In the world of CBD, one can get lost in a sea of acronyms and jargon. Here, a beginner-friendly guide to shopping for CBD oils, tinctures, serums and creams. CBD has been touted to help with sleep, anxiety, pain, and more, and there are myriad ways to take it. But does CBD work? Is it safe? We’ve got answers.
A Beginners Guide To Shopping For CBD Oils, Tinctures, Serums And Candies
CBD or cannabidoils have become a hero ingredient for wellness products that help with pain, stress, . [+] anxiety and even skin breakouts.
The CBD culture, at least in the eyes of someone who knows zero, can be overwhelming. There’s the Full Spectrum variant. Then there’s broad spectrum and isolate. Some labels say they are cannabis derived, while others say they are hemp based. Then you come across its various forms—creams, tinctures, drinks and oils. They even have gummies, capsules and patches.
When I first started to look into CBD as a wellness product, I remember feeling lost in a sea of jargon. “Contains 0.2% THC,” read one label. Another stated: “With enhanced CBN with Terpenes.” I had no idea what these words meant and how they might affect my life.
CBD, or cannabidoil, has become a buzzword in wellness circles. This plant derivative found in the cannabis sativa or hemp plant, has gained traction for its ability to ease anxiety and depression. CBD is also often used to ease inflammation, muscle soreness and pains. As a beauty product, CBD face oils have become the hero of minimalist skincare routines. They address a wide range of concerns from acne to aging.
A friend of mine who convinced me to give CBD a try declared: “CBD helps me with everything. I’ve been sleeping better and consuming less gin since taking it. Even my dog takes CBD.” More than literature, available information or hype, it was her testimonial that had me sold.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: WILL IT GET ME HIGH?
The first question I asked before taking my first does was, “Will this get me high?” It’s not uncommon for first time users to confuse CBD with the marijuana they’ve come to know from naughty younger years. Although extracted from hemp or cannabis plants, CBD is isolated from psychoactive compounds (like THC) that effect the feeling of being “high. CBD, on its own or when derived from hemp, cannot not get you high. Instead, it helps alleviate anxiety, stress, pains and aches. This miracle ingredient also functions as an anti inflammatory.
8 Fall 2021 Trends To Start Wearing Now
How Meghan Markle’s Style Has Changed Since Leaving Her Royal Duties
Tula Skincare Launches Their First Brand Campaign To Fight Negative Self-Talk
Cannabidoil is legal in some countries and states. In others, it remains prohibited or strictly regulated. When shopping for CBD online, check in first to see if this ingredient is allowed in your state or country of residence.
THE CBD FEELS—WHAT IT DOES, HOW IT FEELS, WHEN TO TAKE IT
When ingested as oils, gummies or infused drinks, CBD can benefit those who suffer from anxiety, depression or sleep problems. It also helps bring a sense of balance and focus especially on days that feel more like a roller coaster ride. When you need to feel a little more balanced or grounded, CBD does wonders in anchoring you throughout the day. It is also a soothing potion for winding down after a busy day.
COMMON GROUND’S WAKE/ 1000 MG CBD + CBG OIL
COMMON GROUND’S WAKE/ 1000 MG CBD + CBG OIL is a great way to start your day. It’s a lot like coffee served with doses of calm. Formulated so that you can use it any time of the day, WAKE is a “simple, clean and honest CBD + MCT Oil + Terpenes bland that give your body exactly what it needs.” As a beginner who is only starting to discover the transformative effects of this compound, I find one full dropper of WAKE in the morning helps to set the right mood. It helps keep me calm and focused especially when days you feel the chase of deadlines and follow up emails.
MATCHA UNION Full Spectrum 15% CBD Oil
If matcha is your beverage of choice, then MATCHA UNION’S new range of CBD FULL Spectrum Oils is your cup of tea. Formulated using hemp seed oil and cannabidoil sourced from organic farms in South of France, MATCHA UNION boasts “maximum anti inflammatory properties.” Cold pressing methods ensure that the brand’s formulas retain all the plant matter including chlorophyll and Terpenes, which are packed with health benefits. The brand’s blends are free from other carrier oils, making it uncompromisingly pure and potent. The brand’s founders explain: “We only use hemp oil and cannabidoil, which both come from the same plant, thus maximizing its benefits.” Match Union CBD is a great elixir to have on days when you feel particularly heavy or bloated. It is also a miracle worker for when you need to reconnect with your zen midday. On long days in front of the computer screen, a cup of ceremonial green matcha and CBD are instant mood boosters.
