How To Buy The Best Quality CBD Oil – 5 Things To Consider

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How To Choose The Best CBD Oil

It’s quite bewildering how many CBD products have been released over the last few years. Variety may indeed be the spice of life, but as with any supplement, there’s a very real difference when it comes to quality.

One thing even total newbies to this scene will notice right away is how every company on the market claims to offer the ‘purest’, ‘finest’ or most ‘natural’ choices going. But what do these labels actually mean?

Due to the CBD market being practically unregulated, there’s nothing to prevent these supplements being marketed however the manufacturer chooses.

Even those truly dodgy operations flogging knock-off extracts can claim their snake oil is the highest quality possible. Naturally, this can make it very awkward identifying the real deal from the chaff.

That being said, there are sensible precautions to take when considering purchasing a CBD oil – so here’s the lowdown on how to avoid being ripped off.

1) Manufacturing Methods Are An Essential Indicator Of Quality

Manufacturing CBD

How CBD oils are manufactured can make all the difference.

Ever wondered why one 10ml bottle of CBD oil costs maybe a third the price of another yet boasts the same strength and size? By far the greatest reason for this differential comes down to the production and extraction methods used to refine the oil from the hemp.

All ‘value’ manufacturers use extraction processes which are heavily depended upon toxic chemicals. These may be anything from butane through to ethanol and pretty much everything in between.

When performed with care these methods can indeed provide a cheap and effective means to produce oil – but very few companies are so exacting. 99% of the time these isolates will have destroyed all the other cannabinoids (as well as psychoactive THC) which are increasingly thought to be essential for making CBD effective.

Top tier companies use far more expensive and time-consuming CO2-based extraction methods. These can either produce an isolate or a more complex end product retaining much more of the goodness.

So look for those which use either this or high-quality ethanol based processing should you be searching for a truly legit and great quality oil.

2) Not All Hemp Is Grown Equally!

Growing Hemp

Where and how hemp is grown can also be an indicator of quality.

Hemp is renowned for being able to grow pretty much anywhere. This is all fine and great for industrial purposes, but don’t forget that the quality of the soil plays a huge part in the resulting health of the plant. When looking to use these plants for supplemental purposes, this makes the quality of the hemp absolutely paramount.

Cheap hemp is almost certainly going to be grown on soil that is dense in heavy metals and other pollutants. Sure, these may be filtered during processing but it’s still going to undermine the actual quality of the plant.

Reliable manufacturers will use only organically grown plants with no artificial chemicals, growth agents, pesticides or similar nasties employed at any stage. Love CBD are a great example of such a highly reputable company.

In the European market look for manufacturers who stress the origins of their hemp grown under license for explicitly human consumption.

CBD manufacturers in the U.S. are at an advantage because of strict licensing rules that all but ensure only high-grade hemp can be grown.

So check the provenance of the hemp and be wary of any manufacturer who is shy to reveal their sources.

3) Isolate Or Full-Spectrum?

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum

CBD Isolate vs. Full-spectrum: Which is better?

When it comes to ‘pure’ CBD this term has usually been used to describe isolates which all but totally eliminate any residual cannabinoids – especially THC.

Logic would suggest that this means isolates are the best because after all, they’re strictly speaking delivering exactly what they claim.

Yet plenty of research suggests that full-spectrum CBD is more beneficial. It retains far more of the dozens of other cannabinoids found within the plant, as well as terpenes, minerals, and secondary vitamins.

It’s believed that these play a vital role in helping the body effectively use and absorb the CBD goodness – at the cost of retaining a slightly higher (yet still legal) amount of THC.

Be careful when it comes to terminology because there’s no industry standard on what manufacturers may use to label their products.

Look especially for those companies who openly publish independent testing results to prove that their oils retain additional cannabinoids – as almost always these will be far higher quality extracts. Isolate isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

4) Does THC Content Matter?

THC In CBD Oil

In order to buy CBD oil legally in the UK, it must not contain more than 0.3% THC.

