Are you a South African looking to try Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Well this article is exactly what you need to read.
If you want to try CBD products, it is important to dig deep to find trustworthy and accurate information about it. As cannabis oil becomes more and more popular, more and more false articles are also scattered across the internet, trying to rip-off oblivious customers. What’s worse, many people confuse CBD with THC, which is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis.
This CBD buying guide will show you the different factors to consider when choosing a cannabis oil product.
Who Can Take CBD?
CBD is intended to be taken as a food supplement. Like any vitamin or food supplement, it is best to consult your healthcare provider. This is very important if you have pre-existing conditions or if you’re taking prescription medications. This dietary supplement is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Types of CBD Products
The oil is a versatile substance that can be taken in a number of ways to provide a wide range of health benefits. Take note that not all brands are the same- in South Africa, in particular, there are a wide variety of products to choose from. Some products are more potent, containing higher active-ingredient concentration while others emphasize the ease of use so users can bring them wherever they go.
Some cannabidiol products comes in multiple tasty flavours to enhance the overall experience while others contain pure CBD that provides a more solid punch. In addition, some products can be used together to achieve synergistic effects while other can be taken with drinks or food.
Here are some of the common cannabis product types, including the benefits and limitations of each.
• Capsules. This is very popular among people from Johannesburg. These are standard capsules containing powdered hemp extract with high concentrations. Similar to conventional pills, this is perhaps the most convenient form you can use to take the pills. Most pills are without odor, tasteless and can be conveniently taken anywhere, anytime.
However, the capsules provide limited options in terms of increasing serving size or adjusting the dosage to find your sweet spot. It means you’re limited to the size of the capsule when increasing your dosage as each capsules contains quite large amount of cannabidiol.
One way to offset this limitation is to combine more than one cannabinoid product to tweak your daily serving size. For instance, you can take capsule along with a CBD tincture to increase your dosage.
• Tincture. This is another popular and versatile form of CBD. It comes in various strengths and flavours such as cinnamon, peppermint and vanilla. Tincture are easy to use and they provide more advantage in terms of serving size as you can easily increase or reduce the serving size using a reliable dropper. They can be taken sublingually so they are fast-acting, or be mixed with beverages during the day, providing you many ways to take it. People in Gauteng are ordering this more and more.
The downside with tinctures is that they’re not as inconspicuous as the capsules, however, they’re more portable than vaporizers and extract forms of the substance.
• Topicals. CBD balms, lotions and other topical products are handy and provide a distinct usability. It can target specific points of inflammation or stiffness on the body. The product is highly absorbable, which makes these topical products useful for alleviating joint or muscle pains. Pretoria’s residents absolutely love the topicals.
However, the effect of topicals is slower than other product types despite having potent concentrations. In addition, they are a bit expensive than other products.
• Vaporizers. These are a unique form of CBD product that works like an e-cigarette or e-pen. They work by heating the vape liquid until it turns to a vapour that can be inhaled. Cannabidiol use through this method is fast-acting and are safer for the respiratory tract and the lungs since it only produces vapour and no smoke. Using a vaporizer is limited by batteries so it’s important to charge your vaporizer before use.
• Oil. People searching for the strongest and the purest form of CBD product often turn to its main form.
While both cannabidiol and hemp oil can be used to treat various medical conditions and contains cannabidiol, both are highly different. The CBD is derived from Cannabis sativa or from the hemp plant.
• Hemp Oil. Durban’s population has been seen using these a lot- and any South African can order it and get fast shipping. This is extracted from industrial hemp, a distinct breed of Cannabis sativa that is grown specifically for industrial uses such as paper, textiles and health food. It produces lesser amounts of THC, but contains a good amount of Cannabidiol.
Choosing the Right Product
CBD products come in various shapes, forms and sizes. Learning how to compare similar products and distinguishing apparently identical products is the initial step towards being an educated and informed consumer when it comes to CBD.
Here, we will explain the important criteria that sets different CBD products apart.
Concentration. How much cannabidiol is in this product? Concentration is often considered as the most important factor when buying these products. It pertains to the abundance of cannabidiol when compared to the product’s total volume. Concentration ranges from normal strength to super high concentrations. Look for the milligrams and use it to compare from product to product.