TRIP Elderflower and Mint CBD Drink
Sunset cocktails or happy hour has always been about a good bottle of wine or a refreshing G&T drink. It was only after trying TRIP’s CBD INFUSED DRINKS that I realized how much more delicious winding down can be. The UK-based wellness brand is all about harnessing calm and productivity—but with lots of flavor. By this, I mean both literally and figuratively. TRIP’s Best Selling Sparkling Drinks are delicious as they are beneficial for one’s overall wellness. They are formulated with L-Theanin to boost mood, chamomile to soothe as well as ginseng to help improve energy and focus. TRIP’s drinks can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other spirits. Since opening my box of Trip Mixed Pack CBD Drinks, happy hour has become about sipping on a Gin and Trip to wind down. Trip Founder Olivia Ferdi shares: “What we’ve learnt is that CBD drinks have provided an alcohol alternative to many, as well as a functional option for a- home socializing, or reset through the working day. An after-work zoom drink is certainly made more relaxing with TRIP drinks! Our experience is that CBD is very much accepted by our target demographic of urban Gen Z and millenials. Especially as so many of them are looking for plant active, functional options instead of alcohol to help them unwind. The incredible thing about CBD is that it can support both mental and physical wellbeing – making it appealing across moments and different lifestyles.”
TRIP Orange Blossom CBD Oil
TRIP’s CBD Oils are also the most delicious and fragrant. It’s almost like having a calming candy. They come in two flavors—Orange Blossom and Wild Mint. There is also option to take the strong (1000MG) or original variant (300mg) which is recommended for first time users. Formulations from TRIP are blended with MCT Oil, natural adaptogens and chamomile to help establish a sense of balance. The team adds, “Our CBD is extracted from organically grown help, THC-free and third party lab tested to ensure the highest quality and purity.” I’ve had some of the deepest most restorative evenings with TRIP ORANGE BLOSSOM CBD OIL, waking up feeling fresh and recharged. It is definitely a bedside essential. Oliva shares insight for first time users of CBD: “I recommend checking for mg CBD per serving. When comparing products for strength (and price value) it can become a little overwhelming between brands and formats. Checking how much CBD is in a whole product can be helpful (rather than running comparisons of % concentration). Start with a lower daily dose, say 10-30 mg and see how you feel. Start to experiment with varied doses to obtain the desired effect (whether that’s a reset during work, or relaxing after work).”
SPERO CBD Whole Plant Extract Capsules and Tinctures
SPERO makes it easy and less intimidating for first time users to explore the world of CBD. Its product range is pretty straightforward. There are pure CBD capsules for easier consumption—no need for droppers or to measure dosage. Tinctures, of course, are also an option for a dose of tranquility and calm. All formulas from SPERO are eco-friendly, sustainably sourced and THC free. The company subscribes to a unique extraction process using CO2. The at SPERO explains: “Our products are crafted using Liquid Chromotography—a sophisticated purification process that cleanly separates CBD from THC with precision. Unlike distillation, it doesn’t leave behind residual compounds and solvents, only a potent and pure extract of broad-spectrum CBD oil, hempbased minor cannabidoids and terpenes.”
Their Pure CBD Tincture is a refreshing, zero-high, beginner-friendly blend. It is fast-acting and tastes a lot like your favorite candy. What makes this ideal for first time users is that each bottle comes with a pre-measured dropper (17mg per serving) for easy dosing. The company emphasizes, “We are committed to spreading a new standard of CBD wellness. each product is rigorously tested for potency, pesticides, microbials, heavy metals and solvents… so you get the good stuff and none of the bad.”
CBD FOR ACTIVE LIFESTYLES
Having come from a generation where pills were considered the cure-all , it took a lot of re-programming before I could consider safer options for managing pain and muscle aches. An active lifestyle entails the usually aches and tightness, which means finding remedies that are safe and effective. This is especially true following intense workouts, which often keeps us from performing at our optimum.
