As the demand for CBD products rises, more companies are popping up every day selling all things CBD. The industry is growing at an exponential rate, and with low product regulations, many low quality CBD suppliers are slipping through the cracks. The potential benefits of CBD are numerous, though further testing and research are required to identify the validity of these claims. Regardless, you should never consume, apply, or inhale any substance that doesn’t come from a reliable, trustworthy source.
With thousands of CBD products on the market, how can you identify which brands you can trust? Since the FDA has not approved or endorsed any of the supposed benefits of CBD, it can be confusing to try to identify which products are safe. Every company is likely to claim they have high quality products, though that is not the case. There are some vital signs to look out for when choosing products that will indict their quality.
Here is how you can identify high quality CBD products
Choose a reliable supplier
The best way to identify high quality CBD oil products is by choosing a reliable supplier. That’s easier said than done as many illegitimate companies will present themselves in a way that makes them look legitimate. They might have a ton of “testimonials,” a high price tag, and a professional website, but all those features are easy to tweak to their benefit. Anyone can invest in impactful logo design and print a legitimate looking product label. There are some things, however, that they cannot fake.
While there may not be a black and white way to determine how legitimate a company is, here are some red flags to look for.
1. How long they've been in business
The FDA is trying its best to keep on top of CBD suppliers who are making illegitimate claims regarding their CBD oil products. With the high volume of new suppliers, it can be hard for the FDA to keep up. The longer a company has been around, the more likely it will have been caught out if it has been selling low quality CBD or making false claims. So, if they’ve been around awhile, you can usually trust that their CBD is of a good standard.
2. Contact details
The more transparent a company is, the more you can trust them. If you wanted to contact the supplier, you should have no problem finding all the details you need. Look for a physical address as well as a phone number and email address. If they only list an email, it’s an immediate red flag.
3. Guarantees and refund policy
If a supplier is trustworthy, they should always put the customer first. A comprehensive return policy is a good sign of a reliable brand. They should also make guarantees regarding the quality of their product. If you can’t find a guarantee than they likely aren’t selling reputable CBD products.
4. How they market their products
How did you find this CBD product? Was it pitched to you from someone, or did you find it organically? The marketing tactics of a company can tell you a lot about them. The MLM (multi-level marketing) world has identified CBD oil products as a potential scheme to make big bucks. Often products sold in MLM schemes are low quality, and the business is just there to profit from the sales model itself. Also, does the company market its products as cures for medical ailments or issues? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently disallows this. So if an American seller is marketing themselves in a way that contradicts FDA guidelines, making all sorts of bold and broad health claims to sell their products, there might be an ethical problem inside the company and a casual disregard for government rules.
Ask for test results
All reputable CBD suppliers should be able to supply you with drug test results and lab reports on request. If they already list them on their site, then that’s even better. All of our products, for example, have their lab test results publicly available on our website. Each product should have a certificate of analysis, which will break down the amounts of THC and amount of CBDwithin it. It will also show you any additional plant extracts or contaminants in the CBD. Hemp plants pull many substances from the soil they are planted in, such as heavy metals and pesticides, so testing is essential to determine what’s in your CBD.
All CBD comes from the cannabis plant, but the most common you will find is from the legal version of the hemp plant. CBD that comes from legal hemp has less than 0.3% THC by content, and so long as it fits this requirement it may not require further product testing of the final product to be sold in many states. Companies that are committed to high quality products will, however, test them further anyway. You should avoid any company that doesn’t test their final product on a batch-by-batch basis and can’t provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA). It’s also important to note that any results should come from third-party tests to ensure unbiased validity without a conflict of interest.
There are two main ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. The first is CO2 extraction, and the second is ethanol extraction. While they are both effective and legitimate, CO2 is generally regarded as a more pure form of extraction and that can result in higher quality CBD.
CO2 extraction is efficient and safe and doesn’t use any harmful chemicals which could taint the product. It merely uses high-pressured carbon dioxide and keeps the product pure. The second method of extraction uses liquid solvents such as isopropyl, butane, or ethanol to extract the CBD and may result in impurities in the final product if not removed effectively.
Full spectrum CBD versus CBD isolates
If you are looking for terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabis compounds in your CBD products, look for CBD products that are made from whole-plant extracts. These are called full spectrum CBD oils. While isolate is CBD in its purest form, it doesn’t include these terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids, which might be proven one day to work with the CBD to potentially make it more effective. That said, we cannot endorse any such statements regarding the potential superiority or effectiveness of any forms of CBD until the FDA approves them in the future.
Make sure that any CBD product you purchase tells you exactly how much CBD you’re getting. Typically, this in shown on the container label as the milligrams of CBD in the product. If you’re buying a product like a 1 ounce tincture, each bottle contains 30 full 1mL droppers of product in it. So you can divide the CBD milligrams on the label by 30, to calculate how much CBD you get in each full dropper dose. For a 1000mg tincture, for example, each full 1mL dropper contains roughly 33.33mg of CBD in it. If the product label only lists cannabinoids, be cautious. Cannabinoids do not only refer to CBD but also other compounds as well. Many companies try to label their products that way is hoping to reduce the scrutiny they might receive from the FDA and therefore are not usually trustworthy.
All Federally legal CBD products must contain levels of THC under 0.3%. If it’s higher, not only does it show the CBD product may be of lesser quality (due to less production accuracy), but it also may make it illegal, depending on your location. When reading the label, look for this and all the above details to make sure the CBD you’re purchasing is legal, free of chemicals and impurities, and of high quality.
Furthermore, we also have other terrific blog articles such as What Is The Difference Between Full Spectrum and THC Free CBD?. — We are The Violetta Company.