How To Choose The Right CBD Product For Your Needs

How To Choose The Right CBD Product For Your Needs

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, an active ingredient found in the cannabis plant. It's available over the counter (OTC) in a wide range of products, including gummies, beverages, and topical creams. Many people turn to CBD for relief from symptoms like pain, stress, and anxiety.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD isn't intoxicating and won't make you feel "high" — but that doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone. Additionally, the safety and purity of CBD products are not regulated by the FDA.

So, how can you find safe, high-quality CBD? Here are five tips to help you choose the best CBD products.

Understand the Risks of CBD Products

1. Understand the Risks

As mentioned, OTC CBD products aren’t well regulated. This is problematic for several reasons:

  • Inaccurate Product Strength: One of the biggest issues with CBD products is that they often contain more or less CBD than the label indicates. This can make dosing challenging and increase the risk of side effects or drug interactions.

  • Risk of Contaminants: The cannabis plant absorbs heavy metals and other toxins from the soil. Mold and pesticides can also be present. These contaminants can end up in the final CBD product if it isn’t processed properly, posing serious health risks.

  • Unknown Ingredients: Since testing isn’t required for CBD products, they may contain other ingredients not listed on the bottle. This includes THC and synthetic (lab-made) cannabinoids with unknown safety.

Understanding these risks can help you make an informed decision when choosing a CBD product.

Different Types of CBD

2. Know About the Different Types of CBD

There are three main types of CBD found in OTC products:

  • Full-Spectrum CBD: These products contain CBD along with other compounds from the cannabis plant, including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids (such as THC). Legally, they can only contain up to 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-Spectrum CBD: These products have removed THC but may contain other cannabinoids, such as cannabinol (CBN) or cannabigerol (CBG), as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
  • CBD Isolate: This is the purest form of CBD, containing no additional cannabinoids or terpenes. It is often lab-made rather than extracted from the cannabis plant.

Full-spectrum CBD products may cause a positive drug test due to the presence of THC. However, full and broad-spectrum products might offer additional benefits over CBD isolate because they contain other compounds that work synergistically with CBD.

Shop at Reputable Places

3. Shop at Reputable Places

When purchasing CBD, it's essential to buy from reliable sources. Avoid buying CBD products at gas stations, smoke shops, or third-party online retailers.

Typically, CBD products sold by pharmacies, state-licensed cannabis dispensaries, and medical offices are evaluated for quality. Supplement retailers and manufacturer websites may require more research to determine if their CBD products are worth trying.

Remember, CBD products may not be available in certain states. Each state has different regulations regarding what types of CBD products can be sold and where you can purchase them. Check your state government’s website for information to help you find and purchase legal CBD products if they’re available.

CBD Testing Lab

4. Look for Third-Party Testing and Proper Labeling

Most reputable CBD companies use independent (third-party) labs to test their products. The lab provides a certificate of analysis that lists the active ingredients and any contaminants detected in the product.

These lab results should be available on the manufacturer’s website or through a QR code on the package. If third-party lab results aren’t available, avoid purchasing the product.

The package labeling of a high-quality CBD product should also include:

  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Active ingredients
  • Inactive ingredients
  • Quantity (weight)
  • Lot, batch, or control number
  • Production date
  • Expiration date
  • Storage instructions
  • Serving size and dosing information
  • Warnings/contradictions

These details help you use the product safely and know who to contact with any questions or concerns. If any of this information is missing from the product label, it's best to avoid the item.

 Talk to a Healthcare Professional

5. Talk to a Healthcare Professional

Although it's easy to purchase CBD products OTC, consulting a healthcare professional before using CBD is crucial. CBD has side effects and interactions that need consideration. Plus, it may not be safe if you are pregnant or have certain health conditions, such as liver problems.

Furthermore, CBD comes in various forms, from gummies and oils to vape pens and topical creams. Each type of CBD works differently and has different risks and benefits. Your healthcare team can help you determine the best type and dosage of CBD based on your medical history.


Choosing the right CBD product requires careful consideration and research. With the market flooded with various options, understanding the potential risks and differences between CBD types is crucial. Always purchase CBD from reputable sources and look for third-party testing and proper labeling to ensure product quality and safety. Consulting a healthcare professional can further guide you in making the best choice for your needs. By following these steps, you can confidently select a CBD product that is both safe and effective.

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