New to CBD?
Things to consider when choosing a CBD product.
If you've never used CBD before (or even if you have), it can be intimidating to sift through all the different brands, carriers, concentration types, prices, etc. There is an overwhelming amount of details about CBD products, but here are the main questions you should be asking when considering which product to purchase:
- Does this product have a measured amount of CBD or does it just contain hemp extract?
- How many milligrams of CBD are actually in the product?
- Does this product come with a certificate of analysis (COA) to verify the CBD content claims?
- How much are you paying per milligram of CBD?
Hemp Extract? Or CBD?
Some brands prey on the consumers' ignorance about what is Hemp and what is CBD. It's not uncommon to find extremely inexpensive products that tout the popular ingredient 'hemp' with the intent of gaining more sales. Some consumers might buy these products thinking they'll gain the effects of CBD products without spending the premium on other CBD products, and consequently be disappointed when the product doesn't provide the benefit(s) they're looking for. But that won't be you. While hemp derivative products like hemp seed, stalk, and fiber do provide health benefits, it is not the same as CBD. When you're choosing a new CBD product to try, verify that there is actually measured amounts of CBD and not just 'hemp extract.'
How many mg of CBD?
While still preying on consumer ignorance, some products will specifically advertise having CBD but won't address how much or provide a quantity on a label. When you're vetting a potential CBD product, you need to identify exactly how many milligrams (mg) of CBD are in the product. Many quality products will not only specify how many mgs are in the whole product, but also how many mg per recommended dose. If a product is not providing at least 10mg of CBD per dose, then you might want to evaluate the potential efficacy of that product. Paying attention to this detail will help you separate novelty CBD products from CBD products that are meant to provide some benefit(s).
Is there a trustworthy COA?
You may or may not know this, but there are over 100 different cannabinoids of which CBD is only one. Most people are familiar with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana) which is another popular cannabinoid, and the defining factor between federally legal hemp and situationally-legal marijuana. In short, CBD and THC are found in both hemp and marijuana plants (they're both cannabis), and in general, as CBD percentages increase in a plant, so do THC percentages. There are products that contain marijuana derived CBD, but the only federally legal CBD products must be hemp derived and contain less than 0.3%. The way that you as a consumer can verify the various cannabinoid levels and the legality of a product is by reviewing the certificate of analysis (COA).
First off, any company that doesn't willingly provide COAs for their products (without being solicited) should be called into question. Similarly, the lab that tests the CBD products should be reputable and 3rd party separate from the manufacturer (to reduce chances of forgery or collusion). If all of that checks, then you must review the COA against your own standards. Acceptable levels of THC varies slightly per FDA regulations as do the regulations of each state. So find the CBD levels and THC levels on the COA and verify them with the claims of the product and your local and federal regulations. CBD is usually extracted in batches and COAs usually represent a full batch and not an individual product.
How much $ per mg of CBD?
If the product you're considering has passed the last three questions to your satisfaction, then you're probably considering a quality CBD product. But that doesn't mean that you should buy that specific product...at least not without comparing the prices of other products or brands. Although there are multiple factors that you might want to consider when purchasing a quality CBD product, the cost per mg of CBD is a great baseline to compare products against each other. It's not common for a brand or product to have the price per milligram of CBD declared on their packaging or website, so this question might require a little simple math on your own.
The equation is simple: divide the total price of the unit by the total amount of mg of CBD in the product ($ / mg CBD = cost per mg of CBD). For instance (and for easy math) Viridian Heights sells 1000mg CBD tinctures for $65.00 each. This equates to $0.065 per mg of CBD. If you compare that to our 1800mg tincture listed at $95.00 retail, then you'd be paying $0.053 per mg of CBD, which is 1.2 cents per mg cheaper and obviously a better deal. Your comparison between products and brands with this simple yet powerful tool is limitless.
Since you're not likely to take only 1mg of CBD at a time, it may be more beneficial to recognize a cost per dose. Both the 1000mg and 1800mg tinctures have a volume of 30mL with a recommended dose of 1mL totalling at 30 doses per tincture. The 1800mg tincture has 60mg per dose (1800mg / 30 doses), which comes to $3.18 per dose (60mg * $0.053). For comparison we'll calculate a 1500mg product that is listed for $159.99. This unnamed product would come out to $0.106 per mg of CBD and (assuming the same 1mL dose per 30mL tincture), $5.30 per dose, which is greater than $2 more per dose!
Feeling less intimidated?
Hopefully this write-up will help your understanding and confidence when evaluating potential CBD products. You won't be an expert by any means from reading this article (even if you read it more than once!), but you will certainly know enough to make informed decisions. So go forth and evaluate, and know that we're always here to answer any questions you may have.