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Learn about the various types of hemp
You don’t have to go far to find cannabidiol (CBD). CBD hemp oil products are available everywhere ̶ your local pharmacy, grocery, or convenience store, and of course online. All hemp products are not created equal, however. They vary greatly in their form, CBD dosage, absorption, and overall quality. In fact, research has found that many hemp oil products are not labeled accurately and may contain unwanted contaminants. Some don’t include a meaningful dose of CBD, while others may have significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the “high” for which cannabis is known.

Hemp Basics

The term “hemp” can refer to any part of the Cannabis sativa plant. What differentiates hemp from marijuana is THC content. Federal law requires that hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight. Legally, marijuana refers to cannabis that has more than 0.3% THC. Hemp plants naturally contain cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, and others, along with essential oils and terpenes.

Hemp oil products come in many forms. You can find hemp oil supplements in gummy, softgel, or oil form and topicals in the form of lotion, cream, or salve.

Even hemp oil extracts can fall into one of several categories, such as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates:
  • Full-spectrum hemp oil is extracted from hemp with no component removed. This means that the product may contain up to 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum hemp oil is also extracted from hemp with a component (typically THC) removed.
  • CBD isolate products contain CBD only and none of the other naturally occurring compounds from hemp.

CBD Absorption

We all know that oil and water do not mix. That’s why CBD supplements, which are fat-soluble, are not absorbed well in your watery gastrointestinal (GI) system. To be effective, CBD must be absorbed into your bloodstream and reach your endocannabinoid system (ECS).

So how do you increase CBD absorption? One option is to take CBD with fatty foods, which increases absorption, but it delays the time to achieve peak CBD blood levels. Another option is to choose a CBD product made with VESIsorb® colloidal delivery system, which results in faster and better CBD absorption and bioavailability.

What does “non-detectable THC” mean?

You, like many others, may be looking for a hemp oil product that does not contain THC. Whether you get drug tested regularly for your job, or you just don’t want to risk the potential THC “high,” wading through the waters of hemp labeling can be confusing. How do you know whether products really contain THC? Although all hemp products are low in THC, they can legally contain up to 0.3%, meaning up to 3,000 parts per million, or ppm, a term used in chemistry to measure the concentration of a contaminant in something. If you don’t want any THC in your CBD, you want this value to be as low as possible.

When a product claims non-detectable THC content, this should mean that the THC is so low that it cannot be detected in lab tests. However, the sensitivity and standards of lab tests vary, so look for a product that defines what they really mean by non-detectable THC (for example, “<1 ppm”) and that has been independently tested and certified to verify its claim.

Importance of Certification

Independent certification is essential for dietary supplements in general and even more so for hemp products. Studies over the past several years have revealed numerous issues in the hemp industry, including inaccurate labeling of CBD content, adulteration with unwanted contaminants, and detectable levels of THC.

Two independent organizations test and certify hemp products: NSF® International and U.S. Hemp Authority®.

Learn more about hemp CBD product certification and why choosing a certified product is your best assurance of CBD dose accuracy, product purity, and freedom from contaminants.

Learn More About CBD

Article reviewing the basics of CBD, "CBD 101"
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