To find out who’s actually delivering the CBD promised on the label, we purchased 47 products from a variety of sources.
This is also a fact: These products are getting better. Full federal legalization is only 11 months old and manufacturers are improving their processes every day.
A fair benchmark
“People have started to see the market grow and there are some fly-by-night companies trying to make a quick buck,” Marielle Weintraub, president of the US Hemp Authority, told the Associated Press recently.
We noted the products that popped up in Google searches for terms like “best CBD products” and “cheap CBD,” and purchased many of them online. We picked up other products at national drugstore chains like Rite Aid and Walgreens.
Tinctures and gummies were the most reliable forms
At Leafly, we were puzzled too. So we did something about it.
While CBD isolate doesn’t offer the potential benefits of the entourage effect, it is attractive for its ease of use and because it carries little to no risk of intoxication. However, at the time of writing, CBD isolate was not available to consumers on the Canadian market.
Cannabis and hemp are two varieties of the same plant species, cannabis sativa. Hemp-derived CBD isolate vs cannabis-derived CBD isolate is an apples-to-apples comparison, because, again, it’s the same molecule.
In its simplest form CBD is a molecule, and that molecule is the same regardless of whether it’s derived from cannabis or hemp. But not all CBD extraction methods are created equal, and not all hemp or cannabis products contain CBD.
CBD isolate is pure CBD, and is produced by removing all other compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. It usually comes in the form of an odourless, flavourless powder, and is often used in clinical trials.
Hemp-derived CBD vs. cannabis-derived CBD
Here to sort science from marketing, and the truth from misinformation, are the factors you should consider before buying a CBD—or so-called CBD—product.
First, there are three distinct types of CBD oil you should know:
Products containing only CBD are non-intoxicating, unlike THC-rich products which cause the high commonly associated with cannabis. This makes CBD a popular remedy among consumers looking for clear-headed relief of their symptoms. (Which symptoms, you ask? More on that below).
For more information on which forms of CBD most reliably deliver their advertised dose, check out the results of Leafly’s CBD investigation .
CBD oil can be made from either hemp or traditional cannabis (think smokeable dried buds), as both produce CBD in their resinous glands. There a few key differences and characteristics worth noting:
What are the effects and benefits of CBD oil?
On its own, CBD is a non-impairing compound. Any CBD products you purchase online or at retailers like grocery and drug stores are required to contain less than 0.3% THC; that trace amount of THC will not result in detectable euphoric effects.
“CBD oil” is really a catch-all term used to describe CBD extracts more generally. While shopping for CBD oil, you’re likely to come across many different forms. The following products are some of the most popular forms of CBD oil.
That’s not to say that there aren’t high-quality, organic, reliable, and clean hemp-derived CBD oils and other products, even in an unregulated era. We’re starting to see an uptick in producers dedicated to creating safe, effective, reliable hemp-derived CBD oils.
What is CBD oil?
What exactly is CBD (cannabidiol) oil and what can it do? What doesn’t it do? You’re likely here because someone told you to try CBD oil for pain, insomnia, anxiety, cancer, or another medical condition. Or you may be interested in trying it for everyday wellness, like a daily supplement.
In this guide, you’ll come to understand the many forms of CBD oil and their differences. By the end, you should feel equipped and ready to find a clean CBD oil with reliable potency.