CBD for back pain is widely used but often in this extremely overcrowded market, it becomes tough to pick the best product.
The CBD industry has really grown in the past couple of years and there are plenty of products that are constantly entering the market every other day. In such a case it is pretty easy to get overwhelmed. Another thing that one needs to remember when it comes to CBD is that it is an unregulated market. FDA has still not approved any guidelines to regulate the sale of these products. So, as a consumer, it becomes your responsibility to do your research before you make a purchase.
Full disclosure; it is always a good idea to be check-up with your primary physician before incorporate CBD into your wellness routine or to manage chronic back pain as there are certain medications that it interacts with.
There are plenty of factors that you need to consider before purchasing a product and in this blog, we will go through each one of them in detail. This will make your shopping experience a lot more pleasant.
Understanding a COA
For starters, you need to ensure that every product that you buy has an associated Certificate of Analysis available. This acts as a kind of quality control of the product in question.
A certificate of analysis or a COA is handed out by a third-party lab that is not affiliated with the brand in any manner. This is done to ensure unbiased and accurate reporting.
When you see a COA, you will notice that it has a number of different sections. There will be a section that will tell you the exact amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids present in the product. This is an important section as this is what will help you determine the potency of the product.
The next section will generally list out all the tests done to identify the various contaminants found in the product. Contaminants are usually in the form of pesticides and microbes.
After this comes the results for possible contamination from heavy metals or chemicals like residual solvents. All of these are important things to note as in extreme cases contamination of this kind can turn fatal.
A COA is usually available on the website of the company but on the off chance it is not, the best course of action is to either not purchase the product or request one before making a purchase.
Always remember that any reputable company will batch-test their products and hand over a COA to you without any issues.
Pay Attention To The Potency
Depending on what your end goal is with using CBD, you have to pick the correct potency. Everyone is affected differently by CBD.
For starters what you need to know is that CBD potency that is listed on the product refers to how strong it is. If an extract is 300mg then it is going to be half as strong as something that is listed at 600mg. This might seem like an obvious thing but there is another catch to it. The size of the bottle also plays a role in determining the potency of the product.
300mg in a 15ml bottle would be twice as potent as an oil in a 30ml bottle. What you need to take care is that you get the right potency as per your needs.
The three most common potencies on the market are 300mg, 600mg, and 1200mg. Anything higher than this is usually recommended for seasoned users. As a beginner, even 1200mg is considered high but then it also depends on what the per serving strength is.
Anything below 5mg/ml is considered low strength, between 15-30 mg/ml is medium, 30-60 mg/ml is high strength and anything else is ultra-high.
As a beginner, it is advised you get a product that is either low or medium.
Types of CBD in the Market
Now let’s move to the next part of making a purchase, figuring out what CBD extracts are available in the market. There are three widely used terms: isolate, broad-spectrum & full-spectrum
Now, what you need to remember is that since this is an unregulated market, a lot of manufacturers use this terminology interchangeably. So, be careful and read the COA before you buy a product.
CBD isolate products are the ones that only contain CBD. There are no other compounds present. This includes THC and even terpenes.
These products are perfect for people who want their CBD to be 100% devoid of other THC. CBD-only products also help people understand how effective CBD is for them without the addition of other products.
The drawback of these products is the one thing that makes them special. The absence of other cannabinoids as per research might actually help create a more effective product to manage medical conditions.
These are CBD products that contain other compounds beyond just CBD. These include cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and terpenes. There is no THC present in this type of product, but there is always a chance that you might end up with trace amounts of THC. This occurs as other compounds are preserved in the end product.
Full Spectrum CBD products contain all the same compounds as that of Broad-spectrum CBD. The only drawback is that they also contain THC in almost negligible quantity, usually under 0.3%, as is required by federal law.
THC at this level is not enough to cause any kind of psychoactive effects as people usually associate with Cannabis. So, these are also perfectly safe to use.
Since full-spectrum CBD does not change the chemical composition of the hemp plant at all and all the compounds are present there are higher chances for a user to experience the entourage effect.
If you are a beginner it is always advised that you get CBD products that are full-spectrum so as to harness the benefits of the whole plant.
Where Can You Buy CBD Products
CBD derived from the hemp plant is legal across the United States as per the 2018 Farm Bill. But in the absence of FDA regulations, you have to be careful about where you make the purchase from.
To ensure the safety of the product always check where the company had their testing done from. Retailers online will always provide you with third-party lab results and COAs.
Since CBD is legal a lot of large health food stores also carry CBD-based products. So, you have a choice between offline and online stores to make a purchase. It is advised that you make a purchase online as there are a lot more options available there.
Always avoid any manufacturer that is not willing to provide you with the required information or has vague information on their products.
CBD research is still in its nascent stages. So, there is not much that is known about its benefits and risks. However, the studies and anecdotal evidence point towards a bright future for this compound.
Exercise caution when you purchase a product and ensure that you do your research beforehand.