With the growing popularity, we can now buy CBD products in India easily. But even though you might know of all its benefits, you shouldn’t just buy the first product you see.
No two CBD products are the same nor do they have a similar effect. So, it is really essential for you to research thoroughly before settling on a product.
In this article, we look at the 20 most important questions you should ask yourself before buying CBD products of any kind, both offline and online.
Why am I using CBD?
Before you buy a CBD product in India, it is important for you to determine the purpose behind your purchase.
Ask yourself whether you want to buy CBD products simply because you are curious or because you want to deal with some serious illness or medical condition? Once, you are familiar with your reasons, you can choose the most suitable CBD product for yourself.
Suppose you are looking for a CBD product to provide you with pain relief. While tinctures will work just fine, you can also explore the options of topical products such as balms and creams.
If you are looking for a product to deal with stress or anxiety, then tinctures are your best option. They are pure, concentrated, and quick to leave an effect.
Whereas, if you are just curious to experience the effects of CBD on your overall life, then you may opt for oil drops, capsules, or edibles. These products are easy to use, safe to consume, and very convenient for monitoring.
When you are clear with your purpose of trying a CBD product, it’s really easy to narrow down the products to research and thus make an informed decision.
On the basis of that, you can also determine whether you want to use a full- or broad-spectrum extract or an isolate, what dosage to begin with, how much dosage to rise to, what form of CBD to buy etc.
Where is my CBD coming from?
Who in India is manufacturing the CBD I’ll buy? Who are and where is the plant that is giving out my CBD, growing?
Is it within a legal framework? Is the manufacturer meeting the quality and quantity guidelines for cannabinoids? Is something else being added to my product? What are the methods being used to extract my CBD?
Now, these are some basic questions that you need to ask yourself before you decide to buy a CBD product. Even a small variation in the cannabinoid percentage or quality of the strains can largely change the effects of the product.
Ideally, the label of the product should give you just enough information that answers all these questions.
There should be a clear mention of the type of extract, the list of ingredients, source plant, the strength, directions for use, etc.
If some or any information is missing, then you should consider talking to the sellers about the product and get all your queries answered.
Can I trust the people who are bringing it to me?
The answer to this question involves two dimensions—manufacturers and sellers.
With the manufacturers, you should do your homework. Find out from where they are sourcing their CBD from, the kind of cultivation and extraction practices they are using, and whether or not they are open and transparent about their products.
Research about their background. This would establish the authenticity before you buy the CBD products in India.
Since CBD is still gaining its popularity and trust among the masses, the guidelines and education around it are still unclear and fuzzy. It is absolutely possible to find false or mislabelled products out there.
When it comes to sellers, it is pretty easy to buy CBD directly from retail and medical stores. You have direct contact with the seller and make your decision based on that interaction. But when you set out to buy CBD products online, you might have to be a bit careful.
- Does the platform look reliable to you?
- What is their product variety like?
- Do they know what they’re talking about?
- What is their customer service like?
- How much are they willing to assist you with your queries?
- Are they providing enough information about the products?
- Is there something fishy in their conversation?
Answers to such questions can help you set up the credibility of the online platforms. Clear communication with them will help you clear all your doubts and will gain your trust for the platform.
Can they help me choose a product?
With products like CBD, there is too much information out there with no proper structure. The information is scattered and everything is new, so you need to ensure to partner up with people you can trust; people who know CBD.
Before you buy CBD from a seller in India, think if they’re willing to assist you with choosing a product? Are they patiently listening and solving all your queries? Can they give concrete reasons for choosing one product over another? Are they confident while making such recommendations?
If someone is selling you a CBD product, then he/she must have enough knowledge about CBD to help you make an informed decision.
What type of CBD am I buying?
Since CBD is a wellness product, it is really important to check the label. The type of CBD you decide to buy will further decide things such as the frequency of use, dosage, interference with other medication, and the possibility of any side-effects.
