The CBD industry is one of the fastest-growing in the United States, with more and more people becoming interested in trying out the cannabinoid for themselves. As a result, tons of new brands are popping up all the time, meaning there is no shortage of options out there when it comes to finding CBD products.
The problem is that the CBD market is still largely unregulated, so there are plenty of brands offering low-quality, ineffective, and sometimes even unsafe products. There are few regulations in place for purity, safety, or optimal dose, which places the CBD market in the “buyer beware” space.
Fortunately, though, there are a few factors to consider to help you determine whether or not a brand is trustworthy and offers high-quality products. Here are the top five things to look for when you’re trying to find real, authentic CBD products that actually work.
1. Are you buying CBD oil or hemp seed oil?
CBD oil and hemp seed oil are both derived from the cannabis plant, but they aren’t the same product. Most notably, hemp contains little to no CBD. Cannabidiol is extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalk of the hemp plant, while hemp oil is made using hemp seeds. The seeds don’t contain CBD, but they have a rich profile of nutrients and fatty acids, which means that hemp seed oil comes with its own unique set of benefits.
Unfortunately, some brands market hemp seed oil as CBD oil. Specifically, one platform to stay away from is Amazon. The site has prohibited the sale of CBD, which means that if you find any CBD products on the platform, it’s likely made from hemp seed oil and thus contains no CBD.
When buying CBD oil, make sure that the label explicitly states the CBD content. It can get confusing because the CBD may be suspended in hemp seed oil. But, as long as the product has a specific concentration of cannabidiol and isn’t labeled as a “hemp seed oil,” you should be in the “safe-zone.”
2. Read the ingredients list
Most CBD products contain additional ingredients, like MCT oil and melatonin, to enhance the effects. However, some companies may use artificial additives, like coloring or flavoring intended to make products look and taste better.
Typically, CBD products are seen as great natural alternatives to common OTC or prescription medications used for stress, anxiety, and pain. The goal is for CBD products to be as natural as possible. Therefore, it’s important to read the ingredients list before you purchase a product to see exactly what’s in it.
Melatonin is natural and is a great additive if you’re looking for a CBD product to help with sleep
. MCT oil is most commonly derived from coconut oil (it’s completely natural) and is one of the best carrier oils available. Therefore, if a product contains MCT oil, it’s a good sign. But lookout for things like propylene, glycol, and vegetable glycerin, which can be harmful to the body.
Here at PureKana, we post a full list of ingredients under every product description, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Our CBD oils are made using MCT oil, and any flavoring used is natural.
3. Where was the hemp grown?
All reputable and trustworthy brands are transparent about where their hemp is sourced from. PureKana’s hemp is all sourced locally, right here in the United States. The US has some of the leading quality standards and regulations when it comes to growing and producing CBD products.
Hemp grown overseas can be problematic because it’s not subject to any state or federal testing. Therefore, we suggest only buying from brands that produce products domestically and don’t import any ingredients from foreign countries. Buying locally-made CBD items ensures that the highest standards have been met in terms of quality, purity, and potency.
More to that point, check that the hemp is grown by following all the agricultural guidelines. Hemp plants readily absorb everything from the air and soil they grow in. Some of these absorbed substances can be harmful to the plant and may end up in the final CBD product. For instance, if chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or solvents are used, they can make their way into the CBD oil you buy.
The safest CBD oil will be made from hemp that is grown in areas where the government requires farmers to be certified and have their fields regularly tested for toxic substances. The top hemp states in the US are Colorado, Oregon, and Kentucky.
4. What method of extraction was used?
After the hemp is harvested, the next step involves extracting the CBD and other beneficial compounds from the hemp plant. Just like using high-quality hemp is important, the extraction method used also plays a big part in producing top-quality products.
There are many ways to draw cannabinoids out of hemp, but it’s important to use a process that is safe, effective and retains all the natural goodness of the hemp plant. Many companies utilize techniques that involve the use of toxic solvents, such as propane, butane, and hexane. Although those who use solvent extraction will usually take measures to remove as much of the harmful substance as possible, it is not the safest extraction method around.
Instead, opt for companies that use CO2 extraction. This is widely regarded as the best extraction method in the CBD industry, which is why all of PureKana’s products are made using cannabidiol that has been extracted using CO2.
This method involves using carbon dioxide at a certain temperature and pressure so that it acts as a non-toxic solvent. It is a very efficient method and also ensures a final product that is clean, pure, and 100% safe.
5. Check for third-party lab reports
Third-party lab reports are one of the best ways to distinguish between premium CBD oil and low-quality products. A brand you can trust will have its product tested by an independent laboratory to verify cannabinoid content, purity, potency, and safety. Additionally, they will publish the certificate of analysis (CoA) for each product and make it easily accessible for customers to view.
You can find PureKana’s lab reports under each product description or search for them under the “Certificate” tab using the batch number or product name. As all lab results should, ours confirm that our products are free of heavy metals, microbials, residual solvents, pesticides, and other harmful substances.
Some companies may require you to submit a request to access their third-party lab reports. This isn’t ideal, but if they send them through, it’s much better than brands that claim their products are lab tested but don’t make the results accessible to customers, or worse, those that make no mention of lab testing at all.
Final Thoughts on Shopping for CBD
If you’re shopping for CBD products, be sure to keep the above five points in mind to ensure you’re getting your CBD from a trustworthy and reputable company. Unfortunately, due to the unregulated nature of the CBD market, there are tons of shady, unreliable brands out there just trying to make a quick buck.
PureKana is very customer-focused and is committed to producing the highest-quality products in the US. We truly believe that ours are some of the best CBD items you will find in the country and are immensely proud of our selection. Be sure to browse our online store now; we guarantee you will find something to suit your CBD needs.