What to Look for in CBD Oil: Purity, Potency, and Type of Extract

what to look for in cbd oil

Ever since the popularity of CBD skyrocketed, there are countless brands and producers on the market. Many of them are attempting to build their reputation from the ground up by using quality processes to produce CBD oil.

But, because the CBD market is very new (with a lot of fairly unknown companies), it’s difficult to tell who’s making quality CBD oil, and who’s trying to sell you a pig in a poke. 

CBD products aren’t really cheap, so it’s completely understandable that people expect a high quality product for their hard-earned dollars.

In conditions like these looking for the right, top-tier CBD oil can be really frustrating, especially for newcomers with little experience. 

Below is the list of aspects that should be considered when buying CBD oil. 

Hopefully, it will make your search a bit easier and aid you in finding the product that will fit your requirements.

What to look for when choosing CBD oil:


  • The manufacturing process of the oil 
  • The strength of the oil (amount of CBD per serving)
  • The type of CBD extract
  • The list of ingredients
  • Website
  • The expiration date


Method of Extraction and Growing Conditions

First and foremost, carefully pick the producer you want to buy the product from. 

Different companies use different manufacturing processes which directly determine the quality of the end product. 

The proper way to find a high-quality oil is to look for the information detailing the manufacturing process on the label of the product (or on the producers website). 

The overall quality of the CBD oil is determined by the method of CBD extraction, but also the growing conditions of the hemp plant that is used in the extraction process. 

For example, if the plants are grown on soil that is polluted with heavy metals and pesticides, those harsh chemicals will most likely find their way into the final product, and affect both the quality and safety of the oil. 

If the hemp is grown organically is also an important aspect that you need to consider.

When it comes to the CBD extraction from the plant’s flowers, leaves, or stalks, producers use different methods and substances to remove toxins and other residue from the plant. 

For this purpose, some companies use pharmaceutical-grade ethanol which is safe for human consumption. 

Other less-reputable producers will use toxic substances in the extraction process, which can be very harmful for the user, especially in the long run. 

Besides different substances that are used for extraction, the most prominent CBD producers opt out for the CO2 (carbon dioxide) method of extraction

During this method, the pressure of the CO2 on various temperatures is used to separate CBD molecules (and other cannabinoids/terpenes) from the rest of the hemp plant. 

Because CO2 extraction doesn’t involve the use of any harmful ingredients, it is currently hailed as the best and safest method around. 

So, when deciding which CBD oil to buy, you should always pick the products that were produced through CO2 extraction.

Strength of the Oil (Potency)

The strength of CBD oil refers to the precise amount of CBD per serving. 

Most manufacturers produce CBD oil in various potencies, usually from 20mg  to 60mg per serving. 

Weaker CBD oils are mainly aimed for less debilitating conditions such as stress and anxiety, while more potent mixtures are usually reserved for more serious medical issues. 

CBD is tolerated extremely well for the vast majority of users, and daily doses for up to 1,500mg per day have been deemed as safe by the scientific community.

If you want to make sure about the potency of the CBD oil you’re looking to buy, you need to look for the certificate of analysis.

These certificates are issued by third party laboratories, which test for both the potency and purity of the oil in question.

If you know the batch number of a specific CBD product, the certificates should be easily found on the manufacturer’s site.

Type of CBD Extract

CBD extracts come in three different variations: full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate

Full spectrum means that beside CBD, there are also a variety of other cannabinoids in the oil (such as CBG,CBD and THC), terpenes and flavonoids. 

On the other hand, broad spectrum extracts contain, other than CBD, terpenes, flavonoids and various other cannabinoids but no THC.

If you’re searching for a product that contains only CBD and no other compounds, you should look for CBD isolates. But, broad spectrum oils are generally considered more beneficial than isolated compounds. 

Information regarding the type of extract should be stated on the product as part of the ingredient list.

Ingredient List

Other than the exact type of CBD extract, the ingredient list offers other important information that should be taken into consideration before buying a particular product. 

For example, many CBD oils and tinctures contain various types of seeds, oils and herbs that have beneficial properties, but can also act as allergens for some users. 


If you’re ordering online, pay attention to how the website of the producer appears. If it looks shabby, chances are you’ll also be ordering a shabby CBD product. 

You should also cross-reference prices from at least several producers, and if a specific product is suspiciously cheap, that should be considered as a red flag. 

Expiration Date

Last but not least, always check for the expiration date.

CBD oil products generally last for up to 24 months and lose their potency after that, making them unfit for use. 

To conclude, choose wisely, read the information on the product label and try to find oil from trustworthy producers.