You’re up to speed on current trends, products, fashions and fads, right? You know that CBD has been in the public eye for some time, and you know that many CBD users are convinced that this remarkable compound has improved their lives in a number of ways. Perhaps you are one of that crowd. But do you really know what to look for and to look out for when choosing your CBD? There are bad actors out there pushing inferior or even dangerous products, and there are, shall we say, insufficiently knowledgeable manufacturers who may not follow a quality procedure throughout their entire manufacturing process. It is important for any CBD user to understand the attributes of a quality product and to apply that knowledge to make smart buying decisions. It isn’t just a matter of getting a good value – it is also a matter of importance to your health.
It has only been very recently that studies of hemp and marijuana have been legal, so the body of knowledge and verifiable fact remains sparse. In light of this, it is not surprising that the FDA has not yet been willing to certify CBD and other cannabinoids as medicinal substances. They remain supplements, and largely unregulated substances at that. In such an environment, there are bound to be freewheeling entrepreneurs and some outright crooks looking to make a quick buck. Avoiding their products is key to your health as a CBD user.
Instances of harm done by contaminated CBD exist. In 2018, 52 people in Utah suffered illness and some hurried to emergency rooms after ingesting fake CBD that had been made with synthetic compounds. Ironically, most symptoms suffered by these people were precisely some of the issues that real CBD is believed to address; seizures, anxiety, and nausea.
Obviously, such synthetic substitutes and poorly produced CBD can easily do more harm than good. Even well-meaning brands, however, can end up delivering CBD products to the market that do not measure up. They may not make you sick, but they also may not do anything to address the issues that you hoped they would. CBD is not cheap, and if you are going to use it for your own well-being, you want to be certain that you are going to get the proper ingredients, volume, and results that you paid for.
So how is a person to know which CBD product to buy? Most of us are not experts on the CBD marketplace and the range of products available. Fortunately, there are people and organizations that are:
- Reputable reviewing sites such as CBDtop10.com have vetted many products, spoken with manufacturers, and researched production methods to curate lists of products you can depend on.
- The FDA does not indicate quality producers, but they do point out brands that have not measured up. A look at the FDA website will reveal a list of CBD brands that have been warned that their products did not match the listed ingredients and CBD content as advertised.
- The U.S. Hemp Authority has begun vetting CBD manufacturers and issuing their quality certification to those brands that meet all criteria for quality growth, processing, production and labeling of their CBD products. (Note – this certification process is relatively recent. The lack of a USHA certification does not mean poor quality, it may be that the brand has not yet been inspected for certification).
- Follow the points listed below for the basic requirements you’ll want to see to ensure you have selected a quality product:
Properly sourced hemp
The hemp plant eagerly draws in anything that is to be found in the soil, so a good CBD product starts with plants that are grown and cultivated in a responsible way, in toxin-free soil. Fortunately, there are many quality growers, especially in North America and Europe, who are committed to producing quality hemp. Read labels and websites to find out where your hemp is sourced.
Solvent-free extraction method
CBD (and the other cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana) must be extracted from the plant to make the product you buy and use. There are several ways to do this, and not all of them are desirable. A process that uses chemical solvents will introduce those solvents into the final product and into your body. To avoid this, look for products that have been obtained by means of supercritical CO2 extraction. It’s not the only safe extraction method, but it is by far the most widely used and accepted method by reputable brands.
Anyone can tell you they make a high-quality product, but not all the companies selling CBD are being honest with you. Some are in it to make a quick buck in an exploding market. Those brands that truly want to deliver CBD that you can use with confidence will have their products tested by independent laboratories for verification, and will publish those results. Consumers of such tested products are able to readily confirm the composition and strength of the product and the absence of contaminants.
There are a few more tips that can help you ensure that your CBD is of good quality:
First, buy your CBD products directly from the manufacturer or from a retail outlet with knowledgeable sales personnel to guide you. Do not buy from gas stations, groceries, or other retailers looking to cash in on the popularity of CBD without really knowing what it is they are selling. And don’t buy your CBD on Amazon, either. You’re more likely to encounter a hastily-made product, and it will most likely be hemp oil rather than true CBD. There’s nothing wrong with hemp oil, it’s just not the same thing as CBD oil.
Be sure to buy products that have been independently tested for ingredients and composition, and that make the results of such tests readily available. Any product lacking this basic tenet of transparency to the consumer should be avoided.
As with any product, make sure your CBD is sealed when you purchase it. An unsealed container leaves open the possibility of adulterated or substituted ingredients.
Once you have your CBD, store it in such a way as to minimize exposure to heat, light, and air for maximum shelf life.
CBD has convinced many happy users that their life is better because of it, and it could be that you will receive the same benefits that those users claim. Just be sure to apply the thoughts in this article and use common sense to ensure you are getting and using a quality CBD product.