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The ongoing legalization of Cannabis is boosting the popularity of CBD-based products around the world. In light of higher demand, more producers are willing to jump into this industry. Yet, not all of them are committed to providing customers with high-quality products.
Buying CBD products online is probably the best way to do it. As a customer, you can quickly go through a wide range of products, compare them, and get your selection delivered to your door in no time. However, buying online can soon become a nightmare if not done correctly.
If you’re thinking of buying your CBD products online, there are a few common mistakes you should avoid in order to prevent unwanted surprises.
#1 Not Doing Your Research
Before you spend your hard-earned money on CBD oil, you should first learn what it is capable of. Though it can help treat the symptoms of a variety of conditions, it isn’t a cure-all for every ailment. Of course, this isn’t what the less reputable CBD sellers would have you believe.
If an online seller claims that CBD will cure some severe disease, don’t trust it. Recent research shows CBD might help with certain conditions, such as sleep disorders and skin problems. But there are no studies that validate CBD as an alternative to traditional medicine.
For first time users, it’s always advisable to start with a small dosage of CBD oil. But no worries, the side effects of CBD oil are little to none.
#2 Buying from Unknown Retailers
As well as doing your research on CBD, it is a good idea to also look into the CBD retailer. Specifically, you’ll want to check out their background as a company and the extraction methods they use for the oil.
Some extraction techniques produce higher yields than others, but some retailers prefer to go with cheaper methods that produce low-quality CBD oil. The best extraction method is by means of CO2, which is pricier but ensures a pure, potent, and utterly safe oil.
Olive oil extraction is easy to execute and rather inexpensive, but the yields aren’t nearly as high as with the CO2 method.
Another popular choice is dry ice extraction since it is clean, comfortable, and produces relatively decent yields. The downside is that the quality of the CBD oil is pretty low since the shaking process damages the plants.
There is one more method: solvent-based extraction. Without question, you should stay away from CBD oil produced using this method. Harsh chemicals like butane or hexane are part of the extraction process, making the final product potentially harmful to your health.
Now that you know the four extraction methods, you’ll know what to look for when purchasing your CBD oil. A reputable retailer will clearly state which one they use on their products and their website. They will also display the results of their lab tests to indicate that their products are well-made clearly.
#3 Thinking CBD Will Get You High
It isn’t uncommon to come across buyers who think CBD will get them high. While CBD is a Cannabis compound, the dose of the main psychoactive element in the cannabis plant — THC — is minimal. If you’re buying CBD to get high, then you’ll only end up ‘highly’ disappointed.
When CBD is extracted from the hemp plants, a small amount of THC will be extracted along with it. These levels are quite low and must stay below 0.3% for the CBD oil to maintain its legal status.
The only way CBD oil will get you high is due to a production failure. In other words, if the products would include a higher dose of THC.
#4 Prioritizing Price Over Quality
The popularity of CBD products has grown significantly in recent years. This demand has made it difficult for reputable retailers to keep these products in stock. This high demand has also created opportunities for the unqualified and dishonest businesses to take advantage of those unable to purchase CBD through reputable sources.
If you search for CBD oil online, the results will seem almost endless since there are so many people looking to cash in by selling CBD products. Regrettably, many of the options available will offer low-quality products. Even if these don’t have any adverse effects on your health, you could end up paying for no results at all.
Want to try out online sources? Make sure to check out the vendor for specific information, including the extraction method used, the CBD/THC content, the source of the hemp, and whether it is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
By doing your research in these areas, you’ll know you’re getting a quality product instead of a cheap one that offers no benefits.
#5 Going For CBD Isolate
Some people think that CBD isolate is the best option there is because this is pure and contains only CBD. That isn’t entirely right. Isolate is cheaper than other products, plus it doesn’t contain any additional compounds, so it isn’t as effective as the other extracts on the market.
CBD isolate also has a “U-shaped response curve,” which means that the higher the dosage is, the less effective it’s going to be. With this product, less is more, and it likely won’t give you the results you seek either way.
Full-spectrum is a whole plant extract, so nothing is removed or added to the chemical composition the plant naturally creates. These compounds will work together to create a more potent product, which will heighten the way the body reacts to it more positively. This option will still include THC but must remain at 0.3% or less to be legal in many areas.
