As a mindful shopper, you’ve become well-versed in scanning labels for good-quality, environmentally conscious ingredients. You know exactly what to look for when deciding between snacks or comparing face scrubs and hand creams. But what about when you want to choose a CBD oil?
Because CBD is so new on the wellness scene, product labels may not be as standardized as those on your go-to supplements and cosmetics. In addition, there may be words on the ingredient list that are foreign to anyone that doesn’t have a background in biology or chemistry. But that shouldn’t stop you from making an informed decision. To make sure you can easily differentiate one CBD oil from the next, we’ve made a list of what you can expect to find on a typical ingredient list — and what shouldn’t be there at all.
Despite what their name might imply, CBD oil is made of more than just CBD. Instead, these products are a balanced blend of oils, extracts, and chemical compounds that come together to deliver on a number of wellness benefits.
In its isolate form (i.e. when it’s not mixed with anything), CBD looks a bit like table salt. But there’s a reason you don’t see CBD crystals for sale — our bodies can’t easily absorb them. Instead, CBD is often dissolved into carrier oils like coconut or olive oil.
The most common carrier for CBD is coconut medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. This extract from raw coconut oil is known for being easily digested and absorbed into the body, making it a popular ingredient in most CBD oils. Naturally, you might also see hemp seed oil on the label, as CBD is often extracted from hemp plants and it’s an oil that’s rich in wellness benefits.
If you’re considering a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum product, you might also see hemp extract (aerial parts) on your CBD oil label. With hemp extract, you’re getting more from the hemp plant than just isolated CBD, such as a combination of compounds, terpenes, and phytonutrients that are complementary to the beneficial effects of CBD.
But what about THC? You don’t need to worry about that. The hemp variety of the cannabis plant will never contain more than 0.3% of the psychotoxic compound — so you won’t experience any surprise effects with a CBD oil that carries hemp extract.
As you scan a CBD oil bottle, you may see words like myrcene, pinene, or limonene. These are different terpenes, which are organic compounds produced by cannabis (and other) plants that determine their aromatic profile. In other words, they can influence how a plant might smell or taste. Keep an eye on which terpenes are in your favorite CBD products, as that might guide your preference for a new oil.
Alongside CBD, you’re likely to also find some other cannabinoids on the label. The most common companion to CBD is cannabinol (CBN). While it’s been researched and studied just as much as CBD and THC, CBN is only just starting to be incorporated into our vernacular. From what we know so far, the compound is very similar to CBD on a molecular level, and has similar relaxing effects.
Depending on the type of CBD-infused product you choose — tinctures, capsules, balms, or drops — you may see things like peppermint oil or holy basil on the ingredient list. These are essential oils and herbs that may be added to the product for flavor. Additional dietary ingredients can also be added to enhance the wellness benefits of the product. For example, CBD drops aimed at soothing sore muscles may contain herbal blends of turmeric, black pepper, and ginger oils for their joint-health benefits. These added ingredients will also affect the taste of your oil, making it easier for you to choose a favorite, just like you might choose a hand lotion based on fragrance.
A reigning rule of thumb when shopping for CBD oil is to pick a product that has a short ingredient list. If you find terms that we haven’t mentioned — additives, fillers, added sugars, non-caloric sweeteners, or other artificial flavors — it might be worth jumping ahead to the next product on the shelf. Remember, pure and simple is best when it comes to anything you’re going to eat, drink, or apply to your skin.
We have carefully curated CBD products that are made up of effective ingredients that are all spelled out on our labels. Browse our collection and find the one that makes the most sense for you.
Not intended as medical advice. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. If you have specific healthcare concerns or questions about the products displayed, please contact your licensed healthcare professional for advice.
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