Over the last few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has been a trending product due to its possible health benefits. CBD products derived from the hemp plant containing less than 0.3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are federally approved but restricted in some states. On the other hand, CBD products derived from marijuana plants are federally restricted but approved in few states.
Since CBD is a relatively new product in the market, buying genuine products can be quite difficult. Many companies are mushrooming, claiming to offer genuine products, which might not be the case. According to a report published in 2017 by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 26% of the products contained a lower percentage of CBD, contrary to what was indicated on the label.
You as the consumer, it is paramount to check the following factors when purchasing CBD products online:
Certificate of Analysis
According to the Hemp Farm Bill created in 2018, every CBD brand must produce a COA to ensure transparency in the CBD product development. Typically, the COA is a comprehensive report on the specific contents of a product being produced. The CBD COA gives a correct analysis of the products; terpenes, cannabinoids, and pollutant or contaminant profiles. Third-party laboratory services should ascertain that the products are federally compliant and safe for consumption.
A COA is an integral factor to consider when purchasing CBD products online, and reputable e-commerce CBD dealers such as botanicam.com ensure it is included in all products. It acts as a quality control tool and confirms CBD products’ credibility being sold to the public. To avoid a biased report on the product profile, the report should be prepared by a credible third-party.
Primarily, a COA should contain the following detailed information:
1. The Potency of the Product
It should detail the amount of CBD and THC contained in the product. The amount of THC on medically approved CBD products should be less than 0.3%. Since the THC compound is a psychoactive product, high concentrations can lead to patients ‘getting high’. Consequently, the report should state other minor cannabinoids contained in the product.
2. The Contaminants or Pesticides
Another critical section on the COA is the possible contaminants such as pesticides or microbes present. There should be an adequate analysis of the growing conditions of the hemp plant. If the hemp was grown in soil soaked with pesticides, there is a high probability of the CBD products containing harmful pesticides.
3. Terpenes Profile
Terpenes are beneficial products found in the hemp plant. They are responsible for the aromatic character of CBD oils or creams. The terpenes profile indicates the concentration of terpenes present in the products.
4. Heavy Metal Profile
The hemp plant is a known phytoremediation crop which means it absorbs most materials present in the soil. It can absorb heavy metals such as mercury and lead. The heavy metal profile identifies the product’s heavy metals and will indicate if the product is safe for consumption.
5. Extraction Summary
CBD brands use several extraction processes. A manufacturer can either opt for CO2 extraction, natural plant oil extraction, or liquid solvent extraction. The CO2 extraction process is the most superior and produces high-quality CBD products. The method does not leave any potentially harmful residues and creates safe products for consumption.
Provider and Manufacturer of the CBD
Checking the provider and manufacturer of the CBD is very crucial. Shady providers will be reluctant to provide a COA and essential information of their products. Most brands that provide vague information when advertising and labeling their products may not be genuine providers.
In today’s cannabis space, it is intrinsic to buy from reputable brands. Genuine CBD providers should meet the following standard qualifications:
- Inspected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified
- Manufacturing CBD products in FDA-approved facilities.
- Farm to Shelf quality testing
Labeling of the Products
The FDA does not recommend that brands print the name CBD on the products. All states that have authorized the sale of CBD medical or recreational products require that they be labeled according to the FDA’s rules. Essentially, a genuine CBD product should contain the following essential information:
- Net weight
- Manufacturer or provider of the product and their address and contacts
- Type of CBD; full-spectrum, isolate, or broad-spectrum
- Batch code
- The concentration of CBD and other products
- The use of the product; medical, dietary, or recreational use
A brand that omits such crucial information in labeling the products might not be selling authentic products to the consumers. It is essential to carefully evaluate the label of the CBD products and scrutinize if they match the COA report provided by the brand.
Type of CBD
Another major aspect to consider when purchasing CBD products is the type. Depending on the use, you have a wide variety of options to select from in the market. Some of the common products include:
- Oil and tinctures
- Creams and lotions
Although CBD products’ effects tend to be the same, some, such as vaporizes, have relatively quick action. It is essential to note that creams and lotions are the best to manage pain and inflammatory reactions.
Some brands may add additional ingredients to their CBD products to enhance their effectiveness or add some aromatic flavors. Common ingredients that can be added include flavoring additives, chemicals, or compounds. These added ingredients may have toxic elements which may pose a health hazard to the consumer.
Consequently, you might be allergic to the compounds added to the products. Before purchasing CBD online, identify all the compounds in the product and identify if they pose any potential threat to your health.
Since CBD is a new product, its research about managing certain medical conditions is still in its infancy stage. It is thus necessary to exercise caution when buying this product from online sources. When purchasing, select a product with a COA from a credible third-party lab that comprehensively analyzes the CBD products’ compounds.