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CBD Buying Guide

Buying CBD for the first time can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of options and, unfortunately, there’s never a solid answer as to which product will work best for you. That’s why we’re here to arm you with knowledge so you understand your options and can make a confident decision.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the most popular product types and why you might choose one over the other.

Here are the product categories we’ll discuss below:
Concentrates, Tinctures, Capsules, Vape Oil, Topicals

Concentrates

A concentrate is a pure hemp extract that doesn’t contain any other ingredients. It’s usually a dark, pasty oil. I like to compare it to coconut oil, because it’s very thick in normal to cool temperatures, but once it warms up it becomes more of a liquid.

The consistency is sort of unpredictable when it comes to hemp oil. Sometimes it’s really runny, while other times it’s thick. We advise you to be very careful when dispensing a concentrate until you know how fast it comes out of the tube. Do this every time you order a new batch, because it can change!

 

Concentrates are the strongest CBD products. Period.

If you need a very large amount of CBD per day, this is where you should be looking. Concentrates are very potent by volume and are the cheapest because the manufacturing process is very simple; no complicated formulas, just tube up the oil.

If concentrates are the strongest and cheapest, shouldn’t we all be buying them?

Well, not necessarily. Concentrates aren’t for everyone, despite their unbeatable value. Let me explain in my favorite way: a pro/con list.

PROS / CONS

Pros

It’s very potent. The potency is so concentrated by volume that you can take a small, grain-of-rice-size piece for the same CBD content as a dropper full of oil.

It’s the best value for your money. Why? Because it’s easier to make than other products — just fill tubes up with hemp extract, nothing else. There’s no lengthy process of mixing ingredients or capping bottles.

It’s a full-spectrum hemp oil, meaning it has a rich variety of phytonutrients, like cannabinoids and terpenes. The most common cannabinoids found in hemp oil are CBD and CBDa.

Cons

The flavor is not amazing. We’ve seen people get creative in how they take the oil to mask the flavor, but others simply will not use this product because they don’t like the taste.

It can get messy. The oral syringe is great, but sometimes we accidentally dispense too much at a time — especially since its consistency changes depending on the temperature. If it’s hot out, it becomes runny. If it’s cold, it solidifies. Also, the oil can sometimes get on your lips or teeth. It washes off, but can be an annoyance at times.

USAGE

Who should use concentrates?

Anyone with a serious wellness goal, or who’s new to CBD and doesn’t mind earthy flavors.

Maximizing your results

Starting with a concentrate is a great way to figure out if CBD is right for you. It’s not like taking a pill to quickly alleviate a headache; CBD must build up in your system.

We recommend starting with a CBD concentrate by taking two servings per day; one in the morning, the next in the afternoon or before bed. (If you’ve never tried CBD before bed, I recommend it if you have trouble sleeping through the whole night.)

Continue taking it every day, twice daily, for a week. If you’re not satisfied, trying taking a little more over the next week. Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can either stick to that amount or try taking less to see if you get the same results. Essentially, the goal is to increase and decrease your serving until you find your “sweet spot.”

You can’t overdose…in fact, the worst side effect from taking too much that we’ve heard is an upset stomach or diarrhea —common for any oil-based product.

Don’t worry, be patient. It may seem daunting now, but if you pay attention to your body, finding your best CBD serving size will come naturally.

Personal experience

I have a tincture on my desk that I take every day. I only take 10 drops per day, which is about 5mg CBD. This works great for me because it’s easy and I enjoy the taste, but I could alternatively use a concentrate and just take a little tiny piece. But I still choose to use a tincture because it’s easy and I don’t need much CBD.

I’m fortunate to have control over my wellness now, but if I were battling something serious, I would personally choose to use a Raw Concentrate instead.

TYPES OF CONCENTRATES

Green, Blue or Gold?

If you decide a concentrate is right for you, the next hurdle is choosing between the 3 mainstream types: Green, Blue and Gold.

They’re all very popular, but the one our customers tend to order the most —and be very happy with— is Blue Label CBD oil. That said, we’ve received great feedback on each one, so trust your judgement and research.

The Green version (also called “Raw”) is a raw hemp oil extract. Absolutely nothing else is done to it after extraction.

