buck aren’t thinking in the long term, which means they definitely aren’t putting your health and well-being first.
Here at CBGenius, we do our best to play it by the book. Just because we sell CBD doesn’t mean we can’t be just as professional as a company in any other sector, and customers appreciate our candor and commitment to quality. If you have any questions or you want proof our CBD is as good as we say it is, we’d love to hear from you anytime.