The CBD industry is flourishing and has been one of the fastest growing industries between 2018 & 2019. The hemp industry as a whole is expected to be a $1.9 billion dollar industry by 2020, and has driven the creation of many new hemp & CBD companies. With a wealth of CBD products now available online and elsewhere, there is a greater risk of low CBD quality and mislabeling of ingredients on the market. Per FDA guidelines, CBD products also cannot be advertised as a cure or treatment, as these would be considered false claims. Even though CBD is legally sold in most states, there is still a black market for these products and many people often have misconceptions of hemp because of its association with marijuana. Given this information, consumer skepticism of CBD quality and safety is still rather high. In order to help consumers purchase safe and high quality products, we have compiled a list of things to know and things to look for when purchasing CBD products.
All federally legal CBD Products only contain .3% of THC or less
THC is the cannabinoid component in cannabis plants that creates a psychoactive affect, while CBD does not. Federally legal CBD comes from hemp and many people often confuse this with marijuana. Marijuana derives from the same plant, but it is entirely different. Both THC and CBD both provide similar health benefits and are seen in hemp and marijuana plants. It is important to know the difference between hemp and marijuana products and how CBD differentiates from THC when purchasing CBD products. Depending on which state you reside in, there may be marijuana-derived CBD products and also CBD products with higher levels of THC.
Request the Certificate of Analysis
Ask for the company’s certificate of analysis if it isn’t provided. Most hemp companies, including Old Sparta Inc., have a third party lab vendor to complete the analysis on cannabinoid levels as well as making sure the products are free of heavy metals (ie; mercury, lead), microorganisms (ie; bacteria and fungi such as salmonella or E-coli) and pesticides/ herbicides/ insecticides. It is also important that this certificate of analysis is up-to-date in order to be reliable. If you are concerned about THC levels and contaminants (this should be a concern for most), having access to this certificate of analysis is extremely important when deciding which CBD products to purchase. Some products contain more THC than advertised, and an analysis report can help prevent buying these misleading products.
Check the ingredients
Make sure ingredients are listed on the product label and know what these ingredients are. If you have any allergies, this is extremely important to make note of.
Consider Product Source
Know where the company’s hemp is derived from and what their method of extraction is. Knowing whether this company sourced its hemp from China or from the United States could make a big difference in regards to quality and safety. Knowing what extraction method was used is also important. There are several different methods for CBD extraction, but CO2 extraction seems to be the safest and delivers a pure product.
Evaluate Product Reputation
Find out if the company has positive reviews and/or a high reputation. Review their social media accounts, their website, talk to other people, etc. A company with good reviews and a favorable reputation are certainly more likely to sell high quality and safe products.
Find the CBD Product Right For You
Do your research on the types of CBD products being sold on the market and understand what they are used for. Your CBD purchase should reflect your individual want or need. For instance, know how full-spectrum CBD compares to isolate CBD, or how topical CBD products differ from ingestibles. If you’re looking for chronic pain relief, then daily ingestibles or inhalation would probably be ideal for you. However, if you’re searching for occasional relief of muscle or joint aches, then a topical salve or rub might be best.
Safety For Pet CBD
When buying CBD products for pets, it is important to make sure they are either formulated specifically for that pet or that all ingredients are safe for your pet. Some pet owners choose to buy CBD drops for their pets, but they may not always be formulated for pets. If this is the case, all ingredients need to be reviewed to ensure safe consumption. For example, some CBD products may contain grapeseed oil and this is highly toxic to dogs. It is best to purchase pet formulated products, and consult with your veterinarian prior to purchasing.
Consult with your doctor
As always, consult your primary physician before trying CBD if you have concerns.