New to CBD? Tom Bourlet, who runs the award-winning blog, CBD Sloth, reveals everything you need to know to help you find what works for you.
You’ve made the decision that you want to give CBD a try, but where do you start? A quick look online will present you with hundreds of brands, offering what appears to be an identical product, so which one do you invest your money with?
The first choice you should make should be on how you would like to consume CBD. There is a wealth of options nowadays, from edibles such as gummies and chocolates, to oils and lozenges.
Vaping is the fastest-acting method, therefore is useful if you need it to work very quickly, however not everyone is a fan of vaping. I personally prefer to consume CBD via a full spectrum oil. The packaging will probably tell you to keep it under your tongue for around 20-30 seconds, however I’d recommend keeping it there for 1-2 minutes to ensure a high level of absorption.
The gummies taste unbelievable, however, I don’t tend to find they offer the same level of results as either CBD oil or the e-liquid.
Checking the lab reports
Before making a purchase, I always recommend checking the lab reports for any product containing CBD. This is integral to ensure they have been checked by a third party lab for quality standards and to ensure they had the quantities stated.
There are a number of things you should be looking for. Firstly, you need to check that there aren’t any pesticides present in the lab results. Hemp is highly-porous and if they use pesticides or chemical fertilisers then these would be absorbed and would be present in the oil.
The next thing you should be checking for is the presence of any heavy metals, which can be
dangerous if consumed. Following this, you want to ensure the batch test shows at least the quantity stated of CBD that you should be getting.
You should also look to see what other cannabinoids are present. Considering I like a full spectrum oil, it’s always an added benefit when there is a decent quantity of CBG.
You will normally find the lab reports on the product page as a PDF file, however if you can’t spot it, don’t hesitate to email the company and they’re normally more than happy to provide you with the certificate of analysis. If the brand refuses to provide you with a certificate of analysis, you should certainly avoid them, as they’ve got something to hide.
Most people I know that have tried CBD oil have struggled with the taste. If this is the case for you, then there are plenty of great-tasting flavoured options. Some of the best tasting include the Orange County CBD orange flavour or the CBDFX lychee, lemon and kiwi CBD oil.
Just a year ago, the only flavours on the market were based around mint, however, CBD brands have expanded their horizons quite drastically in the space of 12 months – much to our benefit.
Over the past year, I have tried flavours including cherry, apple, orange, strawberry, chocolate and hazelnut, lemon, tropical and mixed berries.
Full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate
These terms are branded around quite loosely and I’ve found a number of CBD brands mislabel their products on their own pages.
An isolate means, as you can imagine, they’ve completely isolated the cannabinoid and that is the only ingredient present. Full spectrum means it contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids you would expect from the hemp plant. Broad spectrum means it contains all the cannabinoids except for THC.
If you are drug tested for work, you will be looking to avoid THC and you should either go for a broad spectrum or an isolate, but double-check the lab reports before believing what they state.
The carrier oil is important in increasing the bioavailability of CBD after consumption. Nowadays, any trusted brand will use some form of carrier oil in their product, whether that’s virgin hemp oil or olive oil. However, most studies have shown MCT oil yields the greatest results and this has become the benchmark for what you should expect.
Choosing the strength
This is a difficult one, as everyone’s tolerance level is different, while you might have a very different reason for taking CBD oil than someone else.
Some people opt for cheap options with low amounts of CBD, which can then leave them disappointed with the results. Just the same, some people are bought over by high price tags, thinking that will instantly mean better results.
If you’re buying a CBD oil for the first time, I’d recommend either going for a 500mg or a 1,000mg option.
I personally take 1,000mg CBD each night, which works well for me, but it can be worth starting out with a 500mg option and building up from there if required. Anything below 500mg never really gets results, so isn’t worth your money in my experience.
Find Tom at www.cbdsloth.com
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