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CBD - Where to buy, How to get it, What to Look For

Get on board the CBD hype train

CBD hype train girl on train looking out window

ALL ABOARD. Have you heard about the all natural, one-stop shop, hero cannabinoid that will take away all of your worldly woes and whisk you off into relaxing bliss with zero negative side effects?

Yeah, there is A LOT of hype around the cannabinoid CBD. With the developing legal market, a lot of the CBD oils or CBD-dominant strains are SELLING OUT. This may be due to the general shortage of product, but what has got people going so crazy over CBD? How do I know the product I'm buying has CBD in it? And, maybe most importantly, why does CBD product cost so much?

Help I'm new and I can’t tell if it has CBD in it?

When you enter a legal cannabis store, there are a lot of little bottles and boxes with a bunch of writing on them; if you aren’t familiar with purchasing from a store this can be super confusing and very frustrating.

The first thing you should know is that most of the writing is a bunch of government-mandated warning labels, just like tobacco products. Which, side note, we would like to point out how counterintuitive that is, seeing how cannabis is also registered legally as a medicine.

CBD dominant flower

How do you read a cannabis product label?

The government of Canada has done an incredible job of making cannabis packaging almost as unappealing as it can possibly get, but when you’re in search of the cannabinoid content, you are looking for a white rectangle, usually located right above a big, yellow warning label. Don’t worry - there is a whole blog coming on how to read the text-heavy packages, but for the sake of keeping this blog short and simple, we are focusing on this white triangle.

THC dominant strain:

THC dominant strain label

CBD dominant strain:

CBD dominant strain label

As you can see, there is a clearly marked side for both of the primary cannabinoids, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). The first number you see (the smaller number) represents the amount of that cannabinoid found naturally within the bud. The second number (the larger number) is the amount of that cannabinoid after decarboxylation. If you don't know what decarboxylation is, check out this blog.

Long story short you want to pay attention to the second number, which represents how much of the active cannabinoid you would be consuming. When a strain is THC-dominant it has a higher ratios of THC. When a strain is CBD-dominant, it has more CBD than THC. Finally, a strain is a “one to one” when it is relatively balanced between the two cannabinoids. If you haven't tried a one to one strain yet, we highly (pun intended) recommend that you do.

Now that you know how to tell if the product you’re looking at is a CBD dominant strain or oil, let's talk about why you should care.

CBD plant bud cannabis growing

So, what is the CBD hype all about?

The legalization of cannabis has opened the door for many people who were not comfortable consuming illegal products before. This means that the cannabis industry is looking to create products for people with little to no cannabis tolerance, but also little to no knowledge of how cannabis and its properties work.

Okay, what does that have to do with CBD?

The cannabinoid CBD is non-intoxicating. This means if you were to consume it by itself it wouldn’t get you high. CBD has a more physically calming, relaxing effect on our bodies; these characteristics of CBD are what make it so great for consumers who have little to no tolerance for cannabis and would like to slowly test the waters while reducing the potential risk of becoming “too high” off of a strain that is THC dominant.

The perfect combination

New to cannabis? If so, you are likely looking for a mild, “safe” option that decreases the possibility of overstimulation that can occur from high THC strains (typically paranoia and anxiety). Retailers and educators often suggest CBD strains because they provide a more balanced, moderate high. Cannabis is hard to dose, and every person responds differently to its stimulation. Educators often feel more comfortable suggesting a CBD strain instead of relying on the consumer's knowledge of their own tolerance or ability to know when they should stop consuming cannabis.

Girl vaping CBD cannabis

The best of both worlds!

On a more science-y front, CBD can mitigate some of the more intense effects of THC, providing a grounding aspect to the high, this is the main appeal of one to ones. THC is often labeled a ‘cerebral’ high while CBD is more ‘physiological’. If you put the two together you get a well-rounded experience.

*Many consumers enjoy CBD dominant strains for a variety of reasons and if you’d like to hear about more of them check out our interview with Compass Cannabis Clinics General Manager. We speak with Kara about the health benefits of CBD (something we aren't allowed to talk about here)

Why does CBD cost so much?

A cannabis plant needs to be specifically bred to have high concentrations of CBD. This involves some intense genetic research, and hours of breeding, splicing, and a number of other cultivation tricks to get the concentration of CBD as high as it is today. Perfecting such a niche organic product like this is not cheap: you have a team of trained professionals monitoring and adjusting every step ensuring optimal results In addition to state of the art facilities to streamline the process and help eliminate risk factors that could harm the plants. All of the above-mentioned factors, plus its rising popularity contribute to the high cost of CBD dominant strains.

( TL; DR ) CBD-dominant strain never existed in nature the way that they do now and to create this product has taken some serious work.

If you’re wondering about CBD oils, in particular,  take all of the previously mentioned costs of growing a CBD-dominant cannabis plant and now add in processing. The company must harvest the plant and put it through numerous concentration processes. Once a CBD-dominant cannabis oil is created it then must be mixed into a carrying oil, bottled in cute little glass bottles and voila, an added extra 5-6 step on a product that already was expensive.

CBD cannabis oil

That’s it folks, the low down on the CBD hype train. We have SEVERAL  blogs coming soon that will discuss things like equivalency factors, and the differences between hemp derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD. Until then, the only way you’re going to know if you belong on the CBD train is to give it a go. As always, start low, go slow and head over to our Instagram to stay connected!