First-Time Buyer's Guide: CBD Products and Tips

Brie Lowrey

First-Time Buyer's Guide: CBD Products and Tips

If you’re new to the exciting, bustling world of cannabis, you can benefit from learning how to buy CBD that works for your needs and won’t break the bank.

With more options than ever available now, the quest to find the right product types, strains, and brands is growing far more complex. Luckily for you, being a savvy shopper and having some background knowledge under your belt goes a long way.

Let’s take a look at how to choose the right product type, dose, and seller for high-quality CBD products. 

What is CBD, Exactly? How Does it Work?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. A cannabinoid is a compound that binds with receptors in our bodies to produce effects. 

Both marijuana and hemp plants are rich in cannabinoids, but while marijuana leans more heavily toward THC, hemp is known for higher amounts of CBD.

This distinguishing factor is why hemp was federally legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill in the U.S. CBD is known for its many health benefits, including some that may make it a viable treatment for conditions like epilepsy.

It gets the job done by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. Think of this system as a set of locks. When the locks are activated, certain rewards become available. 

CBD is the key in this scenario, binding to specific receptors that control bodily functions like sleep, appetite, and inflammation. 

How Do I Choose the Right CBD Product?

Choosing the right CBD product comes down to personal preference. As you embark on your quest to learn how to buy CBD that fits your needs, it helps to establish what those needs are in the first place.

  • Consider Your Goals: Think about what you hope to achieve from using CBD. Is it relief from pain? Lowered anxiety? Better sleep? Having some idea of your goals will help you pick the right product type and maximize your results.
  • Think About Your Lifestyle: Not all CBD products are for everyone. For instance, smoking CBD flower might not be your top choice if you live in a studio apartment with no windows. Likewise, some people find that products with longer-lasting effects are better than those with fast but short-lived results.
  • Develop a Budget: How much money are you looking to spend on your products? Different options will come with distinct price ranges. If you’re a beginner, opting for something cheaper might be your preference. 

Smokables and Vapeables

When we talk about CBD smokables, we’re talking about any product that you inhale to use. This can include options such as:

  • CBD flower
  • Pre-rolls (joints, blunts, etc.)
  • CBD kief
  • CBD moonrocks
  • Concentrates
  • Vape cartridges

These products are usually readily available at just about any store, site, or dispensary you come across. Some are formulated solely with CBD, but others might include small amounts of THC, delta-8 THC, and other cannabinoids.

When you smoke or vape CBD, the cannabinoids rapidly enter your lungs and bloodstream, delivering fast results. 

However, depending on your dose, their effects tend to fade within just a few hours. And it can be tricky to get a measured, specific dose since it depends on how much or hard you inhale at a time.

CBD Smokables


  • Easy to find
  • Kicks in quickly
  • Usually fairly inexpensive
  • Lots of options to choose from


  • Hard to dose
  • May contain other cannabinoids
  • Might require purchasing pieces or accessories

Edibles, Tinctures, and Oils

Products that you use by orally ingesting them fall under the umbrella of edible CBD. This can include things like:

  • Gummies
  • CBD oil
  • Broad- and full-spectrum tinctures
  • Baked goods
  • Capsules

Edible CBD is a popular choice for people living with chronic pain. It takes some time to kick in, as it must be broken down by your stomach during digestion to activate, but its effects can last for up to eight to twelve hours. 

These options are also far easier to dose – many come with pipettes or individual wrapping and dosage guides that make it simple to measure how much you consume.

CBD Edibles and Oils


  • Long-lasting results
  • Easy to dose properly
  • Easy to use discreetly


  • Can be pricier than other picks
  • May be trickier to locate
  • Takes time to kick in


Products that are applied on top of your body are, unsurprisingly, known as “topicals.” Popular options include:

  • CBD creams
  • CBD patches
  • CBD lotions

A major benefit of this product class is the ability to target very specific areas of your body. If you have joint pain and swelling, for instance, you can tackle it right at the source without wasting cannabinoids on areas that don’t need them. 

CBD can indeed absorb into and bind with receptors in your skin, delivering localized relief from pain, itching, redness, and more. 

CBD Topicals


  • Easy to target certain areas
  • Doesn’t cause side effects like drowsiness or nausea
  • Easy to use whenever, wherever


  • Can’t be used for all symptoms
  • Can be costly

What’s the Best Amount of CBD for Beginners? Dosage Guide

A starting dose of 2.5 mg per day is usually best for beginners. It’s best to start small and work your way up to larger doses to avoid things like headaches or nausea. 

If you tolerate 2.5 mg well, try increasing by 0.5 mg at a time until you reach an ideal dose. You should experience relief from your symptoms without creeping into side effect territory. 

Many people find that a dose of 5-10 mg daily is more than enough to get the job done, but what’s best for you will likely depend on your body size, symptoms, and personal biology. 

How Can I Tell if My CBD is High-Quality?

If your CBD smells right, looks right, and is soft to the touch, it’s probably high-quality. But learning how to buy CBD that ticks all the right boxes can take time and practice. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help make things easier.

Use Your Senses

High-quality CBD flower or products should have a scent to them. Depending on the product, this smell might be gassy, piney, earthy, or even a little skunky. Options like CBD topicals or vape cartridges might also be influenced by other ingredients added to their formulas. 

Take a good look at your product, too. If it’s flower, it should be colorful (usually green, purple, or golden) and coated in shiny trichomes, which appear to deflect light. Full, hearty, and moist buds are a sign of a good purchase.

Bud that looks dry and dull is probably not worth your money. Likewise, cartridges, oils, and other products that look separated, chunky, or otherwise a little odd might not be the best to splurge on.

Look for a COA

Learning to read a certificate of analysis (COA) will take your cannabis knowledge to the next level. A COA is an official report created by professional, third-party labs that analyze the chemical and physical properties of a product.

All reputable brands should include a COA for every individual product they sell. This information should be publicly available either on your product’s packaging or on the brand’s website.

On your COA, you should be able to see the cannabinoid and terpene profile for your product. You’ll also find important safety test results that prove a product is up to industry standards.

Many times, a lack of a COA is more telling than a poor one. If you can’t access this information, it’s probably best to keep on scrolling.

Consider Brand Reputation

Because CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), essentially anyone and their grandmother can produce and sell it. And not all products are designed well or with your safety in mind.

Save your bucks and energy by shopping with reputable brands that have proven their products are worth trusting. Customer testimonials and reviews are a great way to gauge this factor. 

Where Can I Buy CBD? How to Score Top Products

No matter the product you’re after, you can purchase high-quality CBD right here at The Green Dragon CBD. We know that learning how to buy CBD can be stressful. That’s why we’re always available to answer your questions and provide support. 

You can also contact us for a free consultation so we can help you discover the best products for your needs. 

How old do you have to be to buy CBD?

In most U.S. states, you need to be 18 or older to purchase CBD. In some, you must be 21 or older. Laws surrounding CBD and cannabinoids are constantly changing, so be sure to check in with your state’s policies before making a purchase. 

It’s also a good idea to check in with your doctor before you try out CBD. Cannabinoids can interact with prescription medications and may worsen some health conditions, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Final Thoughts: How to Buy CBD That Works for You

As you browse the vast market of CBD products, remember that there ultimately is no right or wrong decision (aside from questionable sellers, of course). What works for your body and lifestyle is the best choice for you. 

If you need extra help navigating your options, feel free to contact us at any time to learn more. 

First-Time Buyer's Guide: CBD Products and Tips
If you’re new to the exciting, bustling world of cannabis, you can benefit from learning how to buy CBD that works for your needs and won’t break the bank.
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