In a continuously growing world of CBD products, information, and regulations, it’s hard to know where to start. We hope to provide some clarity and give you the tools to successfully research, select, and consume the CBD product that is best for you and your family.
WHAT THIRD PARTY TESTING REALLY MEANS
Third party testing means that aside from the manufacturing facility of the CBD product, another offsite and neutral laboratory tests the product for contents, CBD strength, and overall safety. Some of the areas that facilities test for are the presence of pesticides, residue from CBD processing, heavy metals, potency, and cannabinoids found within the final product. The laboratory should also be accredited. The CPSC -Accepted Governmental Laboratories provides a list and is a resource for accredited laboratories under their parameters.
The AOAC International is the first globally recognized method that validates the strength of hemp and the cannabinoids found within. The laboratory uses chemical and microbiological testing to analyze products following strict guidelines.
PRODUCT CLAIMS & PACKAGING
Some of the things to look for on a CBD product package are the milligrams of CBD found in each product bottle or package, suggested serving size, the type of CBD (if there are trace amounts of THC, .3% or it is THC-free), certification labels, and a barcode, QR code, or batch ID number. The FDA does have several restrictions on labeling and some products may even read hemp oil. It is important to verify if cannabinoids or actual CBD is present if the product is by chance labeled hemp instead of CBD. Be cautious of key words such as natural, pure, or organic to verify that the product contents are what it suggests it is.
WHAT CERTIFICATIONS MEAN
Through the National Hemp Association, Colorado became the first state to obtain a certified seed status for industrial hemp, to validate the type of plant actually grown in local fields.
Organically Grown is another seal of approval, meaning that the hemp farm uses practices that are approved by the 2018 US Farm Bill. The bill legalized the production of industrial hemp and includes requirements for the growing process. For example, hemp plants cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, each batch of plants are tested, and a growers license is required for each facility. The laws can also vary by state.
The US Hemp Authority is yet another certification obtained by The Happy Labs products. This authorization includes independent third-party certification, labeling guidelines, and monitored farming practices. After a successful audit, CBD companies can add their seal to company-wide marketing materials and branding.
THE MEANING OF SEED TO SHELF
Being able to trace your product from the seeds that are grown, the farming practices used, how the hemp plant is processed to extract the CBD, and even the additional ingredients that go into each product on the shelves is important to be aware of. Aside from certifications mentioned above, QR codes are often one method to view the batch and testing information for each product, where you can scan or download that information via the company website or a third party site. Products are created in batches, where consumers can easily view when and where the product was processed.
Following all of the above suggestions and guidelines can become overwhelming, but it is important to start with a few questions such as, does the company have transparency in production and testing, and do products have several certifications? Looking at the basics will ensure that you found a brand with great seed to shelf transparency and third party testing guidelines, with products you can trust.
*The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.