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What to Look for when shopping for CBD

Written by Lisa Rennie

It’s an exciting time for cannabis and the people who rely on it for various medical, health, and wellness purposes. With an increasing number of states steadily jumping aboard the cannabis train and legalizing it to some extent, we’re discovering a lot about its effect on the mind and body, and more and more people are using it to their advantage.

More specifically, it’s the CBD that has people pretty pumped up. This cannabinoid has been found to possess a number of medical properties, including – but not limited to – the following:

  • Alleviates anxiety [1]
  • Minimizes pain and inflammation [2]
  • Reduces the number and severity of epileptic seizures [3]
  • Calms nausea and vomiting [4]
  • Promotes healthy skin [5]
  • Improves mood [6]
  • Boosts mental clarity [7]

And with continued studies on CBD, who knows what else we’ll find out about this cannabinoid and how it can positively affect human health.

But before you begin your trek to purchase CBD, it’s important to know what to look for when you are shopping. Keep the following in mind to help ensure you’re making a sound purchasing decision.

Tested by a Third-Party Lab

All reputable CBD manufacturers should have their products tested by third-party labs. Not only that, but such testing should be communicated to consumers via a detailed lab report that is readily available. These reports should outline what’s in the product, the ratio of CBD:THC, and what terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids might be present.

No More Than 0.3% THC

THC might be legal in certain states, but it’s still illegal in others, not to mention it’s also federally outlawed. If you want to stay within the confines of federal law, then make sure the CBD product you buy has no more than the legal limit of 0.3% THC. Plus, if you don’t want to get high, you don’t want your CBD product to have any more than this amount of THC in it anyway.

The Source of the Hemp

Hemp-derived CBD will ensure that you’re getting the CBD you need without all the THC. But what’s the source of the hemp plant? The quality of the hemp plays a key role in the quality of the CBD product. Ideally, the hemp source should be US-based and come from a cultivator that has close domestic ties with the manufacturer of the CBD you purchase.

The Type of CBD in the Product

Is the CBD product you’re buying “isolate” or “full spectrum?” The former is pure CBD that’s extracted from the hemp plant, then isolated from any other cannabinoids that may have been present in the plant. The latter is CBD that’s been extracted from the hemp plant along with the other cannabinoids, and that includes THC.

It’s important that you understand what CBD product that you’re buying, as well as who you’re buying it from. Be sure to purchase from a reputable CBD manufacturer that is fully transparent about all the pertinent details about the CBD product and the plants it hails from in order to make an informed purchasing decision.


  1. Blessing, E.M., et al, Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Oct; 12(4): 825–836, doi: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1, [Times Cited = 121; Journal Impact Factor = 5.719].
  2. Hammell, D,C., et al, Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis, Eur J Pain, 2016 Jul; 20(6): 936–948, doi: 10.1002/ejp.818, [Times Cited = 30; Journal Impact Factor = 3.218].
  3. Perucca, E., Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last?” J Epilepsy Res. 2017 Dec; 7(2): 61–76, doi: 10.14581/jer.17012, [Times Cited = 40; Journal Impact Factor = 2.491].
  4. Parker, L.A., Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids, Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug; 163(7): 1411–1422, doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x, [Times Cited = 145; Journal Impact Factor = N/A].
  5. Oláh, A. et al, Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes, J Clin Invest. 2014 Sep 2; 124(9): 3713–3724, doi: 10.1172/JCI64628, [Times Cited = 67; Journal Impact Factor = 13.251].
  6. Pamplona, F.A., Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis, Front Neurol. 2018; 9: 759, doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00759, [Times Cited = 5; Journal Impact Factor = 3.508].
  7. Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Potential Effects of Cannabidiol as a Wake-Promoting Agent, Curr Neuropharmacol. 2014 May; 12(3): 269–272, doi: 10.2174/1570159X11666131204235805, [Times Cited = 13; Journal Impact Factor = 5.086].

About the author

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Simoneli Rennie has been working as a freelance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content dedicated to informing consumers. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and in her spare time, Lisa enjoys trying funky new recipes, spending time with her dog, and of course, reveling in the joy of family.

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