VAAY CBD Bath Bomb
A hot bath and massage restores the body and helps ease muscles after a tough workout. Ever wonder why high performance athletes take hot baths after a grueling match or game? Research has found that hot baths significantly improve blood pressure and arterial flow. Studies have also led to the conclusion that hot baths boost immunity, which is often compromised when we engage in heavy exercise. VAAY’s CBD BATH BOMB is a new self care essential that you can indulge in once to twice each week. This fragrant lavender and Shea butter bomb, infused with CBD, instantly melts away the stresses, aches and tension of a long week. I enjoy CBD baths on Friday nights, sometimes pairing it with a glass of wine and relaxing music. It sets the mood for a weekend of relaxation and recovery. The team behind the Berlin-based CBD brand suggests: “For maximum benefits, massage the nurturing center over yourself, using your body heat to activate the CBD and absorb into your skin.”
VAAY CBD Skin and Massage Oil
Following a soak, gently massage VAAY CBD Skin and Massage Oil in circular motions for the sweetest slumber. Evening oil massages have become especially important in the past months with most of our days spent hunched over laptops, mobile phones and adjusting to a work from home set up. This CBD Massage Oil, infused with 200mg of natural CBD, immediately soothes tired muscles. It signals the body that it is time for rest, lulling senses into a deep, undisturbed sleep. Skin is also visibly smoother and radiant the morning after. This is thanks to a potent blend of jojoba, almond oil and ginger essence.
If you seek an extra boost for aches and pains, VAAY’s Active and Sports Gel is a serious miracle worker. A powerful concoction of essential oils and full spectrum CBD first cools tight muscles and tissues. A few seconds after applying a thin layer, a subtle warmth will relax body, mind and soul. It works especially well after an intense run, spin class or core workout. I recently returned to Pilates and manage to survive a killer core workout with VAAY.
THE FEELIST Do Not Disturb Extra Strength Body Cream
On days when I feel heavy and bloated (read: PMS), THE FEELIST DO NOT DISTURB EXTRA STRENGTH BODY CREAM is a heaven sent. It used to be the before and during the monthly cycle, women are unable to move and function at their best. This rich blend of essential oils, natural extracts and 500mg broad spectrum CBD, helps with the discomfort and eases inflammation. DO NOT DISTURB is also a beautiful post-workout recovery elixir that relaxes, restores and brings body back to balance and overall wellbeing.
MADE BY ATHLETES FOR ATHLETES
A CBD brand made by professional athletes for high performance individuals also just recently entered my radar. In the world of sports, THC is a banned substance, which was a challenge for many athletes hoping to get relief from CBD. This inspired two professional athletes to create CBD blends that were safe, suitable and free from any THC. It also saw the birth of PURE SPORT.
The UK-based brand distinguishes itself through blends that are suitable for professional sports. Co Founder Grayson Hart explains: “CBD in the UK is still largely unregulated, so there are a lot of products out there that are hit and miss, weak or contaminated and far from medical grade. We’re in this to convince the world that there is a safe, natural solution to help people feel and live better.” Products from the company undergo rigid testing by two separate third-party companies to guarantee that products are absolutely THC free.
PURE SPORT Boost CBD OIl
Pure Sport’s BOOST is a powerful blend that combines 1500mg CBD, Lions Mane, Ginseng and Vitamin C to enhance energy, brain and immune function. It is also a good anti inflammatory and antioxidant. Adam Ashe, Co Founder of the company, adds, “CBD is best used longer term for treatment of pain. It can cause change in our perception of chronic pain by toning our nervous system over time. This can result in subtle changes in the way we feel pain.”
PURE SPORT CBD Clarity Oil
For pixel sharp focus, Pure Sport’s CLARITY is a brilliant blend that helps to reduce stress and brain fog. It infuses 1500mg CBD with goodness from Ashwangandha, Vitamin D and Gingko Biloba. The founders of the company advice, “We recommend this especially during winter months, as the oil will provide your body and mind with much-needed Vitamin D.”
