The CBD industry is currently seeing a rapid expansion. Dozens of new marketplaces selling CBD have launched and countless new CBD brands and products have hit the markets.
One of most the concerning aspects of this rapid growth, though, is the fact that 70 percent of online CBD products are mislabeled, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. This means consumers need to be extremely cautious about what they buy online.
Not all CBD online is bad, and there are steps you can take that will help you sort out the fraudulent CBD from the helpful buys. Here are 10 tips you should take into account when buying CBD online.
1. Where was the hemp grown?
Hemp is a plant that absorbs many of the chemicals in its environment while it is being grown. This has a major impact on the quality of the CBD and what you end up ingesting. Many CBD producers opt for cheap hemp grown in China, but that leads to ingesting pollutants and pesticides that can be harmful.
Europe is known for the best hemp, and German-certified hemp is particularly prized, but many areas in the United States and Canada also provide high-quality hemp.
2. How much CBD and THC is in it?
According to United States law, CBD products need to have less than 0.3 percent CBD in order to be legal, pending any state legalization of marijuana.
Furthermore, if you do not want to get high, make sure that the product does not have THC in it. THC is the substance in marijuana plants that gets you high. Ideally, you should find a CBD product with 0 percent THC.
3. Look for third-party lab tests.
Beware claims from the company. Just because a brand says they have 0 percent or 0.3 percent THC does not mean that they actually do. You will want to find third-party lab results for any CBD product.
This can verify how much CBD or THC is in it, as well as whether or not there are toxic chemicals or additives. If you cannot find third-party lab tests or if the testing agency has a bad reputation, do not trust their results and avoid the product.
4. Understand the quantity.
Sometimes the labeling for the product can be misleading. If a product is not 100 percent CBD, but comes in a 1000 mg bottle, there is not 1000 mg of CBD in the bottle. This will become important when you are trying to figure out the dosage you need to take.
It will also help you avoid overpaying for a bottle that does not have as much CBD in it as you thought. Find out what percentage CBD is in the product and how much mass that equates to.
5. What was the extraction method?
There are a few different means of extracting CBD from the hemp plant. CO2 extraction is the best method, so as you look at different products, try to find something with CO2 extraction rather than alcohol extraction.
Additionally, there are different levels of purification/filtration after extraction, which will depend on personal preference. In general, though, filtration rather than leaving the oil raw will improve the quality of your CBD oil.
6. What claims is the company making?
A major red flag for a CBD brand is whether they are making drastic claims about what their product is and can do. Try to find a brand that is fairly straightforward about what CBD is and what is in their product. Just because a brand makes wild claims does not mean that they are true.
7. Do not price shop.
Many brands that offer cheaper CBD are cutting corners on quality. For instance, they may derive the CBD from low-quality hemp, which can contain dangerous chemicals or pesticides. Also, some brands use lower-quality extraction methods, do not do filtration or cut the product with additives that stretch the amount.
Overall, you usually get what you pay for, so look for a high-quality product even if it is more expensive. A cheaper one might be less effective or even dangerous.
8. Prioritize organic.
Organic products do not use any pesticides or chemicals, which will ensure that your CBD is pure and not tainted. You can check whether products are actually organic in lab results, such as on ProVerde.
9. Look for “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum.”
Brands can choose whether to use the full plant in the extraction process or just parts of it. Some will opt only for the parts with the highest CBD content in order to pay less on manufacturing, but this means that your CBD will lose some of the vital parts of its substance.
Researchers have identified the “entourage effect,” which comes from CBD working in conjunction with other elements in the hemp plant and can improve results. Try to buy “broad spectrum” (this has no THC) or “full spectrum” CBD products in order to get these improved effects.
10. Avoid nontransparent companies.
Finally, if a company is not transparent about any of this information, avoid them. You should be able to find out where the hemp was grown, who the owners are, what information is in it and what third-party tests have shown.
Overall, if you are unable to find out about any aspect of the product, move on and buy a different brand.