There is also broad-spectrum oil, which is distilled in a way that does remove some specific compounds. The extract will contain mostly CBD, with a broad spectrum of other cannabinoids and terpenes making up the rest of it.
#6 Setting Unrealistic Expectations
If you plan to add CBD products to your daily routine to promote your general health, similar to the way a daily vitamin supplement is used, then you’re using these products for the right reason.
There is also some early evidence that CBD may be able to treat the symptoms of some more serious medical issues as well, such as anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that CBD will cure their various conditions, which is not at all true. Though the list of its benefits is quite long, it can’t take care of every medical issue you’re dealing with.
For instance, it can help relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety, but it won’t cure you of it altogether. It also won’t cure your depression or any debilitating conditions. It can ease the pain but not remove the cause of it or keep it away forever.
For the best results with CBD oil, it is best to look into how it can help you as well as the limitations of the products you’re using.
With so many different brands and companies selling CBD these days, it can be hard to know which ones to trust. Researching those brands and the products they sell should help you choose a quality product.
This way, you’ll get the results you’re looking for without wasting your money or risking your health.
With full legalization of cannabis products in Uruguay and Canada and many areas of the United States, more and more people are looking into what these products have to offer. Some are interested in medical marijuana for various issues while others are trying out recreational marijuana. Others like the CBD products for the benefits without the effects of the THC. So, what’s the difference between CBD and THC and how do they affect you?
CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?
There are a few select differences between CBD and THC, including their chemical makeup and how they affect you. In some areas, there are also legal issues to consider when using one or the other, so be sure to consider the following areas before purchasing these products.
Chemical Structure of CBD
Both THC and CBD come from cannabis plants, though Cannabidiol (CBD) has a higher concentration in hemp plants. It has a very specific chemical formula, consisting of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. These atoms are arranged in such a way that they can offer you a variety of health benefits without giving you the high that marijuana is known for.
Chemical Structure of THC
Unlike CBD, which comes from hemp, THC is extracted from marijuana plants. The chemical structure of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has the same chemical makeup as CBD, consisting of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Despite this similarity, THC has a single atom that is arranged differently than in CBD. This microscopic difference between these two structures makes these two compounds react differently in the body, affecting you in very different ways
CBD vs. THC: Legal Differences
Though all types of marijuana are legal in Canada, the U.S. hasn’t changed federal law concerning these products. Each state is allowed to make their own laws regarding the use, sale, or prescriptions for marijuana. Many states have approved medical marijuana, with a few also allowing marijuana for recreational use as well. Though the rules regarding high-THC products are changing, it is best to check out the laws in your state to be sure you aren’t breaking them when buying a batch of weed.
The laws aren’t the same when it comes to CBD. In December 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, which legalized hemp. Of course, there are still rules in place concerning how and where you can sell CBD oil and other products. They can’t have a THC content higher than 0.03% and you can’t sell them with any type of guarantee that they have medical benefits, as there is still research being done in this area. Otherwise, you can buy and use it as you see fit.
How Does CBD Affect the Body?
Cannabidiol is one of 85 known cannabinoids that can be found in the Cannabis plants. When extracted and ingested, these cannabinoids interact directly with the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. This system consists of a network of receptors that interacts with the cannabinoids, which help maintain our body’s vital functions.
There are 2 main cannabinoid receptors in the ECS system, called CB1 and CB2 receptors. These react with the cannabinoids and give you those health benefits that scientists are looking for. CBD binds to the CB2 receptor, but it doesn’t bond with the CB1 receptor directly. In fact, it can interfere with the bond that THC has with CB1 receptors, eliminating the psychoactive effects the THC would otherwise cause.
Even though it doesn’t bond with the CB1 receptor, CBD can still offer a wide variety of benefits, without the mind-altering high. You also won’t be breaking the law while using it to help relieve some of your medical issues.
How Does THC Affect the Body?
The small difference in the chemical makeup that we discussed above that separates THC from CBD determines how it affects the body. THC also binds to the CB2 receptor, the same way that CBD does. The difference lies in how it reacts to the CB1 receptors. Its special chemical structure allows THC to bind directly to the CB1 receptors. This bond causes a reaction that creates signals, which are then sent to the brain. This is what causes those psychoactive effects THC is known for.
