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10 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy CBD

If a product is claiming all kinds of things but the price makes it seem too good to be true, chances are it is. This is especially true with CBD considering the lack of airtight regulations. Cheaper cultivation and extraction processes, and even supplementing the product with something that isn’t CBD could bring down the price, but at what cost?

CBD has become a term synonymous with natural and attainable wellness. However, just because CBD itself has reputable benefits that is backed by evidence, this doesn’t mean that all CBD products are the same or will have the same benefits. Like many overnight success products, CBD has grown a shadow – the black market. Cheaper production and extraction methods, lack of 3rd party lab tests, and even harmful additives can all be a result. But it isn’t always easy to separate the good products from the bad. The effects of this could range from simply not feeling the benefits of your CBD to ingesting harmful substances, such as pesticides or mould.

To avoid running into trouble, there are some fundamental questions that consumers should have answered before delving into the wide world of CBD. We’ve compiled the ultimate list of basics to make sure you can be fully informed before starting to use CBD, including what it is, how it works and which products are safe for consumption.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound found in the Cannabis plant. It can be taken in several different ways including through tinctures, capsules, edibles and vapes. CBD is a cannabinoid in the same family as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but doesn’t produce the same effects.

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the human body via the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. The ECS is responsible for regulating bodily functions like sleep, inflammation, and stress. Our bodies produce their own cannabinoids, but can also be introduced into our systems through external substances that also contain them – in this case, CBD. Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids derived from plants whereas endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally in the human body. Cannabinoids, then, can be used to supplement the ECS to varying degrees. Unlike THC, CBD is completely non-psychoactive. Because of this, we are able to gain the potential health benefits of the cannabis plant without experiencing the ‘high’ associated with THC.

The reason CBD affects the human body is because of our endocannabinoid system. The ECS is a specialised system that helps maintain balance throughout the body and brain and regulates things like sleep, appetite, and pain. It does this by producing endocannabinoids, or neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. CBD, like THC, is a phytocannabinoid – a cannabinoid found in plants. By taking CBD, these cannabinoids enter our systems where they impact our endocannabinoid receptors to produce therapeutic effects, such as pain and stress relief.

CBD and THC have some similarities, but the effects each has on our systems is very different.

CBD vs THC: Similarities

  • Both come from the Cannabis Sativa plant.
  • Both are phytocannabinoids and so both can interact with our ECS if ingested.
  • Both have the exact same chemical structure.
  • The interaction of CBD or THC and the ECS affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain.

CBD vs THC: Differences

  • CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound whereas THC is a psychoactive compound.
  • THC binds with cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain and produces a high or sense of euphoria.
  • Although both come from the Cannabis plant family, THC comes from the marijuana plant (a cannabis plant that contains 0.3% THC or more) and CBD from the hemp plant (a cannabis plant that contains 0.3% THC or less).

Both compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, but they have very different effects. Where THC will create the high sensation it’s so well known for, CBD certainly will not.

CBD’s effects are much more subtle than THC. Because CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 receptors the same way that THC does, the sense of euphoria associated with this is absent. Instead, CBD interactions with your endocannabinoid system, where it helps it to regulate and improve several of our physiological functions, such as stress and sleep.

CBD can be thought to go to work where your body needs it to, and that’s why many people will experience different effects when they take it. Some people may experience pain relief, where others might feel a bit more relaxed. In all honesty, CBD is more about what you’re no longer feeling – pain may become less and anxiety may disappear.

CBD is legal in the UK, and many other places around the world, but this is dependent on the THC content. In the UK, for example, it must contain less than 0.2 % THC and must be sold as a dietary supplement.

CBD laws are evolving at a much more accelerated pace than in previous year, so it’s always recommended to thoroughly research for travel purposes.

There are several different ways to think about this question, and as such there are several different factors to consider about whether CBD will work for you. These could include any of the following:

  • Your own physiology
  • What kind of CBD you are using
  • How you ingest the CBD (also known as bioavailability)
  • The source of your CBD
  • The strength of your CBD
  • How long you’ve waited for benefits

There could be all kinds of reasons behind whether your CBD works for you or not. Much of this can be thought of in terms of internal or external factors. 

Physiology, bioavailability, and how long you’ve waited for benefits are the internal things that could affect CBD’s potency. For one, your unique physiology may mean that CBD is instantaneous, or that it takes several weeks for the effects to present themselves. And, CBD can have different effects depending on how you take it. If you inhale CBD or put a few drops under your tongue, it will immediately enter the bloodstream and go to work very quickly. If you instead swallow a capsule or apply a topical cream, the effects will be more subtle but might last longer.

Then there are external factors, such as what kind of CBD you are using, whether the CBD comes from a reputable source, and the strength you use. All of these can affect whether CBD is right for you, and are the factors that require conscious consumerism and brand trust.

There are three main kinds of CBD, which all concern the amount of CBD and other compounds found within the product:

  • Full Spectrum – Full spectrum means that an oil contains all the cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant in nature, rather than just CBD. This includes trace amounts of THC as well as the other many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. This kind of CBD is associated with the ‘entourage effect’ – the idea that all of these cannabinoids work better together and are more effective if left intact.
  • Broad Spectrum – Broad spectrum oil, then, contains many of these cannabinoids but not all of them (such as 0% THC products).
  • CBD Isolate – Products that are isolate derived will only contain the isolated CBD molecule and none of the other cannabinoids from the plant. It is thought that CBD on its own is not as effective as broad or full spectrum.

