As regulation catches up with demand, the market has become flooded with CBD products. Not all of these products are safe or high quality. It’s important to know what to look for in a clean, safe, and effective CBD product. Studies have shown that up to 70% of CBD products on the market contain a different amount of CBD than what is shown on the product label, and some products - especially value brands sold in convenience stores or online - have also tested for toxic solvent residues, pesticides, heavy metals, preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator; it absorbs everything in the soil it grows from, including toxins. If the hemp is grown in contaminated soil, or soil that has been tainted with pesticides, the hemp CBD extract may contain unsafe contaminants.
CBD products derived from US or Europe-grown hemp are typically less likely to be contaminated. This is due to emerging organic and eco-farming practices that are practiced in these regions.
CBD extracted using Ethanol or Supercritical CO2 is typically safe and free of residual toxins. These two solvents have their pros and cons for producers, but ultimately deliver comparable products and effects.
Low-quality CBD products should be avoided altogether, because they often use dangerous solvents like Hexane or Butane for extraction.
Some products contain no CBD at all, but are misleadingly labeled as “Hemp Extract” or “Hemp Oil” compounds. Other CBD-dominant products are cannabis distillates and therefore contain significant quantities of THC (to be sold in a licensed cannabis dispensary). Consumers should carefully read labels to understand the claimed cannabinoid content of a product.
All CBD products should be tested at a third-party lab to validate potency, purity, and ingredient fidelity. It is important to confirm that there are no residual solvents, pesticides, heavy materials, bacteria, or other toxins present. Consumers should always check the Certificate of Analysis for the specific batch of product they are purchasing before consumption. If not already provided by the supplier, this information should be easily provided upon request.