That’s why smoking a joint gets you high while eating a CBD gummy has no such effect. This mind-altering influence is also why THC retains its status as an illegal drug in many areas of the United States and around the world, though this may not stay this way forever.
Benefits of CBD over THC
As well as being relatively legal in most areas, there are a few other benefits to using CBD over THC. First of all, THC has negative side effects. These can be minor, like red eyes and a dry mouth. There can also be some that are a bit more serious, like an increased heart rate, slower response times, coordination issues, and memory loss.
There could also be some adverse psychiatric effects in teenagers using marijuana since their brains have not fully developed yet. Some research also suggests that large amounts of THC can even increase the risk of schizophrenia in people who are already predisposed to this condition, though this obviously won’t affect everyone.
When it comes to CBD, there is not a single known side effect to speak of, even if it’s used in large quantities. The only potential side effect related to CBD results from using it with other medications, though some research still needs to be done as to which ones could cause this type of reaction.
When it comes to medical benefits, CBD and THC seem to help many of the same conditions. These include chronic pain, nausea, insomnia, and anxiety. THC is also used to help with a few other conditions, including glaucoma, muscle spasticity, and low appetite.
Research is starting to show that CBD is better for some more serious issues, such as inflammation, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, and depression. The Food and Drug Administration has also approved prescription medication Epidiolex, which contains CBD. This medication is used to treat a rare form of epilepsy, which is otherwise difficult to control.
Though research is still needed to prove whether CBD can help treat other medical issues, the World Health Organization has reported that it can potentially treat a wide variety of other medical issues. The list includes Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, inflammatory disease, hypoxia-ischemia injury, infection, cardiovascular diseases, IBD, and complications from diabetes.
Another benefit that CBD has over THC is the fact that it doesn’t have the psychoactive effects. Many people are willing to try cannabis for its medical and health benefits but don’t want to get high in the process. Though medical marijuana can help them out with certain issues, the high that comes along with it may affect how they go about their day.
CBD doesn’t have a high THC content, so it could still give you the relief you’re looking for from your medical symptoms, without affecting your mind in the process. You can use it at work, running errands, or looking after your children without worrying about coordination issues, memory loss, or a case of munchies kicking in.
There are a lot of similarities that are shared by CBD and THC. The first is that they both come from cannabis plants, though CBD has a higher concentration in hemp plants and THC is largely found in marijuana plants. They both offer a variety of medical benefits as well.
Of course, there are a couple of major differences. THC has those psychoactive effects that get you high, which CBD doesn’t contain. Some people like this but it isn’t for everyone. THC is also illegal in many areas for both medical and recreational use, while CBD is legal, provided it has a low THC content.
Though marijuana still carries a stigma in many parts of the world, several countries are reconsidering its illegal status. Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use in October 2018, making it the second country in the world to do so.
In the United States, 10 states have either decriminalized or legalized its use for all purposes, with another 33 states allowing medical use of cannabis.
Many European countries are also looking into altering their draconian laws concerning this naturally growing plant. So, what does the future of marijuana look like around the world?
The process of changing the laws in European countries to allow the use of medical or recreational marijuana is a slow one. The reason may be that there are so many small countries on this continent. There is a lot of pressure to do the right thing, especially when there are so many neighbors with differing views. This may hold some governments back from making the final decision. It may only take one country legalizing marijuana for the others to follow suit. A few countries are only steps away from this decision.
France is one of these countries. The current president, Emmanuel Macron, has already abolished the mandatory sentences for minor marijuana crimes and has also stated that he would like to change more laws related to cannabis.
Marijuana is illegal in both Spain and the Netherlands, though it can be purchased and used at select cafes. The next logical step would be to legalize the use for all its citizens, provided other European countries lead the way.
Luxembourg’s coalition government has already pledged to legalize weed, likely at the end of their term in 2022 or 2023. There has been no public disapproval from any of their neighboring countries, either.
Italy legalized medical marijuana in 2013 and may be on the path for recreational regulations as well. They already have a system they call “cannabis light” that allows access to cannabis with a very low potency, so recreational regulations may be on the horizon.
