CBD oil has exploded in popularity in Canada over the past few years. With cannabis legalization in 2018, hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are now completely legal to buy and sell across the country.
The potential therapeutic and wellness benefits of CBD are driving many Canadian consumers to incorporate CBD oil into their daily routines. Studies have shown CBD may help with anxiety, pain, inflammation, epilepsy, and numerous other conditions.
However, not all CBD oils live up to the hype. With the rapid growth of the market, lots of inferior quality products have made their way onto shelves and e-commerce sites. That’s why it’s crucial for shoppers to educate themselves, do their research, and only buy from reputable sources.
This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the Canadian CBD oil marketplace. We’ll overview the legality of CBD, factors to look for when shopping CBD oil in Canada, and outline some of the best places to buy trusted CBD brands across Canada. The goal is to equip readers with the knowledge to find safe, effective, high-quality CBD oil products to suit their individual needs.
CBD Oil in Canada
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 active compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the famous cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it does not produce any psychoactive effects.
CBD first gained mainstream attention for its reported ability to treat severe pediatric epilepsy. Since then, CBD has shown potential therapeutic properties for numerous other conditions through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
In Canada, both hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD became fully legal following the passage of the Cannabis Act in 2018. However, only hemp-derived CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC is legally available for purchase without a prescription.
Hemp CBD oil has become widely available across Canada in various forms:
- Oils and tinctures – The most popular format, taken under the tongue and absorbed sublingually. Offered in concentrations ranging from 300mg to 3000mg or more.
- Capsules and softgels – Pre-dosed CBD content in pill form, providing long-lasting effects. Easy to take daily.
- Edibles – CBD-infused gummy candies, chocolates, baked goods, and beverages. Taste good but have slower onset.
- Topicals – Creams, balms, lotions infused with CBD can be applied directly to the skin. May ease localized pain.
- Vapes and e-liquids – Allow CBD to be inhaled for faster absorption. Not recommended as a starting point.
The CBD market has expanded rapidly since legalization. Canadians now have more choice than ever before when it comes to buying hemp CBD oil. However, not every product lives up to quality standards, which emphasizes the need for smart shopping.
Factors to Consider When Buying CBD Oil
With so many CBD oil products now available in Canada, how can you spot the truly high-quality options? Here are the key factors to look out for when evaluating CBD oils:
Source of Hemp
The quality of hemp plants used to extract CBD oil greatly impacts the end product. Domestically grown Canadian hemp from regulated farmers is preferable over hemp imported from elsewhere. Hemp absorbs toxins from the soil, so clean growing conditions matter.
The best CBD oils use carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, considered the gold standard. CO2 extraction yields a potent, pure extract while preserving terpenes and other plant compounds. Avoid CBD oils using potential toxins like propane or butane for extraction.
Third-Party Lab Testing
Reputable CBD brands will send every batch of oil to an independent ISO-certified lab to test for cannabinoid content, terpenes, residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Only buy CBD oil with up-to-date Certificates of Analysis (COA).
By law, hemp CBD oil must contain less than 0.3% THC. Lower THC content reduces any intoxicating effects. Look for oils with 0% THC if drug testing is a concern.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the plant compounds including small amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD has various compounds except THC. CBD isolate is just pure CBD. Balance benefits with personal preferences.
Pay attention to strength with potencies ranging from 300mg to 6000mg CBD or more per bottle. Dosages of 25-50mg per day are typical. Higher potencies cost less per mg of CBD but aren’t necessary for all users.
High-end CBD oil contains just hemp extract and carrier oil like MCT, olive, or hemp seed oil. Beware of cheap oils with unnecessary thickeners, preservatives, sweeteners, or flavors.
Expect to pay around $0.15 to $0.20 per mg of CBD or more for quality oil. Very cheap CBD oil likely indicates low-quality hemp and extract. Investing more means your money goes further.
Where to Shop For Quality CBD Oil
Shopping online offers the widest selection and ability to compare different CBD oils side-by-side. Be sure to vet brands thoroughly first. Reputable options include:
- Charlotte’s Web – One of the most established CBD companies, known for its high-quality proprietary hemp genetics. Its CBD oils range from 300mg to 6000mg strengths.
- Solei – A Canadian brand owned by Aphria. Their natural CBD oils include an unflavored option, available in multiple potencies.
- ZenBliss – A Canadian brand offering broad-spectrum and isolate CBD oils. They publish up-to-date COAs for all products on their website.
- Canopy Growth – This major cannabis producer offers CBD oil through brands like Tweed, Tokyo Smoke, and others. Stringent quality control.
Dispensaries And Cannabis Stores
Legal cannabis dispensaries and stores allow you to see, smell, and sample products in person before purchasing. Knowledgeable staff can provide CBD guidance. Look for authorized retailers like:
- Nova Cannabis – One of Canada’s largest cannabis store networks. They carry various reputable CBD brands at competitive prices.
- Spiritleaf – A popular franchise cannabis store. Their team helps match customers to the right CBD products based on desired effects.
- Fire & Flower – A licensed cannabis retailer focused on product safety, testing, and education. Carry CBD oils, topicals, capsules, and more.
Pharmacies And Drug Stores
Major pharmacies and drug stores provide familiarity for first-time CBD buyers. Key options include:
- Shoppers Drug Mart – Canada’s largest drug store chain stocks various hemp CBD oil brands and products on shelves across the country.
- Rexall – Recently began offering MediPharm Labs’ CBD oil drops online and in select stores from coast to coast.
Health Food Stores
Many independent health food stores, co-ops, and wellness centers sell hemp-derived CBD oils from smaller vendors.
This allows access to more niche brands. Research unfamiliar brands to validate quality.
With hemp-derived CBD oil fully legal and accessible across Canada, consumers have ample options when it comes to purchasing CBD products. However, not every brand produces high quality, safe, and effective CBD oil.
By carefully researching brands, only buying from reputable regulated sources, reviewing third-party lab test reports, and understanding factors like extraction methods and optimal dosages, Canadians can feel confident finding the right CBD oil to suit their health needs and budget.
High-quality CBD oil tends to cost more than lower grade products, but that extra investment provides assurance and peace of mind. Focus on established brands sold through authorized retailers for the best experience with CBD oil in Canada.