Before you buy a CBD product, you must familiarize yourself with the three types of CBD. In India, isolates are the most common followed by full-spectrum extracts.
- Full-spectrum: it is a whole-plant extract that contains not just CBD but also other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and chemical compounds present in the cannabis plant. This means there will always be some amount of THC present in full-spectrum CBD. While you get an enhanced benefit of all cannabinoids, there may be some psychoactive effects as well.
- Broad-spectrum: it is an extract of cannabis that contains CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other chemical compounds present in the cannabis plant but specifically no THC. This will also offer the enhanced benefits of all cannabinoids but with no psychoactive effects whatsoever.
- Isolate: this extract contains only and only CBD. This extract is often considered the purest and the most concentrated form of CBD. It contains no other cannabinoids or chemical compounds originally present in the source plant.
It is really important for you to understand the type of CBD you are going to buy before you actually buy it, especially in India where the market is still growing.
This will help you to prepare for the effects you would experience after using the CBD product. Suppose you are buying a whole-plant, then you have to be prepared for the effects (and possible side-effects) of not only CBD but also the other cannabinoids as well.
The type of CBD also determines your dosage. If you are using a full-spectrum extract, then you may have to ingest higher doses than an isolate. This, in turn, will determine the frequency of use.
Does this product contain CBD oil, hemp oil, or hemp seed oil?
Now that you are aware of the distinction between three types of CBD, there is one more distinction you must understand.
Know if you’re about to buy CBD oil, hemp oil, and hemp seed oil is an important one. This is important because the industry in India uses these terms interchangeably, but in fact, they have different meanings and extraction processes.
CBD oil comes particularly from the flowers, leaves, and buds of the hemp plant. This oil is made with the purpose to contain high amounts of CBD so as to grab most benefits of CBD.
On the other hand, hemp oil refers to the oil extracted from the entire hemp plant. In a way, hemp oil is actually a whole-plant extract. This oil will also contain CBD, but in a lower percentage as compared to CBD oil. The purpose of this oil is a more general sense of well-being.
Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. The other parts of the plant are not used in the extraction process here. Hemp seed oil might contain some amount of CBD but it will be considerably less. The main use of this oil is as a cooking and skincare supplement because of its high nutritional value and benefits of hemp seeds.
It is important for you to know these differences as it will help you understand what product you’re using and how to use it.
How much CBD does this product contain?
Now that you know the type of product you want, you might be interested to know the amount of CBD actually present in the product. Now, this is where things might get tricky depending on the type of product you’re buying.
Tinctures: tinctures usually come in a glass bottle with a built-in dropper. You need to look for the label that mentions the quantity and strength of the product.
Say you got a 10-mL bottle says that the bottle contains 1,000 mg of CBD. Here, 10ml is the quantity of the whole bottle and 1000mg is the strength. That means, there is 1000mg of CBD in 10ml of this tincture.
Edibles: edibles come in packets that you can find them at stores. Here you’ll need to look for the quantity and amount of CBD of the whole pack.
For instance, a pack of 20 CBD gummies contains 500mg of CBD per gummy. Here, 20 is the number of gummies you will find in the pack and a total of 500mg of CBD is the collective CBD that they all contain.
Topicals: Topical CBD products contain a number of other ingredients in addition to CBD oil. Here, you need to check both the quantity and amount of CBD of the product.
For instance, a 30mL pack of face oil contains 100mg of CBD. Here 30mL is the quantity of the oil and 100mg is the amount of CBD it contains.
How much CBD will each serving have?
The next thing to know is how much CBD you will be consuming in each serving. This will help you to decide the frequency and the number of servings you need to take throughout the day.
- Tinctures: The built-in dropper in tinctures usually has a baseline serving of 1ml. So, if you have a 10ml bottle of 1000mg CBD with 1ml as the base serving size, each serving will contain 1000/10=1mg of CBD.