One of the hot spots for European cannabis tourism is the Czech Republic. Even though only medical marijuana is legal, their lax drug laws make them a haven for pot enthusiasts. The fact that it is already positively affecting its tourism economy may be all this country needs to embrace fully legalized cannabis.
On the progressive front is Portugal, which decriminalized all drugs in 2000. This country also treats addiction as a medical problem rather than a crime. Legalizing cannabis for recreational use could be the next logical step in their advanced attitude.
In 2017, Germany gave green light for medical cannabis treatments. According to the government, doctors are allowed to prescribe marijuana for ill patients who have no other therapeutic alternative. Recreational use of cannabis is still prohibited, although possession of small doses isn’t typically prosecuted as a crime. As far as CBD products concerns, Germany holds one of the most permissive regulations in the old continent.
In addition to CBD products, Germany has also taken a stance on products containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the compound responsible for generating psychoactive effects. The current law establishes that medical cannabis must contain less than 0.2% of THC.
Canada legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018 but this isn’t a blanket legalization. Each province is allowed to regulate the use, growth, and sale for its citizens and some provinces are more lenient than others.
In the U.S., there are already 10 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use and another 33 that have approved it for medical purposes. Despite the failure to legalize marijuana in New Jersey, there is still a great deal of political support to pass this law in this state, as well as in New York and New Mexico.
The majority of American citizens are in favor of legalization at a federal level. These numbers grow almost daily, and the politicians seem to agree. With an election coming up in 2020, many Democratic candidates are adding their support as well as part of their campaign platform, though this may not be their first act if they win the presidency.
A couple of years ago, Mexico legalized cannabis for medical use. More recently, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that their absolute ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional. This opens the door for the country’s lawmakers to begin regulating its consumption.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro may believe that the legalization of marijuana only benefits “traffickers, rapists, and hostage-takers”, but many Latin American countries disagree. Several of them have legalized it for medical use or decriminalized cannabis for personal use to some degree, including Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, and Ecuador.
Though this region is historically politically volatile, it has shown a more progressive attitude in recent years. In fact, Uruguay was the first country to legalize recreational marijuana, so the rest of the country may eventually choose to follow their lead.
Although the Philippines and Indonesia are extremely strict with their marijuana laws, some Asian countries are moving towards legalization. Indians have been using cannabis for thousands of years. Despite the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 that made its use illegal, several states tolerate its use and even consider it to be a legal product.
This apparent indifference to marijuana use may be due to the numerous other pressing concerns the country deals with, so the laws may not change either way in the near future.
Thailand legalized medical marijuana in December 2018 and has the perfect climate for growing cannabis for export to other countries. Full legalization isn’t on their to-do list just yet, though this may show up on the government agenda at some point.
In December 2018, New Zealand passed legislation that allowed the use of medical marijuana. They also announced that during the general election in 2020, they would also hold a binding referendum regarding the legalization and regulation of cannabis.
Australia legalized the production and use of medical marijuana back in 2016. A poll that same year also suggested that 74% of Australians are in favor of decriminalization. Some states have already done so and depending on the outcome of their next election, full cannabis legalization for the entire country may be coming soon.
Africa may be the continent to implement widespread cannabis reform the quickest. A year ago, the constitutional court of South Africa ruled that there would be no penalization for private use and cultivation of cannabis.
While the bill hasn’t been written into law yet and some specifics still need to be worked out, it’s an important development in the cannabis world. This ruling has led to some areas of the country looking into economic opportunities as well, including cannabis exports.
Despite popular belief about Jamaica being a haven for cannabis lovers, it was actually illegal in this country until recently. In 2018, there were some small changes made to the law, allowing the possession of up to 2 ounces.
Cultivation of up to 5 plants in your home is no longer an offense either. Marijuana can also be used for medical purposes, while Rastafarians are allowed sacramental use.
Other Caribbean countries are considering the elimination of cannabis prohibition and regulating its use in the same way they regulate tobacco and alcohol.
Many of these countries rely on the United States for trade and aid, so may hold off until the U.S. makes a similar move to avoid any possible penalties.
The Bottom Line
Though the use of medical marijuana has become the norm in many areas, legalizing this product for recreational use may take a bit of time.
