If you’re just starting your CBD journey, then you’re likely a little confused about how to get started. The terminology can be confusing and the choices available to you can be overwhelming. The purpose of this guide to CBD for beginners is to provide a step-by-step guide to getting started for those who are new to the world of CBD oil.
No one can guarantee that CBD oil will work for you. CBD is not a “miracle cure-all.” But it can be an effective supplement and another “tool in the toolbox” to achieve wellness. It’s likely that finding the “right” type, brand and dosage for you will take some experimentation. Taking some time now to become educated can increase your chances of success in a shorter time frame.
STEP 1: Decide what type of CBD oil you want
CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD oil that has more than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) is considered to be from marijuana whereas CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC is considered to be from hemp.
Typically, those wanting to use CBD oil for conditions such as cancer or extreme chronic pain will need CBD oil from marijuana due to the higher percentage of THC. CBD oil with more than 0.3% cannot be legally purchased online. You need to live in or visit a medical marijuana state and be certified to purchase from a licensed dispensary of cannabis products. Dispensary employees are usually very knowledgeable and can help guide those looking for higher THC products.
Hemp-derived CBD oil can be purchased online or in some local stores. If you’ve decided to try CBD oil, you first need to decide whether you want a product that is: (a) full spectrum, (b) broad spectrum or (c) isolate. Full spectrum CBD products (also known as “whole-plant” products) typically include all the naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes. They include trace amounts of THC (up to the 0.3% legal limit). Broad spectrum products include other cannabinoids and terpenes in addition to CBD but have 0% THC. Isolate products are from pure CBD so do not have any other cannabinoids or terpenes.
The majority of users prefer full spectrum but there is no “right” choice for everyone. Those who are subject to drug testing or have an aversion to THC tend to first try “broad spectrum” or “isolate” products since they do not contain detectable levels of THC based on the manufacturer’s lab testing.
STEP 2: How do you want to consume your CBD oil?
You have several options in terms of product types. Sublingual drops that you place under your tongue are the most popular. Vape oils are the second most popular and are popular among those who may be taking CBD to ease anxiety or migraines. This is because vaping gets the CBD into the bloodstream almost immediately versus the 30 minutes that it often takes with the drops.
Other product options include capsules, gummies and topical creams, balms and salves. There is no “best” way to consume CBD oil for everyone. They each have their advantages and disadvantages so it’s really more of a personal preference.
STEP 3: How to you choose a company to order from?
If you ask 10 people to tell you the best CBD oil brand, you are likely to get 10 different answers. There are literally thousands of companies that are currently selling CBD oil products online. Are they all the same in terms of product quality and customer service? Absolutely not!
To help those who are overwhelmed by the number of choices, we maintain a short list of the best CBD oil brands based on our research. These brands have been vetted for product quality, customer service and feedback from users.
Unsure where to start? Our CBD product recommendation tool can help you choose a brand and product based on your needs.
A few do’s and don’ts when buying CBD oil online:
- DO only buy from a company that provides third party lab reports. Reputable companies make third party lab reports readily available to consumers. If a company won’t provide third party lab reports, then you really have no idea what’s in their product.
- DON’T pick a brand based on the recommendation of one person on social media. There are many multi-level marketing brands of CBD oil brands being sold by online “brand ambassadors.” Some of them are known to make inflated claims and personal testimonials to sell their products. Be wary of claims that sound too good to be true.
- DO your own research and read reviews of different brands before choosing a brand. There is NO brand that works for everyone. Go with the brand that feels right for you and your situation.
- DO consider buying a sample size of CBD oil before you commit to a larger purchase. Quality CBD oil is not cheap. So getting a sample bottle of CBD oil can give you the chance to see if that brand works for you without breaking the bank.
- DO check to see if there is a coupon code for the brand that you choose. This is an easy way to get a significant discount on your purchase just by entering a coupon code at checkout. We keep a current list of CBD coupon codes for all major brands.
STEP 4: Find your “sweet spot” dosage
After you buy a CBD product that seems right for you, it’s time to start taking it. The importance of finding the right dosage level cannot be overstated. If you take too little, you won’t feel any effects. If you take too much, you may experience negative side effects.
You have some options on how to find the dosage level that is best for you. But the cardinal rule with dosage is that “less is more.” It’s typically best to start low and increase slowly until you find your own personal “sweet spot” that gets you the results you seek.
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Other Frequently Asked Questions
How can I compare prices across brands?
CBD oil products come in different bottle sizes and concentrations. This can make it confusing to compare prices across different brands. The correct way to do this comparison is on a price per milligram of CBD basis.
To do this, you simply divide the price of the product by the number of milligrams of CBD in the product. This allows you to an apples-to-apples comparison across brands. It also allows you to see how much you can save by buying a larger bottle or higher concentration.
Our CBD oil price comparison calculator can help you do this calculation. We have charts that compare prices for CBD products for all major brands.
Which brands have the strongest CBD oils?
The strength or potency of a CBD oil product is expressed as the number of milligrams of CBD per milliliter. So a 30 milliliter bottle with 1000 milligrams of CBD (33 mg/ml) has twice the potency of a 30 milliliter bottle with 500 milligrams (17 mg/ml).
Your choice of potency is usually based on how much CBD that you will be taking. Beginners typically start with a lower potency (20 mg/ml or less) product and then may move up to higher potency (50 mg/ml or more) products in the future if needed.
Our guide to the strongest CBD oils will help you understand potency and why it matters.
Let Us Know What You Think
We hope that our CBD Beginners Guide has been helpful for you and that it helps you find the CBD products that are right for you. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Best of luck on your CBD journey!