It seems like there’s nothing you can’t buy on Amazon these days! From shoes and suitcases to supplements and sewing machines, Amazon has it all—at least, almost. The one thing that you can’t buy on Amazon is CBD oil. And there are some good reasons for this.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds present in the cannabis sativa plant. It’s a safe, non-addictive substance that harbors a huge range of therapeutic benefits for the body and mind. Many of these benefits have been confirmed by both scientists and CBD users around the world.
CBD works because it’s made up of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are similar to the cannabinoids our own bodies produce. The CBD compound interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS_, behaving like our own cannabinoids and encouraging our body to provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and other complications.
Our ECS plays an important role in regulating many of the processes that keep your body functioning every day: blood pressure, mood, energy production, immune function, glucose metabolism, appetite, pain management, and more.
Characteristics of high-quality CBD oil
While CBD is now legal in more countries than ever before, many CBD oil products are not regulated. Companies can sell CBD products derived from non-psychoactive hemp but consumers don’t always have a legal quality guarantee.
One study showed that nine out of 14 CBD samples contained significantly different amounts of CBD from the amount stated on their labels. Researchers say that not only can the quality of hemp vary, but also the way the product was manufactured. The lipid oxidation of a product can also affect its quality and stability.
The quality of a CBD product is determined by a number of traits. A manufacturer should understand the importance of using the correct preparation methods and conditions, as well the best storage methods for preserving the major and minor compounds (cannabinoid and terpenes).
A high-quality CBD product should:
- Contain all phytochemicals. Terpenes are hydrocarbons that help to attract pollinators and ward off pests when the hemp plant is flowering. It’s terpenes that provide CBD with its pungent smell, and also play some part in CBD’s therapeutic benefits. CBD crystal, a pure concentration of CBD, contains none of these compounds. While ‘pure’ sounds good, it lacks the therapeutic qualities created by the ‘entourage effect’ of CBD’s terpenes and cannabinoids working together in synergy.
- Be made using CO₂ extraction. Synthetic chemicals are highly undesirable in a CBD product as they can reduce its benefits. A quality CBD product should be made with CO₂ extractions. CO2 provides a pure flavor and a clean product. Solvent extracts, on the other hand, should not be consumed by humans as they have a toxic residue.
- Be decarboxylated. Decarboxylation involves applying heat to hemp flowers over an extended period of time to remove the carboxyl group. This activates the otherwise inactive compound CBDA, which can then provide a range of benefits. Non-decarboxylated CBD oil is usually cheaper, but also less effective.
- Contain only natural ingredients. Quality CBD should be made with safe, clean, natural ingredients that allow the extract to retain its complex phytochemicals of terpenes and flavonoids. Some manufacturers may speed up the production process by using high-yield extractions. During this process, manufacturers might use various fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Although they all encourage growth, they also eliminate the therapeutic effects.
- Provide evidence of safety. The only way to know if your CBD product is safe is with a test report. A quality product should show the results of both on-site and third-party testing in order to demonstrate quality. The product label should also state that the materials used in the manufacturing process were free from harmful contaminants, bacteria, and any artificial additives.
CBD and Amazon: what you need to know
While Amazon is great for online shopping, it’s not ideal for buying CBD products. In fact, Amazon’s policy expressly prohibits the sale of CBD in any product. Of course, sellers have found a way around this.
Investigators have found that CBD products do exist on Amazon, but they’re rarely what they should be. Buying CBD on Amazon means you run the risk of getting a product that’s poor quality.
You might find hundreds of different CBD products on Amazon, but it’s difficult to know if they are safe, high quality, and effective—or even if they contain high-grade hemp extracts at all. Without being able to examine the product yourself, you aren’t able to check its complete ingredients or origins.
So, can you buy CBD oil on Amazon?
Some products on Amazon may be listed as CBD oil, but they are not what they seem.
You might see products in the supplements category as “hemp oil extract” or “hemp seed oil.” This is NOT CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is made by pressing the seeds of hemp plants. And while hemp seed oil has its own benefits as a source of essential fatty acids, it doesn’t contain cannabidiol—at least, not enough to produce any beneficial effects.
Legitimate CBD oil products will state the CBD content clearly on the ingredients label. Best-selling CBD companies will show they have conducted third-party lab testing to demonstrate the purity and potency of the product.
To ensure you’re buying an authentic, high-quality CBD product, your best bet is to purchase straight from a company’s website. The top CBD companies will state the formulation methods, ingredients, test results, and other important items on their product pages.
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