AN UNAPOLOGETIC CBD BRAND FOR THE BEAUTY JUNKIE
The use of cannabidoil as the main ingredient for beauty products has been around for sometime now. Unlike other brands that rely heavily on advertising, CBD beauty brands are picking up traction on the sole basis that they actually deliver on the promise. Skin was barely recovering from a nasty breakout when a bottle of CBD face oil came to the rescue. Within days, redness and inflammation had disappeared. More than that, texture and tone of skin surface had also dramatically improved. I’ve since become a believer in CBD infused beauty products.
MURI LELU CBD Serum and Night Oils
While most beauty brands use extracts from seeds, MURI LELU harnesses the entire cannabis sativa plant—seeds, stalks and blooms. According to the founders of the brand, this is their skincare secret, “an underutilized anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-aging powerhouse.” Formulation are plant-based, hand crafted and blended with botanicals and terpene-rich oils. They advice: “When looking to try cannabis in your beauty routine for the first time, there are a few things to look for, but the first should be if the cannabis sativa (hemp) extract included in the product is either full spectrum or full flower. This indicates that the widest range of cannabinoids — aka the 80+ therapeutic compounds present in the plant — has been preserved. Full spectrum offers the most potent relief and benefit potential.”
BLOOMRISE SATIVA is a unique facial serum hand-crafted using full spectrum hemp oil. It is specifically formulated so that each drop holds the benefits of the entire sativa plant—phytocannabidoils, terpenes, chlorophyll, flavonoids and fatty acids. The infusion of botanicals and essential oils enhances skin radiance and improves texture. It is a daily dose of skin boost packed with anti inflammation, anti-aging and antioxidant benefits.
For a minimalist, efficient nightly skincare ritual, MAUVAISE HERBE INDICA OIL brings healing properties of the cannabis bloom to relax, restore and refresh skin. This high-performance facial oil calms, balances and restores skin while you sleep. It is a soothing elixir that nourishes so that you wake up to healthier, radiant and youthful skin. For optimum results, massage two to three drops onto the face in upward motions. You may also use your face roller or gua sha to allow for the oils to penetrate.
CBD: A User’s Guide
CBD is seemingly everywhere and in everything, from CBD-infused creams to CBD-infused oils, tinctures, gummies, juices, and lollipops. But does it work, and is it safe? We’ve got your questions covered.
I n case you haven’t heard, CBD is a cure for whatever ails you, from insomnia and inflammation to pandemic angst. Or at least that’s what retailers, supermarkets, mini-marts, beauty stores, and coffee and smoothie shops across America would have you believe. There are CBD-infused creams. CBD-infused oils. CBD-infused tinctures, gummies, juices, lollipops, lattes, nutritional supplements, and even a CBD oil–infused pillow! What’s next, CBD-infused tampons? (Actually, that already exists. Really.)
According to the Brightfield Group, a market research firm, CBD sales were estimated to exceed $4 billion at the end of 2021, and by 2025, the industry’s total market value could reach a whopping $16 billion.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
But does CBD work?
That’s a question worthy of a Talmudic scholar, because the CBD world is complicated.
Some believe that it may have an important role to play in certain health outcomes.
Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, a professor of medicinal chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, has been studying the health benefits of cannabis and CBD since the early 1960s. Long considered the grandfather of cannabis research, Dr. Mechoulam and his team developed a process for synthesizing certain acids found in the cannabis plant. These acids — otherwise known as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and a methylated version of CBDA (CBDA-ME) — have been since studied for a variety of purposes, and might ultimately be used to develop new drugs for everything from arthritis and anxiety to inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
Others believe CBD is unproven and risky.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to investigate its potential harms, noting that while it recognizes the potential opportunity that cannabis-derived compounds (like CBD) can offer, it remains concerned about CBD products being marketed as supplements. (According to the FDA, THC and CBD products do not fit the definition of a dietary supplement.)
“FDA is aware that some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk,” the Agency wrote in its 2021 update, noting that it’s illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.
Among a number of problems with CBD, the FDA says, is that it can cause liver damage and diarrhea, it may impact the metabolism of other drugs, and it may cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been found in animal studies.
Still, many consumers continue to believe CBD’s potential benefits. A report (PDF), also from the Brightfield Group, that analyzed 2,400 members of an online community of medical cannabis users found that 59 percent of CBD users say they use it for insomnia and 66 percent for anxiety, while 44 percent have taken it for depression and 49 percent for joint pain and inflammation.
