If you’re going to buy CBD oil for the first time, it can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of options and, unfortunately, there’s never a solid answer as to which product will work best for you. That’s why we’re here to arm you with knowledge so you understand your options and can make a confident decision.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the most popular product types and why you might choose one over the other.
Here are the product categories we’ll discuss below:
Concentrates, Tinctures, Capsules, Vape Oil, Topicals
A CBD concentrate is pure hemp extract that doesn’t contain any other ingredients.
In other words, it’s just oil that’s been CO2 extracted from the hemp plant.
CO2 extraction is an efficient and clean way to get oil from the hemp plant. You’re breathing CO2 right now! This method leaves virtually no residual solvents and uses a low temperature, which preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes. Other extraction methods use chemicals and can get too hot, destroying those compounds.
If you want to get into the nitty gritty, here are the main compounds that hemp extract is composed of:
• Cannabinoids (CBD and possibly trace other cannabinoids such as CBDa, CBN, CBG, CBC, etc.)
• Plant matter
APPEARANCE & CONSISTENCY
It’s usually a dark, paste-like oil.
I like to compare it to coconut oil, because it’s very thick in normal to cool temperatures, but once it warms up it becomes more of a liquid.
The consistency is sort of unpredictable when it comes to hemp oil. Sometimes it’s really runny, while other times it’s thick. We advise you to be very careful when dispensing a concentrate until you know how fast it comes out of the tube. Do this every time you order a new batch, because it can change!
CONCENTRATES ARE THE STRONGEST CBD PRODUCTS. PERIOD.
If you need a very large amount of CBD per day, this is where you should be looking. Concentrates are very potent by volume and are the cheapest because the manufacturing process is very simple; no complicated formulas, just tube up the oil.
If concentrates are the strongest and cheapest, shouldn’t we all be buying them?
Well, not necessarily. Concentrates aren’t for everyone, despite their unbeatable value.
Let me explain in my favorite way: a pro/con list.
PROS / CONS
WHO SHOULD USE CONCENTRATES?
Maximizing your results
Starting with a concentrate is a great way to figure out if CBD is right for you. It’s not like taking a pill to quickly alleviate a headache; CBD must build up in your system.
We recommend starting with a CBD concentrate by taking two servings per day; one in the morning, the next in the afternoon or before bed. (If you’ve never tried CBD before bed, I recommend it if you have trouble sleeping through the whole night.)
Continue taking it every day, twice daily, for a week. If you’re not satisfied, trying taking a little more over the next week. Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can either stick to that amount or try taking less to see if you get the same results. Essentially, the goal is to increase and decrease your serving until you find your “sweet spot.”
You can’t overdose…in fact, the worst side effect from taking too much that we’ve heard is an upset stomach or diarrhea —common for any oil-based product.
I have a tincture on my desk that I take every day. I only take 10 drops per day, which is about 5mg CBD. This works great for me because it’s easy and I enjoy the taste, but I could alternatively use a concentrate and just take a little tiny piece. But I still choose to use a tincture because it’s easy and I don’t need much CBD.
I’m fortunate to have control over my wellness now, but if I were battling something serious, I would personally choose to use a Concentrate instead.
TYPES OF CONCENTRATES
GREEN, BLUE, OR GOLD?
The Green version (also called “Raw”) is a raw hemp oil extract. Absolutely nothing else is done to it after extraction.
The Blue version is a hemp oil extract that has been decarboxylated. We talk about this in our Terminology section; decarboxylation is the process of heating an oil to release a carbon atom. The heat “activates” the cannabinoids —but take that word with a grain of salt. It doesn’t mean that cannabinoids are ineffective before being exposed to heat, they’re just a little different.
For instance, in Raw hemp oil the most abundant cannabinoid is CBDa. When heated (decarboxylated), CBDa turns into CBD. They’re nearly identical compounds, so one isn’t necessarily “better” than the other, but as you use the different concentrates you may discover that for you personally, CBD+CBDa is better or just CBD by itself.
The Gold version has been decarboxylated, just like the Blue oil, and is then filtered.
By filtering the oil, excess plant material is removed, which increases the CBD potency by volume. It’s like a bag of mixed nuts —let’s say peanuts and almonds. If you pull out all the almonds, there’s suddenly a higher ratio of peanuts. Even though all you did was take out the almonds, you can now pour more peanuts into the bowl so that, by volume, the quantity (“potency”) goes way up.
Out of all products on our website, the gold CBD oil has the highest potency. However, filtering the oil does add costs, so it’s a little more pricey than the Green and Blue.
A CBD tincture is a sublingual supplement made with one active ingredient: CBD hemp extract. It’s then mixed with other ingredients —like coconut oil or hemp seed oil— to dilute the hemp extract so it’s not so thick.
PROS / CONS
WHY CHOOSE A CBD TINCTURE?
A CBD capsule (or softgel) is a little pill filled with CBD hemp extract. They’re pretty straight-forward to use and, if you already take supplements in pill form, you’ll have no trouble adding CBD into your diet thanks to capsules.
GUARANTEED CBD PER SERVING
PROS / CONS
WHY CHOOSE A CAPSULE?
They’re easy to use and you don’t have to measure out your servings. If you’re looking specifically for a serving size of 10, 15 or 25mg CBD…capsules may be a great choice for you.
CBD vape oil (or e-liquid) is a CBD-infused oil designed to be used in a vaporizer pen.
FUN & RELAXING
PROS / CONS
WHY VAPE CBD?
Vaping is something for everyone to consider. If you’re looking to add a small amount of CBD into your diet, perfect. Or if you have a more serious need for CBD, vaping is a great product to use in addition to another CBD product.
For instance, say you decide to use a CBD concentrate. You notice it’s helping, but wears off in the afternoon so you need a little extra help throughout the day. That’s where vaping comes in.
Just pull your vaporizer out of your purse or pocket and vape, wherever you are. It tastes good and the combination of CBD and vaping can be quite relaxing.