If your ideal dosage is 5mg CBD twice a day, you’ll have to fill the dropper 5 times in the morning and 5 times in the evening.
- Edibles: In edibles, measuring CBD dosage is fairly simple. If you have a pack of 20 gummies with 500mg of CBD, each gummy contains 500/20=25mg of CBD.
If your dosage is 50mg CBD twice a day, you need to eat 2 gummies in the morning and 2 in the night.
- Topicals: the concept of CBD dosage does not really apply in the case of topicals. This is because the use of topical products is not quantity-consistent. However, if you would still like to, you can apply the same formula. If a 30mL pack contains 100mg of CBD, then one serving will have 30/100=0.3mg of CBD.
What else is in the product?
Some of the CBD products you buy in India will contain other ingredients in addition to CBD as well. This is especially true in the case of oils, edibles, and topicals.
However, this is not the case with tinctures. Often tinctures are concentrated forms of CBD so they do not contain any other ingredients.
But tinctures come in all three forms, i.e, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and an isolate and you might want to check that. In isolates, there will only be CBD, unless otherwise stated on the label.
However, in full- and broad-spectrum extracts, the tincture will have other cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant.
It is essential that you look at the list of cannabinoids and terpenes that the extract contains, checking for possible allergies and side-effects.
In the case of edibles, even though CBD oil is the prime ingredient, there are other ingredients as well. These can be flavours, colours, added sugars, and preservatives. Here too, scan the list of ingredients to check for any potential allergens.
When purchasing oils and topicals, look for the carrier oil that is present, if any. CBD oil is generally safe and allergens-free but the carrier oil may cause allergies.
Does my product contain THC?
It is legal to buy low-THC CBD products in India. The presence of THC is important for two reasons.
First, there may be some kind of legal restrictions in your area. Few places allow the medicinal use of THC, others have strictly prohibited its use, whereas some places are unclear on their policy regarding cannabis. However, to be on a safer side, you should know about the legal aspects of THC to avoid any complications.
Second, there are sensitivity and psychoactive effects attached to THC. Say, you are using a full-spectrum extract, then you may be up for a bit of cannabis high even though the level of THC is low. There is every possibility that it can induce psychoactive effects.
Also, you may be THC-sensitive. So you may experience side-effects like headache, nausea, and feelings of sedation which otherwise may not occur. In such a case, you can consider a broad-spectrum or an isolate extract.
Are the labels clear and accurate?
The labels matter a lot. A good product label should be able to give all the information related to the product that a consumer needs to know.
When you’re out to buy CBD in India i.e. online, the label should give information such as the type of extract, strength, whether it is third-party lab tested or not, other ingredients, possible drug interactions, and any other warnings.
Ideally, in addition to an informative label, there should be an instructional manual that briefly explains how to use the product. This is crucial because no two products are the same and the usage may differ according to the manufacturers.
Is it third-party tested?
Most of the products say that they are lab-tested but a 3rd party lab test adds extra authenticity and reliability to the product.
If a product has been tested by a third-party lab, then the seller platform should have reports available.
If the reports are not there, then whoever you are interacting with should be able to provide some concrete and conclusive arguments about its authenticity.
There are very few labs in India that test and certify CBD products as safe to buy. Therefore, you must absolutely check lab-reports.
Do I care about the taste and smell?
CBD products offer a great variety of benefits but there are many people who are not so big fans of their strong taste and odour. Though a recent trend, the taste and odour of CBD products are now becoming important criteria in their selection.
The most common flavours of CBD products that you can buy in India are vanilla, lime, and peppermint.
In full- and broad-spectrum extracts, different varieties of cannabinoids and terpenes are present, so they can have a pungently strong taste and smell. As opposed to this, isolates are typically devoid of any taste and odour.
Nevertheless, flavoured options are also available, for both cases, so this makes consumption of tinctures a little easier.
How can I use this product?
