When shopping for hemp products, you obviously want to buy a product that actually has the CBD it is supposed to have inside of it. Many people like to buy CBD capsules, CBD tinctures, and CBD gummies. While there are variations between different brands, the product’s form can also impact how much CBD it actually contains. In addition, the bioavailability of CBD varies between different product types. By learning more about a product’s tested level of CBD, you can make sure that your purchase does what it is supposed to do.
Choosing Between Pills, Tinctures, Topicals and Gummies
If you are searching for the best CBD quality, it is important to find a company that uses a third-party laboratory to test the product. Otherwise, your product may contain significantly more or drastically less CBD than you expected. At Real Tested CBD, we have found that tinctures tend to have the widest variation in CBD levels.
When we tested tinctures, the results were all over the place. Compared to the label’s stated amount of CBD, tinctures had the widest range in value. Some tinctures had an extra 1,000 milligrams of CBD in each bottle, and other tinctures had the opposite problem.
Meanwhile, CBD gummies and food items seemed to do better when it came to accuracy. For whatever reason, gummies and food products were fairly close to the amount of CBD they listed on the product label. In addition, gummies and food items have lower failure rates when we tested them for pesticides. Presumably, this difference in pesticide levels was due to the fact that the food items were baked in an oven. This baking process may have baked away any residual pesticides.
The Bioavailability of CBD Products
The right CBD product depends on what you are looking for. Other than making sure that the product contains the amount of CBD it is supposed to, you also need to consider the product’s bioavailability. The bioavailability basically refers to how much CBD can actually be absorbed from any given product. While you may take a 10-milligram dose of CBD, your body may only absorb as little as 13 percent of the entire dose.
Obviously, you may get better value for your investment if you pick a CBD product that has better bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to how much CBD is absorbed by your bloodstream. When more CBD is absorbed by your body, it causes a more potent effect.
If you swallow your CBD dose, your body must digest it in your liver before the CBD can make its way into your bloodstream. This is the main reason why CBD gummies and capsules have a lower bioavailability than tinctures. With a tincture, some of the CBD absorbs immediately under your tongue.
When you ingest CBD, the bioavailability is around 13 to 19 percent. If you use a tincture underneath your tongue, the bioavailability increases to 20 to 30 percent. To maximize this effect, try holding the tincture underneath your tongue for at least 20 seconds so that it has a better chance to absorb it into your body.
If you eat or drink CBD, the CBD has to be absorbed by the digestive system and metabolized by the liver. Then, it can finally reach the bloodstream. Because of this, the onset time for ingested CBD is generally around three to four hours. If you take cannabis oil orally, it can take 30 to 90 minutes to take effect. Once it takes effect, the effects may last for four hours or more.
CBD topicals can also end up in your bloodstream, but the mechanism involved is different. With topicals, the onset time is around 0 to 15 minutes. After you use them, they generally last for one to two hours. Since they are applied in a localized area, the effect tends to be limited to the location where you applied the product at.
Which Products Were the Most Accurate?
In our tests, we saw a variety of different capsules, tinctures, oils, topicals, and gummies. While some had levels of CBD that were higher than the label suggested, other products had much less CBD than they were supposed to have. For each kind of edible, we look at which products had the highest and lowest levels of CBD compared to their label. Then, we also include one average product that includes exactly what it says it does.
CBD Capsules & Pills
- Highest: CBD Essence Hemp Phyto-Cannabinoid Capsules
- Normal: Joy Organics Premium Hemp Softgels
- Lowest: CBDMD Premium CBD Oil 1500 Mg Capsules
CBD Tinctures and Oils
- Highest: Vena CBD Tincture
- Normal: Kat’s Naturals Organic CBD Relax
- Lowest: GLO 1500 Mg Hemp Organic Full Spectrum
Topicals, Creams and Salves
- Highest: Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter
- Normal: Lord Jones Stiletto Cream 200 Mg CBD and the Receptra Targeted Topical
If you want the best value for your money, Vena CBD Tincture includes 4,160.54 milligrams of CBD in a package that is only supposed to contain 3,000 milligrams. Meanwhile, the worst value for your money is GLO 1500 Mg Hemp Organic. This product says that it has 1,500 milligrams in each package, but it actually contains 311.11 milligrams. This means that it only contains 20.7 percent of the CBD you are paying for.
There were some products that were almost exactly perfect. The Lord Jones Stiletto Cream advertises that it has 200 milligrams, and it actually has 206.8 milligrams. The Receptra Targeted Topical contains 401.695 milligrams, which is close to the advertised 400 milligrams. Unfortunately, Receptra’s product failed the pesticide test, so it is not a recommended option for consumers.
For gummies, the CBD Froggies were closest to the amount advertised on the bottle. The label says that there are 100 milligrams of CBD in the gummies. In reality, there are actually 116.75 milligrams of CBD. Meanwhile, the capsules from Joy Organics had 756.11 milligrams in a container labeled 750 milligrams. If you are interested in drinking your CBD, the CBD American Shaman Sparkling Watermelon Juice is a good juice. The package advertises 40 milligrams of CBD, and it actually contains 46.78 milligrams of CBD.