CBD oil is one of the most talked-about and highly touted wellness products in Chicago and across America. And it’s easy to see why – CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-addictive, non-hallucinogenic compound that studies show may help improve anxiety & depression, quell certain types of pain, tackle insomnia, and provide a myriad of other therapeutic benefits.
Given these wellness and health benefits, more and more people are wondering where they can score the best CBD oil in Chicago. You must understand the legal, dosage, and quality side of the product, which can be a little tricky for newbies. That’s why it’s crucial to find a Chicago CBD oil store that not only offers a wide range of top-notch products but will also provide you with tailored expert information regarding optimal dosage and best mode of consumption.
Lucky for you, we’ve pieced together a quick buying guide for CBD oil in Chicago. Look ahead for tips on how to choose a CBD store and where to find these local dispensaries in Windy City.
CBD vs THC — Is It Legal to Buy CBD Oil in Chicago?
The first question you might have is whether CBD oil is legal or not in Chicago? The answer is a big YES — it’s legal to buy and use CBD oil in Chicago granted a few conditions.
At the federal level, CBD oil is legal as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short is the psychoactive or hallucinogenic compound responsible for the high sensation when one consumes marijuana. It’s important to remember that THC and CBD are not one and the same thing.
It’s also important to note that cannabis has also been legalized in Illinois for both recreational and medicinal usages. That means you can get up to 5 gm of cannabis concentrate or cannabis-extracted CBD oil that contains up to 500 mg of THC.
Just like in the rest of the state, permitted amounts of THC-containing CBD oil products are available for sale in Chicago to anyone over 21, including non-residents. However, you must get them from licensed dispensaries, which are found in pretty much every neighborhood, from University Village to Goose Island.
A reputable dispensary of CBD oil in Chicago will explain to you the difference between marijuana-derived and hemp-derived products. That’s because most of these stores sell both CBD oil and cannabis products.
Buying CBD oil in Chicago Online
Another sensible question is whether it’s worth it to buy CBD oil online. After all, it’s one thing to use the web to find the best source of CBD oil in Chicago, and it’s a whole different story to buy your product from an online store.
Let’s make one thing clear, though: whether you’re buying online or at a brick-and-mortar store, it’s important to avoid outlets that have no direct influence on their products. Especially when it comes to dosage, state, and quality.
In saying so, it’s paramount that you buy CBD oil in Chicago from an online store that’s in control of almost the entire supply chain. In other words, a brand with its growing facility (aka farm), processing center, infuser facility, and inventory quality control.
That said, buying CBD oil online does have its upsides and downsides:
Pros of Buying CBD Oil in Chicago Online
– Wider selection: The internet expands your horizon when it comes to the choice of CBD oil brands, products, and pricing. You can choose to buy directly from the manufacturer’s website, or opt for eclectic stores that stock CBD products from a range of producers.
In this way, you take your pick from an array of CBD oil edibles, topicals (creams, dermal stickers, lotions, etc.), capsules, gummies, concentrates, tinctures, and more.
– Better Privacy: Internet outlets offer a certain degree of anonymity, so it’s difficult to beat the privacy offered by an online purchase. You can order and ship to your doorstep and no one will be none the wiser. This is more important than ever considering the historical stigma attached to using cannabis-related products.
– More competitive pricing: With more stores than ever competing for your business, you can almost always find better prices and more lucrative deals when you purchase CBD oil in Chicago online. When doing your research, you can do price comparisons, hunt for sales/discounts, and save even more bucks while on it.
Don’t forget most online CBD businesses don’t have to pay taxes, staff wages, and other physical store expenses. They often pass these cost savings on to you to remain competitive.
– Easier, faster, and more hassle-free shopping: You don’t have to browse from one aisle to another in search of a CBD product that’ll best suit your needs. Online stories place their products into categories that are easy to access and understand. You can find important info about the product in the description, cutting shopping time by a huge margin.
– Increased convenience: Your order will be delivered to your doorstep. This allows you to get the right product for what’s ailing you while practicing social distancing.
Cons of Buying CBD Oil in Chicago Online
– Wait time: Obviously, you’ll have to wait 2-7 days or even longer for your CBD product to arrive. This can be quite disconcerting if you need relief sooner rather than later, such as for pain, sleep, or anxiety.
