Buyer Beware: CBD Buyers Guide

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  United States, Pennsylvania, Doylestown - 11/05/2019 (

Shopper's Guide to Buying CBD

Interest in CBD products for pain, stress and sleep and is growing rapidly, but lack of regulations and a proliferation of new companies and products have led to consumer confusion. Which are the quality products? Which are the counterfeit products? Which are the effective ones? Which are a waste of money? Broad spectrum or CBD isolate? Hemp seed oil or full hemp plant oil? 

This Shopper's Guide from Cb Botanica clarifies the terms and explains what to look for to determine which CBD products contain the highest quality ingredients, the most effective potency and the fewest contaminants (e.g., pesticides). 

Understand the types of CBD or Hemp Oil 

Four types of CBD products are available today: full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum hemp oil, CBD isolate and hemp seed oil. Each of these has different characteristics and effectiveness.

Full-spectrum CBD oil: This uses the whole cannabis plant, which means it contains CBD and other cannabinoids; terpenes (compounds that enhance relaxation and stress reduction), flavonoids (antioxidants) and trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis. 


Full-spectrum products, like Cb Botanica, are more effective than other types because the multiple therapeutic components interact in a way that provides greater results than any one of them can have alone. This is called the "entourage effect." While some consumers believe a THC-free product offers the best of both worlds, that trace amount of THC in full-spectrum products strengthens the entourage effect, increasing product effectiveness.

Broad spectrum hemp oil, also known as broad spectrum CBD oil, hemp oil or hemp extract: This contains most of the cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant but has no THC. Its therapeutic benefit from the entourage effect, therefore, is not as strong as that of products with trace amounts of THC.

CBD isolate, also known as CBD oil, pure CBD oil or hemp oil: This is the most readily available, least expensive type of CBD product. To obtain the isolate, manufacturers remove all the terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids other than CBD during extraction, leaving behind “pure CBD.” While this might sound like a good thing, it is not as effective as full-spectrum CBD oil because it does not provide the benefits of the entourage effect.

Hemp seed oil, also known as hemp extract: Standard hemp seed oil can be found very cheaply, and make up most of the products being sold on online marketplaces. It is produced by cold pressing cannabis plant seeds, which do not typically have many full cannabis plant components. In fact, hemp seed oil/extract does not contain any CBD. Rich in fatty acids like omega-3s, hemp seed oil can offer some health benefits, but not the ones most CBD consumers are seeking -- stress and/or pain reduction. 

Look for third-party testing of product quality 

Although CBD products are not yet regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, consumers do have a way to learn about and compare the quality of various products. Reputable companies, like Cb Botanica, have their products tested by an independent, third-party laboratory, which provides a Certificate of Analysis. This certificate itemizes the types and quantities of cannabinoids in the product, measures its potency and identifies amounts of heavy metals, detectable solvents and pesticides.

Do not assume that all products labeled “full spectrum hemp oil” contain high levels of CBD and are highly potent. Ask to see the Certificate of Analysis to determine product quality. Steer clear of companies with products that have not had a third-party review, or those that will not share the report.

In reviewing the Certificate of Analysis, look for the following:

Amount of residual solvents: Some companies use solvents for extraction of CBD when the plant material is turned into oil. High concentrations of solvents can lead to unpleasant health effects and/or result in an unsafe product that could be volatile. Cb Botanica's method is to use 99% pure alcohol to extract the hemp, a clean, cold method that allows for optimal retention of terpenes and other sensitive compounds in the cannabis plant.

Purity: Products vary in purity. Those made from a CBD distillate that is 80 to 90% pure CBD, like Cb Botanica products, are considered among the purest in the industry, but to be truly effective, they also need small amounts of the other cannabinoids. Before buying from a company, ask what its CBD purity level is and whether it contains other cannabinoids that help make it more effective than pure CBD alone.


Amount of pesticides: If the plant from which the CBD comes has been treated with pesticides, a final product containing a significant concentration of pesticides could cause unwanted side effects. Look for cannabis that is grown organically.

Sourcing of cannabis: Sourcing is important in determining CBD quality. Look to see if the cannabis is from a reputable U.S. farm with good manufacturing farm practices or if it is farmed overseas where governance may be lax. 

Also, check the Certificate of Analysis to see if the company has its own farm or buys wholesale from multiple farms. A company that owns its farm — or has a single, consistent farming partner and can tell you exactly where its hemp plants come from -- will provide a higher quality product. When a company sources hemp from multiple farms, consistency suffers and levels of cannabinoids in its products could vary widely. 


Decode the Conversions: mg (potency), ml (volume), etc..

You will find many different ways brands are marketing the potency levels, as well as the volume sizes (i.e. the 30ml tincture bottle).This can be very tricky for the average consumer to “read between the lines”. The most important thing to remember is potency and volume.  1000mg and 500mg are the most common potencies.  30ml are the most common tincture bottle sizes (same as 1 ounce of volume).  For more recommendations on dosing, go to  


Is the price too good to be true?

Don't be tempted to buy as much CBD as possible for the lowest price. CBD prices vary widely, and for good reason. Many factors play into the cost, including:

  • Organic and sustainable practices used in farming
  • Whether the hemp is grown on site or purchased from outside farms
  • The manufacturing processes, including how CBD is extracted and refined 
  • The extent of lab testing performed on products
  • Whether there are scientific personnel on staff
  • Packaging, labeling and other marketing considerations


Make an informed decision before buying CBD. Although it is not always easy to judge one product from another, the educated consumer is the smart consumer.

About Cb Botanica

Cb Botanica was created by Better Life Ventures LLC to help consumers enhance their health naturally and improve everyday well-being through CBD products and educational content about CBD. Its award-winning (Best Hemp Distillate 2019 by Indo Expo), full-spectrum tinctures are made with 85%+ pure CBD distillate, derived from organically cultivated, American-grown hemp. Our Farm controls all aspects of product development from cultivation to extraction and product manufacturing. Its products have undergone professional, third-party testing by Proverde Labs and Botanacor to ensure delivery of the highest quality CBD products.

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person_outline  Full Name:Cristina Blumenthal
phone  Phone Number:215-766-8479
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