The taboos surrounding medical marijuana; including CBD means there is a huge need for educating patients and their family caregivers. Go to any online support group for chronic illness and diseases and you will likely find questions from patients who are ready to try something different; but, don’t know where to start.
The price, although decreasing considerably in the past 18 months, is often a bit of sticker shock. Is CBD oil really out of one’s price range? Perhaps, given that it isn’t yet covered by insurance plans. But, when looked at in the context of options, such as replaced prescription medications, work/school absences and personal productivity; it may be more affordable than one initially believes.
The first step is to recognize the need, and how, to compare options and prices PER MG. Often, this will reveal that prices are comparable, when comparing multiple products. For example, a 1000mg liquid would last long and the price/mg could actually be much less compared to a 100mg tincture.
I asked someone in the business for advice for CBD shoppers and present three important things to consider for those new to CBD who are beginning to understand and evaluate options.
- Look for the amount of CBD in the product. Many people get confused about how much to take, and can experience some sticker shock when they first start researching. CBD oil isn't inexpensive! But, when you are shopping around, make sure to check how much CBD oil is in the product. If it's inexpensive, it can be a situation of buyer beware.
- Everyone’s needs are different, just as their health and response to injury or illness can vary. Looks for a product that has enough CBD oil for you. Some products contain blends of different oils, so research and look for CBD products (oral or topical) that have what you need. That can mean, a 1000mg bottle of oil for one person, or a 15mg tube of concentrate for another. Many individuals start with .5 mg doses of pure CMD oil and work their way up from there.
- Choose a full spectrum oil, if you can. Full spectrum means that the oil has the full complex of the cannabinoids in the product, not just the isolated CBD. (See graphic below) This is important, since the natural extractions of hemp contain over 400 compounds, and they work together, synergistically. Technically, that term is call The Entourage Effect. If the CBD oil is made from all the good stuff that mother nature made, you're getting a much richer, more nutritious oil product. This is opposed to liquids or compounds made from just the CBD molecule.
When it comes to price, two things can account for the differences: potency and quality. The best CBD oil from hemp is subjected to rigorous testing. Quality CBD is manufactured in a Good Manufacturing Procedures (GMP) certified facility, one that is also approved to handle THC. Why? Because, CBD oil from hemp may still contain trace amounts of THC, so you want to make sure that your supplier and manufacturer are compliant with all the manufacturing guidelines and laws of the Federal Drug Administration.
Testing helps ensure quality, safety and consistency in products being sold. It also cost money and the cleanest extraction method, using CO2, is also is the most expensive. Many feel this method is worth it, because oil extracted using chemicals may result in a CBD product tainted by things you don't want to consume! Carefully read labels for the extraction method and testing. If it isn’t clear, advocate for yourself and ask about this where you purchase products.
In evaluating different suppliers, also consider that the 2014 US Federal Farm Bill is clear that in order to cross state lines, the CBD oil must be derived from mature hemp stalks from plants grown overseas. Until the law changes, consider whether suppliers seem comply with this law.