How to Get the Most for Your Money: CBD Products
Chances are that you fall into one of three categories…a person who has a CBD product they’re happy with, a person who has tried CBD but can’t find a product the meet their needs, or a person who hasn’t tried CBD because of how intimidating finding a product can be. With CBD quickly becoming a household staple, it is no surprise to see new products hitting the market on a daily basis. Finding a CBD product that you’re happy with doesn’t mean that you have to drop hundreds of dollars to try out different products. There are a few steps to take that will help cut out a large portion of the crappy CBD product options and ensure that you get the most for your money.
Step 1: Is Your Product Third-Party Lab Tested?
Hands down, this is one of the most important things to look for when shopping for a CBD product. There is never a situation where a CBD brand can justify the lack of third-party testing. Most brands these days realize that consumers will avoid purchasing CBD products if they are not third-party tested. Every CBD product should have a URL or scannable QR code that links to a document called a certificate of analysis or COA. These COAs are provided by third-party, independent testing labs. If the CBD brand that you’re interested in isn’t willing to provide you with a COA for a product, then you should absolutely avoid this brand. The only reason a brand would not want to share a COA is if they’re pulling some shady shit.
So why is this type of testing so important? First and foremost, a COA will be able to tell you what is actually in your product. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous players in the world of CBD. Before COAs became commonplace, many brands would simply claim their product had a certain amount of CBD when in actuality, they were severely underdosed and in some cases, didn’t contain any CBD at all!
Additionally, most third-party labs test for harmful compounds like pesticides, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and residual solvents. All things you want to avoid! Don’t think that just because your CBD product comes from a huge or popular brand, that it is guaranteed to be legit. Bottom line, ALWAYS verify that your product has been third-party lab tested and don’t stop there, look at the COA yourself. All COAs contain batch numbers so it is equally important to verify your product’s batch number matches the one listed on the COA. This confirms that the item used in testing for the COA is from the same batch that your actual product belongs to.
Step 2: Check for Proper Labeling
Does your product’s label make vague claims, or does it leave you scratching your head as you ask yourself, “hmm…is this what I need?” This is another immediate red flag to avoid a product. Currently, the FDA prohibits CBD brands from making any health benefit claims. This doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD doesn’t provide any benefits, it simply means that we don’t have enough clinical research backing any claims yet.
Does your product’s label make you feel like you’re going to be a new person? If so, it is likely a byproduct of deceptive marketing. A reputable CBD brand’s label will always contain the following information:
- URL or QR Code to view third-party lab results (COA)
- Easy to understand how many milligrams (mg) of CBD are in the product and how many milligrams of CBD are in each dose
- Clear dosing instructions
- An FDA disclaimer stating it hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA
- THC content information that matches the COA
- Batch number
- Expiration Date
This may sound like a lot to remember when looking for CBD products, but we assure you that if you verify these items on your product’s label, you’ll be in a much better position to avoid crappy, bunk, or even potentially dangerous CBD products. Once you get the hang of checking for these things, it will quickly become second nature and you can rest easier knowing you’ve done your due diligence.
Step 3: How Accessible is Your Brand’s Customer Service Department?
This step can be tricky given the fact that you likely won’t need to contact customer service unless you have a question or problem. That said, it is usually a good indicator of how responsive a brand’s customer service will be by how easy it is to locate their contact information. Think about it, if a brand doesn’t want customers asking questions or contacting them, then they’re likely not going to make finding their contact information an easy task.
Sure, there’s a good chance that you will never have to contact a brand with questions or concerns, but just like insurance companies…nobody wants to have to reach out to them, but when a situation arises requiring you to contact them, you don’t want to get ghosted.
As a secondary tactic, check out the brand’s social media presence. Does it seem like they brush certain comments under the rug, or do they address them publicly? Chances are high that you will find many brands completely disregard the opportunity to engage with their customers. This is usually a sign to steer clear of that brand.
Step 4: Decide on Your Intended Goal from Using CBD Before You Make a Purchase
This step is all on you. The placebo effect is a very real thing and one that can manifest in CBD users. Not all CBD form factors are created equally. For instance, if you feel that CBD may help alleviate anxiety, then why would you choose to purchase a topical CBD product? On the other hand, why would you consume CBD oil if you are trying to reduce inflammation of a skin condition?
The point is, determine your goal with CBD and purchase a product that makes the most sense for that goal. Also, don’t be afraid to do some research to determine the best route of delivery for your issue. You’re not the first person to ever suffer from migraines, psoriasis, or any other condition, so why not spend 10 minutes poking around the internet to see if others like you have already determined the best type of CBD product.
If you’re not into researching the web for health information (you monster!), then guess what? This is an excellent opportunity for you to see how responsive a brand is (see: step 3). Put together a quick message explaining that you’re trying to determine the best type of CBD product for your needs and send it to a few CBD brands that you’re interested in. If only half of them reply, you’ve just killed two birds with one stone by eliminating a few non-responsive brands from your list.
Step 5: Set Realistic Expectations
It is so easy to get caught up in the mentality that CBD is an overnight cure for a multitude of ailments but unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Sure, there are countless user reports of nearly instant anxiety relief or better sleep from CBD use however, you have to understand that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. What we’re getting at here is that just because your CBD product doesn’t deliver instant results, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should toss it in the garbage.
Many users report giving up on CBD only to realize after stopping that they actually did experience benefits from using it. We’re still in the early days of CBD research. This means that while we may understand a lot of things about CBD now, there remains much more to be discovered.
Now Get to Shopping!
You’ve armed yourself with several steps to take towards becoming a better-informed CBD user. If you already use CBD, we encourage you to test these steps out on your current products. Don’t feel bad if you find that you’ve been duped by a shady brand, it happens to the best of us! Instead, look at it in a positive light! Consider the fact that you’re armed with knowledge that will prevent you from being taken advantage of again!