Providing it falls below the legal threshold (which every commercially available extract in the UK will) then there’s no harm in having a little residual THC.

We’re talking levels so small that there’s not the slightest chance of becoming ‘high’ or failing a drugs test. Remember that the body produces small quantities of THC anyway!

Plenty of lower quality manufacturers make a great song and dance over their product containing ‘zero’ THC. As outlined above, that’s not necessarily a good thing and should not be taken as a hallmark for quality. It’s also neigh on impossible to create an oil without a trace amount of THC retained.

Good producers will acknowledge this and be open about it, even if they specialise in isolates.

5) Factor In Marketing Methods

We’ve already touched on this but it’s worth making it perfectly clear that inappropriate labelling usually indicates a substandard product.

Any CBD oil marketed as ‘marijuana’ or cannabis oil is likely very low grade, and quality vendors will always shy away from trying to market their wares as such.

Look instead for operations which maintain a consistent eco-friendly and ‘right-on’ emphasis on the quality of their products.

There’s a growing number of companies who understand that people don’t want to pump themselves full of contaminated oils from substandard plants. Their products are the ones to look towards, and while they will most certainly be more expensive, quality goes a long way.

To an extent, this can also be applied to strengths. Not many people will really need the benefit of the superstrong concentrates that have been launched in recent times.

A good quality CBD oil will be naturally produced with great care, and will likely be far more beneficial than a high strength product.

Final Thoughts

If you follow these five guidelines then it should be quite clear how to source the best quality CBD oil without much risk of being fleeced.

If you’re ever in any doubt, then the best policy is to check directly with the manufacturer and ask them questions about the production of their extracts.

It’s a buyer’s market right now and competition between the best and biggest names is fierce – meaning they also have very good customer service teams in place to answer questions from prospective customers.

Shop around and simply do not settle on second best for a small discount in price.

How To Cook With CBD Oil – Easy Tips & Recipes

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Cooking With CBD Oil

The chances are that when you’re checking out the enormous range of CBD products on the market you may have stumbled across a variety of ‘edibles’. Be they chocolates, sweets, gummies or drinks, you may have noticed they tend to be quite pricey.

So what do you do if you fancy trying out CBD in foods?

The good news for any budding CBD chef is that these oils do lend themselves very well to cooking.

There are a couple of pointers that ought to be carefully observed during the first couple of times, and in this article, we’ll explain these and provide some easy to follow recipes to help you get started.

What Foods Are Best With CBD?

CBD tends to taste very bitter. One of the main issues people have when taking their dose via oil drops happens to be that it isn’t going to win any taste awards of its own!

For this reason, most people look to combine their CBD dose with either sweet tasting base ingredients or fats – with cooking oils (olive, coconut, butter) being perhaps the most common. You may even try to combine your CBD with alcoholic spirits should you be so bold!

Whichever style you choose just take care to mix the selected basic ingredient with the oil before using in a recipe. Allowing for a proper infusion will deliver a more balanced and consistent overall flavour to your dish.

Establishing An Effective Dose

Before explaining some great CBD recipes, we ought to quickly note how much ought to be included within your mixtures.

For single, one-off use be careful to only use as much as you would consume orally in order to prevent unnecessary wastage.

On the other hand, should you be planning to infuse your CBD with olive oil for regular use over a few weeks, you’ll need to ensure that the ratio is appropriate.

Should you decide to make an oil then remember to use the very best quality that your budget can stretch to. Top quality virgin and organic oils are natural preservatives and will prevent your CBD losing any strength.

Combine it carefully in stages (compound, oil, compound, oil, and so on) and shake thoroughly. It’s sensible to give it a day or two of regular repeating shaking just to be certain that the two ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Our Favourite 3 Classic Recipes

After painstaking research and sweating over the stove, we’ve made a shortlist of three straightforward and delicious recipes that combine CBD oil with food.

Where appropriate we’ve also included an example dose but please remember that these are just guideline figures and you may prefer to use more or less.

