Buying CBD on a Budget

CBD may be magically awesome, but it sure isn’t magically cheap. If you’re looking for better deals on CBD, you also need to know how to maintain quality in your product search. Below are some tips on how to shop for affordable CBD:

1. Choose the Most Cost Effective Way to Take CBD

You can take CBD in a number of ways:

  • Smoking
  • Vaping
  • Edibles
  • Skin creams
  • Patches
  • Tinctures

However, of all these, sublingual tinctures are by far the most effective and economical choice. That’s because of how our bodies process CBD.

CBD, like other cannabinoids, is a fat-soluble compound. When we ingest CBD as edibles, much of the dose (70% to 80%) passes through our gut without getting absorbed. What does get absorbed takes up to 2 hours to get broken down. CBD is also in wine, beer, seltzer, gummies, and other foods.

Topical creams and balms are effective but hindered by the excellent protective abilities of our skin. The bioavailability — how much gets absorbed — of topical CBD is also much lower than sublingual tinctures, due largely to the fact that skin is pretty awesome at keeping stuff out.

Sublingual transmission is the winner here. The area under our tongues is loaded with fine blood vessels that quickly absorb substances, allowing the CBD to enter your bloodstream and begin working within minutes — all without losing much of the dose.

2. Pay Attention to the Amount of CBD in the Product

In the CBD world, products often cost ⅓ as much because they contain ⅓ as much CBD. Keep close track of how much CBD is actually in the bottle or product when you’re buying. You’ll be able to spot savings by choosing products with a lower cost per milligram of CBD.

3. Use a CBD Calculators

Use a CBD calculator to find out how much CBD you should rake for your height and weight. 

4. Choose Broad- or Full-Spectrum CBD When You Can

CBD can be sold as an isolate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum.

An isolate is CBD on its own, with no other compounds in the product whatsoever. Broad-spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids, though it has still been processed to remove THC (the compound that makes you high). Full-spectrum CBD has been minimally processed and will contain the full profile of cannabinoids present in the plant. This may include THC higher than 0.3%, the legal upper limit to classify as a non-intoxicant.

So why choose broad- or full-spectrum CBD?

Research suggests that CBD works best when it has other cannabinoids present as well. That means that if you’re using CBD to help with anxiety, a CBD isolate will likely be less effective than a broad- or full-spectrum product, even if they contain the same amount of CBD. This is called the “entourage effect.”

5. Don’t Skimp on Quality

CBD may be legal, but it’s still the Wild West in the world of cannabis in many ways. The FDA does not offer any sort of testing for cannabis products at this time, meaning companies are not always accountable for the quality and purity of what they sell.

Look for products that are grown in the USA. States like Colorado and Oregon have well-established growing histories, and in Colorado, the government even spot-tests hemp plants while they’re still growing in the field to check for pesticides and test THC levels. Products grown overseas are not required to pass any type of scrutiny on the state or federal level.

Choose products that have been third-party lab tested. This means an independent research body has tested and verified the purity and concentration of CBD in the product.

Products should contain a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that shows how they performed under testing. If a manufacturer doesn’t have a COA or doesn’t want to share it, move on.

6. Shop Around

The most obvious tip is still the most important one. If you only shop from one source, you’re doing yourself a disservice — look around for the best deals on CBD products. Producers are selling from many different corners of the country and frequently have deals.

By shopping in higher quantities at certain times of the year, you’ll be able to land a much better deal on cheap CBD than if you restrict yourself to one vendor or seller. Just make sure to put each new product through the same level of scrutiny!

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