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Blog / How to Tell if CBD is Good [Simple Tips and Techniques]

How to Tell if CBD is Good [Simple Tips and Techniques]

With any product you might buy, you always need to ask yourself one very, very simple question – is this stuff any good?

For some products, answering the question may be as simple as looking at the price tag, or even giving it a quick smell or a taste. But when it comes to CBD, be it CBD-rich cannabis or even just hemp CBD oil, it can be a little bit more difficult.

Due to the lack of regulations and oversight on the production of hemp extract, as well as the production of CBD oil and other products, it isn’t easy to monitor consistent quality in your CBD. In other words, you’re going to have to rely on a few other methods to determine your CBD quality.

In this article, we take a look at a few tricks, tips and techniques that you can use to help answer the question: “How to tell if CBD oil is good.”

“Good” CBD vs. “Bad” CBD: How Can You Tell?

Determining the quality of your CBD oil is about a few different things, all of which are dependent on your intended plans for the product, as well as your personal tastes. If you’re looking to get medicinal effectiveness from your CBD, then you likely want the strongest potency of CBD within your bud as possible. You can find this out from the manufacturer in the form of a percentage, or sometimes as a ratio against THC, which should be readily available upon purchase.

Here are a few different examples of various CBD potencies that you might come across on the legal market:

  •  150mg CBD per 1 oz bottle (approximately 0.25mg CBD per drop)
  •  300mg CBD per 1 oz bottle (approximately 0.5mg CBD per drop)
  •  600mg CBD per 1 oz bottle (approximately 1mg CBD per drop)
  •  1,000mg CBD per 1 oz bottle (approximately 1.7mg CBD per drop)

Another metric to consider is the taste and smell of the CBD oil. Believe it or not, some people take cannabis oil as a recreational drug not so much for its psychoactive or medicinal effects, but because they enjoy the flavor. It’s exactly the same as people drinking quality coffee or beer – along with the enjoyable “effects,” they’re looking for the best flavors possible.

The taste and smell of each individual strain of CBD cannabis will vary, so this one is entirely based on personal preference. However, you can’t go wrong with classic citrus flavors and aromas, as these are most reminiscent of common cannabis varieties. If your strain smells, for lack of a better word, “stanky”, you might be dealing with cheap or ineffectively harvested weed.

If you’re trying to determine the quality of CBD oil though, it’s a little bit different.

How to Tell if Your CBD Oil is Good

If you’re trying to evaluate your product though and wondering how to tell if your CBD oil is good, you generally have two main things to consider – CBD content and THC content.

The strength of an individual dose of CBD oil is ultimately dependent on the quantity of CBD extract within it, so you can quite easily determine whether or not it’s good by the amount of CBD which is listed on the packaging. The amount of CBD in each 5mL dose, for example, is usually listed as a percentage. Generally speaking, the higher the amount of CBD, the better.

Another way to tell good CBD vs. bad CBD is to find out the quantity of THC within the CBD oil. Most countries with access to legal hemp oil require that the final product contain less than 0.3% THC, so if your CBD lists its THC content as above that, it’s possible that you’re dealing with an illegal product that hasn’t have gone through any sort of regulatory oversight.

However, it’s worth pointing out that if you’re buying CBD from a dispensary in a recreationally legalized state (such as California or Colorado) there may be products available that have THC levels much higher than 0.3% – after all, it’s legal regardless!

This lack of rigorous product definitions (like those that exist in the world of alcohol or coffee), make classifying the exact qualities and merits of individual CBD products very difficult. To help make it a little bit easier when trying to tell the difference between good CBD oil and bad CBD oil, there are a few techniques you can utilize to help make the process a little easier. Let’s check out a few of them.

Questions to Ask When Trying to Tell the Difference Between Good CBD Oil and Bad CBD Oil

As we’ve said, the general lack of regulations on the manufacturing of hemp-based CBD oil have made for a large discrepancy between products; at least when considering things like overall quality and effectiveness.

For this reason, one must take precaution when shopping around and trying to tell the difference between good and bad CBD oil, as manufacturers would have you believe that anything with the word “CBD” on the bottle will instantly cure you of all your worldly ailments. Naturally, this is not the case.

When shopping in-store or online, here are a few different questions to ask when wondering how to tell if CBD oil is good or bad:

Good CBD vs. bad CBD: How was the product made?

When reading your product’s packaging (assuming it comes with any), make sure to check how the product was created. This can often reveal a great deal about the production process and help you decide if your CBD oil is going to be any good.

For example, if buying CBD-rich marijuana, you might want to pay attention to their growing practices; are they an organic, small grower with local affiliation and a growers license? Or are they a massive grow-op with big-time partnerships? Often, it’s these small clues that can help reveal the quality of what you’re using.

