CBD seems to be available everywhere—in vape and shops, convenience stores and gas stations, specialty CBD/Hemp Stores, and the internet, just to mention a few.  However, not all CBD products have CBD.  Independent testing has found that many products that are labeled as having CBD actually have no CBD and, if they do have CBD, the level may be very different from that on the bottle, either higher or lower. 

What am I suppose to do?

After reviewing multiple sites and companies that provide CBD products to the public, I have found that the reputable companies seem to agree on the following severn criteria to determine where to buy CBD.

1) CBD-enriched Hemp Oil

Get CBD-enriched hemp oil.  Not CBD by itself nor hemp seed oil, but hemp oil made from the plant, not the flowers.  Hemp oil will contain multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which are beneficial and needed to produce the entourage effects seen when hemp oil is taken instead of plain CBD. (See Blog: The Entourage Effect for reasons why to only use CBD-enriched hemp oil)  CBD-enriched hemp oil is more costly to produce than plain CBD.  Good companies don’t scrimp but provide the best quality product.

2) Purity of the product

Is the CBD organic and GMO free?  Is it free of pesticides, heavy metals, and toxins?  Does the company test for these things and publish the results?  Good companies want their product to be safe.

3) Product production

Where does the product come from?  How is the hemp oil extracted from the plant?  High pressure CO2 extraction is the best and it is even better if high pressure CO2 is combined with ethanol extraction.  Beware of other solvent extractions as they may remain in the product.  Ethanol is easily removed from the product.  Good companies want to produce good product.

4) Laboratory testing

Is the product tested for consistency in its contents from one batch to other?  The companies will test each batch in their own lab and will send occasional samples to outside labs for independent testing (to make sure that their in-house testing is correct).  In-house testing of every batch ensures that the concentration of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids is consistent from one batch to another.  Good companies want to produce consistent product.

5) Transparency

Does the company publish the results of their testing and/or the independent results of the outside testing of their product?  This is like being able to read the ingredients in a food product.  Does the company publish the testing of their products for pesticides, heavy metals, and toxins?  Good companies want you to have this information. 

6) Return policy

Does the company let you return their product for any reason within 60 days after obtaining it?  Less than sixty days doesn’t give one time to adequately try the product and return it if it is not working.  Do they offer a refund or just a credit?  Do they pay for the return shipping?  Good companies stand behind their product.

7) Unique Products

Does the company offer unique products that have special benefits?  However, beware of the claims and make sure that the claims are backed up by science.  An example is “water soluble CBD”.  CBD is an oil.  It is not water soluble unless it has special treatment like nanotechnology which makes the oil droplet size very, very small (4x smaller than a bacteria).  Even then the product will make the water it is suspended in a bit cloudy.  If the water is clear—It can’t contain much, if any, CBD and definitely not CBD-enriched hemp oil.  Good companies make unique products but good science supports the product’s uniqueness.

Bottom Line

 Buy your CBD from a company that uses quality produced CBD-enhanced hemp oil, produces a consistent, pure product and regularly tests for consistency of ingredients and purity from contaminants, regularly publishes those laboratory test results, stands behind their product with a great return policy, and, if it produces unique products, uses proven scientific methods that make these unique products worthwhile.  You are usually not going to find this information at a convenience store, etc. but only at CBD/Hemp specialty stores, medical offices, or on-line.  I am presently using these criteria to evaluate some of the biggest sellers of CBD and will present these results in a future blog.  

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