Dose. Beginners are recommended to take 1 to 2 mg daily. Depending on your body weight, metabolism and the desired effects, you can also start at 3mg and simply bump up the serving size as your body gets used to it. CBD also has a maximum efficiency, like a daily vitamin supplement. This effect is because it takes some time for the body to adapt to the chemical components present in CBD. Since it has no dangerous or psychoactive components, you can increase your serving size safely to know the optimal concentration for you.
Duration of Effect. How quick you feel the effects of CBD? This depends on the type of product you use. Some products such as vaporizers take effect immediately while others such as capsules take 1 to 2 hours to produce the effects.
Ease of Use. Some products can be tricky to use. For instance, vape oil needs a vaporizer, while tinctures can simply be placed under the tongue.
Taste. Some products such as concentrates or pastes have a distinct hemp taste due to the high CBD concentrations. Other products such as tinctures, edibles and vape oils come in various flavors.
Price. Some products are more affordable than others.
Shipping Time. If you live in a major city like Cape Town, you are going to be able to receive your products quickly. If you are somewhere out in the country in South Africa, however, obviously it will take some time. Certain brands also ship more quickly to certain areas, so you’ll want to make sure to study this as well.
Top CBD Brands to Purchase
There are dozens upon dozens of CBD brands right now. Each of them claims to offer the best, the purest, and the safest cannabidiol oil. We did the research to find you the highest-rated cannabidiol oils from companies that ship to South Africa. Here are the four top brands to purchase:
1. Elixinol Respira CBD Hemp Oil
(PRICE: $39.99 for 300mg in 0.5oz)
Elixinol has been featured in the mainstream media quite a number of times. The likes of National Geographic, CNN, CBS, and Newsweek have featured this brand.
The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of CBD.
It was founded by one of the pioneers of the CBD business, Mr. Paul Benhaim.
Elixinol is based in Colorado, US.
Of the many things the company is known for, three things stand out. First, there is the fact that the company sources its products from vetted growers and suppliers who provide the best quality hemp. Secondly, there is the fact that every hemp plant/ hemp plant extract received is rigorously tested for contamination and for cannabinoid concentration before being accepted for processing. Lastly, there is the fact that Elixinol uses only pharmaceutical grade equipment to make great quality isolate.
The company’s main hemp product is the Elixinol Respire CBD Hemp Oil.
The company refers to this product as their most versatile one. The substance is designed for improving general wellness and for healing multiple other ailments.
This product is full-spectrum with all the right compounds (cannabinoids) needed for maximum effectiveness.
This is a 15 ml container with a concentration of 300 mg. The flavor is natural which means that no potentially allergenic artificial sweeteners have been added.
There is also no THC in this bottle making this hemp extract non-psychoactive.
The bottle comes with a dropper for easy administration of the oil.
2. Bluebird Botanicals Hemp Classic Oil (PRICE: $24.95 for 250mg in 1oz)
Bluebird Botanicals was started in 2012. In less than six years, the company has become of the best-rated cannabis oil manufacturers around the globe. In fact, so good has the company become that it work the Hemp-CBD Company of the Year Award in 2016 during the prestigious Cannabist Awards which are done by the Denver Post.
Bluebird makes great quality hemp extract oils. It consistently does this by sticking to its quality control systems that ensure that each product the company sells is of top quality.
The quality control system is composed of manufacturing facilities certified by both the Colorado state government and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA); which means that the products they make are of the standard quality. The company also audits its manufacturing systems every year through a third-party organization. This ensures that it continues to maintain the standards it has set. The company also tests all the products it makes for heavy metals, pesticides, and biological contaminants. Bluebird also checks the cannabinoid profile of every bottle to ensure that the concentration is right for maximum efficacy. Thus, the purity of all Bluebird products is guaranteed as well as the safety.
Bluebird botanicals also has a fair-pricing structure. This has made their product prices relatively affordable compared to other similar products.
The Bluebird Botanicals Hemp Classic Oil is this brand’s original flagship.
It is pure 250 mg of CBD infused in virgin hemp seed extract. The CBD and other phytocannabinoids in the extract do the healing, while the seed material does the complementary work of ensuring that all body systems are working optimally as it has vitamins, trace minerals, and essential fatty acids.
This classic product is as natural as it gets. It is GMO-free, sweetener-free, and also gluten-free.
As with most of the other products you will find on Bluebird, this one too is sold at a very affordable price.
