As the CBD industry continues to grow so do the quality standards that regulate the market and products. The rush of CBD sellers has resulted in a market full of companies claiming to have the best products. So how can you tell the difference between purchasing a bottle of high-quality CBD oil or a low-quality bottle of snake oil with a fancy CBD label?
Well, thankfully quality standards are catching up. Now consumers have ways to weed out the low-quality options from the ones worth buying.
In this article we will explore what you need to know about CBD oil quality standards so you can shop smart and make sure you have a great experience that fits your needs.
Follow Products From Seed to Sale
There are a handful of important steps along the path of making high-quality CBD oil. That means there is ample room for error that could result in a low-quality product.
For example, consider hemp grown on a farm that uses pesticides. The pesticides often pass through the extraction methods and even through further refining stages. Then they can end up in finished products.
Now let’s imagine a company starting off with good quality hemp grown without pesticides. The CBD oil made from this hemp can still be low-quality if it goes to a low-budget facility for extraction. CBD that is extracted from quality hemp with poor extraction methods can still end up contaminated with heavy metals and residual solvents.
And lastly, even if good quality hemp goes through safe extraction methods, it can still mix with cheap ingredients that result in a low-quality finished product.
This is why it is important to check how any CBD company produces its products. All the way from seed to sale.
Many companies willingly provide all the information you may need to know about their products. That way consumers can ease any doubts they may have and verify the quality of their products. Customers should have access to their product information, starting from the seedlings on the farm, through to the final packaging.
We know this is an important part of the equation when buying CBD products, which is why we love to tell our story with no reservations. We have certificates of analysis available for every one of our products. And they list all the details, including the information about the farm we source our hemp from. We will cover more about them below.
When you are vetting a new company to find out if they meet the industry CBD oil quality standards, here are a few key things to check out.
Source of Hemp
For the highest quality and safety, choose products that are made with hemp grown and harvested in the USA. To ensure full transparency, the company should be able to provide the location of the farm from where their hemp was cultivated.
Yummy CBD uses non-genetically modified (GMO-free) organic hemp. It is sourced from our partner farms mostly in Wisconsin USA. Also, the hemp we use in our products is grown following the strict requirements designated by the US Department of Agriculture.
There are a few different ways CBD extraction can happen. All can lead to quality CBD with enough care.
This extraction method uses natural plant oils as a solvent to extract CBD. Hemp seed oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are often used as the extracting oil for this method. These oils can do this because they are lipophilic. This means they get absorbed well by fat.
Some people like this method because it is a natural approach to extracting CBD. There is no risk of harmful contaminants left behind. And healthy plant oils and nutrients like omega fatty acids may add some additional benefits to the extract.
Liquid Solvent Extraction
This type of extraction method uses a liquid solvent like alcohol to extract cannabinoids from hemp. Alcohol is extremely efficient at dissolving cannabinoids. The most commonly used alcohols for this method are grain alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and naphtha.
Alcohol has been used as an extraction method for centuries. It is a go-to method for creating things like tinctures. Solvent extracts work because the solvent evaporates after the process, leaving behind a clean extract.
This method is relatively cheap to complete and doesn’t require much-specialized equipment. It can even be done at home with some basic kitchen items. But commercialized extraction procedures usually use distillers.
This extraction method involves forcing carbon dioxide through the hemp plant in a liquid-like state. It does this under extreme temperature and pressure.
This is the most expensive and complex extraction method. But it produces a superior CBD extract. It is great for extracting cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and all the other compounds in hemp.
This is a method used regularly in food and beverage manufacturing. It may be unrealistic for smaller CBD providers, but it is well worth the investment for larger CBD companies. It is considered the safest method because it usually doesn’t leave behind any harmful residues or solvents.
If you want to explore CBD options that use alternative extraction methods make sure to do your homework. You’ll want to research the company and its manufacturing processes. And never take a product that doesn’t have a verified Certificate of Analysis. This is the only way to be sure that you are not consuming heavy metals or residual solvents.
There are 3 different types of CBD extracts that are regularly used in popular CBD products. These are full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolates.
Full-spectrum CBD products include all of the compounds that are naturally present in hemp along with CBD. This means different cannabinoids, terpenes, and more are in the CBD products that use full-spectrum extracts.
Full-spectrum products may have more powerful, longer-lasting effects. Researchers think that this may be due to something called the entourage effect. This is a phenomenon where synergistic effects can be produced by all the different plant compounds working together.
