Want to buy CBD oil in the UK? Here are 9 things you should know about buying CBD oil online.
Gone are the days where there were only a handful of CBD products to choose from. Now, as the UK’s CBD industry rapidly expands, it’s easier than ever to go online and buy just about any kind of product you can think of.
Having an array of choices is one of the great things to be appreciated about the legalisation of CBD but the lack of industry standards makes it easy for any company to take advantage of people by selling them ineffective, low-quality CBD that is overpriced. This is the current problem most UK consumers face when trying to purchase CBD oil.
Blessed CBD was founded to fight against companies doing that very thing.
In order to buy products that are effective and safe, it’s important for CBD consumers to become more aware of the CBD industry and learn both the positive signs and the red flags that indicate whether or not a brand deserves your business.
When looking to purchase CBD products in the United Kingdom, a little research goes a long way.
Lab testing may not seem like the first thing you’d want to know, but it’s important when considering the fact that the CBD industry is still new and doesn’t have as many government regulations in place as other long-standing industries do.
If the company says its products have been tested by an independent third party laboratory, lab reports should be accessible on the company site or by submitting a formal request.
Without a lab report, you have no idea if your CBD product is free from harmful chemical solvents and pesticides. Customers should feel confident that what they’re putting in their bodies is safe and effective. This is why you should always search for the lab report, also known as a Certificate of Analysis, before buying any CBD product.
- Company does not mention third party testing
- Company does not mention lab reports
- Company does not respond or provides pushback when you submit a request
In our experience, companies who are unwilling to provide verification about their product claims or skip the testing process may have something to hide. Blessed CBD urges you to be wary of purchasing CBD products from brands unwilling to give you the courtesy of information. Your health is far too important.
Important things to look for in a lab report:
Unfortunately, having a lab report isn’t enough. There are a few shady businesses that don’t believe you are going to look any further into the issue, but they underestimate you. Here are a few questions you’ll want answers to.
Is the lab that performed the testing accredited?
Just like there are sneaky CBD companies, the same is true of testing laboratories. These facilities do not follow industry procedures to ensure accuracy of their reporting.
An accredited lab is going to be recognized by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), the independent body that sets standards for product testing. Labs that are accredited meet set standards and operation guidelines approved by the ISO.
Other accreditation programs exist, but the ISO is the standard for the CBD industry’s reporting.
What date was the lab report approved?
A company can legally use a lab report from five years ago as proof that their product has been lab tested because no there are no regulations that specify how often a CBD product should be tested.
Blessed CBD believes all companies should hold themselves to a better standard than that, but knows only the reputable companies do. We wouldn’t trust any lab reports older than 10 months. If a product claims it is very popular, 6-8 months is the cut off for us.
Do results confirm there are no contaminants?
Usually located toward the end of the report, lab tests should indicate in the Status column whether or not the sample contained harmful contaminants such as bacteria, pesticides and/or heavy metals.
You’re looking for a Pass or Fail. If they fail, you may want to find another CBD product or brand.
Does the report confirm the cannabinoid content listed on the product?
This is the main component of the report. Here’s what you want to confirm:
- CBD concentration: In other words does that 500mg CBD oil really contain 500mg of CBD?
- Cannabinoid profile: In addition to CBD, full spectrum oils should contain other cannabinoids such as CBC, CBG or CBN for instance, and isolates should contain 0% THC.
It’s very normal for the numbers to be off slightly. After all, seeing 500mg is easier than 496.39mg.
CBD is legal in the UK, but only if it contains less than 0.2% THC. Any product containing the legal amount of THC is considered safe and free of THC’s mind altering effects.
CBD products are used as natural alternatives to traditional medicine so wanting a product that uses organic ingredients makes a lot of sense.
Organic, all-natural and vegan ingredients can easily be confirmed by the label. Premium ingredients that were added to enhance the product’s benefits are also a good sign. Melatonin is often added to CBD products that aid in better sleep and emu oil can be found in CBD topicals because of its moisturising properties.
- List of ingredients is nowhere to be found
- Ingredient names that are unpronounceable
If you come across a product you love with a questionable ingredient, a Google search will quickly let you know if there are any negative side effects associated with it.
High-quality CBD oil starts with high-quality hemp. End of story.
CBD brands concerned about their customers’ well-being use top quality hemp. They have formed and maintain relationships with premium hemp suppliers who are dedicated to producing hemp in the best environment.
CBD companies more concerned about saving money will buy CBD isolate through wholesale suppliers and have little information about where the hemp was grown and how it was cultivated.
