1. Find the source.
Where was the product manufactured? Where was the hemp that was used to make the product, grown? Be careful when purchasing hemp products produced outside of the United States because there have been many "fake" cbd products or cbd products tainted with heavy metals coming from outside of the U.S.
2. Is it legal?
It is important to know the concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the product in order to ensure its legality. Federal law states that all hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC.
3. Third Party Lab Testing.
Do not purchase a hemp product if there is no indication of or reference to a COA (Certificate of Analysis). COA's are lab reports from third party testing facilities such as ProVerde Laboratories or SC Labs. A product's COA should be readily available on the company's website. Third party testing should include an independent review or analysis of the contents' cannabinoids (both acid and active forms), terpenes, heavy metals, pesticide and herbicide residue, solvent residue, etc. There are plenty of phony products out there. Make sure that the lot number on the product matches the lot number on the COA.
If you really want to do your research, you can make sure that the laboratory that issued the COA is accredited in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)--more specifically, ISO / IEC 17025, the standard required for every facility that analyzes hemp. This accreditation should appear on the website of all legitimate testing facilities.
4. Is it organic?
If the product is labeled organic, make sure it is USDA certified organic. Although it is illegal to claim that something is 'organic' without USDA certification, many companies do it anyway. You can verify a company's organic certification here.
5. Cannabinoid Concentration
Look at the COA of the product. How much CBD does the product contain? What other cannabinoids does it contain? Now, check the amount per serving listed on the packaging of the product. Different levels of cannabinoids will likely have different effects on every individual. It is usually recommended to start with low doses at first. Also keep in mind that your body may build tolerance to cannabinoids over time.
Identifying the amount of THC and other cannabinoids within a product will also let you know if it is a CBD isolate, which means it only contains CBD. Keep in mind that if a product does not contain even trace amounts of THC, it has gone through extensive chemical processing to remove the THC completely.
What is more, some research appears to indicate that CBD is more effective when mixed with other cannabinoids, including THC. This is known as the entourage effect, or the idea that consuming a combination of two or more compounds creates a greater effect than consuming a single compound.
6. Watch out for medical claims.
Beware of companies that make any health or medical claims. Claiming that a hemp product can treat something specific, such as back pain or cancer, is only legal if it is a prescription medication because prescription drugs must go through considerable testing. Although we would love to tell you that CBD will solve all of your problems, we will refrain!
"You get what you pay for" is not always true. Most CBD products are overpriced because they are still considered a "premium" product. The hemp industry is still relatively new in the United States, so hemp products are still very trendy and thus very expensive. However, as a company that has to deal with calculating all of the costs--from planting the seed, to bottling and marketing the final product, we can assure you that the vast majority of hemp products have very inflated prices. We want to make our products accessible to everyone, which is why they are modestly priced, even though we have made a great effort to ensure the highest quality every step of the way from seed to bottle.