It seems like CBD is everywhere, the industry is getting bigger and bigger, companies are constantly expanding, and the market is being flooded with new products everyday. But when you are buying CBD, how do you know you are doing it safely?
Following recent changes in regulations and the passing of the farm bill in the US last year, the CBD industry boomed. This has been a double edged sword for companies and customers alike. Although it is good news that CBD is becoming more widely available and accessible, the recent flood into the market means that there are many low-grade operations who are selling low quality CBD to their customers. To ensure you are getting high quality and safe CBD, there are a few checks you can carry out before you buy.
Most CBD products are available to buy online and there is a smaller selection available on the high street. Although online shopping for a new product can seem like a daunting task, it allows you to take the time to do your research.
First of all, find a company which is honest and transparent about their entire production process, from start to finish. That means knowing where and how the hemp was cultivated, up to how it is extracted and turned into the final product. If a company has nothing to hide they will be forthright with this information, which helps you, the customer, trust them.
This information should tell you about the ingredients included in the product, such as what kind of carrier oil is used in CBD oil. But another important question you need to ask is, what kind of CBD extract is this?
CBD extract comes in three forms: isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum. CBD is just one of around 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It was previously thought that if the CBD molecules were isolated this would make a more effective extracted. However, it was then found that the components of the plant were actually more effective when kept together (this is known as the entourage effect). Full spectrum extract maintains all elements as found naturally in the plant. Broad spectrum is similar, except it excludes THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) , the psychoactive component. Nevertheless all CBD products must have less than 0.3% THC content to be sold legally.
Another way to verify the contents and safety of your CBD product is to look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). These documents are obtained by CBD producers when they test their extract in third party laboratories. If you cannot find a COA this very well may be a mark that the company is untrustworthy. On the document you will also be able to find out the exact dosage of the CBD extract.
Perhaps the most authentic way to find out if a product is safe and trustworthy is to read customer reviews, as these will represent a true to life experience. Either look for reviews via the online shop, or head to a trusted third party review site such as Trustpilot.
Last, but certainly not least, you must check the legality of CBD and buy CBD wherever you are based. Laws can vary across countries and states, and they are constantly changing so keep an eye out for how you might be affected.