The Blue version is a hemp oil extract that has been decarboxylated. We talk about this in our Terminology section; decarboxylation is the process of heating an oil to release a carbon atom. The heat “activates” the cannabinoids —but take that word with a grain of salt. It doesn’t mean that cannabinoids are ineffective before being exposed to heat, they’re just a little different.

For instance, in Raw hemp oil the most abundant cannabinoid is CBDa. When heated (decarboxylated), CBDa turns into CBD. They’re nearly identical compounds, so one isn’t necessarily “better” than the other, but as you use the different concentrates you may discover that for you personally, CBD+CBDa is better or just CBD by itself.

The Gold version has been decarboxylated, just like the Blue oil, and is then filtered.

By filtering the oil, excess plant material is removed, which increases the CBD potency by volume. It’s like a bag of mixed nuts —let’s say peanuts and almonds. If you pull out all the almonds, there’s suddenly a higher ratio of peanuts. Even though all you did was take out the almonds, you can now pour more peanuts into the bowl so that, by volume, the quantity (“potency”) goes way up.

Out of all products on our website, the gold CBD oil has the highest potency. However, filtering the oil does add costs, so it’s a little more pricey than the Green and Blue.

CBD Concentrates

Learn more about hemp oil concentrates in the Trusted Hemp store.

Tinctures

A tincture is a sublingual supplement made with one active ingredient: CBD hemp extract. It’s then mixed with other ingredients —like coconut oil or hemp seed oil— to dilute the hemp extract so it’s not so thick.

As a result, the product has a liquid consistency that can easily be dispense with a dropper or spray top.

Tinctures combine the best ingredients

Since we have to add ingredients to create a liquid CBD oil tincture, might as well add some good stuff, right? That’s exactly what most CBD manufacturers do to take advantage of these tincture formulations!

Most tinctures have terpenes added to them. Terpenes are another type of natural compound found in hemp (and all other plants). They give the plant its unique scent and according to studies, they can have numerous benefits and work synergistically with cannabinoids.

Hemp oil already has terpenes in it, but by adding more, it can give the tincture more palliative benefits, for an overall better product.

Another thing you may find in a tincture is hemp seed oil, which doesn’t contain CBD but has incredible nutritional values. It’s full of omega-3, omega-6, vitamins and trace minerals.

PROS / CONS

Pros

They’re very easy to use and do not leave any mess.

Versatility. Tinctures come with a dropper top, putting you in full control over your serving size. This means literally everyone can get the CBD content they’re looking for from a tincture. It’s just a matter of experimenting to find your perfect serving size; a task made easier by tinctures.

They taste good, or at least better than pure concentrates.

They’re formulated with other healthy ingredients that could be considered a nice perk. For instance, many CBD hemp oil manufacturers will add more terpenes, which work synergistically with cannabinoids in what’s know as the “entourage effect.”

Cons

There really aren’t any cons to tinctures —there’s a reason they’ve been around forever.

The one downside is probably the sheer quantity of CBD tinctures on the market today. Everyone is making them! The ingredients differ very slightly, so it may be overwhelming trying to pick one. But keep in mind the main thing you’re looking for is CBD, everything else is personal preference.

USAGE

Why choose a tincture?

Because they’re easy to use, taste good, and offer enough CBD per serving to fit the needs of nearly anyone. When paired with a dropper top, you have fluid control over how much CBD you’re taking —a great tool as you experiment to find the best serving size for you, or if you’re sharing it with someone.

For best results, use consistently for a week, following the recommended serving size. Depending on your satisfaction with your results, you’ll then choose to increase or decrease your serving size for the next week. Continue this pattern until you find the perfect amount of CBD for your body.

Tip: If you still feel like a flavored tincture tastes too much like hemp, you can hide the flavor fairly easily. First, make sure you’re putting the oil under your tongue. While you wait 60-90 seconds, you shouldn’t taste anything. Then, as you swallow the oil, drink water or juice to quickly trump the hemp flavor. My favorite drink of choice is apple cider.

CBD Tinctures

Learn more about hemp oil tinctures in the Trusted Hemp store.

cbd capsules

Capsules

A capsule (or softgel) is a little pill filled with CBD hemp extract. They’re pretty straight-forward to use and, if you already take supplements in pill form, you’ll have no trouble adding CBD into your diet thanks to capsules.

