CBD oil got a lot more accessible with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The federal law included a provision to legalize hemp, which for decades hadn’t been distinguished from other cannabis plants. But hemp is different from marijuana, which contains THC, the chemical compound that makes someone feel high, and this recent distinction has opened the door for hemp growers across the country to capitalize on the popularity of CBD oil in the wellness world.
With CBD oil now being hawked in mainstream drugstores (Walgreens and CVS recently announced their plans to add CBD oils to their offerings), it’s also inevitably about to get harder to find high-quality, ethically and sustainably sourced CBD products that you can trust. So how can you know if you’re getting a supplement that will actually work for you? We’ve got a breakdown of how to shop for the best CBD oil, in the midst of the pills, creams, tinctures and drinks on their way to the market now (if you’re not up on the hype of CBD, check out our post breaking down how and why it works).
Choose Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Seek out broad-spectrum CBD over the CBD isolate in many (cheaper) brands. The hemp plant itself contains hundreds of therapeutic compounds, from cannabinoids and terpenes, to flavonoids and amino acids, all of which work synergistically with your body to support your health. These compounds work best in unison because they activate each other. A broad-spectrum CBD will contain a rich cannabinoid and terpene profile, while one that contains CBD isolate is stripped down to only a single molecule, which has fewer benefits.
Understand the Ingredient List
Just like we talked about with nutritional supplements, the other ingredients in a product’s formulation are just as important as the active ingredient. Make sure when you’re selecting a CBD product that you read the entire ingredient list and keep an eye out for potentially harmful synthetic chemicals (or even sugar!) that can undermine the quality. Preservatives are one piece to the ingredient puzzle, so make sure to keep an eye out for parabens and other synthetic preservatives that aren’t great for you.
Evaluate the Dose of CBD
Keep in mind the total cannabinoid content in each product—especially per serving and in the entire product. Many brands are currently trying to jump on the CBD oil bandwagon by using only hemp seed oil, which doesn’t actually contain meaningful levels of cannabinoids, instead of the CBD-rich hemp extract. Double check labels, the company’s website and the active ingredients to ensure that you’re getting a CBD-full product. Also, dose matters. In order to reap and feel the benefits of CBD, from pain relief to sleep assistance to anxiety help, you need a significant dose of cannabinoids per product. We like to see 100 to 750 mg of cannabinoids in a formula for best effectiveness.
Use CBD As Part of a Holistically Healthy Lifestyle
CBD is not a cure or fix all (regardless of the marketing claims on many brands’ packaging!). That’s why it’s especially important to use it as one of many tools in your holistically healthy lifestyle kit. Combined with eating whole foods, staying hydrated, using nontoxic cleaning and personal care products, getting enough sleep and paying attention to your specific body’s needs, CBD can be an incredible addition to your wellness routine.
Not sure if you’ve got a handle on what’s best for your body? Schedule a free, 15-minute consult with our doctors who can help support you and your holistic lifestyle.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.