All CBD Is Not Created Equal: Here’s What You Should Know
The CBD revolution has begun. More and more, cannabidiol (CBD) is being hailed as a potential solution for a host of ailments and chronic conditions. And everyone from suburban moms to world-class athletes are jumping on the bandwagon to treat fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation and a host of other conditions. But with an estimated 1,500 CBD brands out there, how can consumers be assured that products they purchase are everything that’s touted?
With so many producers and manufacturers entering the market, here’s what everyone needs to know about purchasing quality CBD:
- Imported vs. domestic: For many products, seeing “imported” on the label is impressive or a sign of high quality. However, with CBD, imported is not typically a good sign. Hemp (which is the raw resource for CBD) is not like most plants. Known as a “bioaccumulator,” the hemp plant draws undesirable toxins out of the soil where it is grown. Because it pulls pesticides, heavy metals and other substances from the soil, hemp is often grown to clean fields for other crops. Therefore, knowing exactly where and how hemp is grown is critical to making a sound CBD buying decision.Agricultural standards vary wildly across the globe and it is important to know that the hemp purchased is grown on healthy farm land in a cultivation environment that is safe and clean. Following the passage of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill in the United States, many states witnessed a significant increase in hemp farming. To manage this growing agri-business, states have created legitimate licensing and certification processes farmers must follow. This provides a layer of safety and accountability that helps to ensure high quality. So one of the quickest and easiest first steps to take when purchasing CBD products is to inquire exactly where the hemp was grown. If any brand you’re considering doesn’t disclose this information, you might want to reconsider your purchase.
- Extraction practices: Because of its burgeoning industry status, hemp agriculture and CBD manufacturing is in a bit of a “Wild West” stage. There are products that are literally being manufactured in someone’s kitchen or garage, while other growers and manufacturers are less primitive but are similarly “rustic” in their approach toward accountability and transparency.Processes used for the extraction, as well as any potential contamination from the facility used in extraction, can have a huge impact on product quality. There are a variety of approaches to the extraction process, using carbon dioxide (CO2) or solvents, that create vastly different outcomes and impact the potency and overall quality of the product. A safe and effective process will ensure that cannabinoids are not damaged during the extraction process. If you want to ensure you are purchasing high-quality products, check what kind of extraction process the manufacturer uses. If you can’t get a clear and detailed answer, choose a different manufacturer.
- Lack of uniform regulation: Even when you find a product that was safely grown and extracted in a high-quality facility, has that product been tested thoroughly? Did it pick up heavy metals or other contaminants in the manufacturing process? Is it the correct potency? These are all important questions to consider. Even in the United States, regulations surrounding quality control are weak or non-existent. As a result, reputable companies in the industry are self regulating – and some are doing so to a very high standard. Look for brands that mention testing and provide access to a Certificate of Analysis (COA). At O2Holistic, we provide the COAs for every product sold on your website and you can access those reports at any time on our Test Results page.
O2Holistic makes it easy to find high-quality CBD because we look at all the important factors necessary and we will never offer products that do not meet the highest standards for quality. But at the end of the day, understanding how hemp is grown, where it’s grown and how it’s processed into quality CBD is a sure way consumers can feel safe and secure in their purchase decisions. In an industry of “buyer beware,” an informed consumer is always the best defense.