With more studies, fewer regulations and increased acceptance, CBD is gaining in popularity. This surge in interest however, has attracted a wave of entrepreneurs who want to make a quick buck on the heady crop. These capitalists tend to source their hemp from less-than-organic farms, use cheaper petroleum-based extraction methods, and provide no lab results or testing of their product to ensure potency. This makes it difficult for the consumer to decide what is high quality CBD oil and what isn’t. Below are some recommendations for ways to identify high-quality CBD.
- Clear Labels: Look for labels that clearly show the quantity of CBD, a manufacturing date and batch number (for quality control).
- Organic vs Non-Organic: Non-organic CBD oils may contain heavy metals and other toxins from the soil or may have been treated with pesticides in the growing process. Choose a brand that is organically certified to ensure its really organic!
- Full Spectrum vs Isolate: Another quality of a good CBD is that it is manufactured using the whole plant, also known as “Full Spectrum”. CBD Isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but in reality, it is a cheaper material than whole plant extracts. Using the whole plant, rather than using only one part, ensures that the oil contains not just CBD, but also the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than CBD alone.
- Quality Ingredients: Select products with quality ingredients. No corn syrup, GMOs, transfats, and artificial additives.
- Safe and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certified: This ensures the company takes the necessary safety precautions when handling and processing the CBD oil.
- Lab Testing: Look for products that show their independent 3rd-party lab results online. The test show results for consistency and free of heavy metals, microbials organisms, fungus, mold, bacteria, pesticides, solvent residues, and other contaminants.
- Safe Extraction: The production method used for extraction can massively affect the quality of the oil. Avoid products extracted with toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane or other hydrocarbons. Solvent residues are especially dangerous for immune-compromised patients. Look for products that entail a safer method of extraction like supercritical CO2.
Proper Source: The best CBD products use hemp oil sourced by farmers in the United States. The others use imported hemp oil that comes from China or Eastern Europe. These products lack any transparency when it comes to how the hemp is farmed or processed. Hemp plants absorb any bad chemicals (like pesticides or lead) in the soil when they grow. That means if hemp is grown on “bad” soil, the hemp oil will contain all these toxic chemicals. In contrast, in the United States, hemp farmers in the US are all licensed farmers and are required to get certified by the state department of agriculture . The seeds they use also are inspected.