The 2018 Farm Bill approved in December of 2018 removed hemp (also known as Cannabis sativa L.) and other variants of cannabis with less than or equal to 0.3 percent of delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the list of Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
CBD: A Big, Diverse Business
Ever since, the CBD industry has only gotten bigger; in 2020, CBD sales hit a record high of $4.6 billion in the United States of America, whereas in 2021, it accounted for $5.3 billion. The growth rate of CBD sales is still increasing exponentially and is likely to hit $15 to $20 billion by 2025. Today CBD companies offer the widest range of products, including CBD oils, CBD topicals, CBD gummies, CBD edibles, CBD hemp flowers, and CBD vape juices, to name a few.
The Details on CBD Oil
One popular product variant used for consumption of the cannabis Sativa plant is CBD oil, which one may consume through edible consumption, smoking, or via topical application onto the skin. A study showed that of the 60 percent of American adults who reportedly used CBD, 55 percent had used it in the form of CBD oils and tinctures. Although CBD is extracted from the plant in the form of an oil, it’s later mixed with a carrier oil for consumption.
Regardless of the method of consumption, cannabidiol makes its way to the neuroreceptors in the endocannabinoid system to send signals to the cells in the nervous system to regulate mood, movement, immune system, and homeostasis.
The Need for CBD Oil Sourcing
With so many CBD retail and virtual stores popping up in the United States alone, it’s become easier to order CBD oil or other related products. However, because the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t regulated cannabidiol, the quality of the oil can vary drastically between brands.
According to cannabis experts, it’s crucial for the consumer to know the source of the hemp used in making the CBD oil as it indicates whether the hemp was farmed sustainably, contains any pesticides, fertilizer chemicals, or heavy metals, is organic, and if a third-party laboratory has tested it.
Any harmful additives to the CBD oil mixture can compromise its quality and, more importantly, safety for consumption. For example, hemp plants that have been treated with non-organic chemicals tend to taste bitter. Additionally, the ingestion of large amounts of toxic chemicals can have serious health implications, including cancer and kidney failure.
The lack of regulation and variation in quality tend to alter how CBD consumers feel about cannabinoids. For this reason, CBD oil sourcing, quality, and vetting information are three of the most crucial elements when buying a CBD oil online or in-stores.
Here’s a list of things you should look for when buying a CBD oil:
1. Certificate of Analysis, COA
Any brand that doesn’t share the COA of their products upon request is an instant red flag as it displays a lack of transparency. Trustworthy COAs feature three panels of analysis:
- Cannabinoid Analysis: indicative of the concentration and dry weight of CBD in the product
- Heavy Metals Analysis: indicative of levels of heavy metals found in the product, such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium, or lead. Any product containing more than 0.001 mg/mL of heavy metal is considered problematic.
- Pesticides Analysis: identifies traces of pesticides used in farming to protect the plants. Excessive exposure to pesticides is likely to result in hormonal disruption, liver toxicity, and weakened immune systems.
Brands fail to obtain or publish a COA either because they aren’t testing the validity and safety of their products sufficiently, or they’ve received problematic results repeatedly, which they’re purposely hiding.
2. A Locally Grown Ingredient List
Full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD contain a small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, a psychoactive compound that shouldn’t exceed 0.3 percent in dry weight as per the book of the law. In this case, you’re likely to be ingesting compounds and other cannabinoid compounds (such as CBN, CBDV, CBC, and CBG) known as terpenes that work together to cast the ‘entourage effect’ which enhances the wellness benefits of the product.
The raw products obtained from the cannabis Sativa plant are mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as the MCT or medium-chain triglyceride oil that can easily be digested. Other options include sunflower, almond, olive, and vegetable oil.
3. Third-Party Testing
Another crucial aspect of the COA is using a third-party laboratory for testing the product. This not only speaks of the company’s trustworthiness but also shares results that are unbiased and accurate.
4. Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Organic
Non-GMO, or genetically modified organism, CBD oil is derived from hemp plants that haven’t been altered genetically, i.e., through external invasion. Any brand that claims to produce non-GMO products should provide official verification for it.
Vegan CBD oil is relatively easier to find since it’s extracted from a hemp plant, and no products from animals are used to create tinctures or oil mixtures. However, if the CBD oil is incorporated into another product, it may contain dairy or gelatin.
There’s no guarantee that the CBD oil is always gluten-free since it may be derived from hemp plants surrounded by crops of other plants that contain gluten. Any consumer of CBD oil who has a gluten allergy must check for sourcing information and the ingredient list to ensure it’s safe for consumption.
Likewise, an organic CBD oil is free of contaminations from synthetic chemicals found in pesticides. A company can only claim that the product is organic if it’s certified organic by the USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
About the Author
The author of this writing is a research analyst at Mary Jane’s Bakery Co., a white label CBD company determined to produce high-quality CBD oils and tinctures.
Mary Jane’s Bakery Co. has an exclusive range of CBD products, including bulk CBD edibles online, premium CBD hemp flowers products, oil tinctures, high doses of CBD topicals, and vaporizer cartridges. Customers can also shop for delta 8 THC products, including edibles, flowers, oils, and vaporizers, online.