With so much CBD noise out there, we’re feeling a little overwhelmed and confused about CBD. We want to know the real deal. For starters, is CBD the same as cannabis? Should we spend our hard-earned money on the stuff, or is it a scam? Is there any science to back up the claims that CBD is helping people sleep better, feel better, look better, or be an all-around better human? If so, is that in the form of CBD oil, tinctures, lotions, or should we vape it? But wait — isn’t vaping bad for you?
Relax. We’ve got you covered. Herewith, the real scoop on CBD. (Buyer beware: Abbreviations ensue.)
Common Questions & Answers
Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body to maintain homeostasis — stability — in response to changes in the environment. The endocannabinoid system interacts with all of the major systems and organs in the body to enable and restore optimal functioning.
The word “cannabinoid” usually refers to a chemical found in the cannabis (marijuana or hemp) plant. “Endo,” in this context, refers to substances produced inside the body. Endocannabinoids are, in effect, the body’s own source of cannabis-like substances.
CBD and THC are plant cannabinoids, which operate much as endocannabinoids do, by attaching to certain receptors on the outsides of cells and altering the behavior of those cells or the bodily systems they are a part of.
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids can affect pain perception, memory, mood, appetite, and many other bodily systems. The endocannabinoid system regulates the release of other neurotransmitters — that’s how it maintains homeostasis — and helps the body heal from any damage it sustains. Plant cannabinoids can similarly enhance feelings of well-being, but they can have undesirable side effects as well, particularly in young people.
Research suggests that endocannabinoids can be boosted by certain foods, such as those containing essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices, and teas, as well as by stress-reducing activities.
CBD: The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing
Before we get too much into the, er, weeds, it’s important to understand what CBD is and where it comes from.
Cannabis refers to a group of three varieties of marijuana plants with psychoactive properties: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis contains more than 400 compounds, known as cannabinoids (pronounced keh-NAB-eh-noyd). The most well-known and researched are cannabidiol (CBD), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC). Other lesser known components — THCA, CBN, CBC, and CBG — play different roles and have different effects in the body. (See our CBD glossary for details.)
The component in cannabis that is linked to its intoxicating effects (in other words, the “high,”) is THC. Conversely, CBD won’t get you high. Depending on your goals, this is either a good or a bad thing.
“Hemp” (which incidentally, is considered part of the CBD family) refers to non-intoxicating varieties that are high fiber or high seed-yielding and often used for rope, clothing, or sails. (Cocktail party fact: “The word ‘canvas’ comes from ‘cannabis,’ as it was made from cannabis fiber varietals,” says Will Kleidon, the CEO of Ojai Energetics in Ojai, California..)
In the United States, the legal definition of hemp is any cannabis plant whose delta-9 THC is below 0.3 percent.
What’s the Endocannabinoid System and How Does It Work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system first described in the 1990s, and it plays a big role in brain, endocrine, and immune function. Its main role, however, is to maintain homeostasis, the internal biological balancing mechanism of the brain and body.
Two main elements of the system are endocannabinoid receptors, classified as CB1 and CB2. The body makes its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, that can act upon these receptors. But other varieties of cannabinoids, such as CBD, can interact with them, too.
What Are Cannabinoid Receptors?
Cannabinoid receptors are laced throughout the body, brain, and nerves.
- Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) Receptors Most of these are in the central nervous system, especially neurons (nerve cells) in the brain.
- Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) Receptors These are located mainly on immune cells but are also found in the central nervous system.
Both receptor types are activated by cannabinoids, which can be generated naturally inside the body (known as endocannabinoids) or can be introduced through a form of cannabis.
What’s the ‘Entourage Effect’?
The entourage effect refers to a theory that the whole is more effective than each part — or that the various compounds of the cannabis plant work best synergistically.
“It’s the theory that the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids all work together like an orchestra, in which all the instruments complement each other so you get the maximum effect of the plant,” says the cannabis researcher Monica Taing, PharmD. “CBD by itself can be a pain reliever, and THC can be a pain reliever by itself, but when combined, they work better for pain relief. That’s the entourage or ensemble effect.”
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
What Are the Legal Implications of Using CBD?
The legality of CBD is confusing.
