We get countless inquiries on how to pick the best CBD.
It usually follows a standard series of missteps on the way to something that works.
2-3 half-full tinctures of CBD oil and a few hundred dollars later!
"How do I pick the best CBD"?
Can't we put all the guidance from 1000's of shoppers, reviewers, plus a dash of insider's knowledge to avoid this process?
Yes, we can!
Our goal is simple.
Help you avoid the usual pitfalls and bogus products out there when picking a CBD option.
We'll keep it generic so you can make your own decision.
We're also going to look at aspects completely overlooked by 90% of the CBD brands and websites.
It's a huge deal that affects roughly 40-60% of the population.
No one's talking about that.
Let's get started.
Think of it as a shopping list but for one product. The best value for quality CBD!
Here are the key considerations in order of importance:
- Your shopping list for the best CBD
- Best place to buy CBD online
- Picking the best CBD safety
- Picking the best level of CBD
- Picking the best value of CBD
- Picking the best type of CBD (See Isolate versus Full Spectrum)
- Your Quick-Start Guide to Using CBD
Let's get started.
Your shopping list for the best CBD
This is the order we want for CBD.
If a brand doesn't have these, run don't walk
- Buy from the brand website directly (no amazons or other pages for now.)
- Avoid the CBD hucksters
- Must be US, organically grown
- MUST be 3rd party batch-tested with CBD levels and items #3 through #8 below)
- NO Solvents
- NO Pesticides
- NO Heavy Metals
- NO THC (preferably...see the best type of CBD below)
- No Bacteria and No Mold
- Must have at least 1000mg of specified and verified CBD per bottle (30 ml or 1 oz usually)
- Must have cost per mg of CBD below 6-7 cents
- Must be Isolate if allergy or histamine issues (or side effects)
Sure, we wanted a rounded out 10 items but everything above is critical!
11 it is. Let's look at them in detail.
Best place to buy CBD online
We really have to buy directly from the brand's websites.
There are too many stories of bogus CBD ending up on Amazon.
Even fakes of very big brands.
It's one thing when your Air Jorgan's are knock-offs...quite another when you might put it in or on your body!
This is true for supplements, food items, and other health-related products.
A quick spin at Reddit has all kinds of stories with floating things in the CBD (big alarm), bad reactions (worst alarm), and downright fraud (no or very little CBD).
We haven't found a good online CBD store with multiple brands that we trust yet.
Avoid the CBD Hucksters
There are so many CBD brands out there now.
Most of them are probably not worth the money or worse yet, can be unhealthy.
We want to stay with vetted CBD brands.
There's a CBD comparison here with some of the biggest brands on the market.
Some tell-tale signs:
- Won't list exactly how much CBD is in the bottle.
- They'll use words like phytocannabinoids, diols, cannabinoids, etc.
Not a good sign.
- Do not show where the hemp comes from or provide 3rd party testing.
- They make statements on CBD's ability to cure or heal.
- Sales-driven with very little guidance after purchase.
Many of the fly-by-night CBD products can be screened with those items.
Picking the best CBD safety
Safety comes first.
The hemp biomass must be grown in the US and organically so at specifically licensed farms.
This is the same issue as buying from Amazon.
Industrial hemp is amazing at pulling toxins out of the ground.
We can't trust hemp grown in China or Mexico based on track records or lack thereof!
We want 3rd party testing for the following:
- No solvents
- No pesticides
- No bacteria
- No mold
- No (ideally) THC
- No heavy metals
The pesticides and heavy metals are primarily a function of being grown organically.
Be careful if they state that they have been designated Organic since that's a federal designation and industrial hemp (where CBD comes from) still doesn't qualify.
The solvents are a function of how the CBD is extracted.
Ideally, we want to avoid butane, propane, and other heated extraction processes.
Even if the residue is even 1 part per anything, we don't want it!
CO2 is a cleaner and safer extraction process.
Also more expensive so it shows the level of sophistication and dedication that the brand has.
If they care, they'll go CO2 extraction.
The bacteria and mold is a function of how they process/extract the CBD.
It also points to a level of sophistication in their process.
Having zero THC speaks to a brand's focus on health (in our opinion).
There are some negatives to THC (habit-forming, normalizing, anxiety, depression, sperm count/motility, neuron remodeling, allergic reactions, etc).