– Quality issues: Without physical inspection and regulation, it can be hard to ascertain the quality of the product you’ll receive. Some investigations have unfolded dosage discrepancies and found harmful contaminants like mold, cadmium, lead, and arsenic in certain CBD oil products bought online.
– Shipping costs: The cost of shipping can add to the final price of the product.
– No personal interaction: This can help when you need expert advice on dosage and even choosing an ideal product for your condition.
Buying CBD oil in Chicago Online: Factors to Consider
Whether you plan to buy online or at a physical store, there are key features about the CBD product that you should never compromise on. Keep the following factors when purchasing from an online outlet:
Great branding can be indicative of high quality. Take a look at how the brand presents itself to the public. A responsive customer supper, professional-looking website, well-packed products, and active social media are some signals of a quality CBD oil store.
As far as the actual CBD oil products go, quality is king and is often gauged by the amount of CBD in each serving or dose. This will determine the intensity and duration of effects of CBD products. The more the amount of the mg of CBD per serving, the more potent, and the greater the quality of the specific product.
For instance, a CBD oil tincture containing 1,000 mg CBD per bottle is of better quality than a standard 600 mg bottle. You must also factor in the form of CBD products, be they capsules, concentrate, edibles, or oral tinctures.
– Certificate of Approval
The best online sources of CBD oil in Chicago are those that avail a valid Certificate of Approval (CoA). This is a document showing that their products have been tested and verified by an independent third-party testing agency for both quality and safety. Most of these third-party labs are internationally recognized and approved by the state of Illinois, so they can’t afford to issue faked Certificates of Approval. If they do, they not only lose their credibility but also risk licensure suspension
For online purchases, you should be able to find a validated web or PDF version of the CoA (which is essentially the lab results produced by the testing agency). The labs analyze the presence of microbiological/bio-contaminants, heavy metals (like mercury, lead, arsenic, etc.), residual solvents, terpenes profiles, pesticides, and cannabinoids.
Besides, you must do a background check to establish if the issuing lab is both state-approved and legit.
– Source and Method of CBD Extraction
Reputable and trustworthy stores source their products from ethical, preferably US-based hemp or cannabis farms. Ensure that CBD is extracted using safe methods that don’t involve the use of toxic chemicals throughout the entire process. CO2-supercritical extraction is the gold standard for the industry, so expect nothing less because this technique is not only safe but also yields the highest quality CBD with no unwanted contaminants.
– Detailed Product Description
In Illinois, all cannabis and hemp-derived CBD oil in Chicago must follow strict labeling guidelines. Make sure the label lists all the ingredients included in the product. These include:
- Registered name of the product
- Cultivation center’s name and address
- The serial number that combines the producer’s lot and batch number
- Date of manufacture, packing, and testing
- The ID of the third-party testing lab
- Expiry date
- Cannabinoids content and profile
This will help you trace the origin of the CBD, examine the product content, and make sure it matches your individual needs.
– Seller Reputation
Check Google Reviews, Yelp, and other review sites. Unbiased reviews from experts and previous users can go a very long way to establish the credibility and trustworthiness of a particular online CBD oil outlet. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for reviews on social media and check out testimonials on the seller’s site, but don’t take their word for it.
– Return Policy
This is perhaps the most neglected factor yet it will bite back if you ignore it. Read carefully through the store’s return policy – if they have one, that is. If it’s your first time purchasing from the store, they must be able to allow you to return an opened product within a sensible period.
Buying CBD oil in Chicago Locally
All you need to find local dispensaries and stores is to Google search the term “CBD shop near me” on a desktop or your mobile device. But is it really better to buy CBD oil locally than online?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
Pros of Buying CBD Oil in Chicago Locally
– Personal Interaction
You can never overestimate the power of personal interaction when shopping for a fairly new product. There’s something about one-on-one physical engagement that’s far more satisfying than online shopping.
Visiting a local CBD store or cannabis dispensary gives you the chance to interact face-to-face with a real sales rep in real-time. More importantly, they can answer some of your burning questions, give recommendations, and provide expert advice on dosage and general use. If you’re someone who can’t do without human interaction, there’s no alternative to buying from a local shop.