In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka that year’s Farm Bill), legalized CBD derived from hemp — with the important caveat that it could only contain 0.3 percent of THC by dry weight, to be grown legally. This type of CBD is legal in 47 U.S. states with some restrictions, but totally illegal in Idaho, South Dakota, and Mississippi. Plants with more than 0.3 percent of THC are considered marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in 19 states, Washington, DC, and Guam.
Despite state laws legalizing the sale of cannabis for recreational or medicinal use, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (PDF) still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug: “substances or chemicals [that] are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” So, while marijuana is illegal on a federal level, states have different laws regarding marijuana and CBD.
Only one cannabis-derived drug product has been FDA approved: cannabidiol sold under the brand name Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of high-dose CBD to treat a rare, hard-to-treat form of epilepsy in children ages 1 and up.
How Do I Find Safe CBD Products? How Do I Know What I’m Getting?
Short answer: You often don’t.
The situation is not unlike that of dietary supplements, except for in the case of supplements, the FDA has defined a very clear set of restrictions — and the Federal Trade Commission, strict reinforcement of health claims. While the FDA has sent warning letters to certain companies selling CBD products, many products slip under the radar. In addition, state and Federal CBD regulations are at odds, so oversight can be difficult. What’s more, every state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal has its own testing rules and regulations, so something that passes muster in Massachusetts might not in California.
People often buy their products online or at the local drugstore or gas station, meaning that they often don’t know what they’re getting.
“Some CBD products don’t contain CBD, but they contain THC and heavy metals, so we need strong regulations,” says Dr. Taing. Indeed, as of May 21, 2022, poison control centers have managed 2,652 cases related to CBD, per the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Some people have failed drug tests because they’ve unwittingly taken THC that was in a product that was supposed to contain only CBD. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in November 2017 found that 21 percent of CBD products derived from hemp and sold online contained THC, even though THC wasn’t listed on the packaging.
A more recent study in JAMA Psychiatry showed that even a high-quality, high-potency cannabidiol product labeled as carrying as much as tenfold less than the legal limits of THC permissible under law might still result in positive urine drug tests.
Findings from another study, published June 2022 in the Journal of Cannabis Research, showed that of the 80 products evaluated, 37 contained CBD concentrations that were at least 10 percent higher or lower than the concentration listed on the label: 12 products contained less than 90 of what was listed, while 25 products contained more than 110 percent.
Even more worrisome, a study published in January 2019 in Forensic Science International examined nine liquids that were advertised as 100 percent natural CBD extract and found they contained potentially problematic compounds. One contained dextromethorphan, which is used in over-the-counter cough medication and is considered addictive when abused. Four others had a synthetic cannabinoid that can cause, among other things, anxiety, psychosis, and even death.
“As with any other product you would ingest, you have to be smart,” says Jahan Marcu, PhD, the editor in chief of the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine, and the cofounder and chief science officer at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health.
What’s more, he says, every product should have a certificate of analysis, or COA — a document generated by a laboratory certifying its legitimacy and also listing the ingredients.
The Mayo Clinic uses the following checklist to identify high-quality products, as described in a 2019 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings:
- Does it meet the following quality standards? These include Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) certification from the FDA; European Union (EU), Australian (AUS), or Canadian (CFIA) organic certification; National Science Foundation (NSF) International certification.
- Does the company have an independent adverse event reporting program?
- Is the product certified organic or eco-farmed?
- Have their products been laboratory tested by batch to confirm tetrahydrocannabinol levels below 0.3 percent and no pesticides or heavy metals?
For more information, Project CBD, Certified Kind, Clean Green, and WeedMaps offer information on dispensaries, cannabis products, and brands.
Does It Matter if the CBD Is Organic?
In theory, yes, because without an organic label, there’s a potential for ingesting pesticides and chemical fertilizers. If you have a COA, then you’ll know what’s in the product.
But here’s the rub: Organic products are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is a federal agency. Since cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 drug, technically, medical cannabis couldn’t be designated as “organic,” unless it’s made from hemp.
In May 2018, Palmetto Grow became the first company to have USDA Organic certification for hemp flower and seed. Since then, other organic growers have joined the market. You can find a list of some of the best organic CBD products from EcoWatch and The Honest Consumer.