When we first started CBDChill.org, one of the original plans was to get together a bunch of different CBD oils to review. This would be in addition to providing and compiling all of the best information we could find. Very shortly into the project, we abandoned the idea of doing CBD oil reviews. Our abandonment was based on the simple question: Can you trust CBD Oil reviews? The simple conclusion we came to was:
Since CBD oil is still an unregulated and unapproved product in a very new market, most people have no standards to compare CBD oils with one another. Out of the reviews we found online, the majority don’t seem to mention the oil itself or even how much effect the CBD had on them. Instead, they blankly list all of the facts listed on the CBD oil makers website. We feel that reviews like this are opportunistic and set-up in a fresh market to trick uninformed customers into buying their products.
Why is it hard to review CBD oils?
CBD oil is still a relatively new product, and it is as yet unapproved and unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
What this means is:
- There are no quality standards that people can compare their oils to.
- There is no way for regular people to test the levels of CBD, THC or other compounds in their oil.
- Since CBD doesn’t get you high, the subtleties of discussing the effects would require a long term case study rather than a quick review.
In addition to this, reviews can be misleading since they give a rating to a particular oil that is chosen by somebody who is thoroughly unqualified to give that rating and is most likely motivated by commercial interests.
Why Reviews Can’t Give You the Information You Need.
As a buyer, the information you will need to know is:
- What kind of hemp is this made from?
- How is the CBD extracted?
- Where is the CBD extracted?
- What is the carrier oil?
- Is anything Else Added?
- Is it third-party tested?
- How much is it?
What kind of hemp is this made from?
You will want your hemp to be sourced organically for many reasons. Particularly because hemp has this unusual quality in that it is known as a ‘Hyperaccumulator’
Being a hyperaccumulator also has drawbacks: If a hemp plant that is used in production of CBD oil was cultivated in a land that is rich in heavy metals such as mercury and lead, the resulting oils will also reflect the amount of heavy metals absorbed by the plant, making it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children or others who are extremely vulnerable to toxins.
Sadly, some manufacturers would choose to purchase low-quality hemp to process as CBD oil, and such hemp may be polluted with heavy metals. These manufacturers only have profit in mind, and don’t care about the possible consequence of their products. This is one reason why CBD oil risks getting a negative reputation. (Source)
Unfortunately, no review can help you find this out. The manufacturer should have very specific details on where they source their hemp and if it is organic.
How is the CBD extracted?
Some companies, especially those who sell their products at a ridiculously low price, may use cheap methods when extracting CBD oil. This requires toxic solvents that are dangerous to our health such as propane, hexane, pentane and butane. Two of these are commonly used in gas stoves and ranges, such as propane and butane, and all of them are hydrocarbon gases found in petroleum.
Others companies use organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to process CBD. The ethanol, which is essentially grain alcohol, is used to remove unneeded toxins and residues from the base hemp plant. This method of extraction is generally considered to be the extraction process that yields the highest amount of cannabinoids among the different refinement processes as well as being considered the safest method of extracting CBD for human consumption.
In addition, CBD oil can be extracted and manufactured through “supercritical CO2 extraction.” This process involves using carbon dioxide under high pressure in an extremely cold environment. Supercritical CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment, more complex refinement process and production expertise, but it ensures that CBD oil maintains its purity all through the process.(Source)
The bottom line is that to get the purest extraction, companies have to spend money on equipment. But, again you can find this out by doing your research and talking to a manufacturer. A CBD oil review doesn’t add any value here.
Where is the CBD extracted?
The question here is whether the hemp is processed in a clean, professional manufacturing facility or somebody’s filthy shed or bathroom. The FDA may not have approved CBD oil yet, but one important thing they do is approve manufacturing facilities to food-grade. Again, this will cost more money, but a good company will 100% do this. This information is available from the company themselves.
What is the carrier oil?
The oils used by top quality companies are usually sunflower oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and a few others. It is said that having the CBD extract carried by a fatty oil enhances the absorption level of CBD in the body so having a high-quality carrier oil is important. A review can tell you what the oil is but it is unlikely to give you any idea of the quality or manufacturing process of the carrier oil.
Is anything else added?
Again, this is one for the company and their labels. There are two types of additive in CBD oil. Those that are disclosed and those that are undisclosed (or sometimes not known about). Only rigorous testing can let you know what is in this stuff.
Is it third-party tested?
If there are additives in your oil and you ask the maker they may say NO. But can you believe what the makers say? Sometimes, but unless you are certain they are a trusted source, it’s best to check out third party testing. These are a series of reports offered by independent businesses that outline the different compound levels in an oil. Could this still be corrupt data? Indeed, but at this point, it’s all we have.
How much is it?
You can find this out by enquiring at the shop.
But reviews can talk about the user experience, right?
If we were talking about a stereo, the review could tell you how the music sounded and how easy it was to use. If it were a car, the review could tell you about performance and features. With CBD oil though, there is genuinely very little to discuss. This explains why a lot of reviews are just facts copied from the maker’s website. A review could tell you if the stuff works. But usually CBD either works or it doesn’t. There could also be side effects but with CBD the side effects are usually down to two things:
- Poor quality oil or
- Tendencies of the person taking it.
Unfortunately, it would be hard to tell in a review which one of these is causing it as they don’t have access to testing. Another thing they can talk about is taste. This might apply if you find yourself eating CBD gummies. How sweet are they? do they taste like candy or ass? When it comes to pure oil which would always be my preferred method of taking CBD oil, they pretty much all taste the same. Pretty damn grassy. Sure, there are peppermint flavors and the like. I guess that could be a point of discussion for at least one paragraph in a review.
Comparing CBD oils next to each other in twenty years might be a different story when the industry has advanced and been regulated. For now, its a very young industry and everyone is still flapping around in the dark a bit. Rather than trying to find a straight answer on how one CBD oil compares to another, you are better off, at this stage, finding a trusted source based on your criteria and buying from them.
There are many bad CBD companies out there. But, there are also many high-quality producers and their oils will pretty much all come up to scratch. There will be differences but they will be extremely subtle. For now, buy from a trusted source, make sure it works and stick to it.
This article is a collection of ideas by the author. It does not constitute facts or advice in any form. Please consult a medical professional and check the legality in your area before purchasing or taking CBD products.
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