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  • by Nicola Boulton September 01, 2022 5 min read

    What To Look for When Buying CBD in a Store

    When purchasing CBD from an online or physical store, check out for the certificate of analysis, source of hemp, local regulations, and the hemp strain used to make the CBD products. This article explains what an individual should consider when buying CBD in a store.

    The cannabis industry is experiencing exponential growth, and numerous products are available for sale. However, this could also imply an increase in counterfeit goods. When purchasing CBD, one can always ask for a certificate of analysis; this has all the information regarding the product's contents. One can also ask for information regarding the source of the hemp used to make the CBD product, as it is important to understand the farming practices and extraction methods employed. Also, it's important to familiarize oneself with the local laws to give more insight into what substances are prohibited and those allowed. Various strains of hemp are available, each tailored to meet specific needs; understanding one's needs and matching those needs with the right strain of hemp can help one achieve desired results.

    What is CBD

    Cannabinoids are a group of compounds that interact with the body mainly through the endocannabinoid systems. These compounds are classified as either natural or synthetic cannabinoids. Papaseit et al. (2018) explained that synthetic cannabinoids are made in laboratories and include drugs such as Epidiolex, Marinol, and Nabilone, which treat various illnesses. Natural cannabinoids include cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol and are mainly obtained from hemp using various extraction methods. Mead (2017) explained that CBD had been approved for use by FDA as a food supplement; thus, it is not regulated. It makes customers and first-time users vulnerable to counterfeit products or products that do not adhere to industry standards. However, one can always watch out for these key issues when buying CBD from a store.

    Certificate of Analysis

    A CBD analysis certificate is a certified laboratory report outlining a product's chemical analysis. Every batch of CBD products is typically tested separately, and a COA is produced for each run. A third-party lab is used to do almost all certificates of analysis for CBD products. It is simple for producers to provide customers with an objective CBD analysis because numerous recognized laboratories provide CBD testing services. A unique QR code linking a specific product to the COA is required on cannabis and CBD product labels in many states, making it simpler to receive thorough laboratory tests. The COA contains information regarding the types of cannabinoids present in the product. These could include other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, and a limited amount of THC. In addition, the COA indicates the concentration amounts for each compound detected in the product to give the user a clue of what they will be administering to their bodies. Finally, the certificate of analysis outlines the levels of heavy metals present and the concentration of pesticides in the CBD product. This information is useful, especially for individuals with various allergic reactions to specific compounds that may be found in their favorite CBD product.

    Source of Hemp Used to Make the CBD Product

    Carrieri et al. (2020) explained that knowing where the hemp used to make a CBD product came from is crucial since it sheds light on the range of ingredients included in the CBD product. Source data can show whether the hemp is organic, grown responsibly, contains pesticides, heavy metals, or other fertilizer chemicals, and has been subjected to independent testing. Harmful chemicals might jeopardize the effectiveness and security of CBD oil. Unsustainable agricultural methods also have an impact on the environment as a whole, in addition to lowering the quality of the CBD oil in the end product. Moreover, different areas utilize different farming techniques to cultivate their hemp plant. These techniques differ for the numerous strains of hemp available. Soorni et al. (2017) explained that locating the source of hemp can help pinpoint the specific strain of hemp used to make CBD.

    The Extraction Method Employed

    CBD is mainly obtained from the hemp plant in the form of oils. Using various techniques, these oils are extracted from the hemp plant's leaves, stems, and roots. Due to the commercialization of CBD, the main extraction methods employed include carbon dioxide concentration, solvent extraction, and butane/propane extraction methods. These extraction methods yield a different concentration of CBD in addition to other compounds in hemp. Solvent extraction is the preferred method of large-scale extraction as it is cheap and utilizes simple solvents. It can, however, allow some chemicals used during farming to seep into the final CBD oil. Butanol or propanol extraction methods employ these two solvents to extract CBD from hemp. It is an effective method to get pure concentrates of CBD oil; however, butanol and propanol are poisonous to the human body. This extraction method requires extra chemicals to remove the trace amounts of these solvents, which easily seep into the final CBD product. Carbon dioxide concentration utilizes pressured CO2 to dissolve all the cannabinoids present in the hemp plant. Different pressure points allow different substances to be dissolved in the CO2 gas, making it easier to dissolve targeted cannabinoids. In addition, carbon dioxide is almost harmless when compared to butane/propane extraction methods. Always buy products that use the carbon dioxide extraction method as it guarantees the safety and quality of the final product.

    Local Regulations Regarding CBD

    According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD is legally permitted in all 50 states, and licensed businesses can sell CBD products interstate. However, the legislation permits states to enact regulations that are tougher than those set forth by the federal government, allowing them to forbid CBD in particular. Several states have municipal laws governing CBD use. While some jurisdictions follow federal restrictions, others outright forbid any level of THC in CBD. Additionally, in some places, using CBD is only permitted with a doctor's prescription in hand. To avoid breaking the law, it is wise to research your local regulations before buying CBD. Learn more about can you overdose on cbd?


    CBD can be synthesized in the laboratory, or it can be extracted naturally from hemp. Synthetic CBD such as Epidiolex is being used as a medication to treat various illnesses. To ensure that the CBD one is purchasing is of high quality, they can look for the certificate of analysis, the source of hemp used, the extraction method employed, and local regulations regarding the use of CBD. Learn more about cbd delivery methods


     Carrieri, V., Madio, L., & Principe, F. (2020). Do-It-Yourself medicine? The impact of light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs. Journal of Health Economics, 74, 102371.

    Mead, A. (2017). The legal status of cannabis (marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD) under US law. Epilepsy & Behavior, 70, 288-291.

    Papaseit, E., Pérez-Mañá, C., Pérez-Acevedo, A. P., Hladun, O., Torres-Moreno, M. C., Muga, R., ... & Farre, M. (2018). Cannabinoids: from pot to lab. International journal of medical sciences, 15(12), 1286.

    Soorni, A., Fatahi, R., Haak, D. C., Salami, S. A., & Bombarely, A. (2017). Assessment of genetic diversity and population structure in Iranian cannabis germplasm. Scientific reports, 7(1), 1-10.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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