CBD is an incredible supplement with many benefits that can positively impact our wellbeing. However, it is also an industry that has very little regulation and is exploding across the world right now with markets predicted to multiply at least sevenfold by 2021 to $2 billion. It’s no surprise then that the market is flooded with thousands of brands with more and more players entering the ecosystem every day, some of whom are watering down their products while making crazy health claims and ripping off consumers. Unfortunately it’s not always easy for consumers to determine which brands are trustworthy. As a trusted platform, we take extra care in choosing which supplier we showcase and have put together our top 5 tips to help you identify high quality CBD brands from low quality counterparts. We also spent some time talking to Catherine Wilson who is the Vice President of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and Managing Director of CannaWell to give us her top tips.
1. Avoid Any Brands That Make Health Claims
As Catherine says ““The number one thing consumers need to be aware of is companies who claim or promise that their CBD products can cure health problems. CBD is not a medicine, but a very very good food supplement, ideally taken to support and promote your overall health and wellbeing. You should always look for respected and ethical sales practises when selecting a company to buy from.”
Making health claims, even if it is just the ability to treat relatively minor problems, is only legal for prescription medicines which undergo extensive testing for effectiveness. Unfortunately there are companies out there that make dramatic claims to cure things like cancer and heart disease. These brands should be avoided like the plague! It’s also important to note that the optimal level of THC present in CBD oils is 0.3% and brands that avoid sharing this information might be diluting their products and may be the real reason why a product is so cheap.
2. It Matters How The CBD Is Extracted
CBD oil comes from the hemp plant and how it is extracted will have a huge impact on the quality and genetic make up of the final product. To extract the oil you have to apply a lot of pressure to the plant and it’s how the pressure is applied that separates a high quality product from a low quality product. If a company uses heat to extract the CBD, it means butane was used in the process. Butane is a hazardous material and even if it is distilled, it will have a chemical reaction with the compounds in CBD and dilute the product.
Instead, look for companies that use other extraction methods such as food-grade ethanol or CO2. These are all methods that ensure the terpenes and cannabinoids remain pure and without the use of dangerous materials.
3. Check Where The Hemp Is Grown
Products that are low quality are typically treated with pesticides and this means if a product is grown in an unnatural environment, it will have a toxic and detrimental effect to your health. This is even more so for hemp because it has an incredible ability to soak up everything in the soil around it. It should be an absolute priority to buy natural products.
Catherine shares her perspective with us about products grown EU vs Non EU products as well as why broad spectrum oils work much better with our bodies.
“In the EU, hemp is generally grown in a natural environment outdoors with plenty of sunshine, and grown from traditional food strains. The most popular are the extracts that contain much more than CBD, but also traces of other cannabinoids and naturally occuring health promoting compounds, such as terpenes, phenols etc that amplify the efficiency of CBD in our system. These extracts are called full spectrum, and broad spectrum which have the minute traces of THC removed. Whereas many products now contain so called isolates, which means the molecule CBD is extracted from the plant, this is particularly often the case with imported products from outside the EU. A comparison would be that EU hemp offers 'orange juice blended with orange juice concentrate with bits' and oils made from isolate are more like using ascorbic acid, just the white powder to get your vitamin C. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increased number of companies mis-describing their products as full or broad spectrum when in reality they are made from isolates. Sun-grown CBD supplements generally cost a little bit more, but it's worth it.”
4. Look For Third Party Testing Reports
You have every right to question what products you ingest. Brands that go the extra mile to share third party testing with other labs show their authenticity and transparency around their products. If a company makes it easy for you to find their third party lab reports it means they probably have a high quality product behind them vs a company that may not have your best interest at heart.
5. Packaging Plays More Of An Important Role Than You Might Think
In an increasingly unsustainable world, it’s no surprise that how your product is packaged matters just as much as how they are sourced. But there’s also another important reason to make sure you don’t buy plastic products and that’s because they are permeable and deteriorate rapidly with the sun. Always try to buy products that are packaged in glass because glass is impermeable and UV rays cannot penetrate through.
It may feel overwhelming when first making decisions about which CBD brands to buy from so we hope our top 5 tips have helped you in going deeper with your purchasing journey. Here at MountVerdi we have some phenomenal companies that we highly recommend in helping you heal and nourish your body whilst also raising the standards for environmentally sustainable businesses from Dragonfly to CannaWell which are certified organic by the Organic Food Federation in the UK.
Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor and listen to your body on what works for you.