As CBD continues to work its way into the mainstream questions are being posed over how CBD enthusiasts can get transparent, safe, and high quality products.
With most of the other consumer decisions we make on a daily basis this is something we take for granted: we wouldn’t expect an item we pick of the shelf at a supermarket to be either unsafe, different to the same branded item sitting next to it or not matching its product description. But for people approaching the new CBD market, these questions are being asked with a greater degree of regulatory.
A large part of this is because whilst hemp oil – and by extension CBD - has been around for thousands of years as a remedy, has never been illegal in the UK (provided THC levels are below the relevant legal level at the time – currently less than 1mg per item) and was recently confirmed by the World Health Organisation (https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2018/03/18/who-report-finds-no-public-health-risks-abuse-potential-for-cbd/) as having no adverse health outcomes nor being a public health risk, CBD’s application in day-to-day living has been significantly reduced for the last 100 years. One of the reasons for his has been the global influence of the USA which has treated hemp as illegal for many decades. Whilst this changed with the signing of the US Farm Bill in 2018, what it has meant is there are much fewer references points in the CBD world for us to look to than we would normally have when experimenting with a new product.
Certainty, despite CBD’s perceived benefits being know about for quite some times – Queen Victoria is reported to have used hemp oil to source menstrual cramps – the volume of medical studies into CBD’s health effects is still relatively small, principally due to the lack of political will to support them until recently.
As a result, CBD has only just started to work its way on to the consumer agenda and consumer brands in the area have only started to be built over the last couple of years. This has meant there has been less time for brand awareness and trust to develop in this area and has left the market more prone to retailers wanting to capitalise on a growing market and make a quick buck regardless of product safety. Here are some things to look out for to ensure you are getting a top quality product CBD product:
- 3rd Party lab reports: Probably the most important source to ensure you are getting what you pay for. All retailers should display lab reports for each product or provide them when asked for. These should be performed by a 3rd party unconnected with the brand or retailer. These will show the level of CBD in your products (usually per ml) and also that the level of THC falls below the legal maximum in the UK of 1mg per item. We’ve made sure each of our products has a connected lab report for you to check out at.
- Where is the hemp from: The farming standards and growing techniques associated with EU and America hemp is generally much higher than in other parts of the world, particularly China which now accounts for close to 30% of the world’s hemp supply by volume. It’s also important to make sure you are getting natural CBD extracted from the plant – not anything synthesised unconnected with the hemp plant. All our CBD is 100% naturally derived and extracted from US or EU, pesticide free hemp.
- Brand awareness: Have you heard about the brand you are buying or can you easily find independent information and reviews online which describes them favourably. All the brands which we stock are highly respected and have 1000s of independentreviews on their respective websites for you to check out for peace of mind.
- Is the seller part of a respected UK based trade association such as CLEAR or the Cannabis Trade Associations: Does a third party regulate your retailers behaviour to ensures they are complying with UK law and also regulations relating to food standards and medical claims? We are a member of both organisations.
We hope this helps. Check out the following article from Aaron at Medium which goes into some of these points in further detail: https://medium.com/cbd-origin/10-things-to-know-before-you-buy-cbd-online-or-anywhere-really-db9813f32884.