How to Shop for CBD: A Guide to buying CBD Online or In-Stores

Which CBD is best for me? Whether you shop online or in a CBD store, you'll need to know how to answer that question. Learn how to buy the perfect CBD, here.

You've read about the many benefits of CBD oil before and now you're ready to try it for yourself. There's just one problem.

It's a lot harder than you imagined to find the right one. It might even be a bit intimidating to walk into a CBD store near you given all the forms, types, and potencies available.

So, in this article, all the jargon and info you'll need to buy CBD will be demystified. You'll learn where to buy CBD, which type is best for you, and how to find a product that really works. It's all a lot easier than it seems; promise!

How to Buy CBD: Finding the Perfect Choice for You

The options for CBD out there seem endless. You've got oils, creams, edibles, and vapes created with all kinds of extract types and blends. Choosing the right product can be tough to say the least. But following the guide below will help you find the perfect CBD for you.

Choose a Type of CBD

All the labels and types of products can make things seem extremely complicated. But don't worry! There are only 3 main types of CBD. Read about each to decide which is best for you and narrow down your search.

  1. Full-Spectrum CBD: There are all kinds of compounds besides CBD in hemp plants (where most CBD products come from). You've got dozens of other helpful organics called cannabinoids, terpenes (where the flavor and some effects may come from), and traces of THC. Full-spectrum CBD extracts keep all these. If you want everything that hemp plants offer including THC, try a full-spectrum extract.
  1. Broad-Spectrum CBD: Broad-spectrum CBD extracts contain all the healthy compounds in hemp mentioned above, but none of the THC. If you're sensitive to THC or want to avoid it completely, a broad-spectrum CBD is a great choice. You'll still get the synergistic quality of hemp's natural compounds working together too (called the entourage effect).
  1. CBD Isolate: CBD isolate is a single chemical extract of CBD. Extracting all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and THC from hemp gives you a white powder of pure CBD. Most scientific studies use CBD isolate. So using this type lets you stay as close to science as possible. If you aren't interested in hemp's other potential benefits or would prefer the purest CBD possible, go for an isolate.

Find a Reputable Brand

Now that you picked a type of CBD, find a brand that does it right. The 3 criteria that are easiest to base your judgement on are looks, user reviews, and transparency.

Looks. When it comes to CBD, looks do matter. An informative, well-designed label is the first thing you'll see and a huge influence to choosing. If the brand can't deliver on this important first step, why trust the rest of their process is up to snuff? Pass!

Reviews. User reviews are one of your best bets to ensure a product is effective. And yes, it's true that even reviews can be bought or faked. But, if a product is poor quality that rep will travel fast. Do a quick search for reviews both on the brand's website and from 3rd parties.

Transparency. Check out the label for a full ingredients list. If there's not one there, go to the brand's site. Every ingredient, the potency, extract type, and how it was extracted should be detailed somewhere. And most importantly, find the lab results while you're at it.

Check the Lab Results

Lab results (sometimes called a COA) are the most important thing to look for in a CBD product. Most brands send their extracts to a 3rd party lab to test for the contents and any impurities. You might see a QR code directly on the product. Or it should be easy to find on the company's website. If not, don't buy it.

Get the Right Potency for You

Once you've found the perfect type and brand of CBD, all that's left is choosing a potency. This is a tricky subject with no clear guidelines on what serving size is best. Try to start with a low strength and work your way up to the desired effect. Here are some suggestions:

  • Light: 5-15mg
  • Medium:  20-35mg
  • Heavy: 45+mg

Try these once or twice daily and see how you feel. And there's no need to worry if you take things slow, even for a heavy strength CBD. Some CBD studies have used doses of 60 mg/kg of CBD per day with few side effects.

Where is the best place to buy CBD?

Should you buy online or at a CBD store? Weigh the pros and cons of each to decide for yourself.

Buying CBD Online

Buying CBD online is your most convenient option. You can browse all the brands you can think of, do some research along the way, and get everything shipped right to your door. But, there are a few downsides too.

You're on your own buying online. You'll need to do all the research yourself. That means figuring out what kind of CBD to buy, looking into the brands, and ultimately taking a bit of a gamble. Going to a CBD store avoids all these worries.

Buying at a CBD Shop

Your local CBD store is staffed by knowledgeable experts who can save you a lot of time and effort. They'll be able to tell you exactly which type and form of CBD that would be best for you. No need to scour the internet to learn all the subtle differences between them all.

You won't need to dig into brands too much either. A CBD store vets and curates their own inventory, and gets customer feedback on the daily. So, you know you'll be getting an effective product.

Sure, it's not exactly as convenient as buying online. But, visiting a CBD store near you is an amazing way to get what you need without researching yourself.

Buy Online or at a CBD Store Near You

There's a good argument to be made for both the convenience of shopping online or the full experience of buying in-store. But, whether you choose an online retailer or a CBD shop near you, make sure you follow the steps above. They're a surefire way to find a product that works and works well. Your body and mind will be thankful you did.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.