What to look for in a CBD Oil

Being in the health and fitness field for over a decade, I do my best to stay informed on fitness and wellness topics to provide valuable information to my clients. Today I’ll be sharing tips on what to look for in a top-quality CBD or cannabidiol oil. I will share the top 5 non-negotiables to look for in CBD oil.

First, I’ll begin with a brief review of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), that’s where cannabinoids are able to interact with our nervous system and affect our health. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant. Experts are still learning about this system and its full potential.

Scientists discovered the body’s endocannabinoid system in the 1990s while researching THC’s – or if you really prefer to pronounce it, tetrahydrocannabinol effects – marijuana’s psychoactive compound and well-known cannabinoid.

Researchers found cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. There are two main receptor types; CB1, found mostly in the central nervous system; and CB2, located in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells. The ECS serves as a global regulator. When there’s injury or stress to the body, it tries to bring it back to its normal state, this is known as homeostasis. Think of it as the maestro to an orchestra. Some processes believed to be influenced by the ECS;

  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Sleep
  • Learning and memory
  • Motor control
  • Appetite
  • Muscle formation

Your body produces its own endocannabinoids; you might have heard of one, anandamide, or “runner’s high.” Head on over to this link if you would like to read more on the ECS, and be sure to check out the links I included in this post. Let’s move on to what to look for when purchasing a CBD oil.

Choosing a CBD Oil

First, what is CBD oil? (To be clear, I’m referring to full-spectrum CBD oil) CBD oil comes from the hemp plant (cannabis sativa); it’s extracted from the entire plant; flowers, leaves, stems, and stalks. You’ll also come across Hempseed-derived oil, which is extracted from only the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp oil is nutrient-rich but does not contain cannabinoids or offer the medicinal benefits of CBD.

Extraction Methods

There are various extraction methods, and this will help you determine the quality of the product. Seek CO2 extraction methods that use no heat to degrade the product, this helps to retain the purity of CBD oil. This method retains the entire spectrum of cannabinoids and other compounds from that plant that work together to maximize the effect. CBD oil can legally contain up to 0.3% THC, not enough to manifest psychoactive effects. For many, CBD oil alleviates discomfort from several health issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, and inflammation. In June 2018, the first plant-based drug derived from the cannabis plant, Epidiolex, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat seizures associated with epilepsy.

The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate CBD products, so the ring is open to all contenders shouting their CBD product’s miraculous claims – making it difficult to determine what or who to trust. Many products do not have the CBD amounts they claim and contain harmful toxins. Do not get mesmerized by shiny products and “strawberry delight” flavors.

Here are the 5 non-negotiable qualities to look for:

Certificate of Analysis (COA): a quality CBD oil will come with a COA or be given to you upon request. The COA is a breakdown of what exactly is in the product and what ratios. This information will tell you exactly how much CBD you’re getting in the bottle you’ve purchased.

Independent Lab Verified: Important to know the brand isn’t using their private lab to verify their product. Third-party lab results will ensure your CBD product is everything it claims to be. 

Extraction Method: From the information I’ve come across, CO2 extraction methods help retain purity of the product and the entire spectrum of cannabinoids as well as vitamin B and D, trace minerals, and omega fatty-acids.

Organically Grown: This is super important with Hemp derived products. Hemp quickly absorbs any chemicals or toxins from the soil. Low-quality soil will result in a low-quality product, organic counts here. Go organic. 

Customer Service: Companies with pride in their product will offer superb customer service and complete transparency about their product. I guess this one goes across the board but especially with CBD products.

The Spectrums – More Valuable Tidbits

There are 3 spectrums you will come across:

  1. Full Spectrum CBD extract contains all compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant, including all the cannabinoids in the plant, terpenes (aromatic compounds), and essential oils. Simply put, it’s believed the integration of these compounds enhances their medicinal effects, known as the Entourage Effect
  2. CBD Isolate contains only CBD, all other plant compounds have been removed. You will not reap the benefits associated with the entourage effect.
  3. Broad Spectrum CBD extract has all the naturally occurring compounds, less THC. The medicinal benefits are not as potent as the full spectrum but much more significant than CBD isolate.

Depending on what your seeking, sensitivities, or health condition, one might serve you better than the other. Click on this link for a breakdown of the pros and cons of each one.

Click this link for an article from Healthline on Best CBD oils of 2020.

Above All

Consult with your doctor if you’re thinking of taking CBD oil, especially if you have a medical condition or take prescribed medications. CBD interferes with certain liver enzymes which will affect how your body processes medications. Follow this link to read more on the subject.

I hope you’ve found the information in this post helpful. Please speak to your doctor and do your research before making any decisions on your health.

I’m a passionate trainer and massage therapist that values a holistic approach to a training program. Contact me if you’re ready to begin your unique health and fitness journey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stand tall, Breathe deep –
Corina Miranda-Risnes
ACE, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NYS Licensed Massage Therapist


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