We also rated the product based on the type of CBD they used: isolate, full-spectrum decarb, broad-spectrum, or distillate. There’s a lot of debate around what is actually best, but our first decision was to give points to CBD oil that contains a range of cannabinoids. While there are certainly people with good reasons for choosing an isolate, there’s a lot of good evidence that CBD works better in combination with other cannabinoids (this is called the “entourage effect”).
• Filtered (Gold) – This is the most processed of the oil extracts. The plant matter is all filtered out, leaving behind a stronger cannabinoid concentration. This oil is more of a gel texture and will be gold in color with a slightly peppery taste. The serving size will once again be 1-2 grains of rice sized servings per day, or as directed by your physician.
Watch Out For: Hemp grown in the European Union (EU) and China. Even in countries with agricultural regulations, the list of approved pesticides is far from safe. Thus you are really relying on the specific company’s ethical standards when it comes to hemp cultivation. The reason this is such a big deal with hemp when compared to other plants, is that hemp is a dynamic accumulator plant. Dynamic accumulator is a term used to describe plants that gather minerals – both good and bad – from the surrounding soil and store them in its tissues. So if you’re growing a hemp plant with petroleum-based pesticides in soil that contains heavy metals…you’re inevitably going to have a hemp plant containing both toxic pesticides and heavy metals. This is why many people have poor experiences when first trying CBD – you buy your vegetables organically, why not your hemp? The presence of these toxins is not regulated by any agency and they will end up in your CBD oil if you don’t purchase from the correct company. We like Ambary Gardens because they ensure that all of their CBD products are produced from organically and sustainably grown hemp without the use of pesticides.
Strength is also an extremely important consideration. Beginners may find that it’s easier to control dosage using a lower strength tincture. On the other hand, experienced CBD consumers know that high strength tinctures are more cost effective. Although stronger tinctures cost more, you get more CBD oil and other beneficial cannabinoids in each drop. Most CBD brands offer more than one option for strength.
But, and there’s always a “but” when it comes to weed in America, unless you’re buying cannabis CBD in a state where weed is recreationally legal or have a medical card in a legalized state, you’re shopping in the unregulated market that is industrial hemp CBD. (Full disclosure: I've worked with restaurants to launch hemp-CBD drinks and am the co-founder of Nice Paper, a site about cannabis.)
Generally, CBD oil is made by combining an extract with a carrier fluid or oil. This question is best answered by looking at how the CBD oil was extracted. CBD oil can be extracted using CO2 systems or by using chemical solvents. Both methods produce a CBD oil byproduct that is then combined with a fluid like MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil so that it can be delivered to the body. Always check to make sure you know the CBD content of the products you purchase.
Filtered oil has been through the most processing. Generally, filtered oil has been decarboxylated and then even further refined by filtering out the phytochemicals and plant materials. This makes the oil gold in color which is often considered the highest quality compared to raw or decarboxylated oil. Filtered oil is commonly referred to as “gold” CBD oil and is very popular among consumers. It also tends to be the most expensive, but this isn’t always the case.
Multiple rounds of testing through different independent labs also represents an investment by the seller in creating transparency around their wares. With so many CBD oil purveyors in today’s market, it’s worth shopping around for one that makes sure customers know exactly what’s in every bottle. And if you’re looking to try a CBD product, you can get 50% off of your first order from Diamond CBD by using the code LEAFLY50.
To get almonds from an almond tree, you can just shake the tree. To get juice from an orange, you can simply squeeze the fruit. But getting CBD oil from hemp is a much more complicated process. The cheapest and easiest ways to extract CBD oil from hemp commonly involve harsh solvents that can leave chemical residue in the CBD oil. The best, and most reliable extraction method, uses carbon dioxide (CO2) under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to pull out as much CBD as possible without introducing contaminants. Once the CO2 is no longer under intense pressure, it simply evaporates, leaving virtually no trace of extraction on the CBD oil.