By Emma Chasen

As cannabis legalization spreads, more people are realizing the medicinal and health benefits associated with the plant.

Companies that focus on cannabidiol, or CBD, are particularly gaining in popularity. This is because CBD is not only derived from the highly regulated cannabis plant, but also from the hemp plant. Hemp is a subspecies of cannabis that has less than 0.3% concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the cannabis compound that produces a “high” feeling.

Since hemp plants contain a minuscule concentration of THC, they have remained federally legal, allowing companies to create CBD-dominant products that can be shipped nationally and consumed legally.

A recent surge in awareness and access to CBD has spurred consumer interest in its medicinal benefits. However, not all CBD companies are created equal. It’s up to you – the buyer – to investigate the following aspects of a CBD product before purchasing.

1. Is the CBD Derived from Hemp or Cannabis?

When looking to buy CBD, the first thing you need to determine is whether the CBD was derived from hemp or cannabis, or if it was synthesized in a lab.

When isolated from either hemp or cannabis, CBD has the same molecular structure and medicinal value. The difference will be in the supporting compounds that can help to increase the medicinal efficacy of the product.

Industrial hemp and the modern-day “drug-cultivar” cannabis take two very different breeding pathways. Industrial hemp plants are bred specifically for their primary compounds, like proteins and fibers. “Drug-cultivar” cannabis refers to any cannabis plant that has been bred for its secondary compounds, specifically an elevated THC or CBD concentration. This breeding process has subsequently developed a more diverse range of secondary compounds within the plant matrix. Increased diversity in secondary compounds produces a more efficacious response.

The theory that cannabis compounds work synergistically together to improve the chance of symptom relief is called the ensemble effect. If operating under the assumption that this theory is true, then CBD derived from “drug-cultivar” cannabis may be more medically efficacious than CBD derived from industrial hemp.

However, due to prolific breeding efforts, there is a new type of cultivated hemp on the market referred to as craft hemp. Craft hemp refers to any plant that has been bred for its secondary compounds with a focus on CBD dominance and less than 0.3% THC concentration. Craft hemp, therefore, has the same diverse range of secondary compounds as ‘drug-cultivar’ cannabis, and it can be classified as federally legal due to its small THC concentration.

If derived from craft hemp, CBD products could have the same benefits as CBD products derived from “drug-cultivar” cannabis. Bōdee only sources the highest quality craft hemp from its farm partners. The company understands that the highest quality ingredients maximize the diversity of secondary compounds.

2. Where is the CBD sourced?

Both hemp and cannabis are bio-accumulators, meaning the plants soak up and concentrate all inputs used during the growing process into their tissues. These concentrated inputs are concentrated even further during the extraction process. Therefore, it is incredibly important that plants are not subjected to any insecticides, pesticides or other toxic inputs during the growing process. Without standardized regulations on analytical testing for hemp-derived CBD products, it is incredibly important that the source material used for processing has been grown without pesticides or other harmful synthetic fertilizers.

When investigating a CBD product, make sure to ask the company it sources plant material. Ideally, the product should be made with organic ingredients, including plant material and other ingredients.

Luckily, there are companies who understand the importance of organics, and Bōdee is one of them!

3. How is the CBD Extracted?

There are products on the market that try to sell hempseed oil as CBD extract. Hempseed oil does not have substantial concentrations of CBD. The CBD must be extracted from the plant material. The type of extraction process is important to consider when choosing a CBD product. There are CBD products that use language such as “full spectrum” or “whole plant” on their packaging. A full spectrum or whole plant extract means that the plant material has been processed in such a way that preserves as many secondary compounds as possible. Referencing the ensemble effect, a full-spectrum extract typically means it will produce a more medically beneficial effect because of those synergistic relationships between all compounds.

Bōdee Organics employs full-spectrum processing for its plant material. The company values the full range of secondary compounds and understands that cannabinoid and terpene diversity typically equate to a more medically efficacious response.

4. What is the Formulation & Consumption Method?

You can consume CBD in many forms, including ingesting it orally or inhaling the oil in a vaporizer pen. Choosing a consumption method is largely based on personal preference and what will work best for your lifestyle.

It is also important to consider the other ingredients that are in the product besides CBD extract. Make sure there are no harmful additives or chemical inputs in the products. I recommend choosing a CBD product that has been formulated with organic, plant-based ingredients. Bōdee boasts a line of CBD Tinctures specifically formulated to suit a wide range of needs and experiences.

5. What is the Right CBD Dosage?

Make sure the product you purchase has information regarding dosing. The packaging should include the total amount of CBD in the entire product as well as instructions on how to measure each dose, whether it’s an oil dropper or herbal vaporizer. The amount of CBD you will need to take to achieve your desired symptom relief will be personal. Start with a 10-15mg dose and increase or decrease the dose as needed to achieve your desired experience.

Bōdee makes sure to include dosage information on all products so you can precisely dose yourself with the optimal concentration.

By considering these criteria the next time you shop for CBD, you’ll ensure you end up with the highest quality product that will help you manage your symptoms and promote overall health.