Of course, with countries like Uruguay and Canada regulating its use with few problems to show for it, other countries may be persuaded to test out this legal area for themselves. This process may take longer in some countries than others, depending on the political climate of the area but it’s only a matter of time before this natural plant loses its stigma.
With the legalization of CBD in several regions across the world, products containing this ingredient have been popping up everywhere. There are numerous edibles available that offer a wide variety of benefits, like treating anxiety and helping you get a better night’s sleep.
CBD is also gaining momentum as an essential component of beauty products, especially those focused on improving skin health. In this article we unveil how CBD can help you treat some common skin conditions and rapidly improve its appearance.
Wait… What’s CBD again?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the compounds in a cannabis plant. Though sometimes associated with another cannabis compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, it doesn’t really fit in the same category.
Simply put, THC is what gets you high, while CBD has no such effects. In fact, the CBD sold needs to contain 0.3% THC or less to retain its legal status, so these two shouldn’t be associated once they leave the cannabis plant unless combined on purpose.
Though CBD research is still in its early stages, there are a few things scientists are already sure of. The most important discovery is how CBD works in the body. We have a network of receptors inside us called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system maintains the balance in our bodies and regulates how it works, including areas like sleeping, appetite, stress, pain, and immune functions.
Because our bodies naturally produce those endocannabinoids, and CBD is a phytocannabinoid, it seems as though our bodies are made to not only support the use of CBD but thrive on it. The CBD unlocks certain receptors, which causes a series of beneficial reactions. That’s precisely why using CBD reduces anxiety, inflammation, promotes better sleep routine, and so much more.
What research tells us about CBD skincare?
There are a lot of products out there that can help you when ingested but not so much when applied topically. So, is CBD one of those or can it help your skin when applied directly to it? Some studies suggest that it can, although research studies are still in early stages and remain limited to lab and animal tests at this time.
For instance, there are a few studies that showed that using transdermal CBD on rats could help reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. This isn’t technically skincare, though, since the issues are actually related to the muscles and joints beneath the skin.
A 2007 study was published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, in which researchers isolated several cannabinoids from cannabis, including CBD. When they applied those cannabinoids to human skin, they discovered that every one of them prevented the overproduction of keratinocytes. Since producing too many of these skin cells is what causes psoriasis, inhibiting them may help treat this skin condition.
However, researchers also developed some lab-made compounds that also inhibited the activation of select CB1 or CB2 receptors. These are the receptors that are usually associated with cannabinoids. There wasn’t a large effect for this test, which could suggest that cannabinoids, including CBD, could help treat psoriasis, but not in the expected way.
There is also some evidence that CBD can also affect the TRPV-1 and GPR55 receptors, which are found in your skin and associated with pain and inflammation signaling. The full effects of CBD on these areas still need some more research, especially when used in small doses you’d find in any of the skincare serums on the market today.
Benefits of Cannabis Skincare
Despite the limited research on CBD, there are still lots of beauty products that include it in their ingredients to help benefit your skin. Here some of the key benefits of CBD for skincare:
CBD contains a wide variety of healthy vitamins that your skin needs to look its best. Vitamin A, C, D, and E work together to increase elasticity and collagen production and hydrate your skin. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also needed for healthy skin since they can reduce rough patches and issues like dermatitis. Though all of these can be acquired from food, you can apply it directly with CBD oils and creams to specific problem areas for faster results.
Your body’s endocannabinoid system can create cannabinoids on its own. This system keeps your basal cells, which make up the inner layer of your epidermis, to replenish regularly. In layman’s terms, this means the new skin cells are produced, replacing the old, dead ones that are sloughed off throughout the day.
If your ECS isn’t working as it’s supposed to, CBD oil can help keep this process running smoothly. It reacts with the receptors, producing those natural cannabinoids to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Free radicals can cause damage to your body, inside and out. The antioxidants in CBD oil help your body fight those free-radicals, reducing carcinogens and dangerous pathogens. They also prevent disease and maintain a healthy body.
Everything affects your skin, including an unhealthy diet, dehydration, and pollution. Those antioxidants found in CBD oil can reduce the signs of aging that those unhealthy factors add. CBD can remove the toxins in your body and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, puffiness, and dullness, so you’ll have a clear, smooth complexion.