Add in problems with drug testing, State legality in certain areas, and it's best to avoid till we have better research.
Also, CBD has been shown to block THC metabolism in the liver so it's probably wasted with such as a high CBD ratio even if you believe there are positives.
Check out Do You Need THC to Activate CBD article for more detail.
The allergy response issue is a big one since it's estimated that 24-36% of people have an allergic reaction to THC (know anyone who has reactions to marijuana???).
If we're taking CBD for anxiety and other issues (which 60+% of people are), then no THC is the safer bet..at least to start.
Picking the best level of CBD
This drives us a little crazy.
We've read 100's of NIH research articles on CBD.
The doses run from 160 mg (sleep benefit) to 300-600 for more serious issues.
Even up to 1500 mg was tested.
So many of the brands out there are selling 250 mg bottles of CBD (make sure not just hemp oil or some other misleading substance).
Even a wellness dose is between 25-40 mg!
To get to the 160 mg for sleep, you would need more than ½ a bottle of that 250 mg CBD brand.
They're taking advantage of people.
Even at the wellness level, you'll burn through that bottle in 10 doses.
Who can afford that??
The SPECIFIED level of CBD per bottle needs to be at least 1000 mg.
Many people start here and find that 2000-2500 or even 6000+ works best for their situation.
If you can't even tell from the bottle how much CBD is in it, that's another alarm!
You shouldn't have to search for it unless they're trying to hide it!
Check out our How Much CBD Should I Take for more guidance.
This all brings up a good point.
Picking the best value of CBD
Here's another way that many brands confused new shoppers.
They'll all have different levels of CBD (if at all), volumes of oil, and prices.
How do we actually compare this?
Simple (once we give you the inside scoop).
It's cost per mg of CBD!
Basically, you take the total cost of the bottle and divide the total amount of CBD in the bottle.
For example, if we have 1000mg of CBD and it costs $50 for the bottle…
We would divide 50/1000.
That gives us .05 or 5 cents per mg of CBD!
That's a good price by the way.
The best values we've seen are between 4 and 6 cents for legitimate CBD products that meet the other criteria above.
At IndigoNaturals, we specifically priced at 4-5 cents to make sure it was an affordable option for people.
We also can't stand brands ripping off people who are genuinely suffering and trying to find relief.
Many of the big brands, when compared on a per mg of CBD, came back with 10 cents or even multiples of that!
No way to justify that since they all meet the other criteria we listed above.
They're charging that because they can.
Again, check out any brand's cost per mg.
Finally and this is a big one that NO ONE is talking about.
Picking the best type of CBD (Isolate versus Full Spectrum)
We love Reddit.
We love trying to help people navigate the new CBD purchase because we've been there ourselves.
Read Dre's Story for her perimenopause hell story.
Anxiety was crushing.
The first brand of CBD given by her trusted acupuncturist (who she loves) gave her a fever and scratchy throat.
The second brand of CBD (one of the top 3 biggest in the US) caused a hive-like sensation and headaches.
The third brand of CBD actually made her feel more anxiety and racing heart!
All had one thing in common...they were full-spectrum CBD.
Look...roughly 40-60% of the US population has allergy or histamine issues.
The number goes up from the bottom of the range for women...and higher yet if you're over 40.
All that plant material in full-spectrum CBD may cause that system to go haywire!
Outside of the common side effects for CBD:
- Dry mouth
- Lower blood pressure
There's a whole slew of effects that people report back to us.
If you switch to CBD Isolate, there's a good chance these go away (assuming it's from CBD itself).
Check out CBD and histamines for more information.
The above 3 bad "dates" with CBD are exactly the reason why we created IndigoNaturals.
We wanted a safe product, priced at the most affordable range (per mg of CBD) which was extremely clean for allergy/histamine issues (Isolate with MCT oil from coconuts).
Something WE could actually use without nasty effects.
More importantly, after reading 100's of NIH studies on CBD, it was clear that the research was on CBD itself...not all the other things being pushed with full spectrum.
Until we see better research, that's just marketing.
And allergic responses!
Let us know if you have any questions and learn how to use CBD at our Quick Start Guide here.
Everyone Deserves to Feel Better
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.