What should I look for when shopping for CBD products?

"There are literally hundreds of CBD brands at this point. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping.

• What does the label look like? We don't mean the color or millennial font. If it's a dietary supplement, it should have a back panel with an FDA disclaimer and warning section. Ideally, it would be preferable to have access to their third-party lab testing results too.

• Speaking of which: Has it been third-party tested? Nearly every expert agrees that your CBD products should be tested by a third party to confirm the label's accuracy. This is a real concern in the industry—take the 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association study, for example, which tested 84 CBD products and found that 26% contained lower doses than stated on the bottle. Look for a quality assurance stamp or certificate of analysis from a third party (aka not the actual brand) or check the retailer's website if you don't see it on the product's label.

• What's the dosing? This is a confusing one for many people. A lot of brands don't do a good job of clearly instructing their consumer on the dosing. When thinking about dosing, also consider whether your CBD is full-spectrum or isolate: Full-spectrum could include other cannabinoids like cannabidivarin or cannabigerol - this is important, since there's something called the 'entourage effect' when all together, they're more effective than any one of them alone, while isolate is 100% CBD. Some people might only need 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, but with isolate, even taking 80 or 100 milligrams might not have the same effect.

• Is there a batch number? You know how you check your raw chicken or bagged lettuce every time there's a recall to make sure the one you bought isn't going to make you sick? You should be able to do that with CBD products too. This is a huge indicator as to whether they are following good manufacturing practices. There should be a way to identify this product in case it was improperly made so the company can carry out a recall.

• Are there additional ingredients in there? As with any supplement, you want to know everything you're ingesting in addition to the main event. For example, sometimes you may notice that [CBD manufacturers] will add melatonin. If you don’t need melatonin, then don’t buy that product or at least investigate what the implictions of that ingredient are first.

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