3. Lazarus Naturals Flavorless High Potency Tincture (PRICE: $40 for 750mg in 0.5oz)
Lazarus was started by Lazarus Sequoia Price in Seattle, Washington State. He started the company with the mission of making sure that cannabidiol remained accessible to everyone who needs it.
The hemp is sourced from American farms. The only hemp extracts accepted are those that meet the threshold concentrations set by the company.
The company extracts cannabinoids and other useful chemical compounds from the hemp plants using the kosher ethanol. This ensures that the chemical compounds do not lose their integrity and retain their high potency for healing.
All Lazarus Company products are always third-party tested to ensure conformity to set product standards.
The most unique thing about this company is their return policy. The company has a 30-day return policy. If you return their product, they will accept it with no questions asked. This is a great policy and it shows you the confidence the company has in its products.
The Lazarus Naturals Flavorless High Potency Tincture is the bomb. It is based on an isolate, it is free of THC, it is 100% organic, and it is made in the USA.
It also comes with a calibrated dropper to allow precise dosing.
Additionally, it is flavorless, making it easy to take.
The unique thing about this bottle is that it is three times as potent as regular CBD. This makes it powerful and more effective for people who need higher concentrations of cannabidiol.
Fractionated coconut base is used as a base in this product. This oil is extremely healthy and promotes metabolism and good health. There is also evidence that it can improve cognitive function, exercise performance, epilepsy treatment, and improve the health of diabetics.
4. NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Cannabidiol Oil, High Grade Hemp Extract (PRICE: $38.5 for 240mg in .17oz)
NuLeaf Naturals is a relatively new CBD oil supplier. The company prides itself as one of the leading suppliers of high-grade hemp extracts.
NuLeaf was founded in 2014 by a group of herbalists and botanists who had the vision of formulating a line of herbal products that could heal both body and mind.
The company has its entire operations based in the USA.
This brand is said to be one of the few manufacturers that supply truly full-spectrum hemp extracts. Studies have shown that full spectrum extracts like theirs are more effective at reducing pain and inflammation.
The company also tests all its extracts to verify CBD content and to confirm that the extracts are free of impurities.
The NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Cannabidiol Extract is their flagship product. It is pure, natural and perfect for first-time CBD users.
The 0.17oz bottle has 100 drops. Each drop delivers 2.4mg of cannabidiol which is perfect for numbing pain sensations.
Of course, the product can also be taken regularly to improve general wellbeing.
The Cultural Impact of CBD in South Africa
Dagga (cannabis) has been associated with crime for the longest time in South Africa. Arrests of people in possession of dagga were always publicized and individuals prosecuted in court.
However, the advent of CBD oils really changed things.
It is these tinctures that made people to research and realize that there is a difference between cannabis and the hemp plant. It is these extracts that also made people to start believing what traditionalists have been saying all along: cannabis does have therapeutic benefits.
The introduction of cannabis extracts and their use by people from all walks of life changed the perspective of the larger society towards the use of cannabis and cannabis products in the country.
Recently, and perhaps unrelated to the advent of CBD extracts in the country, the constitutional court of South Africa ruled that cannabis can be used at home. This decision is partly attributed to the efforts of the Dagga Party of South Africa which has since 2009 been advocating for marijuana users to have the same rights as tobacco and alcohol users.
It is expected that the decriminalization of cannabis will further change the views of more people towards the herb. It is also expected that the decriminalization will allow more people who need CBD to embrace it without the fear of discrimination or stigmatization.
As of now, South Africans are already seeing an increase in CBD in health stores. More and more stores and wellness shops are expected to begin stocking the powerful natural remedy. Sooner rather than later, the stores will also be stocking cannabis oil as cannabis has been decriminalized.
CBD laws in South Africa
CBD is 100% permitted for use in South Africa. Multiple reports have affirmed this including this one by the Citizen.
The main law regulating the use of medicines and other substances in the country is the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act of 1965.
This Act lists all the substances that are banned in the country. Although Cannabis and its products are banned by the act, cannabidiol (CBD) is not expressly banned by the act. Hemp is also not banned by the Act. Therefore, hemp-derived CBD oil is perfectly legal in the country.
Moreover, the Constitutional Court recently decriminalized the use of marijuana derivatives. This is also expected to make it legal to use cannabis and cannabis-derived CBD products containing THC.