With increased popularity comes great demand. The demand for CBD products has soared, and so has the supply. Almost every town has a CBD oil store near you where you can shop for all your favorite CBD products. Online stores haven’t been spared either, as there seems to be a new CBD store every day. Your options to source your favorite CBD products continue to increase every day, but which option is better?
In recent years, CBD has become a constant feature in daily conversations even the retailers have not shied away from making claims about their products. This has raised serious concerns about CBD, not because it poses a major health threat but because consumers buy blindly. Ask any consumer to list the ingredients in the products they are consuming, not more than a handful can name them.
CBD is unregulated, and even though the FDA and state governments are trying to eliminate CBD from food and drinks, it’s hard to know what’s in your CBD products. These unregulated products have found their way into grocery stores, drug stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, etc. It will take years to regulate CBD products, but Americans will continue consuming before the FDA establishes CBD regulations.
Consumers need to be educated about CBD, and the consumption of the products. Online stores such as American Hemp Oil are stepping up efforts to educate their consumers. This simple act is helping consumers make smarter choices when shopping for CBD products.
Buying CBD from Physical Stores vs. Buying Online
Shopping has become a matter of preference; some prefer the convenience of online shopping while others prefer good old physical shopping. Buying your CBD oil from local stores has its advantages, but it also has some downsides. The same applies to online shopping for CBD oil. Below is a deeper dive into online shopping and buying CBD oil near me from physical stores.
We’ve embraced online shopping so much that we’ve forgotten about physical stores and their benefits.
- Physical inspection
If there is one thing that you’re guaranteed when you go to a local store is that you have physical access to all their products. You can inspect the products, their expiry dates, freshness, and even the store itself. You get to decide after interacting with the product and comparing it with similar products on the shelf. This option is not possible when shopping online.
When you head into a store, you will meet an attendant who will guide you to the section with CBD oil. You get to interact with other customers and maybe discuss the products, the benefits, etc. The face-to-face interaction with the salesperson and other consumers is something to cherish.
Some customers prefer that kind of interaction which they can’t get from online stores. They talk to the salespersons, ask for recommendations, or question why some products are pricier.
- Seamless Returns
If you buy a product that doesn’t satisfy your need, the first thought is always to return it to the seller. It’s much easier when dealing with a local store. You can simply go to the store and express your dissatisfaction with the vendor. Buying from a physical store uncomplicates the entire process and eliminates the hassles involved in product returns.
The downsides include:
- Limited Product Variety
Physical shops are guided by margins; products that sell well get preferential treatment. It’s not financially feasible to stock all brands in a local store. This is why your local store has certain brands that are always available and others that are only available due to demand. Therefore, if there isn’t sufficient demand for a product you want, the store won’t stock it. You can either try another store or buy whatever is available.
- Expensive products
CBD products in local stores are typically expensive, and there’s very little justification for the higher price other than claims. It’s hard to verify the authenticity of these claims, the products, and the brands. There is no customer feedback, and your only hope is that the salesperson made a good recommendation.
- Tall claims
It’s not uncommon for vendors to make claims about their products, hoping that it will attract more sales. Some will make claims that their products will heal your arthritis, cancer, etc. You have no way of verifying these claims unless you research online.
The vendor can also claim that the products are from a reputable brand. As a new consumer, you might believe this easily as you have little to no experience with CBD oil. The vendors can stock products even from brands with questionable reputations as long as the margins are good.
Although online shopping has several downsides, it’s seen a smarter way to shop due to the following:
- Comparison Shopping
When shopping at your local store, you can only compare the prices of CBD oil products available in the store. With online shopping, you can compare products from dozens of stores. You can open several tabs, each with a different store, and compare the prices of the products. Some sites review the products and list prices from different stores. You can also compare the quality and customer service by reading reviews from customers.
Occasionally, retailers will lower prices to attract customers; they understand that prices influence buyers. By comparing different stores, you can determine which store is offering a better deal.
- Compulsive shopping
Occasionally you’ll enter a physical to buy a product only to find that they’re out of stock; the floor assistant will recommend another product. There is nothing wrong with that, but you wanted a specific product, and it feels weird leaving the store empty-handed. You’ll probably buy the recommended product even though you didn’t want it.
With online shopping, you can close the tab and try another store. Your options are unlimited; if you want a product, you will find it.
- POS Queues
Not everyone is a fan of crowds, which are a common feature in chain stores and groceries. You have to find parking space, find an attendant, pick your product, and pay for it. It’s too much for a person who prefers the comfort of their home. You can avoid this by ordering your CBD oil from an online store. It saves you time and the agony of waiting in long queues. You’ll have to wait a few hours or days before the products are shipped to you, but it’s worth the wait.
- Wider Selection
As mentioned earlier, physical stores have a limited selection of CBD products as they don’t have space and financial capacity to stock all products. Online stores have a more comprehensive selection as they have their products in a warehouse or can get them straight from the manufacturers.
You can browse the selection of products based on prices, latest trends, needs, etc.
- Product Research
In the CBD space, brand matters which is why companies are continuously improving customer experience and becoming transparent. When shopping for CBD oil, you can always browse to the about section to better understand the brand. You can check whether the company is transparent about the ingredients they use and the process of extraction.
Online shopping gives you time to research the brands and how they add CBD isolates into products such as cosmetics. In addition, you can research where the company sources its hemp and the extraction process. If you’ve ever researched about CBD oil, you probably know that CO2 extraction is the best extraction method.
