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This post is offered in partnership with our friends at Foria. We’re honored to work with them—they’re on the cutting, caring edge of CBD. We trust them with our endocannibanoid systems so you can, too. ~ ed.
9 out of 10 CBD products aren’t what you think they are.
You may have heard that I like to have sex with plants. You may also have heard that I like getting super high on CBD (despite the fact that CBD is not psychoactive). Because I work at Foria, I get a lot of questions about cannabis, cannabinoids, how to put weed in your vagina, and whether CBD is the new Fountain of Youth…
Based on these conversations, it seems to me that there are two kinds of people:
One is convinced that CBD is the cure-all to end all cure-alls—something like the second coming of Jesus and Quan Yin, ready to heal humanity’s every ache, pain and sadness while liberating us all from the clutches of Big Pharma.
The other kind of person is curious about CBD but hesitant to spend much on it—apart from trying that CBD chocolate bar at the checkout stand (which never seems to do more than raise the price of the chocolate bar).
I can sympathize with the skeptics, but unlike some wellness trends, CBD is backed up with decades of scientific research, and Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome is actually a thing that you might be hearing about more and more from the medical community in the coming years.
Real doctors are excited about CBD in a way that they weren’t excited about goji berries—and there are already multiple studies to validate CBD’s benefits for pain, inflammation, stress, and even cancer, with more benefits being proven all the time. At Foria we’re even making vaginal suppositories with CBD to melt menstrual cramps. (They happen to work wonders for me and our early testers.)
Given the high cost of most CBD products, it’s no surprise that people are cautious—they’re being smart. Not only can you waste your money on CBD products, it’s possible to risk your health!
The CBD market is a jungle right now, with a lot of cost-cutting and deceptive labeling and price gouging. The cheapest CBD products are often sourced from countries with very different purity standards, and the extraction process can concentrate any heavy metals or pesticides already present. (One of the amazing qualities of the hemp plant is its ability to bio-accumulate toxins out of the soil and into itself—it basically purifies the soil! All the more reason that organic is the only way to farm this amazing plant.)
*Elephant Journal readers get a 15% discount. Use code “CBDPURITY” at checkout.
Spot checks have shown that some products out there don’t even have any CBD in them. Others contain only CBD-isolate, which is like white sugar versus honey or maple syrup—it lacks all the co-factors that help with absorption and efficacy. In fact, studies have shown that the effects of CBD isolate aren’t as profound as the real thing. (CBD that contains all these naturally-occurring co-factors is known as “broad-spectrum CBD” because it contains a spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes.)
So go ahead and drink all the CBD water you want, but you’re better off not paying broad-spectrum prices for dirt-cheap isolate. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find the good stuff, since the overwhelming majority of “CBD” products on the market contain CBD isolate—since it costs a third what a good broad-spectrum hemp extract costs.
So how do you know which CBD product you can trust? How do you know you’re not being ripped off?
The first step is narrowing down the field to exclude the fly-by-night shops you encounter online. But how? They can be hard to identify as many of them have slick branding, cool stock photos and fake testimonials. In general, check out a brand’s social media to see how they interact with their community and what the majority of folks say. Dig into their website and online for independent reviews by the press. (Foria’s products have had hundreds.) Do these brands offer to share their lab tests? Can they back up their claims of purity or potency with a paper trail?
Narrow your search to focus on the companies that plan on building a relationship with you over the long term. Fortunately, there are several reputable CBD companies with a track record of integrity and transparency in producing natural products & wellness formulas (some of which you may have encountered on Elephant Journal…)
So, let’s say you’ve narrowed your search down to a few brands you’re inclined to trust. How do you determine the optimal delivery system for your specific needs? With CBD, the delivery systems make a big difference. There are already so many different ways to take CBD: suppositories, tinctures, capsules, gummies…even donuts, water, and coffee. Vaporizing is the fastest, most efficient way to get CBD, but it’s not for everyone…
Fortunately, it turns out that CBD can be absorbed under your tongue and in the lining of your cheeks and gums—where it directly enters the bloodstream. Compared with swallowing CBD oil or edibles, oral absorption is much faster and more efficient. This is the major reason that the chocolate bar with a few drops of CBD didn’t seem to do much for you—you might have been better off taking that CBD on its own.
If you’ve already been taking CBD oil and you haven’t been swishing…most of that CBD was broken down in your digestive tract and your liver. Reboot your approach and start swishing your CBD vigorously for a minute before swallowing. You might actually start feeling it. (Yes, it may not be psychoactive but CBD sure does wonders at balancing mood and protecting you from chronic stress, especially when you take it consistently.)
Another common question I get is how to compare products from different brands—how do you find out the amount of CBD in those bottles? Strangely enough, many brands don’t list “CBD” anywhere on their packaging.
Why so vague?
The short answer is: Big Pharma.
Companies like GW Pharmaceuticals are now selling CBD-based medications for serious health conditions, and because they’ve spent vast sums of money validating that their product “treats or cures” specific conditions, they’ve granted a monopoly on printing “CBD” on their product. (They’re also allowed to charge whatever they want. One year’s worth of the CBD tincture for childhood epilepsy, Epidiolex, can cost up to $60,000.)
*Elephant Journal readers get a 15% discount. Use code “CBDPURITY” at checkout.
So in the world of CBD supplements, cautious brands like Foria and CW Hemp will list “hemp extract” in their ingredients. Some will post the actual milligrams of CBD on their website since changing a web page is cheaper than re-printing thousands of boxes if the FDA comes knocking. At Foria, when we developed our new CBD supplement—Foria Basics—we tried to make it super simple and easy to use. One bottle contains 1000mg of broad-spectrum CBD.
We’re really thrilled about our CBD—it’s a balanced broad-spectrum extract from hemp that’s sustainably sun-grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers on US farms. We use the gold standard for purity—CO2 extraction—and it comes in MCT coconut oil that’s certified organic—probably the only organic MCT in the industry.
Because of the intimate nature of our other products—which are applied “below the belt”—we’ve always been rigorous about finding the most-pristine and sustainably-grown ingredients. Everything we use is either organic-certified or else grown to organic standards. (The day the USDA starts certifying hemp organic, our farms will be the first in line…)
Now, the final step in looking at comparable CBD products: the price. I hate to be so materialistic as to talk about a thing like—shudder—money, but I’m sure you can forgive me.
At 10 cents per milligram, Foria Basics is one of the most affordable high-quality CBD products available. You’d be hard-pressed to find another broad-spectrum CBD in organic-certified oil, let alone for this price.
And today, for our friends in the Elephant Journal community, we’re offering a 15% discount—bringing the cost down to about eight cents per milligram.
Go ahead and order a bottle (or two…or three) and start supporting your Endocannabinoid System with the adaptogenic power of broad-spectrum cannabinoids and terpenes in brain-boosting, fat-burning organic MCT oil.
At checkout, just enter the discount code: CBDPURITY.