Teenagers aren’t the only ones dealing with acne. It can plague us well into middle age. Acne can be the result of excessive oil production, hormonal imbalances, an unhealthy diet, or harmful bacteria. Regardless of what’s causing those pimples, CBD can be of help. Not only will it reduce inflammation, but CBD can also get rid of redness, plus it can help balance out your sebum production for fewer breakouts.
Inflammation isn’t only associated with acne. It can also be a side effect of skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. This inflammation can be caused by an imbalance in your immune system or your hormones. CBD treats these issues by triggering an anti-inflammatory response in your endocannabinoid receptors. As well as reducing inflammation, CBD also treats the itching associated with these skin conditions.
How to Find the Best CBD Skincare
To find the best CBD skincare products on the market, you need to look at the label. Some contain hemp seed oil, which contains some vitamins and Omega fatty acids, but isn’t CBD. CBD is extracted from flowers, leaves, and stalks of the cannabis plant.
Check the label for “full-spectrum CBD” or “whole-plant CBD” to get the benefits that you’re looking for. You can also try out pure CBD oil extract instead of finding a product that has CBD as one of many ingredients. The results will be immediate and more direct.
There is no doubt the market is filled with plenty of cannabis skincare products. So… how do you choose one that will actually deliver the expected results? When shopping for CBD skin care products, make sure you’re only buying high-quality brands from respected retailers.
So… Is it a good idea to try CBD products on my skin?
Most experts agree that CBD is a relatively safe product to use on your skin, with few if any negative reactions to speak of. This doesn’t necessarily make it the best product out there, though. Some moisturizers of cleansers can give you similar results.
Of course, if you’ve tried CBD oil on its own or in another skincare product and find that the benefits are meeting your expectations, there is no harm in continuing with it.
Whether you are based in Canada, the United States or any European country that has legalized the use of CBD products, it’s just natural to wonder about their health benefits. From stress management to skin therapy, CBD can help in many different ways. Therefore, CBD is applied to multiple products, such as liquids, soaps, creams, etc.
With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s not strange that you may want to buy CBD products online. After all, we can all agree that’s the most comfortable way to buy anything. But just because these products are legal, it doesn’t mean you should buy every product you can get your hands on, especially since they aren’t all created equal.
We’ve put together a short list of things you should consider before hitting “buy”.
What To Consider When Buying CBD Products Online
1. What Are You Using CBD For?
Recent studies have shown some benefits to using CBD for issues like arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and seizures. Of course, you shouldn’t just guess that CBD products are what you need.
If you have a particular medical condition that could be treated with CBD products, it’s highly advisable to pay a visit to your doctor and clarify whether CBD can help your specific medical condition.
2. Where Is The Hemp Sourced From?
You’d think that since hemp is a plant it is healthy for you. However, bear in mind that every plant absorbs what’s in the air, soil, and water. And that can be either good or bad for the hemp itself.
In other words, pesticides, synthetics, or any harsh chemicals could end up in the CBD oil. When looking into your CBD products, find out where they are grown to be sure all agricultural guidelines for that area are being followed. In case of doubts, it’s always better to work with well-established companies like We Can Health.
3. How Is The Hemp Grown?
Hemp is extremely robust, growing on its own in various climates and soil types with little help from farmers. It also has a natural resistance to bugs and pests. That’s why hemp can be grown without pesticides, fertilizers, and additives needed for other types of plants. Organic hemp is easy to produce, plus it’s higher quality than chemically-aided hemp.
4. How Do They Extract The CBD?
Solvent extraction is faster and cheaper, even though it requires the use of chemicals like butane, propane, ethanol, or alcohol for the extraction. This makes it a bit more dangerous than the CO2 method. The olive oil method is another option, which is safe and cheap to do. This type of extraction is perishable, though, so it isn’t the most convenient.
5. Which Part Of The Plant Is The CBD Extracted From?
Where the CBD is extracted from is extremely important. Hemp seeds contain an insignificant amount of CBD, so they won’t be contributing much to the extraction process. The CBD should come from the stalk, leaves, and flower instead.
When purchasing your CBD products, look for the term “whole plant extracts” on the label to be sure it contains either full or broad spectrum CBD.
6. What Type Of CBD Oil Is It?
There are quite a few products containing CBD oil including edibles, tinctures, and topicals. These formats could include one of three types of CBD oil. Each one has a specific concentration of CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant.
