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”).
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.)
There’s also been a lot of talk lately about “microdosing” CBD. This refers to an incremental process of finding your minimum effective dose. You can do this with any concentration of CBD oil, but lower concentrations will take longer. In a 2017 article in Rolling Stone, Dr. Dustan Sulak outlines his protocol for microdosing. You can begin this process by asking yourself three questions:
Watch Out For: Companies who won’t disclose their extraction method or utilize hydrocarbons like butane and propane. These substances are toxic in high amounts and even with proper purging, most hydrocarbon extracts contain residual solvent. Other extraction methods do not result in a full spectrum extract – meaning they were not able to extract all of the beneficial compounds from the hemp plant (i.e. you don’t get the full range of benefits).
The manufacturer will probably give you a recommended dosage, but bear in mind that this isn’t set in stone. What you need to find is your own minimum effective dose. “Minimum effective dose” is a medical term which refers to the amount of a substance you need for the results you want, and above which, the substance doesn’t increase in effectiveness.
• 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.