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The best hemp-derived CBD products begin with non-GMO crops grown using natural farming practices. Once plants are harvested, the cannabinoid-rich oils are extracted and refined. The highly concentrated plant extracts are then used to create a wide range of CBD-infused products. With so many options to choose from, many would-be CBD users find the selection process a bit intimidating.
If you’re intrigued by the potential of CBD but aren’t quite sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. While there’s no single product that appeals to every CBD user, choosing your first hemp-derived CBD product is much easier when you know why others tend to choose specific product types.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant of more than 100 cannabinoids produced by industrial hemp plants.1 The rest are typically found in trace amounts. Although some hemp-derived CBD products contain all the minor cannabinoids produced by the plant, product manufacturers also have the ability to isolate individual plant elements during extraction and processing.
This ability to modify the cannabinoid content of industrial hemp extracts gives CBD users the opportunity to select a hemp-derived product that aligns with their needs and their preferences. The ability to differentiate between the following cannabinoid profiles will help narrow your options considerably.
Full-spectrum plant extracts deliver all the cannabinoids, plant terpenes, and additional phytonutrients in the same ratios as the original plant source. That means the cannabinoid profile of full-spectrum CBD products will also reveal trace amounts of THC. Many CBD users believe full-spectrum products the most potent option because of the way each plant element contributes to the potency of the others in a phenomenon unique to cannabis known as the entourage effect. 2,3
Broad-spectrum hemp extracts contain many of the same plant terpenes, essential fatty acids, and other phytonutrients as full-spectrum CBD products. However, there’s one crucial difference in the cannabinoid profile. The THC is reduced to non-detectable levels during extraction and processing. Broad-spectrum CBD products are popular with CBD users intrigued by the potency-maximizing potential of the entourage effect but prefer avoiding THC.4
CBD isolate is made by removing the plant oils, additional cannabinoids, and other phytonutrients from full-spectrum hemp extracts, leaving the cannabinoid in an anhydrous state. All that remains is a flavorless, odorless powder that is at least 99% pure cannabidiol. Hemp-derived CBD products made with isolate powder are popular with CBD users who want to avoid THC and those who don’t care for the somewhat earthy flavor of industrial hemp.
Once you’ve determined which of the three main cannabinoid profiles you prefer, you’ll still have plenty of product options available. Hemp-derived CBD can deliver equally impressive results, whether ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through your skin. That ease of use is what makes it possible for CBD companies to offer a vast assortment of appealing products.
Which of those many options might be right for you? That depends on how the product ultimately suits your needs. To help simplify the selection process, we’ve aligned some of the most popular hemp-derived products with the priorities of CBD users who most often prefer them.
ManyCBD products have serving size recommendations printed on the product label. Those instructions typically suggest using an amount of CBD that works well for most people. But everyone is different. A serving size that works well for someone else could be considerably more or significantly less than the amount of CBD oil that works for you. CBD oil tinctures are popular with CBD users who want the flexibility of adjusting the amount of CBD they’re using per serving.
If you’d rather not have to worry about shaking bottles, measuring serving sizes, or counting drops, consider investing in CBD capsules. CBD capsules are one of the easiest ways to add hemp-derived products to your daily routine. The measuring is already done for you, and each capsule delivers a consistent amount of CBD per serving. Capsules are one of the most popular options for CBD users who value convenience and portability.
A CBD-infused cream, sports balm, or lotion might be your best option if you’re most interested in targeting a specific area of your body. When you use an ingestible CBD product, it can take an hour (or longer) for the cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream through your digestive system. Using CBD topically delivers the cannabinoid directly to tissues below the surface of your skin. Most CBD users find that topical products are fast-acting and long-lasting.5
Of the many CBD edibles available, CBD gummies are clearly a fan favorite. Many CBD enthusiasts consider them a fun, fruity way to add CBD to their daily routine. Like CBD capsules, CBD gummies are convenient, portable, and discreet, yet infinitely more flavorful. Product labels typically specify the amount of CBD per piece, so it’s easy to keep track of how much CBD you are using as you satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge your inner child.
The same product that makes it easy to adjust serving sizes also gets high marks for versatility. CBD oil tinctures can be stirred into hot or cold beverages, added to your favorite recipes to create your own CBD edibles, applied topically, and used sublingually. The sublingual method is one of the easiest ways to speed cannabinoid absorption. All you need to do is hold your serving of CBD beneath your tongue for 15-20 seconds before swallowing.
While we can help steer you in the right direction, the only way to know how a specific product might suit your needs is to try it. If you’ve narrowed your options but still can’t decide, consider trying more than one.
There’s no wrong way to use CBD. You might prefer using a tincture or capsule for daily use, but find the targeted potential of a CBD-infused balm quite appealing after a vigorous workout, or maybe a CBD vape would be particularly nice after a stressful day on the job. The choice is yours.
Whether you ultimately decide to use a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate product, it’s important to remember that the purity and potency of the products you select will have a significant impact on your overall experience. That’s why it’s important to select products from a reputable company like CBD connect, a trusted source of CBDistillery® third-party tested, FSA compliant products. CBDistillery® is a respected industry leader and the company that contributed this article.