Full Spectrum CBD
This is a whole plant hemp extracts. It includes all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and many more beneficial compounds that the hemp plant contains. It also includes trace amounts of THC, which could affect its legality in certain areas.
Broad Spectrum CBD
This is another whole plant hemp extract. It starts as Full Spectrum CBD, with all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and natural compounds in it. The manufacturing process goes a step further, though, removing the THC completely.
This particular oil is made up of pure 99.9% CBD, but it doesn’t contain any of the other compounds in the hemp plant.
7. How Much CBD Does It Contain?
If you’re considering buying CBD oil online, you should check out how much CBD is in the entire bottle and how much will be in each dose. Different products have varying dosages. For instance, tinctures come in 15ml, 30ml, or 60ml bottles with a dropper that holds 1ml of liquid.
No need to say that these bottles can have different levels of CBD in them, varying the dosage. A 15ml bottle with 100mg of CBD will give you 7mg per 1ml dose, while the same bottle size with 350mg of CBD will give you doses of 23mg per 1ml dose.
Capsules are somewhat easier to deal with, with the CBD per capsule listed on the packaging. This takes the guesswork out, so you can choose the amount of CBD you want in each serving and buy the capsules that fit your needs.
8. Where Should You Buy CBD Products?
If you want high-quality CBD products, there are a few places you should avoid buying it from. Gas stations may be convenient but are more interested in selling cheap, fast-moving products than they are about quality. The same goes for vape shops.
For online purchases, Amazon seems like the go-to choice for many reasons, but especially the quick delivery, easy payments and customer protection rules. Alternatively, you could try shopping straight from the website of popular retailers.
9. What Other Ingredients Does The CBD Contain?
Every product that you ingest needs to have the ingredients listed on the label and CBD is no exception. There shouldn’t be any fillers, artificial ingredients, or synthetic cannabinoids added. Instead, look for ingredients that are natural and organic for a pure concentration.
10. What Is The THC Content?
Though THC is legal in Canada, many U.S. states, and a handful of European nations, it isn’t legal everywhere. This means that CBD can only contain a specific amount of THC to still be a legal product. The maximum THC content varies from 0.3% to 0.5%, depending on location. These levels won’t cause any psychoactive effects, keeping the CBD within legal standards.
11. Are The CBD Products Lab Tested?
Another thing to look for is third-party lab testing on the CBD products you buy. Reputable CBD brands will make these readily available on their website since these reports prove their products are of the highest quality.
If these results aren’t available, the company may not have had them done or the results they received were unfavorable and they don’t want their customers to know it. To be safe, stick with the companies that are open with their lab test results.
12. Which Company Produces It?
As with every product, there are good CBD brands and bad ones. Do some research on a few companies and their founders. They should be willing to educate their customers on their products and offer helpful information.
Positive online reviews are also a plus, so you know that their products are meeting customer expectations. A company that gives back to the community is also a good one to support.
13. Are You Paying A Fair Price For CBD?
The process of extracting CBD, packaging it, and distributing it to customers can be pricey, so CBD products tend to be a bit expensive. That being said, a good company will still try to keep their prices competitive.
If you feel a brand is overcharging you, try out a different one. The same goes for extremely low prices, a red flag of a low-quality product that most likely doesn’t meet industry standards.
The Bottom Line
Though CBD is legal in many areas and readily available to anyone who wants it, it doesn’t mean you should jump on the bandwagon without doing some research first.
Knowing what to look for in a brand and on the label will ensure you’re getting the best CBD products on the market.
The cannabis market in Europe is relatively small when compared to similar markets in the U.S. and Canada. This doesn’t mean that the European market isn’t a valid competitor, though. Last year, there was €290 million recorded for the medical cannabis sales and that number is expected to rise steeply in the years to come, in fact, according to a recent research by Prohibition Partners, medical sales are predicted to be around €55b and retail sales at €60b by 2028.
As of January 2019, 19 countries in Europe have legalized cannabis in some form, be it growing, production, sale, and even personal use. In the medical market, the dominant seller is Germany, with 76% of the sales, equalling roughly €65 million.
