How to Choose a CBD Product That’s High-Quality
As demand for CBD products explodes, there are growing concerns about product quality, mainly due to a lack of government regulation. As a result, more people are wondering how to choose a CBD product that’s safe and therapeutic vs fake and ineffective.
Theoretically, anyone can create a CBD product that’s full of questionable ingredients and start selling it to people. So, it’s more important than ever for consumers to know how to choose the right remedy if they want to experience the health benefits of CBD.
The mass production of fake CBD products
As the founder and CEO of Kat’s Naturals, I take great pride in producing high-quality CBD extracts, so you can imagine my shock when I fell victim to fake products. I had received a letter from an analysis lab stating there were fake CBD isolates being mass-produced, some even containing heavy metals and paint thinner.
Months later, I ordered 10 kilograms of CBD isolate from a high-quality pharmaceutical-grade production company. When the product arrived, I immediately knew something was off. My team and I tested the CBD isolate ourselves, as we usually do with all of our ingredients, and we found that it had a plastic-like consistency.
Immediately, I contacted the company to question them about their pharmaceutical-grade production. While the company stated their product was 99.9% pure CBD isolate, it was in fact only 12% CBD. Later, we discovered that the company had outsourced its production to a third party, who in turn outsourced it to another company.
Fortunately, because we test all of our ingredients and have been in the industry for a long time, we immediately noticed the difference between low-quality vs. quality CBD isolate. However, this situation begs the question: who didn’t know the difference? Which CBD companies made products out of this isolate and put it on shelves? Who used this product?
We took this as an opportunity to improve. Since then, we’ve taken additional measures beyond testing to ensure our hemp-derived CBD products come from the purest sources.
For example, we only get ingredients from certified organic producers, and we work directly with farmers so that we can see how they grow their crops. Moving forward, we will dry, cure, and process the crop ourselves before sending it to an extractor — and the extraction will come directly back to us, where we will formulate the final product ourselves.
How fake CBD products are hurting the industry
Just last year, 52 people in Utah became ill after consuming falsely labeled CBD hemp extract products. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than half of these individuals either consumed synthetic compounds such as 4-CCB or used Yolo CBD Oil, which also tested positive as a synthetic product. Unfortunately, the company that manufactures Yolo CBD Oil has yet to be determined.
Rather than calling these fake CBD brands out, media agencies are using scare tactics to distort the industry as a whole. As the production of these contaminated CBD products continues, more and more people will get sick. And this consequence could destroy the CBD industry’s reputation because consumers have no way of knowing which companies are producing fake CBD products. This ambiguity is why regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is imperative for the industry.
Where the production of CBD hemp extract can go wrong
Hemp is a phytoremediation plant, meaning its roots reach deep into the ground and naturally absorb contaminants from the soil. To overcome this issue, a lot of the farmers plant their industrial hemp inside forest areas to avoid overspray from nearby farms.
However, before getting any plant material, we test to make sure there are no concentrations present within the soil. We also examine the water supply because that is equally important. Pumping water from the municipal supply or anywhere that’s contaminated could go directly into the hemp plant.
How CBD brands create quality products
Consumers should buy full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates from companies that are transparent about their extraction and formulation process. This insight will enable consumers to know which companies are reputable and committed to providing high-quality CBD remedies.
At Kat’s Naturals, we follow a rigorous process to ensure every customer buys the highest quality and purest product possible.
- We ensure the farmer’s soil is tested and free of contaminants before planting the first seed.
- Once the crop has grown, we test again and look for heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.
- After we examine the crop, we analyze the cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Before the extraction process, we make sure the plant material is plentiful.
- We then jumpstart the extraction process, which transforms the plant material into crude oil, which is the first extract containing cannabinoids, terpenes, chlorophyll, and waxes. After the first extraction, we test again for potency levels.
- The Crude is then winterized and distilled to remove the waxes and chlorophyll. Then it is diluted to the correct potency. Once the potency is determined, we start the formulation process. We have now turned the crude oil into a final product.