Wholesale suppliers can easily claim their CBD isolate was extracted from organic hemp that was grown using only the best farming techniques, but without a direct relationship with the hemp supplier, a company cannot validate those claims.
Blessed CBD is not a fan of hearsay and we’re adamant about customers being able to confirm the quality of hemp used in their products.
Here are the important things you want to know about the hemp a brand is using.
Where was the hemp sourced?
Hemp is grown around the world, but some places have better soil, cultivation standards and government regulations in place than others.
As industry standards emerge, the US and Scandinavia are considered to the best locations on the planet to cultivate hemp.
Scandinavian hemp farms are subject to some of the strictest growing regulations and often the hemp is cleaner, purer and results in some of the strongest CBD oil. The US has soil rich in nutrients, long growing seasons and high cultivation standards.
Colorado and Kentucky are the US states you’ll hear about most often when it comes to hemp sourcing. If a company sources from a hemp farm that participates in a Pilot Program (found in Colorado, Kentucky and North Carolina), you can be sure their hemp is first rate. These programs have even higher standards and quality control regulations than even Scandinavia.
How was the hemp cultivated?
Hemp is a plant that will absorb the good and bad of its growing environment so it’s important that proper farming practices are maintained to produce quality hemp.
Organic hemp is the best because no toxins are used during its cultivation. Soil that is properly pH-balanced, avoiding the use of pesticides, herbicides and GMO are some of the best cultivation practices.
Brands usually do not go into full detail about farming practices, but good signs of quality cultivation practices include knowledge about how to produce the best hemp and that a brand’s standards and mission are in line with sourcing standards.
The more involved a company is with the entire CBD oil production process, the more oversight and quality control they have. This results in a better end product for you.
You’ll see products labelled “CBD Isolate”, “Full Spectrum CBD,” or “Broad Spectrum CBD”. Knowing the difference between them is important for getting the results you’re looking for.
This is CBD in its purest form. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and then all other cannabinoids and compounds are removed resulting in an extract that is 99% pure CBD.
Isolates contain 0% THC.
Full Spectrum CBD:
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant as well as all other naturally occurring cannabinoids and compounds. Full-spectrum CBD products will contain THC, but no more than the legal amount.
Broad Spectrum CBD:
This type of CBD is a mix between the other two: CBD and other cannabinoids are present except for THC. It has been filtered out.
Depending on your medical condition or the benefits you are seeking, it’s helpful to know which product to purchase.
There are various ways to remove CBD from hemp plants, but this is one area where the CBD industry has done a really great job at making the standard known.
CO2 extraction is the gold standard when extracting CBD because it is safe and results in the purest end product. This method preserves the CBD’s purity as well as the terpenes and trichomes that are rich in nutrients by using pressurised carbon dioxide to extract the CBD and then compressing it into a liquid state.
Though there are no legal ramifications for using other extraction methods (ethanol extraction actually produces safe, effective CBD oil), the CO2 method delivers some of the highest quality CBD with no contamination and the industry considers it standard at this point.
Price is an important factor for many people, so make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to. By doing a little research, you can make sure you aren’t being ripped off.
How are similar products priced?
If you’re interested in buying a tincture, search for three or four other tinctures with the same concentration and compare how those brands have priced their tinctures. Do the same with any other CBD product you’re interested in.
It’s a good sign if they are all around the same price.
Is the retail price the final price you pay?
A CBD product may appear to be more expensive than an alternative option, but in reality discounts, shipping policies and rewards may make it cheaper.
Try not to dismiss a product before looking for sign-up incentives, discounts or coupon codes. This will give you a better idea of how much you’ll actually have to pay.
Cheaper products can have high shipping costs and more expensive products could end up being cheaper because of free shipping or through a financial assistance program.
Is the high price justified?
If the product you want is still too high, it may be worth it. Products will vary in price, but what’s most important is that you believe the price they are asking for is reasonable.
Consider these factors that could be the cause of a higher priced product:
- Premium ingredients that increase effectiveness
- Special features that make the product more convenient to use
- The reputation of the company
In the CBD industry, it’s easy to make a low-quality product and still make money because consumers are still educating themselves on the products and oversight is still not as strict as it could be.
What’s hard is setting a high standard and sticking to it – those are the brands that you hear about, that are acknowledged by their peers and typically make some of the best products.
Though a glowing reputation and reviews won’t guarantee a product will work for you, they do offer some insight about problems you’d like to avoid or possible success.
Search for reviews, complaints and praise on the brand’s site, Facebook and other social media platforms.