CBD Green Pesto Recipe

CBD Green Pesto

This is an excellent example of how easy it is to make great quality and highly versatile pesto with a twist.

Consider making a jar’s worth at a time for repeat use as it ought to last for around four weeks when kept refrigerated.

Ideally, this example ought to result in around 300mg of pesto with about 7mg CBD content.

Ingredients:

  • CBD to your preference (5ml of 3% should be plenty)
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 80g spinach
  • 50g parmesan or vegetarian/vegan alternative
  • 150ml top quality olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Warm a pan to a medium temperature and lightly toast the pine nuts until lightly golden.
  2. Place into a food processor with all the other ingredients.
  3. Blend to a fine paste.

Serving Suggestions:

Ideal with pasta and also as a spread for sandwiches, this is also a great base for salads and mezze-style dining.

Feel free to also include additional ingredients such as sun-dried tomato, olives, and seeds.

CBD Brownies

CBD Brownies

Perhaps the all-time most popular infusion recipe, these brownies provide a slightly more decadent way to take your daily dose.

Tip: As with all recipes they can be adapted to personal preferences (half a teaspoon of sea salt flakes for example is a fantastic addition as it will make your brownies taste more chocolatey).

Ingredients:

  • CBD to your preference
  • 185g unsalted full fat butter (room temperature)
  • 185g high cocoa content (70%+) dark chocolate
  • 50mg white chocolate
  • 50mg milk chocolate
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 85g plain flour
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 275g caster sugar (ideally golden)

Method:

  1. Chop the butter into small cubes and place in a bowl alongside the smashed up dark chocolate.
  2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. The steam will melt the chocolate and butter mix.
  3. Cover and leave to cool at room temperature. Pre-heat oven to 180C (Gas Mark 4).
  4. Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment.
  5. Carefully sieve through the combination of flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. No lumps, please!
  6. Combine the eggs with caster sugar and thoroughly mix into a milkshake-style consistency. This may take a few minutes. Add to the parchment lined tin.
  7. Pour over the chocolate mix very gently to try and keep the base ‘airy’ yet well combined with the chocolate.
  8. Lightly scatter the remaining ingredients – chocolate and CBD – (and any additional favourites) to the mix. It may look a little dry but fret not. Fold over repeatedly.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. Inspect the brownie mixture and see if it’s wobbly – if so, return to the oven and check again in a few minutes.
  10. When cooked through, remove and allow to cool. Carve into segments and serve!

Serving Suggestions:

Delicious either ‘as is’ or combined with a nice dollop of ice cream! These will also keep for 3 days or so in an airtight container.

CBD Guacamole

CBD Guacamole

Another very popular option is to make a delicious guacamole dip that pairs perfectly with your CBD.

This smooth paste uses plenty of avocados so make sure you buy these in advance or use ones that have already ripened.

Using more avocado than usual helps to keep this chunky guacamole nice and thick (CBD can often over dilute when used in this kind of recipe).

Ingredients:

  • CBD to your preference
  • 4 pitted & peeled ripe avocados
  • 1 fully crushed and juiced lime
  • 3 tablespoons of finely diced coriander
  • 1 small diced white onion
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 large spoon of premium olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. There’s no need to use a food processor here. Simply mash up the avocado with a fork as thoroughly as possible.
  2. Add the CBD and other ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a fork.
  3. Taste and add a little more lime juice if necessary.

Serving Suggestions:

It’s guacamole! Use in tacos, sandwiches or salads – you name it!

Ideally, keep this stored in the fridge in a suitable container. It ought to last two days at premium quality and three at a stretch.

Combine with diced chilli peppers or garlic for something a little more challenging to the palate.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, these examples will have demonstrated how easy it is to integrate CBD into your day-to-day cooking.

It works best when combined with condiments, but there’s no reason why it cannot also be added to other savoury dishes such as chilli, curry, and soups.

Just be aware that it ought to be paired with other strong flavours. Best of luck!