Name a product, and you’ll probably find a version infused with Cannabidiol (CBD). Lotions, drink mixes, capsules, face serums, even bath bombs — the sky’s the limit when it comes to your CBD product options.
In a world where CBD-infused pillows and bracelets exist, separating fact from fiction can be time-consuming and somewhat exhausting. Here, we’ll guide you through the maze of CBD product types available and how to evaluate a product for quality and potency.
The basics: What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than (at least) 100 compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, including hemp. This compound binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is believed to play a role in maintaining homeostasis in all mammals.* At least two types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, interact with cannabinoids.* CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the brain, GI system, and immune system, among other places.*
What types of CBD are there?
In its original form, hemp extract is a mirror image of its source plant, containing the same ratio of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as they appear in the hemp pre-extraction. Post-extraction treatments remove select compounds to further refine and extract select cannabinoids. There are three main types of these CBD extracts:
1) Full spectrum: This is the original, unfiltered hemp extract, with no cannabinoids, terpenes, lipids, flavonoids, or any other compound removed. This even includes trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which appears naturally in industrial hemp at levels that do not exceed 0.3%.
2) Broad spectrum: This extract preserves all the CBD plus minor cannabinoids, terpenes, fats, polyphenols, sterols, and other plant materials, with one major exception: THC. This process aims to remove the tiny traces of THC.
A note on full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp extracts: These two extracts are highly sought after because of a theory called the entourage effect. Proposed in 1998 by Professors Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat, the entourage effect states that major cannabinoids, minor cannabinoids, and related molecules work synergistically to increase the activity of the major cannabinoid. At Prima, all our products are formulated with broad spectrum hemp extract based off of our understanding of the science for maximum efficacy.
3) Isolate: This extract type completely removes all substances from the extract that aren’t cannabidiol. The final product is a fine powder that contains approximately 99 percent CBD.
What CBD products are available?
- Topicals: You’ll find a lot of options in this broad category, including lotions, body butters, roll-ons, and CBD-infused beauty and personal care products. These products are beloved additions to self-care routines. Many of these items have other complementary ingredients, like hemp seed oil or menthol.
- Drink mixes: Our CBD powder blends dissolve smoothly and seamlessly into a morning cup of coffee or bedtime tea. Single-serve packets make it easy to add CBD to any drink.
- Capsules: CBD capsules simplify the measuring required of other hemp extract products. Each capsule, typically a softgel, contains a precise amount of CBD as indicated on the label. While many capsules contain animal gelatin, our capsules at Prima are a proud part of our fully-vegan product line.
- Tinctures: Tinctures blend hemp extract with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or olive oil. Each bottle contains a dropper top to measure and dispense the CBD.
- Edibles: From the sweet to the savory, hemp extract-infused edibles are only limited by the imagination. Some classic CBD edibles include gummies, cookies, and brownies, and there is a growing interest in unique recipes like gluten-free bites or vegan eats.
What you need to know before you buy CBD products
Now that you know what CBD is, the difference between hemp extract types, and which products you can buy, it’s time to select a brand that you trust. Look for a brand that adheres to the strictest standards available -- and isn’t shy about doing so.
Consider these factors before adding a product to your cart:
- Source: Where does the CBD come from? Where is the industrial hemp grown, how is it grown, and where is it processed? Our CBD comes from a single origin genetics cultivated on family farms in Oregon, where quality control begins with the very soil in which we plant our proprietary hemp plants.
- Extraction method: Some extraction methods use harsh solvents such as butane or ethanol to draw CBD out of the plant material. Look for a CBD brand that utilizes alternative extraction methods, such as supercritical CO2 extraction, to draw the cannabinoid content from the industrial hemp. At Prima, we only use alcohol-free supercritical CO2 extraction methods, which avoids unnecessary processing to remove harsh alcohol solvents.
- Testing and results: Seek out as much information as you can about the product you’re buying. At Prima, our products are thoroughly tested at multiple stages of the manufacturing process, testing raw materials and the final product alike. And it’s not just the cannabinoid content that we confirm – we also test for allergens, toxins, and more, according to the highest standards set out for consumer goods.
How much CBD should you take?
Each person’s experience with CBD is different, and preferences for a certain product type, formulation, or amount of CBD can vary from person to person. When it comes time to figure out how much CBD to take, it is best to consult a medical professional.
Selecting the best CBD type for you
You want to make sure that the CBD type you take home is the right one for you. Our guide to CBD types helps you familiarize yourself with the available options and how to evaluate each one. Whether you choose a bath gem, an intensive facial oil, or an ultra-rich body butter, there’s no wrong answer. Simply try the product that best fits your goals and lifestyle.