Italy follows with 16%, though the majority of the medical cannabis sold in this country comes from imports, most of which are supplied by the Netherlands. Unsurprisingly, the Netherlands has a small market relative to the volume of sales for medical cannabis compared to the others: they make up 4% of the national cannabis sales.
When it comes to the cannabis market, there are three large European companies currently making a name for themselves in this industry.
Storz & Bickel is the biggest producer of vaporizers and their products are found in head shops all over the continent.
Endoca has been around a lot longer than other CBD brands. Their headquarters are in the Netherlands but they have hemp fields in Denmark. Since they follow a seed-to-shelf business model, this company is involved in every stage of their CBD production, with no middleman to deal with.
Agropro is the largest producer, processor, and supplier of hemp in all of Europe. Since its foundation in 2007, they expanded their portfolio by including activities in areas like agriculture and food production. Based in Lithuania, they cooperate with multiple organizations across Europe.
At the intersection of these companies, there’s also a place for retailers such as WeCanHealth, which is among the market leaders in Germany and Switzerland, focused on distributing a wide range of products offering the highest quality standards through online channels.
Europe Moves At A Difference Pace Than The US
The cannabis industry was the fastest-growing market in the U.S. as of 2018 and it is believed that it will affect Europe in a similar fashion. There are some hurdles for those in the European market to jump first, though, which the Americans didn’t have to deal with.
This is because many of the American states have provisions in place that allow the voters to directly change the laws in their states using initiatives that the Europeans don’t have access to. For instance, in 1996, a California measure was able to establish the very first medical marijuana program in the entire country. Similar initiatives also led to the legalization of marijuana for adult use in the respective states.
Cannabis activists in Europe, however, have a much more difficult job ahead of them than their U.S. counterparts are facing. For the American activists to get a cannabis proposition on the ballot in their state, they need to spend a great deal of time and money knocking on doors to get the required number of signatures. They must also campaign and convince voters to actually vote when the time comes. This is worthwhile, though, since these votes can get their initiatives on those ballots for lawmakers to vote on.
In Europe, this time and effort could be wasted, even if European activists had the good fortune to gain 99% of the population’s signatures. This won’t lead to a change unless the government wants one. The Netherlands has proven this, with 70% of the polls showing that the people want legalized cannabis, which is a full 10 percentage points higher than similar polls in the U.S. These numbers haven’t swayed the government, though, who still refuse to allow the country’s cannabis coffee shops to even experiment with regulated cultivation.
This type of red tape forces the European activists to lobby their politicians directly, using media outlets to provide the evidence needed to prove there is support from the people for such changes. That’s how each of the reformed cannabis policies has made it through so far, with small-scale initiatives that start in the larger cities and expand from there.
The courts are also another route to such changes, as Michael F. proved in Germany. It took him 16 years but he eventually gained permission to grow medical cannabis at home. This resulted in the introduction of medical cannabis legislation in Germany in 2017.
Why Europe Will Become the Leading Marketplace of Cannabis Worldwide?
Despite the rigors required when it comes to changing the cannabis laws in Europe, this continent is still poised to become the leading cannabis marketplace in the world. The cannabis industry engaged in the production of legal cannabis products in Europe has grown significantly in the last year. Europe also has a huge population of 743 million people, double the combined population of the U.S. and Canada.
The current cannabis industry leaders in Europe, being Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, are looking to expand the medical cannabis programs they already have in place. A few other countries are looking to join them as well, including the U.K., France, and Spain, all of whom are reviewing their current legislation and considering changes in these markets. Six more countries have also announced the implementation of new legislation in the areas of growth, sale, or consumption.
There may still be some hiccups in this process since there is a lack of clinical data in regards to the use of medical cannabis, so more funding for reliable research may be necessary. There is some evidence concerning medical cannabis that is being distributed by the World Health Organization and the European Union that could help speed up the process, giving the European lawmakers the incentive to review their legislation and put forth the changes the people desire.
The Bottom Line
With the growth potential of the European cannabis market, it only makes sense for lawmakers to take another look at the current regulations in regards to this industry. Other areas, like the U.S. and Canada, have already shown that there is a wide variety of growth potential, leaving European lawmakers little reason to stay within their antiquated laws and prejudices when it comes to the growth and sale of cannabis for medical or recreational use.