Full-spectrum products even allow the presence of the legal trace amount of THC. This is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes people feel high. However, the amount of THC that finds its way into a federally compliant CBD product is so little that it won’t cause any effects. You will not experience intoxication.
Broad-spectrum products are similar to full-spectrum ones because they also include the other compounds in hemp. But broad-spectrum draws the line with THC.
This type of extract undergoes additional processing to remove any trace of THC. These products are best for those who want to feel strong effects without consuming any THC.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. There are no other compounds or cannabinoids as they are all stripped away during the refining process. On the downside, it doesn’t create the entourage effect.
CBD isolate is usually found as a dry powder, similar to table salt. This option is well-liked thanks to its convenience and versatility. It can be added to food and drinks or placed inside capsules or oils. It can often be the most affordable option as there are no other compounds or ingredients.
All three types of CBD extract can create high-quality CBD products. The key is how they are extracted. However, it is our opinion that Full-spectrum CBD extracts offer the most supportive effects. Therefore all of our products use high-quality, full-spectrum hemp extract.
Third-Party Lab Testing
It’s important to know the contents of any products you put into your body.
There are a few things to look for when conducting your own quality check of CBD products. The first, and perhaps the most important part of the process is to look for a Certificate of Analysis. This is a third-party lab test result page that verifies certain products that underwent third-party testing. And that the potency and purity are what they say they are.
Brands that know their products are quality usually place a QR code right on the product label. The QR Code takes customers directly to the COA. There are a few key things to look for.
Certificates of Analysis
The way to know whether or not a company invests in these lab tests is to find and read the accompanying results. The results are official reports known as certificates of analysis. These certificates list the findings for the product.
Check the COA for the CBD and THC concentrations. You want to make sure that they match the amounts listed on the label. All too often they don’t match. Studies have shown that up to 69% of CBD products may be mislabeled.
Many companies only conduct potency testing. It is a great way to show customers that products are potent and worth the price. This is the minimum that can be done to guarantee quality products. Companies can go to the next step and also test their products for purity to make sure that they are clean and safe. To do that companies need to invest in both potency and purity testing.
This third-party testing checks batches of CBD products to make sure they meet federal regulatory compliance levels and are free of any harmful substances. Some of the things they check for include heavy metals, chemical solvents, and more.
COAs with this information will show if there are any levels of contaminants detected and if so what the concentration is. It will indicate a pass or fail status for contaminants detected based on if they are within safe limits for ingestion or not. Obviously, you should never take a product that has failed any area of a COA.
CBD products are only legal throughout the United States if they meet the regulations set by law. The 2018 Farm Bill and Controlled Substances Act made industrial hemp legal as long as it contains less than .3% THC. Any CBD products sold should meet this main requirement.
Reputable manufacturers and sellers will be fully compliant as a baseline. And probably practice other standards for the quality of their products. But low-quality CBD oil may not be produced with the same care.
Poor extraction methods, hemp sourced from questionable locations, or cheap ingredients can all lead to a low-quality CBD oil that doesn’t work. Or, one that is unsafe. And this is a common issue you must watch out for.
The FDA has issued many warning letters to companies whose products are not compliant. Many of these companies sell products with far more THC than is stated on the label. And many of them also sell products that have contaminants like solvents and pesticides still present in the finished product.
Find Quality CBD Oil
The best thing to do to get familiar with CBD oil quality standards is to learn how to read a CBD product label and read a COA. Armed with the skills to judge the quality of a product on your own you can filter through different products to find the right one for you.
If a product doesn’t have a COA from a third-party lab then it probably isn’t one you want to buy.
You can read ours on our Lab Results page, or scan the QR code on any of our product labels.
Yummy CBD offers two CBD oils at this time. Both are made from organic hemp-based CBD infused into MCT coconut oil and flavored for a great dosing experience.
- Orange Zest Organic CBD Oil contains 33mg of CBD per mL. It is a great choice for daytime use and has a nice natural orange flavor.
- Mellow Mint Sleep CBD Oil contains 67mg of CBD plus 1mg of Melatonin per mL. This formula is ideal for bedtime with the addition of a little of the natural sleep aid Melatonin and a soothing mint flavor.
Each bottle contains 30 mL of CBD oil. A single mL serving is approximately 20 drops. Every bottle comes with a dropper so you can measure the exact amount that you want.