Guaranteed CBD serving size

With a capsule, you are committed to their pre-determined serving sizes. If you’re looking for a small CBD serving, these are not for you. But for someone with serious wellness goals, they’re worth considering.

We offer capsules with 10, 15 or 25mg CBD per piece. Compared to all other products, that serving size is pretty high, comparable to our concentrates. So for serious wellness goals, capsules offer a potent amount of CBD.

There are, of course, some down sides to capsules that we should discuss. Let’s compare the Pros and Cons below.

PROS / CONS

Pros

They are an easy, inconspicuous, and familiar supplement method for all of us! If you already take vitamins/pills in the morning, these are a no-hassle way for you get your CBD.

There’s no flavor, obviously. So you don’t have to taste the grassy flavor of hemp oil.  

The serving size is guaranteed. You don’t have to measure anything out, you know exactly what you’re getting in each capsule/softgel. Depending on the product, one capsule has 10-25mg CBD.

Cons

The absorption rate may be lower. By swallowing CBD oil in pill form, you must wait for it to travel through your digestive system and then slowly get absorbed into the body. So it may take longer to get from point A to B.

You can’t adjust your serving size; you’re constrained to whatever the capsule’s CBD strength is. So if you decide you want to try taking less at a time, you must find a different product.

USAGE

Why choose a capsule?

They’re easy to use and you don’t have to measure out your servings. If you’re looking specifically for a serving size of 10, 15 or 25mg CBD…capsules may be a great choice for you.

CBD Capsules

Learn more about hemp oil capsules in the Trusted Hemp store.

cbd vape oil

Vape Oil

Vape oil (or “e-liquid”) is a CBD-infused oil designed to be used in a vaporizer pen. There’s a huge range of vapes available, all with different potencies; starting with 10ml/50mg all the way to 1ml/250mg.

Fun & relaxing

Vaping is one of the most popular ways people are taking CBD. I think there’s more to it than meet the eye, though. If you’ve ever vaped before, you probably know what I’m talking about. Vaping is fun!

Not only that, it’s so easy to convince yourself to vape throughout the day —rather than telling yourself it’s time to eat that grassy tasting hemp concentrate.

PROS / CONS

Pros

It’s calming. The act of vaping, in itself, is pretty relaxing.

They’re available in various CBD strengths. Looking to supplement just a little CBD per day? Pick up a 10ml vape with 50-100mg CBD. Or if you want a very potent CBD vape, grab one that’s 10x stronger at 1ml/200mg CBD.

It’s easy to commit to doing every day. If you find it difficult to get yourself to take CBD every day, try vaping. It can be fun.

Vaping is really popular nowadays as people are making the move to vaping instead of smoking. So if you’re on-the-go or need a boost of CBD throughout the day, vaping is a convenient and inconspicuous option.

Cons

Vaping isn’t for everyone. Some people just don’t like doing it, and that’s perfectly OK. There are other options for you!

People go back-and-forth on the healthiness of vaping due to the vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). We’ll let you decide on that, but keep in mind that the CBD vape industry has come a long way over the past year. We carefully chose each of our CBD e-liquids to bring you the best formulas possible. In fact, some do not contain any VG or PG, but instead have a base of coconut oil!

USAGE

Why vape CBD?

Vaping is something for everyone to consider. If you’re looking to add a small amount of CBD into your diet, perfect. Or if you have a more serious need for CBD, vaping is a great product to use in addition to another CBD product.

For instance, say you decide to use a CBD concentrate. You notice it’s helping, but wears off in the afternoon so you need a little extra help throughout the day. That’s where vaping comes in.

Just pull your vaporizer out of your purse or pocket and vape, wherever you are. It tastes good and the combination of CBD and vaping can be quite relaxing.

CBD Vape Oil

Learn more about hemp vape oil in the Trusted Hemp store.

Topicals

There are far too many topicals to create an accurate pro/con list. In general, CBD topicals are a great choice if you’re looking to target a specific area of the skin (i.e. dryness, sore muscles or joints).

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  • 100mg CBD balm infused with several all-natural herbal ingredients to rejuvenate the skin.

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CBD Skincare

Learn more about CBD skincare in the Trusted Hemp store.