How Do I Buy CBD?
With the recent boom of popularity, cannabidiol (CBD) has been popping up in markets all over the country and abroad. From the world of wellness influencers to boutique cafes, to online stores and brick and mortar CBD companies, there is no doubt that CBD is commandeering the attention of many. The broad range of applications of CBD draw a large audience – with some people using it to advance their overall wellness, while others use it to manage chronic pain from an injury or ailment.
As the hype around CBD continues to grow, many questions are being asked about which CBD products are reputable versus those that could be a “knock-off.” Many consumers are looking for some degree of guidance or regulatory remarks to inform them that the products they are searching for are safe and reliable. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued little guidance or remarks about CBD products – leaving consumers to their own devices when buying them.
One of the first questions that a prospective buyer may have about CBD is, quite simply: Where and how can I buy CBD? Between the online shopping trend and wellness stores that specialize in homeopathic remedies, many CBD brands are available in a multitude of places.
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Buying online by one brand
As with many things in life – once people find something they like, they stick to it. If you have had the chance to use CBD before, either by way of a friend or on your own, you may have identified one particular brand whose products work well for you! Even if you haven’t used CBD before, chances are that you have heard other people talking about it. Some people may rave about its anti-anxiety effects, while others may use it to manage a nagging or chronic pain. Regardless of the why behind why people use CBD, there are certain products that people prefer and, as a result, stay true to buying from those brands over and over again.
Buying CBD online – things to be aware of
If you choose to buy CBD by the brand, you can very easily search for them online and browse through their variety of options. Most CBD companies today bear a strong online presence, with discounts, shipping (nationally and internationally), bundling options and so much more. In this age where the internet has everything going for it – CBD companies haven’t missed that train!
Most websites, like any other online shopping page, can be organized by product and will have a lot of useful information in the product descriptions. We also do our best to review CBD companies and their products in order to give you all the information you need.
Included in our reviews and most CBD company product pages are lab-testing results, also known as certificates of analysis. The CBD products available for purchase should be tested by an independent, third-party lab, so as to guarantee that there is no false reporting or bias in the lab test results. On these certificates, a consumer can see what chemical compounds are in the products they are looking to buy. For example, there should be a breakdown of which cannabinoids are detected in a lab result. For CBD products, you could expect to see cannabidiol, maybe THC if the product is advertised as having detectable levels of it, Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA), Cannabinol (CBN), etc. There should also be an analysis of harmful chemicals and pesticides on these reports, which will help consumers determine the farming practices of the company they may buy a product from. We highly advise doing research on the products you plan to buy and taking the time to read through the certificate of analysis for that specific item.
As with any online purchase, making sure a product is safe, is exactly what you’re looking for as a consumer, and is reviewed positively are important steps when buying CBD online for the first time. If you’re buying by brand online, make sure you review the brand overall and see if you align with what they stand for. For example, if a company is committed to environmentally friendly farming practices, perhaps you choose to buy your products from them over a seemingly comparable company who does not emphasize environmentally-friendly practices. Customer reviews on specific products from your peers are also a great way to determine which products you may like for similar or different reasons! It’s always a good idea to check out how other customers online have felt using one particular brand of products.
Does my favorite brand sell CBD in stores near me?
Not into online shopping? The good news is, if you do have a favorite brand and want to travel somewhere to go pick it up, you can still use the internet to figure out if that’s possible.
Many online retailers have not established sales yet in online stores. This is probably due to the fact that the overall trend in consumer marketing shows that online sales are the way to go, but it could also be due to the legal parameters of CBD products, which vary state-by-state.
If a specific CBD company does sell their products in physical store locations, they will probably advertise it! We’ve seen companies with a “find a store near me” link on their websites, which allows you to enter your residential zip code and find the nearest location where you can buy their products. So, if you’re dead-set on buying a product in person, your search should probably start with the internet anyways.
Buying in stores
As with many things in life – if you’re not sure about something – ASK! The same logic applies to buying CBD at a retail location. First and foremost, our guidance on locating a specific brand in a store near you still stands. Their brick and mortar retail locators are the best chance at finding a store within a suitable distance that will carry the product you are looking for.
As previously mentioned, while many stores are beginning to carry CBD products, the differences from state to state will vary significantly based on their own CBD regulations. For example, in Texas, CBD products must contain 0% THC as determined by a lab test in order to be considered legal, whereas in Massachusetts, CBD products containing under 0.3% THC can be bought and sold.
You are more likely to find yourself in a small, bougie cafe with CBD available for purchase at the counter than you are to find it at a Walmart or supplement store that you frequent. With little to no guidance from the FDA or any other federal agency on the parameters of selling CBD products, it makes sense that many mainstream chain stores are avoiding the conquest altogether.
While there are some exceptions to this assumption, most people would prefer not to make a trip to a store where there is actually no CBD available to be bought. If you can’t find your answer on the internet but are wondering if a store that is in your vicinity carries the products, we recommend that you call the store and ask if they carry CBD products. It may seem old-fashioned, but it is a sure fire way to make sure that the store you’re planning to visit has some CBD products for you to look at and potentially buy.
When you’re buying CBD products in stores, the likelihood of seeing or having access to a certificate of analysis may be lower as compared to buying CBD online. If you buy a product in-person from a CVS chain, a GNC store, a gas station in Pennsylvania, etc., we recommend that you visit the company’s webpage before using it and reading through the lab test results. If it is not readily available, you can request it from the company through their contact forms. Similarly, if you buy CBD in a store and the label on the product has no clear dosing guidelines, take a peek at the company’s website to verify how much you should take and how often!
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I Bought CBD – Now What?
Regardless of if you have bought CBD online or from a store near you, the next step remains consistent – always speak with your doctor before trying a new supplement, even if it means just a simple phone call to their office to speak with a nurse or physician’s assistant. While it may not occur to you upfront, a CBD product that you have purchased may interact negatively with another medication you are currently taking and could result in an adverse outcome.