CBD Buyer's Guide

If you’re new to the world of CBD, it can be confusing to figure out which products best suit your needs. It’s no wonder with the large variety of flavors, ingredients, delivery mechanisms and strengths available. We’re here to help you through your analysis paralysis. Hopefully you already know what CBD is, but if not, you might want to check out our “what is CBD?” guide here. With a variety of options for flavors, ingredients, delivery mechanism, strength, and more, it can be tough to find the right product.

CBD Quality

First and foremost, we recommend that you research the quality of any CBD product that you’re considering. The only reliable way to do this is to look at the lab reports for the specific product you’re interested in to ensure that the CBD content and dosing are accurate. You will also want to confirm that the product does not contain contaminants such as wax, microbes (e.g. e.Coli or salmonella), or even heavy metals. While lab results can help you understand the baseline quality of the CBD you’re considering, we recommend you go a step further and learn about the entire supply chain, including where the hemp was grown, the extraction process, and more. To learn more about RxGrade’s process, click here.

Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum vs. Isolate

While most companies advertise “CBD” as a catchall phrase, there are actually many different kinds of CBD extract. The three most popular types of CBD are Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum, and Isolate.

CBD isolate is just plain CBD in its most basic form. This sounds great, and for some it is, but hemp extracts are complicated and there are countless other beneficial phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that users of CBD isolate are missing out on. More on these later.

On the other end of the spectrum is full spectrum CBD. Full spectrum CBD extracts, often called “whole plant extracts,” include everything that is extracted from the hemp inputs. Again, while this sounds great, the catch is that full spectrum CBD extracts often include higher levels of THC, and thus can be psychoactive.

Broad spectrum CBD is what we consider the Goldilocks CBD, as it sits right in between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum CBD includes the phytocannabinoids and terpenes that isolates lack, but without the THC and other plant particles that are often found in full spectrum CBD.

Delivery Mechanism

We recommend the first thing you do is decide how you’d like to take your CBD. The two most popular methods of administering CBD are through oral ingestion (like tinctures and softgels) or through topical products (like our lavender eucalyptus salve). Other methods exist, including smoking, vaping, and more, but we only sell what we use and we prefer to stick with ingestibles and topicals. When considering ingestible vs. topical CBD, it’s important to be aware of your goals for CBD.

Topical vs. Ingestible CBD

What is Topical CBD?
Topical CBD means that the extracted oils are mixed in with existing topical products such as salves, creams, bath bombs, face masks, and more.

What is Ingestible CBD?
Ingestible CBD means that the product is administered orally either, usually in a food or liquid. Ingestible CBD products include oil tinctures, softgels, gummies, and any other orally administered method.

So what's right for me?

When choosing between topical and ingestible, there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s entirely up to you. People typically choose topical CBD when aiming to achieve point specific targeting, and these products have become popular in the athlete community. Others choose ingestible CBD when they want to feel the effects of CBD more broadly.

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