3 Things To Remember When Vetting CBD Products


Three things to remember when vetting your CBD productsPexels | Laryssa Suaid

The CBD boom

Last year’s Farm Bill was signed into law, allowing cannabidiol (most commonly known as CBD) and hemp companies entirely new freedom in developing brands, conducting research, and exploring new opportunities in agriculture. With the market projected to hit $22B by 2022 – up from $190M in 2017 – there will undeniably be many new CBD-based brands hitting the shelves.

Still, a great deal of consumer confusion surrounds the effects and applications for CBD. These misconceptions largely come from decades-long lack of scientific experimentation on the marijuana and hemp plants over the years. When guys like Sanjay Gupta finally came around a took a sledgehammer to legacy attitudes and misgivings about marijuana in 2013, mainstream consumers finally began to understand what Israeli researchers knew all along: Cannabis can do stuff besides get you high.  

It’s the consumer’s responsibility

But the market is still new. Standards and guidelines are constantly in flux, making it hard for both legislators and producers to keep up the pace. So now, more than ever, the onus to learn about CBD before using it rests in the responsibility of the user.

I spoke with Celeste Miranda, one of the founders of the upcoming CBD Expo Midwest 2019 and the CEO of The Cannabis Marketing Lab, about the consumer’s choices and learning curve in this new CBD-world.

“Consumers have a big responsibility at this point to try out different products to find what works for them,” Miranda told me. Pointing out that like conventional medicine, what is effective for one person may not be effective for another. “Until the research matures, consumers will need to listen to their bodies to determine what works and what doesn’t,” she warned.

Cova, a leading cannabis dispensary technology company with a super cool team, wrote a blog post guiding new-to-CBD consumers through key questions and answers to know as they navigate the space. What CBD is and isn’t, the legalities around it, and a warning about dosing. That’s where to begin your education, but keep going because things get more complicated.

With relatively little government regulation, especially in the beginning, consumers need a CBD brand they can rely on for efficacy, trustworthy ingredients, and clean sourcing. “A majority of CBD products available are inaccurately labeled, and of course unregulated, which means that there is a lot of ‘snake oil’ or fake CBD products on the market,” Maruchy Lachance, COO and co-founder of Boulder Botanicals & Bioscience Laboratory (BBB Labs) told me when I met with her last month.

Boulder Botanicals Biosciences LaboratoriesAndre Bourque

And she should know. BBB Labs comes straight out of the nutraceuticals industry with decades of experience in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and delivering safe, quality products to consumers. “First and foremost, I recommend consumers pay close attention to the label and educate yourself on CBD and hemp,” Lachance said, offering three scientific and process items for consumers to be mindful of when purchasing CBD products. 

3 things to remember when vetting CBD products

Is your CBD product produced with Good Manufacturing Practices?

Without regulation, consumers would be shocked and disgusted to find the conditions under which their CBD products are processed. Good Manufacturing Practices is a system of pharmaceutical production practices for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards to minimize the risks of ineffective product testing.

“I suggest consumers do their research and find out where the product is manufactured. If the company does not have its own facility, who is private labeling for them? Are they fully compliant? This is information that a company should be willing and proud to provide,” Lachance advised.

What you see isn’t what you get

An astounding 70% of unregulated CBD products on the market are inaccurately labeled. At a rate of 70%, that’s more than just a series of unfortunate accidents. More like a whole heck of a lot of foul play. As the Ministry of Hemp wrote:

The housewives, the newcomers, the neophytes — they don’t know. All they know is that someone is sick, and there’s maybe a glimmer of hope with something called “CBD.” That glimmer also inspires hucksters, who are making bucks off of vulnerable people in their time of need.

To that point, Lachance stressed, “The FDA is clear on making claims to cure or diagnose and if a company is making claims, you should question if they are taking the steps to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products.”

The dangers of imported hemp

Like any plant, hemp can be irresponsibly cultivated. “It’s vital to be a vertically integrated, seed-to-shelf operation to ensure the hemp produced was responsibly cultivated, using only the best methods,” Lachance remarked. We know the hemp crop absorbs what’s in the soil, so it’s of the utmost importance that it is free of harmful chemicals.”





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