CBD is a product that you should never purchase as an impulse buy. Why? Because without doing a little bit of research, you have NO idea what you are buying. Many companies have gotten so good at deceiving people with their marketing that its hard to decipher what is actually in the bottle. Sixty-nine percent of CBD products tested were reported to have inaccurate labeling.
Don’t despair, I have 6 red flags for you to look out for that will help you find a good quality product.
Red Flag #1 – They don’t publish their COA’s (or worse, they don’t have one)
I highly recommend you never purchase CBD without first looking at the COA (Certificate of Analysis). You don’t need to be a scientist in order to understand the COA. COA’s are merely lab reports that show what is in the product, or better yet, what is NOT in the product.
The first COA to look for is the Cannabinoid Profile. This is one sure way to know if the oil is Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or an Isolate.
The hemp plant (Cannabis Stiva L.) produces over 100 different cannabinoids. Each having their own benefits, but when looking at the profile, you will only see a handful of them. Many of them are listed in very trace amounts, and others aren’t even listed because they are not tested.
When looking for Full Spectrum, an oil that has all the cannabinoids in their natural percentages, the way God created them in nature, you should see cannabinoids other than CBD – like CBG, CBN, CBC, etc. You should also see a minute amount of THC. Industrial hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD oil should contain less than .3% THC (in order for it to comply with the 2018 Federal Farm Bill).
I know a lot of people are afraid of THC, but if you do not need to worry about drug testing, THC is a good thing. Maybe even a great thing. The inclusion of THC along with the other cannabinoids that occur naturally give full-spectrum CBD oil the powerful “entourage effect“. The entourage effect is so cool! Even though there may be small amounts of these other cannabinoids, because they are all there, working together synergistically, they act like there is a lot. LOL, that’s my scientific way of explaining how it works!
If the cannabinoid profile is showing cannabinoids other than CBD but has NO THC, then it is a broad spectrum. Broad-spectrum is a great choice for people who want the benefits of the minor cannabinoids but need to stay away from THC (like in cases of drug testing).
Finally, if no other cannabinoids are showing on the profile other than CBD, then you know it is an isolet. Isolets are often referred to as the “purest”. I believe this term is misleading in the sense of what the average consumer thinks this means. It does not mean it’s the best or the cleanest. Pure refers to the fact that there are no other cannabioids or terpenes included. That it is purely CBD and nothing else. Studies have shown isolets to be less effective vs full-spectrum.
It’s also crucial to check out the other COA’s. Look for the Pesticide Residue Profile, Residual Solvents Profile, Microbial Contaminants Profile, and Heavy Metal Anaylsis Profile. These are really easy to scan. All you will be looking for is ND. ND means “Not Detected”. And of course, that is what you would expect from a high quality CBD oil. See? Easy peasey! You don’t have to know what all the things are or mean…just look for ND. If it says anything else, yikes!
You might be surprised what these reports look like from some of the “top recommended” companies!
Red Flag #2. They make health claims!
The minute you see an advertisement claiming CBD helps with sleep, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, or a dozen other conditions…beware!!! This is a huge red flag.
According to the FDA, any cannabis product marketed with a claim of therapeutic benefit, regardless of whether it is hemp-derived, must first be approved by the FDA before it can be sold. The agency cites deceptive marketing practices as a chief concern and clearly establishes that selling unapproved products with a therapeutic claim is unlawful. The FDA further prohibits the introduction of CBD products into the food supply and dietary supplements even if they are hemp-derived.
Red Flag #3. The product is sourced from another country.
Quality can be questionable. Due to the lack of specific regulations, no analytical controls are mandatory for CBD-based products, leaving consumers with no legal protection or guarantees about the composition and quality of the product they are acquiring.
Red Flag #4. Nutrition panel doesn’t list mg per serving.
This one is kind of a no-brainer. If the nutrition panel does not say how many mg of cbd or cannabidoil there is per serving, chances are it’s because it doesn’t have any. I can’t tell you how many products I have researched that “appear” to be something that would be beneficial, but when I evaluate the ingredients and nutrition panel, I find there is not one ingredient that would offer any relief.
If the panel doesn’t list the mg, then how would you know what kind of dosage you should take? You would have no idea.
Red Flag #5. Unidentifiable ingredients
Speaking of the nutrition panel and ingredients, this can tell you a lot as well. A good high-quality CBD oil really only needs two ingredients…the cannabidiol (cbd) and the carrier oil. I have seen all kinds of strange ingredients on some products. Some I couldn’t pronounce and had to look up what it was. Now it’s ok if you prefer a flavored oil and the flavoring comes from a quality source (like an essential oil). But honestly, I prefer the simple, clean 2-ingredient brands that are focused on the quality they are producing.
Red Flag #6. No transparency
If you go to their website and you can’t find their COA’s, they don’t say where they are based, where their hemp is sourced, or they don’t tell you what extraction process they use, I would be very leary. Also, as of the time of this writing, in the state of Michigan (where I am from), you must be licensed through the state – even if all you do is sell a CBD product, or handle it. You can always ask to see their license.
While I believe a good quality CBD is very safe to use and ingest, ALWAYS consult with your physician before starting any new routine. CBD does interact with certain medications (the same ones that interact with grapefruit), so you definitely want to have these discussions with your doctor.