CBD is the latest hot button topic in the health and wellness sphere. With more states implementing cannabis-friendly legislation, the hemp industry continues to grow at an exponential rate. While this is excellent news for the field as a whole, it can also lead to consumer overwhelm when it comes to navigating the hemp product marketplace. Whether you’re a brand new CBD user, or a longtime devotee, our fool-proof guide will help you decipher if your full spectrum hemp oil is everything it claims to be.

Third Party Testing

The biggest factor that separates a good quality CBD brand from the pack is transparency. Any reputable manufacturer will always include a certificate of analysis from a third party testing lab. Independent testing labs run their products through a rigorous testing protocol to confirm CBD concentration, and ensure that there are no traces of heavy metals, mycotoxins and pesticides in the product. Third party testing sites help to provide consumers with peace of mind and reassurance that there isn’t anything in their product that hasn’t been clearly published on the label.

CBD Potency

Different brands of full spectrum hemp oil include varying amounts of CBD concentration per milligram. While there’s no standard definition of what is considered to be “strong” CBD, the more potent a hemp product is, the better effects it will have on a consumer. A general range to look for in a high quality CBD tincture is a concentration of at least 50 milligrams (mg) of CBD per 1-milliliter (mL) serving. 

Clean Ingredients

CBD should be kept as close to “pure” as possible in order to maintain its maximum bioavailability. Most full spectrum hemp tinctures include a carrier oil like MCT (coconut) oil, grapeseed oil, or cold-pressed hemp seed oil to stabilize and preserve the CBD and help your body absorb it. A trustworthy CBD oil will never use artificial ingredients, pesticides, or fillers in its products. A good common practice when buying CBD is to check the product’s certificate of analysis (usually found on the company’s website) to ensure that it contains only clean ingredients; bonus points if they’re also organic.


When it comes to CBD, organic is always better. This rule of thumb is not only the environmentally responsible choice, but it also helps to ensure that your product (and the hemp it was derived from) does not contain any harmful chemicals or pesticides. To learn more about why organic CBD is better for you and the environment, check out our blog post comparing Organic vs. Non-Organic CBD here.

Taste, Smell and Color

Different hemp strains contain varying flavor profiles (otherwise known as terpenes). And look , even if it is blended with a naturally-derived essential fruit or herb oil. If your CBD tastes artificial or has a plastic aftertaste, it’s likely time to search for a new brand. Depending on the type of product, hemp oil can range in hue from dark or light green, to yellow, brown, or even black. Filtered CBD tincture contains the highest CBD concentration, as it undergoes a process to eliminate plant compounds like chlorophyll and lipids. For this reason, filtered CBD has a distinctly golden brown shade.