This summer, I was a hot mess with my mental health. Though I was finally off a 3-month waiting list for therapy, anxiety and depression had consumed me and I wasn’t sure of a solution. Though I’ve dabbled with cannabis, it was for pleasure purposes only (and I was prone to collapsing into an ill-placed nap after imbibing).
I had never heard of CBD by itself, but as my mental state gradually destabilized and my therapist kept pushing me to get on medication, I figured Google could help. Truthfully, I was searching for a black-market online site to buy weed since I didn’t have a medical card in Maryland, but instead I ended up finding CBD oil retailer sites with tons of different brands and forms, and the rest is history.
If you’re in a similar place, you’ve likely stumbled upon CBD as a potential supplement, but as with most things in a consumerist world, the options are somewhat stupefying. And if you’re an anxiety-prone type like me, you’re not sure about what you’re looking for.
Fear not! Below, check out my clarifying tips for finding high-quality and truthful CBD products.
Where to begin? CBD oil exclusive websites
CBD can get quite expensive over time, and who has all the time in the world to figure out which brand site to order directly? Sure, you’ll come across lists like these that give you a breakdown of the best CBD oils—or others—for your ailment, but each of those sites are devoted to their brands exclusively.
How can you compare? What if you want to try multiple brands at once?
If you already have a favorite brand, but they don’t offer vape oil or starter sets with vaporizers, large sites enable you to combine all your needs and experiment with new brands and CBD forms (edibles, wax, for example).
Check out the CBD dedicated sites below for a variety of offerings:
Should you trust large consumer marketplaces?
But what about larger sites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy? The truth is that yes, you can get CBD on some of these sites. In the case of Amazon and Etsy, it may be listed under “hemp extract” or “hemp oil.” There are CBD sellers on eBay, but overall, I wouldn’t bother ordering from these sites. They can simply get away with too much—including claims that could be hard to fact check.
Who wants to put in all the work of determining that you’re getting what you’re paying for? Only consider CBD items that have enough positive reviews or ratings that you can trust.
Is educational information about CBD oil available?
Educating consumers is a sure-fire way of knowing how to trust a company. Especially if they are willingly giving in-depth information to ensure the best experience—instead of prattling on about their brand or shoving a product down your throat.
A helpful site almost always answers specific questions about CBD oil, be it about dosage, how much you should order, or suggestions on how to use multiple forms of the products in your daily routine. You are always a priority, and this proves you matter more than quick profits. So keep an eye on blog pages, FAQs, and other informative sections of CBD websites.
A low-key way in which companies instill trust is by allowing a variety of reviews and responding to them. Access to information is important for navigating a CBD oil e-commerce page, so being able to read reviews gives you a window into what your experiences may be like.
For example, when my mental state was completely out of whack because of anxiety, the quickest choice for me about buying a vaporizer was a kit with the highest rating. I knew absolutely nothing about vaporizers or how much CBD content I needed in cartridges. I just knew I needed something fast and effective for relief.
I am prone to trusting the experiences of customers. If you take the time to write a review (other than the company offering you discounts), it shows how positive or negative the product truly is.
How much THC does the product contain?
In order to meet the defining qualifications of hemp, CBD products sold online must contain less than 0.3% THC. With only trace levels of THC, you shouldn’t expect to achieve any intoxicating effects, although it’s important to take note when THC is present.
Some consumers prefer CBD products that contain at least small amounts of THC. The reason, in theory, is that products containing a wider diversity of cannabinoids may be more effective, depending on your purpose for use. Others may prefer products that contain zero THC for various reasons, one of which may be fear of even trace amounts of THC registering on drug tests.
Is quick and discreet delivery provided?
What may be majorly important to you is that they stated the packages were discreet. Though I have yet to see an offer for free or discounted shipping, the assurance that I would receive my CBD vaporizer kit in 2-3 days in a discreet and unassuming package was exceptional. I got that confirmation from the customer reviews.
Thus, when your life feels like it’s teetering on the edge, assurance of quick shipping and handling is a dream come true.
Is quality customer service available?
Before I had a successful ordered from Pure CBD Vapors, I stumbled across a separate site where I had put in an immediate order without researching the brand. Once I found out more, I was appalled.
The quality of CBD from this site wasn’t great, and the company had a questionable reputation, so I hopped back online to cancel my order—and couldn’t figure out how the hell to do it.
This whole fiasco turned into a quick, confusing skirmish email confirmations and spam folder adventures—which is telling in itself. I gave their customer service a call, and though they picked up quick, the drone-like voice of their rep solidified my desire to cancel.
I didn’t run into any special trouble with the cancellation and subsequent refund, but it drove home the need for great customer service.
Needless to say, trust the reviews folks make about customer service. If the company is responding to complaints or questions about products, understand that’s going to be your treatment as well. You want to feel a warm welcome in your time of need.
Does the site make it easy to buy CBD oil?
I am a shallow woman and also an artist, so site layout and design is vital to my making a purchase. Effective layout includes clear search options—other than categorizing products according to consumption preference, I want to be able to organize my options according to pricing, popularity, rating, and ailment.
I encountered the ailment search option on just one site. This is important if you’re looking for CBD that addresses chronic pain as opposed to insomnia.
Readability shows care in user experience.
Does the company offer assistance programs?
If you’re a veteran, long-term disability recipient, low-income consumer, and/or senior citizen, sites that offer discounts are a godsend. You want a site that offers regular sale discounts and puts your email address to use with that information.
If a multi-seller platform doesn’t overtly have an assistance program, I highly recommend that you contact them directly to see what you can get. There are many CBD brands that offer discounts via their direct sites which you can find here.