Cannabidiol is extracted through two main methods- BHO and CO2 extraction. The latter is better at preserving the flavor of the plant, CBD, and terpenes. Its solvent is non-toxic; thus, the CBD extracted poses no risks to the consumers and those extracting it. BHO extraction is cheaper, faster, and tends to extract cannabidiol with higher THC content. The extraction process poses a risk to those extracting the CBD.
It’s hard to research the extraction process when you’re at a local store. However, when shopping online, you can inquire about the extraction process from the seller. The company might also detail their extraction process on their about page.
- Better Awareness and Education
As CBD oil grows in popularity, it’s becoming increasingly important that brands educate potential and current consumers. Brands can’t make claims and hope that their consumers will buy into their claims. They’re required to back these claims with scientific research. While it’s possible to accomplish this even in physical stores, most stores don’t educate their consumers.
Alternatively, online stores have a blog section where they educate their consumers about their products and benefits. They educate their consumers on how to choose cannabidiol products because they care about you as their customer.
- Third-Party Testing
Physical stores rarely have third-party testing results, but online stores need these reports. The 3rd party reports help prove the authenticity of the products and the ingredients. Since you can’t inspect the products physically, the other option is third-party testing.
The report will reveal everything you might want to know about the product, whether it’s the ingredients, THC content, harmful contaminants, or amount of cannabinoids. Without physically inspecting the product, there is no way of knowing whether the products are safe for use. Even after inspecting it in a local store, you can’t possibly know that the product is safe. A certificate of analysis will help clear these doubts. Some companies have the lab reports available on their product pages, while others require you to submit a request. If a company declines your request, you check another company that will avail the reports.
Note that all not all lab reports are acceptable. For starters, the reports need to be recent at most 8 months olds. If the report is dated 2 or 3 years ago, you might want to buy elsewhere. A company that doesn’t regularly test its products does not care about the consumers.
Also, check if the cannabinoid content stated in the product description matches the analysis report. The product description needs to be consistent with the analysis report. If the company states its products have less than 0.3 THC, the report should reflect the same.
If you prefer to keep your CBD consumption to yourself, then online stores would be a good place to shop. You see, in local stores, you are bound to meet folks from your neighborhood. Online shopping allows you the privacy of shopping from anywhere you are, and it’s delivered to your home or location of your choosing. All this without anyone in your home or neighborhood knowing what you’re doing.
- Additional details about the products
Online stores typically detail whether their products are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. If it’s not listed, you can ask the seller. Full-spectrum CBD contains the complete profile of organic compounds typically found in hemp plants. The idea is that combining all 113 cannabinoid compounds will magnify the health benefits of the individual cannabinoids. It has negligible THC content; thus, it’s not psychoactive. However, if it’s consumed in large doses, it will give a false positive if a drug test is conducted.
Broad-spectrum CBD has the same compounds as full spectrum except for the THC. Alternatively, CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form. It’s 99% CBD and 1% traces of plant matter. This type of CBD is typically used to create vape juice, tinctures, etc.
By listing whether a product is CBD isolate, full-spectrum or broad-spectrum, the seller is giving you options. You can decide whether you want to experience the entourage effect or you want to consume CBD in its purest form.
- Hemp Source
As a CBD consumer, you have the right to question the quality of the CBD oil products. You can accomplish this by reading the testing reports and extraction methods. Another overlooked factor is the source of the hemp used. Most companies tend to indicate where they source their hemp. Ideally, you want to buy CBD from a company that uses homegrown hemp as it’s regulated. European farmlands are also good as their regulations on contaminants and harmful chemicals are strict. Some companies use hemp grown in Colorado farms while others import their hemp from Denmark.
Why American Hemp Oil is the Best Place to Buy CBD Online
Not every CBD company you find online is equal, some, including American Hemp Oil products, are better. We value the health of our consumers, which is why our products are 100% natural, non-GMO, and all of our injectibles are vegan and organic. Our products are manufactured using hemp grown on farms in Colorado. These are superior farms, operating under strict guidelines and incorporate organic, sustainable farming practices. This ensures that the hemp produced meets the accepted standards, and the products made are safe for consumption.
The legality of CBD products vary from state to state, but according to the federal government, CBD derived from hemp is legal. However, the CBD should have 0.3% or less THC content; the grower must be licensed and adhere to state-federal regulations.
The cannabidiol products we produce meet all the requirements as the hemp is grown by licensed growers in Colorado. Also, our isolate hemp products don’t contain any THC. We provide third-party testing reports for all of our products. American Hemp Oil testing reports detail the terpene profile as well as the cannabinoid profile. Our reports are recent, which shows that we consistently test our products to verify that they’re safe.
We are continually improving our customer experience and simplifying the ordering process. A quick browse through our site, you will notice that we offer valuable information about cannabidiol and lots of CBD specific education.
We sell our products at fair prices. Although price shouldn’t be the main determinant when shopping for CBD, it helps gauge if the product is worth buying. You don’t want to overpay for a product, and neither do you want to buy a product because it’s cheap. Price doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. However, here at AHO, we offer only the best, and our products are priced fairly. We also offer free shipping to our local customers and charge an affordable fee for international clients.
Online shopping for CBD products is growing fast due to its numerous benefits, but it also has downsides. You see, even with test reports, you can’t know whether the product is good for you until you try it. When you buy CBD products online, don’t take any chance with your health.