Also, if you’re using CBD oil one very good method for ensuring quality is to read the ingredients and check the manufacturing processes. Most CBD oil is produced using a variety of extraction methods, most commonly something called supercritical CO2 extraction, which requires a huge amount of expensive equipment and sophisticated setups.

However, if the CBD oil is produced in some other esoteric manner, you might be looking at a product that lacks high-quality standards. After all, the majority of CBD oil brands use the same extraction methods for a reason – it’s the best.

Another thing to look out for when trying to tell the difference between good CBD oil and bad CBD oil is the ingredients list, especially with regard to something called thinning agents. Very commonly, CBD oil is sold with thinning agents included so as to make it easier to vape in a vaporizer pen.

Until recently, the most commonly used thinning agent was Propylene Glycol (PG). However, since PG has been revealed to break down into formaldehyde – a known carcinogen – at high temperatures, fewer and fewer manufacturers are incorporating it into their products.

In fact, most producers have stopped using it altogether, but some unscrupulous companies will still try and sneak it in their vape oils – if you see this ingredient on the label, it is likely you’re not dealing with quality.

Simply put, always make sure you read your product’s packaging when trying to tell the difference between good CBD oil and bad CBD oil — rule number one!

Good CBD vs. bad CBD: Where did the product come from?

As we all know, many people are concerned (for good reason) with where their food comes from; while some prefer their foodstuffs to only be organic, others just want to support local growers rather than international traders.

This same logic should apply to cannabis – if you’re wondering how to know if CBD oil is good, find out where the cannabis is coming from! In other words, learn the source of the plant, and see what you can do to research their growing practices.

A little-known fact about hemp plants is that they are “hyperaccumulators,” which means they absorb pretty much anything they can from surrounding soil. This means that they grow very well in rich soil, but it also means that they will absorb a lot of nasty metals and chemicals if they’re grown in low-quality soil.

Learning about the growing practices of the growers can help determine if your final product is of any kind of good quality, as a good grower should be able to demonstrate the quality of his product through things like an organic certification.

Also, it should go without saying not to smoke or take CBD oil made from poor quality cannabis – know what you’re putting in your body so that you can ensure you get the best possible effects from your CBD.

Good CBD vs. bad CBD: Is the oil a full-spectrum or isolate product?

Many people think that when buying CBD oil, it doesn’t matter what else is in the oil as long as the CBD content is high. Well, good CBD oil isn’t just CBD and inert oil to hold it all together – it’s a lot of other things as well.

When CBD is extracted from cannabis plants, producers have the option of only taking CBD from the plants, or also retrieving other cannabinoids and terpenes as well. These “other” compounds not only boost the flavor and develop the profile of the final product, but they are also believed to have their own medicinal and chemical effects on the body.

It’s a bit more expensive and time-consuming to ensure you get all these additional cannabinoids into the CBD oil, but if the producers chooses to do so, they’ve officially made what’s known as a “full-spectrum” CBD oil.

Make sure you’re checking the label of your product to ensure you’re getting full spectrum CBD Oil; otherwise you might be robbing yourself of many of the compound’s potential benefits and medicinal effects.

Good CBD vs. bad CBD: Has the product been tested in a laboratory?

For those wondering how to tell if CBD oil is good, this final section might sound like a bit of a repeat of the above advice, but it’s incredibly important to read and understand whether or not your CBD oil has been scientifically tested.

As an extracted product, all good CBD oil brands should to have their products tested by scientists in an independent laboratory to ensure both the quality and the CBD content. If they’ve been tested properly, they’ll likely contain the name and location of the laboratory doing the testing, as well as results about their findings.

For example, some CBD oils are not made correctly and have failed to actually suspend the CBD within the oil, instead creating a basically useless (yet very expensive) vial of coconut oil.

It’s the laboratory tests, random spot checks, and other quality control measures that ensure these things don’t happen and make sure that your final product absolutely works. Simply put, if you’re wondering how to tell if CBD oil is good or bad, then verifying an independent third-party lab report is a great way to start.

Bottom Line: How to Tell if CBD Oil is Good

All in all, CBD cannabis oil and CBD hemp oil are not as easy as other products when it comes to down to whether or not they are any good. The ways to actually check them properly might require expertise and equipment you don’t have, such as the scientific testing necessary to demonstrate that these products actually contain CBD.

However, you can at the very least do your due diligence in reading the packaging labeling, learning as much as you can about the producers, and generally just being an informed consumer.

As long as you buy from reputable producers with established production practices, or at least read a copious amount of reviews from trusted reviewers, you should feel confident that the product you end up with is of good quality.

And lastly, just because it’s a medicine doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be critical and go to the world’s end to discover if the product is any good – after all, it’s your right to do so! Simply put, when wondering how to tell if CBD is good or bad, be sure to exercise these rights vehemently and follow the above tips and techniques. When it comes down to your health and general well-being, you’ll be glad that you did.

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