In 2018, the ban on commercial hemp farming and production was finally lifted. Now it seems like CBD products are sold everywhere!
You can find CBD in capsules and lotions, teas and tinctures, candies and vape pens, other edibles, bath salts, and balms.
But how do you know that the CBD products you are buying are of high quality? This is a question that is easier to ask than answer.
In this article, you will find a comprehensive guide to buying quality CBD products from reputable manufacturers you can trust.
Is the CBD Industry Regulated?
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 has allowed farmers to grow hemp for commercial manufacture, distribution, and use.
Hemp is a plant in the cannabis family of plants. It is also one of the most useful and multi-purpose plants on the planet.
Hemp can serve as a sustainable alternative to traditional lumber. It can be used to make textiles, including linens and clothing and even shoes. Hemp is also used to make health and wellness products, including hemp oil and CBD products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently states that CBD products are not considered to be dietary supplements and cannot be sold as such.
As well, the FDA stipulates that CBD products are only legal to sell in the United States if the THC content is 0.3 percent or less. Any CBD product that contains more than 0.3 percent THC is considered to be a controlled substance.
There are other governing organizations that impose tighter restrictions on CBD product quality, but compliance is currently voluntary. Each state can also set its own additional statutes or regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD in that state.
What does this mean for you, the end consumer? At this time, it means the CBD industry is only loosely regulated, and it will be up to you to do your research and select a reputable manufacturer.
Why Do You Want to Use CBD Products?
As we mentioned in the introduction here, CBD comes in many different forms. You have your choice of oral or topical CBD.
Oral forms can include tinctures and vape pens, capsules, teas and edibles, gummies, and essential oils.
Topical forms can include balms and creams, lotions, and bath salts.
How you take CBD products will impact how quickly they work and how long the effects last.
For example, if you take CBD in a vape pen, you will experience an immediate effect. But it will wear off more quickly.
But if you take CBD in an edible, it will have to pass through your gut first and will take longer to take effect. However, that effect will also last longer.
This can be important if you are taking CBD for a time-sensitive need.
For instance, if you are experiencing anxiety and need fast relief, a drop of tincture placed under the tongue will work very quickly.
But if you need help falling asleep and you plan to go to bed in 30 minutes, taking a CBD edible might be the better choice since it will take longer to deliver the maximum effect.
When you take time to identify the end result you are aiming for, you will have a much better chance of choosing the right high-quality CBD products for your needs.
Identify a Reputable CBD Products Manufacturer
The remainder of this article will focus on choosing a manufacturer of CBD that you can trust.
There are several things to look for when you are deciding which company to shop with.
Identify the hemp source.
Most domestically-sourced hemp is grown in Colorado, Oregon, or Kentucky, according to Consumer Reports.
Some manufacturers procure their hemp from overseas. Different countries have different standards for growing and testing hemp. Some countries have very high standards, and others don’t have many standards. So just be sure you know where the hemp came from.
Know the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the main active ingredient in CBD products. It comes from the stalk, stems, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant.
CBD oil is cannabidiol in an oil-based format.
Hemp oil, which is sometimes called hemp seed oil, comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp oil may contain trace amounts of CBD only. Hemp oil has other benefits and is often used in personal care products.
If you want the benefit of the active ingredient, CBD, you need CBD oil, not hemp oil.
Review the ingredients list.
CBD products may contain a full spectrum or isolate CBD. One is not better or stronger than the other, but they are different. Full-spectrum CBD may contain as much as 0.3 percent THC, which can sometimes show up on drug tests. CBD isolate is cannabidiol only.
Also, pay attention to whether there are additional active or inactive ingredients and where those were sourced.
Most importantly, make sure the ingredients list tells you how much CBD you will be getting per dose of the product.
Study the test results.
The most reputable manufacturers will test their CBD products to determine the precise concentration of each active ingredient. The results are usually called the COA, or Certificate of Analysis.
This testing is not required. So companies that test, choose to do so, and usually are proud to post their COA results on their website or provide the results when asked.
Companies that conduct COA tests can also help you steer clear of any problematic ingredients (such as THC) if your employer requires drug testing.
Several official national organizations provide validation for COA testing, including U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC), and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP).
By knowing what information to look for on the CBD product packaging and on the manufacturer’s website, you will be able to choose the right CBD products for your health and wellness needs and goals.