You might be online looking for CBD gummies, CBD lotions, chocolates, or even pet products; regardless of the CBD product you need, chances are, you’ll find a world of companies out there selling you exactly what you need. But with all these choices available, many consumers are left wondering “How do I know which company is trustworthy?” CBD is trendy and in-demand. That means companies have an incentive to be part of this new “green rush.” That usually means they’ll be willing to bend rules, hide facts in vague wording, and veil their true products’ origins and processes behind hype marketing – whatever they need to do to sell. As a consumer, or as a retailer searching for a legitimate supplier, it is important to be savvy in this new market. Legislation and regulatory entities are playing catch up with this industry that has rocketed forward, so it is currently in the buyer’s best interest to understand what to look for. Whether you’re a consumer looking to buy CBD products for personal use or a CBD retailer looking for a legitimate manufacturer, here are some things to look for that can help you identify a trustworthy source for Cannabidiol products.
How CBD products are made matters very much. Since the industry is so new, there are little to no regulations that control the manufacturing process. Because of this, different CBD brands may have different methods of extraction to process CBD oil from cannabis. Some of the cheaper extraction methods include toxic components that are dangerous to human health, such as butane, pentane, hexane, and propane – all hydrocarbons found in petroleum.
Other companies that choose higher-quality methods to process CBD, methods that use organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol. This process removes toxins and residues from the plant that the CBD is being sourced from. This is considered, in the industry, to result in the most cannabinoids when compared to other methods of extraction. It is also considered to be the safest method for humans.
Yet another method of extraction uses Supercritical CO2 extraction, which uses carbon dioxide and high pressure in a very cold environment. Supercritical CO2 extraction involves special equipment and a sophisticated refinement process as well as specialized know-how on production. This method helps the CBD oil keep its purity throughout the process.
Lastly, it is important not to confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil comes from cold pressing the hemp seeds. This oil contains NO CBD. CBD oil comes from a cannabis plant’s flower, or rather, the whole plant. It can come from the hemp plant and contain CBD, just look for the product to have less than 0.3% THC content, in compliance with the legal limit.
A legitimate company should either have their manufacturing and extraction method information displayed on the site or should be open with you if you were to reach out to them and ask them about their methods. The most recommended processes are the methods involving organic ethanol or the Supercritical CO2 method.
Having the appropriate certifications another important attribute to look for when deciding on a CBD manufacturer. A legitimate CBD manufacturer should have their Certificate of Analysis either readily available on their site or available to you if you ask to see it. They need to have had their products 3rd party tested, at least once the product is finished, but an ideal situation is a company that also tests via a 3rd party when the raw material is received, as well as when the product is finished. When reviewing the Certificate of Analysis (COA,) look for a lab that meets the ISO 17025 standard. This indicates that the lab is adhering to scientific standards. The test methods used should also be validated by one of these three national standard-setting organizations: The AOAC (Agricultural Chemists,) the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia,) or the AHP (American Herbal Pharmacopeia.) If you ask a company to provide you with their Certificate of Analysis and they cannot provide it or refuse to, you should take this as a huge red flag and avoid doing business with them.
It’s easy to hide behind a pretty website. Some companies are quick to throw some captivating images on their website and enticing copy, but won’t provide clear contact information. You should be able to see a company’s mailing address and at least a contact email or phone number, in case you have questions or concerns about the product. Being able to view contact info and verify it helps you figure out if the manufacturer really is based where they say they are. If a company is covert about their contact info, or only provides a general area or no way to contact them, consider this a red flag. This goes for any type of company in most industries, not just CBD.
Where hemp is sourced is crucial to knowing if you’re getting a quality product or not. Hemp grows in several different places that have the right climate for it to thrive. There are countries in Europe and Asia that grow it, just as it is grown in the U.S. and Canada. However, the Americas and some countries in Europe have the strictest organic regulations and because of this, they tend to yield the best quality product. Lax standards in Asian countries make the product cheaper but lower quality. Since the Farm Bill of 2018 made it legal to grow and sell hemp and its derivatives, U.S. farmers have been committed to growing and providing quality products and abiding by the strict standards that are in place as far as organic practices in order to earn the label. As a buyer, you can feel assured that the product you are purchasing is controlled and help to certain standards if you source your CBD products from the U.S.
Look for manufacturers and/or retailers that carry products with clearly displayed content, supplement or dosage information. You should be able to see how much CBD (Cannabidiol) the products contain and if there are any other cannabinoids present. Be wary of products that only show you the total amount of cannabinoids and not specifically how much CBD is in them. Look for dosage amounts, normally shown in milligram amounts. This allows you or your clients to control the amount of intake.
There is currently only one CBD product on the market that has earned the approval of the FDA for use in the treatment of seizures. All other CBD products on the market do not have this official approval and therefore must be very careful about the statements and claims they make in regards to their products. As a buyer, you should not be seeing any claims by any CBD retailers or manufacturers stating that their products can cure an illness, disease or condition.