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How to choose the best CBD oil for your needs

Choosing the best CBD oil is more than a matter of preference or convenience; it pays to do some research before buying.

Naturally, one of the first things to consider in choosing the right CBD oil for you is the “why” of your decision to take CBD. Are you planning to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety, or some other condition? That question has the most straightforward answer and can help steer you in the right direction when it comes to selecting the best CBD formula for your needs.

Other CBD selection factors include:

Where you live:

The 2018 Farm Bill allows hemp-based products to be transferred across state lines for commercial or other purposes. While CBD is legal in 47 states, it’s still illegal in any form in Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

Drug testing:

If you face drug testing for work or other reasons, you need to be concerned about the THC content of your CBD oil. This consideration may lead you to select a Zero THC formula or go for full spectrum. 

Entourage effect:

Some researchers and advocates suggest that the medicinal benefits of marijuana are a result of the synergy or combined effects of the many cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. Those cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and flavonoids, interact to affect CBD’s effectiveness on a case by case basis.

Whether or not the entourage effect is real is a matter of debate. Frontiers in Plant Science, in a January 2019 study, “The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis,” supports the concept of an entourage effect. There have not been enough other rigorous studies to corroborate the author’s findings, even though his research has been published. Nonetheless, patient testimonials seem to point to a definite efficacy with regard to terpenes. 

Formulas of CBD oil

Full-spectrum

Full-spectrum CBD includes all the compounds and cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. Proponents of the entourage effect believe that full-spectrum CBD oil has the advantage of being a powerfully efficient source of cannabidiol.

With a full-spectrum oil, there are 100 different cannabinoids found in the hemp plant that can influence the effectiveness of a CBD oil. Also, full-spectrum CBD is less processed, meaning a more natural product.  

However, because of the small amount of THC (0.3% by volume is allowed), anyone who is required to participate in drug testing may want to avoid a full-spectrum oil. There’s a possibility of a positive result because of the THC in a full-spectrum oil.

Full-spectrum CBD may be the best choice for your needs if you’re targeting a more specific use, such as for pain, anxiety, or another medical condition.

It may also be the right choice if the condition or illness is more severe than an isolate or broad-spectrum CBD oil can alleviate. You may also want to consider full-spectrum CBD oil for its THC to CBD ratio, which will likely maximize the oil’s effects.

If you live in a state where cannabis is entirely legal or don’t need to worry about drug testing, you may find that choosing a full-spectrum CBD oil is right for you.

Broad-spectrum

Broad-spectrum CBD oil has all of the compounds and cannabinoids that full-spectrum CBD does, but the THC has been completely removed from the oil. In other words, it falls between full-spectrum and isolate. The inclusion of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids provides the benefits of the entourage effect without the THC.

Choose a broad-spectrum CBD oil if you have concerns about using a CBD oil with THC in it or have a sensitivity to THC. Also, if you live in a state with strict THC laws, broad-spectrum may be the only option to choose. If you have tried an isolate form of CBD but found it didn’t help with your condition, you may want to try a broad-spectrum oil.

Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest, most potent form, containing more than 90% cannabidiol. Typically, CBD isolate is extracted from hemp, which has almost no THC cannabinoids. Because of its purity, CBD isolate will not have an entourage effect.

Because all of its terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, including THC, have been removed, CBD isolate has no odor or taste. For cooks, this is the perfect oil for edibles.

Choose isolate if you want high-dose CBD, are sensitive to the other cannabinoids or have to undergo drug testing.

Choosing the right CBD dosage for your needs

CBD dosage depends on several things: bodyweight, concentration, the condition you want to treat, and how your body reacts to cannabis products. It also depends on the delivery mechanism; in other words, are you planning to use capsules, edibles, sprays, or drops?

The rule of thumb is 1 – 6 mg per 10 pounds of body weight per day. For example, the dose for a 160-pound person could begin at 16 mg and top out at 96 mg per day.

Talk to your doctor and follow their recommendation. If your doctor doesn’t give you a recommended dose, the best approach is to start low and go slow; see how your body responds. Begin with 20 – 40 mg a day. If that dosage doesn’t seem adequate, increase the daily dose by 5 mg per day, weekly, until you get relief from your symptoms.

To avoid confusion, keep careful track of dosages; write it down.

Sourcing you CBD oil

Buying CBD oil online presents a whole set of new challenges, the first of which is which online retailer to choose for your CBD needs. Many online retailers are making all kinds of claims and offering all kinds of “deals.”

The following are some important questions to ask yourself and the manufacturer.

Is there a certificate of analysis available?

The analysis will tell you who did the testing, what the concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids is, and explain how the testing was done.

It should come as no surprise that there are some pretty wild claims out there about the superiority of one CBD product over another. You’ve done your homework, so you should be able to tell which claims are based in fact or at least some science.

Is there a helpline or online chat option to ask questions?

Staff should be knowledgeable and courteous.

What are other customers saying about the company and the products? 

Look for testimonials, not only on the company website but on social media and other review sites, as well.

Finally, watch out for “try a month free” deals. Sometimes you’re actually signing up for an ongoing monthly subscription without knowing it.  

Choosing the best CBD oil for your needs isn’t easy. Nonetheless, with comprehensive research and due diligence, you can weigh all the information and make the right decision for your health and well-being, and that of your loved ones.

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