Some hemp products on the market today do not qualify as pure CBD oil. But what criteria impacts cannabidiol quality? By contrast, are there any negative effects when it comes to using less pure options? Understand the differences between high and low-quality tinctures, vape juice and edibles before making a purchase.
What Does ‘Pure CBD Oil’ Mean?
There is no one definition for pure CBD oil tinctures. Though it depends on the brand, hemp oil can range from the low single digits to double-digit percentages in terms of cannabidiol dosage. In other words, even concentrated cannabidiol products do not ever contain 100 percent cannabidiol.
Less of a scientific term, pure CBD oil is an umbrella phrase to describe hemp tinctures without additives and unwanted ingredients. The implication behind this term is that there are a lot of less-than-pure options on the market.
What Exactly Is in Pure CBD Oil?
There should only be four ingredients in pure CBD oil unless you’re choosing a specialty product or looking for other benefits. These ingredients are:
- The cannabidiol percentage announced by the label.
- Other naturally-occurring terpenes and cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and THC.
- A maximum of 0.3 percent THC.
- The oil in which it is dissolved, which is typically derived from coconuts or hemp seeds.
Impure CBD Oil Is Common
The above elements aren’t always the only ingredients in a tincture. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, approximately 70 percent of cannabidiol (CBD) products do not contain the amount of CBD that they claim to on the label.
Why would companies claim to add more cannabidiol than they do? In short, because the CBD extraction process is expensive. As more brands compete in for their market share, some stay competitive by offering more affordable options. This can mean cutting corners in terms of quality and quantity of ingredients.
The CBD market is expected to triple to $.13 billion by 2022, according to a recent analysis. As demand for extraction increases, prices go up accordingly. Additionally, retailers online and in stores compete to set their products apart. One way to do this is through cutting the price—and adding less CBD than announced.
What Else Could Be in a Tincture?
Not only do tinctures often contain less cannabidiol, but they can also include unwanted ingredients, some of which are toxic and illegal. One study published in Forensic Science International found that four hemp vape oils sold on the U.S. market contained harmful ingredients.
- Four tinctures contained 5-fluoro MDMB-PINACA (5F-ADB), a toxic synthetic cannabinoid in Spice, a dangerous form of synthetic cannabis. It has been connected to several deaths and other illnesses.
- One contained dextromethorphan (DXM), which is an ingredient used in cough medicine and cold syrup.
These synthetic materials, none of which were announced on the label, could potentially produce unwanted psychoactive effects.
These Products Were Advertised as Pure CBD Oil
The study explains, “The website where these e-liquids were purchased stated that these products were ‘100% natural CBD extracts’ [sic] and provided no indication that these products contained any other active substances.”
Today, scientific inquiry and media attention focuses on determining which products contain pure CBD oil and which do not. However, a lack of regulation has led to vast inconsistency across CBD products, whether they’re CBD vape oil, gummies or oil.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of determining its policy on cannabidiol.
4 Steps to Selecting Pure CBD Oil
How do you distinguish between the best cannabidiol (CBD) products that can produce a variety of positive effects and less legitimate alternatives?
- Always check for third-party lab testing results. The best brands will readily provide this information, either on their website or via email. Note that third-party lab testing is not required in any state, therefore it is up to brands to provide it. If a brand does not provide it, find another option.
- Choose USA-grown hemp. Though hemp is farmed around the world, the United States now has comprehensive legislation governing how hemp can be farmed, just like any other crop. Products made from imported hemp are not necessarily subject to the same pesticide, health and safety regulations.
- Check the ingredients listed on the label. It’s common for some additives to be announced on the label, especially with CBD edibles and vape oil. For instance, some CBD gummies contain excessive sugar, preservatives, and high-fructose corn syrup. Though these are legal ingredients, some consumers may want healthier alternatives.
- Look for online reviews. Often, third-party websites will feature a ranking or pros and cons list of prominent CBD brands.
Choosing High-Quality CBD Tinctures Is Up to You
Thanks to a growing body of research and customer testimonials, companies and consumers understand a lot more about the benefits of CBD compared to a few years ago. For one, we know that full spectrum CBD is more effective than isolate. We also know that CBD vape oil is the most bioavailable way to take cannabidiol.
The more research you conduct about cannabidiol before making a product apart of your routine, the more informed your choice will be.