– Regulation and quality
All dispensaries in Chicago (and indeed all over Illinois) must obtain both business and cannabis licenses. That means they offer a high level of confidence when it comes to quality assurance and compliance with state regulations.
The store will also tell you when and where you can consume their products, particularly if they contain THC.
– Immediacy and Seamless Returns
One of the best things about buying CBD oil locally is that you will receive the product immediately. This will come in handy if you must relieve a certain condition as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait for 2, 3, or more days to get your precious CBD.
Most stores also offer returns if you aren’t satisfied for whatever reason. In that case, brick-and-mortar stores offer a seamless, hassle-free return process. You can take it to the store directly for inspection, so you can be issued with store credit or exchange without any fuss.
– No Shipping
In most cases, purchasing CBD online is quicker, but you still have to think about the extra shipping cost and delivery time. Even the fastest couriers and drop-shipping services take at least one day to get to your doorstep. Buying locally allows you to eliminate shipping from the equation.
– You Can Physically Inspect Products
Just like direct interactions, a physical inspection can go a long way. At the store, you can read the label, inspect the product, and may even try some samples. This will help you land a much more fitting product, reducing the chances of getting a counterfeit product.
Scam artists and fly-by-nights are also less likely to operate brick-and-mortar shops. They won’t pass the rigorous licensing and operation procedures put in place by the state.
– Buy Local, Support Local
When you purchase CBD oil locally, you’re helping out local businesses. You’re employing your neighbor, relative, friend, or someone you can bump into. That’s the best feeling out there as a consumer.
Cons of Buying CBD Oil in Chicago Locally
- Smaller select: You won’t have the great and more varied choice delivered by online shopping.
- Can be expensive: Limited option of brands and products sometimes means that you have to be content with a higher price tag
- Fewer discounts and deals
How to Find Stores near You That Sell CBD Oil in Chicago
– Use Your Favorite Search
Magic word: Google. Let the local mobile search be your BFF. You can use several search keywords to find the nearest place to get your CBD oil. The most popular include “CBD near me”, CBD store Chicago”, “CBD dispensary near me”, and so forth. You will be given a list of the top three candidates, but you can expand the list to see other viable options.
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid ads because only the most reputable and the best CBD stores get to the top results. Create a list of five top picks for further research, but you can visit all of them if they are within your transport range.
– Check Product Descriptions
It’s customary for local dispensaries to have websites, too. They will list all of the products in their inventory. From here, you can check ingredients, potency, pricing, and perhaps snag some discount codes.
– Join Local CBD Online Communities
Join relevant CBD groups in your neighborhood on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, or other online forums. On Facebook, for instance, search “CBD group in [your neighborhood].”
– Ask for Recommendations
The popularity of CBD oil in Chicago has grown over the years. There’s a tribe of users, advocates, and fans, so you will feel right at home even if you’re a novice. To find the most reliable CBD plug, simply ask your CBD-forward coworkers, friends, or family. The chances are good that they know a good store or know someone who knows one.
Understanding the Different Types of CBD Oil in Chicago
CBD oil products come in many forms, including hemp oil, creams, buds, shampoos, lotions, tinctures, edibles, bath bombs, gummies, drinks, and many more in between. However, all of these products can be placed into three major categories: CBD isolates, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD oil products.
- Full-spectrum CBD: Products that fall under this category contain all the major cannabinoids (CBG, CBN, CBC, and less than 0.3% THC), as well as terpenes, proteins, and other compounds that enhance the effects of CBD. This is called the entourage effect.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: Products in this category contain all else that full-spectrum CBD has except for THC. Needless to say, most of them are derived from industrial hemp.
- CBD isolates: These products contain CBD in its pure form. Except for the solvent and carrier oil, you won’t get any terpenes or other cannabinoids. In other words, you won’t benefit from the entourage effect here.
It’s important to note that all CBD oil products in the three categories won’t get you high unless the THC content is higher than 0.3 percent. FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products and sellers, so the best source of high-quality, safe CBD oil in Chicago is from state-licensed cannabis outlets, but don’t discount reputable online stores.