So there are at least 2 ways to use every CBD product. You must be aware of not only both the ways but also know the ways in which you can modify the addition of CBD in your life.
For example, edibles are supposed to be consumed directly, but there is no harm in crushing them and sprinkling them on top of your salads or desserts. Similarly, even though tinctures are meant for sublingual consumption, you can also just add them to your foods and beverages.
Since there are numerous ways to consume CBD products, it is important for you to know the different ways in which you can use the particular product you’reconsidering to buy.
It’s important because some products contain certain ingredients that might not support your desired form of consumption. Some ingredients might not support heat and therefore adding them to your food might not be such a good idea.
Do I want fast effects or long-term effects?
This question can be considered as an extension of the first question. Once, you know why you are using CBD, it is important to determine whether you are looking for fast, almost immediate relief or more long-term effects.
For immediate relief, sublingual consumption of tinctures is your answer. They get absorbed quickly and directly enter the bloodstream providing an almost immediate effect.
However, if you are looking for products that offer long-term benefits and a more generalised sense of well-being then you can try different products. These include edibles, especially tea and supplements, and topical products such as creams.
What kind of effects shall I look out for?
The next question you could ask yourself is what attracts you the most in a CBD product. Whether you are looking to use it for a particular condition or you are just curious, there will be some property that you’re most interested in.
In India, for instance, the majority of the users buy CBD as a supplement to manage pain and depression.
Do the appropriate research before trying a product so you know the kind of effects you should be experiencing.
Say, you are using a topical product for joint pain, then you will experience a localised effect, visible in the areas you apply the product to. However, if you take tinctures for the same purpose, they will not only provide relief from pain but will also provide other wholesome benefits such as a sense of calm and relaxation.
It is really important that you know the expected effects of the CBD products you are taking. This would help in case of some allergy or a side effect.
What side-effects might it cause?
CBD is generally considered safe for use. But its effects differ from person to person and just like every other drug, it may cause some side-effects in the body.
These side-effects may include, dry mouth, headache, nausea, and diarrhoea. Overconsumption of CBD may also cause feelings of drowsiness and sedation.
Do I want to travel with my CBD?
The next question to ask yourself is if you’ll be travelling with your CBD. The factors to be accounted for here are legality and acceptance of the type of product.
Within India, there are no clear dos and don’ts about the CBD products you can buy and travel with. However, to and from and outside India, some regions allow products with THC content less than 0.3%, whereas in some regions it is strictly prohibited. There are many places that find themselves unclear on their stand and may hold you in contempt.
This doesn’t end here. You also have to know what type of CBD product, if legal, is acceptable. Some places allow the use and carriage of CBD but only in solid form. That means that you can use/carry edibles with you but may not be able to take tinctures.
If you are travelling by air, the airlines might not allow you to carry a liquid. In that case, tinctures and oils both are out of the way.
How will CBD interfere with my other medication?
CBD has numerous therapeutic benefits on the human body but the research about the subject is still insufficient. Scientists and researchers do not have enough data about the interaction between CBD and other commonly used drugs.
In the human body, the enzyme CYP450 metabolises CBD and other drugs such as antidepressants and antibiotics. So, it is possible that these may interact and interfere with each other’s workings.
It is always best to do your research before buying a CBD product. Also, it would be best to consult your health care professional and discuss CBD, before starting to use a product.
Can I overconsume CBD?
It is not possible for someone to overdose on CBD. However, overconsumption is a possibility. There have been no known cases of any fatality due to overdosage of CBD. But, there may be some side-effects such as drowsiness and feelings of sedation.
CBD can work like magic on a human body but, it is of utmost importance that we identify an ideal dosage for ourselves and not get hooked on CBD for a long period of time. Even though CBD is like an elixir for the human body, it still holds some secrets which the scientists are trying to find. Research is still ongoing to know more about its effects. Till then, let’s contain our excitement and use the product mindfully.