- After we create the final product, we get the product independently tested once again with microbe tests added. This additional care enables us to make sure nothing has changed during processing.
A company’s commitment to testing ensures its product is pure and true to what it says on the label. Unfortunately, this is how most mistakes and mislabeling happens, specifically with full-spectrum hemp extracts. Each batch may be different, based on growing conditions, when and how it was harvested, and how it was batched during extraction.
Testing of one batch may contain 25 milligrams per milliliter, but another batch may include drastically higher or lower milligrams. This inconsistency means every batch must be analyzed to ensure potency levels are always the same.
It is good to note that a lab is allowed a 3 percent discrepancy either on the high or low side because of machine inconsistencies. But a few points high or low is not a sign of a disreputable company or a bad batch. Consumers need to look for significant discrepancies of 10 or more points per batch.
Producing high-quality CBD hemp extract is expensive to test, but it results in a consistent and pure product that consumers can rely on every time they use it.
How to choose a CBD product that works
Because the CBD industry is a relatively unregulated market, it’s crucial for consumers to research companies before buying a product. For those interested in high-quality CBD hemp extract, there are three strategies to implement when seeking a safe product to consume.
Ask for the COA (Certificate of Analysis)
Contact the CBD hemp extract company and ask their team to send the most recent Certificate of Analysis (COA). Then, check to see if the COA test results match past COA results. Some batch numbers may have a different identifier for a date, while the rest of the batch remains the same. Another option is to call the lab and ask if the company in question tests with them regularly.
The inconsistency could result from the COAs not matching, which means the company is reusing the same test results without testing each product. In fact, most companies don’t test their CBD products before they go to market because it’s too expensive. However, reputable CBD brands will always send or showcase a COA on their site to increase credibility and consumer trust.
Seek information from customer service
Always speak to customer service. Check to see if the company is experienced and educated on CBD hemp extract. Is their customer service team providing the correct answers to questions or not providing any answers at all? If not, this might not be a reputable brand, which should deter consumers from buying its products.
In a recent report, 92% of almost 1,000 surveyed consumers indicated that three or fewer negative customer service experiences would prevent them from purchasing products from a company in the future. Consumers should use the same mentality when speaking with customer service teams at CBD hemp extract companies.
Find credible sources
Lastly, It can be helpful to visit a website called Remedy Review. This media company has tested a couple dozen companies’ CBD hemp extract products and posted a detailed report of each company for consumers to view.
Types of CBD products to consider
Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to figure out what type of CBD product you want to buy. There are three popular CBD delivery methods that you should consider.
1. CBD Oil
When you think of CBD, you probably think of CBD oil. Tinctures are the industry standard. Versatile and easy to use, CBD oil is great in a cup of coffee or tea. Consumers can also put CBD oil underneath their tongue.
However, whichever route people take, the CBD oil will absorb into the bloodstream to unleash a therapeutic effect. Typically, it takes 10 to 15 minutes for the benefits of CBD oil to kick in, and the relief it provides lasts as long as 4 to 6 hours at a time.
2. CBD Capsules
CBD capsules are convenient and easy to take, which they’re becoming more popular. They resemble traditional pills, so this delivery method is appealing to all ages. Older adults may also enjoy them because they don’t look intimidating.
Because CBD capsules are ingestibles, it will take longer to feel their effects. Unlike CBD oils, it could take 45 minutes to experience the therapeutic benefits of CBD capsules. However, the effects of these remedies last longer than CBD oils.
3. CBD Topicals
CBD topicals are great remedies that consumers apply directly to their skin. There is a wide range of CBD topicals, including lotions, creams, balms, skincare, and salves. When using topicals, consumers can expect these remedies to penetrate deep into their skin and reach the endocannabinoid receptors in localized areas.
CBD topicals are great for soothing pain, uplifting the body, and relieving inflammation. They also provide quick relief, making it a great remedy for those who need fast results.