Although the benefits may be more apparent with full or broad spectrum CBD, it is important to consider if they are the best choice for you. THC may be apparent on a drug test, say, if you are using a full spectrum oil. Learn more about Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate in our blog post.

To know what kind of CBD product will suit you best, you need to know how each product will interact with your ECS. Different methods of using or consuming CBD products will have different outcomes due to how they are absorbed by the body, just as we discussed with bioavailability above. These outcomes subsequently play a large role in determining what benefits the type of product can have for your unique needs:

CBD oil is made from a concentrated liquid extract produced by the cannabis plant. After CBD has been extracted from the plant, it is then mixed with a carrier oil, which helps the CBD absorb into the system. 

CBD oil enters our bodies usually via the membrane on the bottom part of our tongue. If you put a few drops of CBD oil in your mouth, it will head straight to your bloodstream without having to pass through the digestive system or liver first. This rapid absorption means that CBD oils take effect almost immediately after administration. However, this rapid absorption rate means that the effects, although punctuated by entering into the system more quickly, don’t last as long. 

Because of CBD oil’s quick absorption, it’s ideal for anyone looking for an immediate effect. This could range from someone suffering from chronic pain who needs fast relief. It could also prove to be a good option for tackling everyday anxieties or to relax before bed.

CBD capsules are used like other traditional capsules — they’re swallowed. They’re hassle-free and easy to dose. Since each capsule has the perfect amount, they reduce any worry that you may have of dosing too much — or too little.

Where CBD oil bypasses the digestive system, CBD capsules need to pass through it. First the CBD enters the stomach and then travels to the liver. The CBD is then metabolized by the liver which reduces the concentration of CBD compounds. This reduced concentration is then passed along to the bloodstream. Taking a capsule will not show immediate effects like taking CBD oil does, and the overall benefits may be less acute but longer lasting. Taking a capsule is a slow and steady method of using CBD, and is easily incorporated into a wellness routine with other supplements.

Because capsules offer users a smooth effect, they can be great to take in the morning to last all day long, or before bed if you’re keen to get a good night’s sleep but are afraid that your CBD oil will run out of steam before the night is through. Capsules are an excellent choice for the everyday user looking to supplement their overall wellness.

If you’ve ever had stiff, strained, or tender muscles, then you’ll understand how uncomfortable it can be. CBD topicals are rubbed into the skin and have shown promise helping to combat localized muscle pain like that caused from arthritis.

When CBD is put directly onto the skin, it doesn’t actually enter the bloodstream – but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. CBD receptors exist close to the surface of the skin as well as throughout the body. When applied topically, CBD interacts only with cannabinoid receptors close to where on the skin it was applied. Although human skin is tough to penetrate, CBD can indeed overcome this barrier through our pores if applied liberally – just like any muscle balm.

CBD topicals are an excellent alternative to oils and capsules when looking for targeted CBD application. Because CBD does not enter the bloodstream via topicals, this method of using CBD will have a targeted effect rather than an all-over effect. It will go to work exactly where it needs to.

CBD vapes are much like other liquid vapes – liquid is heated to the point of vaporization and then inhaled. So while getting the benefits of vaping users are also able to get their dose of CBD.

Just like sublingual applications, vaping CBD bypasses the digestive system and enters directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. This again means that it takes effect immediately but may not last as long as taking a capsule.

Vaping CBD could be a good option for those who are trying to quit smoking as well as incorporate CBD into their daily lives. Of course, vaping will be more appealing to those who already vape or smoke.

There isn’t a specific way to dose CBD according to any universal regulations or standards. Dosage and strength depends on the consumer – their body type, their tolerance, and the type of product that’s being used. Just as we see above with bioavailability, CBD can be absorbed in different ways, all of which affect how it works. And, all of this aside, dosing might become even more complicated if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you’re on certain kinds of medication.

The best advice when trying to dose is to always start small and work your way up. Get a feel for your tolerance level, and make sure to read the instructions on the product. It is always advisable to talk with your GP before beginning to take any new supplement, and CBD is no different.

If you have a good quality CBD product and have done your research about the best way for you to take CBD, and how much, there should be no worry whatsoever about its safety. Because of how CBD functions within our bodies, it is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. However, not all CBD products are made equal. Some contain contaminants like mould, heavy metals, or pesticides. Indeed, some CBD companies have been known to add pesticides or synthetic cannabinoids to increase the weight or the strength of the product. But how do you know which are safe and which aren’t? Here are some things you can do to make sure your products are safe:

  • Source and Quality: Choose CBD derived from organically grown hemp, as this ensures minimal exposure to harmful chemicals.

  • Lab Reports: Every reputable CBD company should provide lab test results about what their CBD contains. These should be easy to find on the company’s website, and should verify how pure and potent your product is – if not, don’t trust the product.

  • Extraction Method: Use products that employ CO2 extraction methods – this method is safer, more environmentally friendly, and purer than other methods.

  • Trustworthiness –If you are confident that the company selling your CBD is trustworthy, they probably have many ways to prove it – good customer service, legitimate reviews, product traceability and documented lab reports.

We are Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD provider. Backed by science, and built on the principles of traceability, transparency & trust, we are dedicated to improving the health & wellness of people around the world. We are proud to be one of the only companies to guarantee full traceability from seed to shelf with our premium range of CBD products, tested by third-party, independent quality control analysts.

Date Uploaded: May 28, 2020
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

Keep out of sight or reach of children.