How to Choose CBD Products

To choose high-quality CBD products, you must select products with quality ingredients that are 3rd-party lab tested. Look for products with clear labels showing the quantity and ratio of CBD and THC per dose, a manufacturing date, and a batch number.

Let’s start at the beginning so we can cover all our bases – In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its blessing to “Epidiolex,” a purified CBD pharmaceutical, for treating severe pediatric epilepsy. Six months later, Congress passed the Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp for many uses, including the production of biomass for CBD oil extraction. The 2018 Farm Bill defined hemp as cannabis with 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less.

In theory, these momentous developments should make it easier to access CBD products. But many issues remain unresolved. How will the FDA regulate nonpharmaceutical, hemp-derived CBD? Will the FDA continue to privilege CBD isolates, while discriminating against artisanal, full-spectrum, CBD-rich oil that may actually be more effective than single-molecule pharmaceuticals? What policies should be implemented to ensure wide and easy access to high quality, lab-verified, artisanal CBD-rich products in addition to pharmaceutical options?

The best way to source CBD is to buy it farm-direct from a trusted online retailer. Do some research about the company selling it, and better yet, do some research about the farm that grew it. Choosing among the many unregulated CBD brands – which “typically have less manufacturing oversight than kitty litter,” as one industry insider put it – can be problematic.

Many hemp-derived CBD products are mislabeled. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that 69% of 85 products surveyed had an incorrect amount of CBD and/or THC on the product label.

Another survey found significant discrepancies among some of the leading hemp-derived CBD brands that falsely claim full-spectrum CBD-rich oil is in their products; lab tests of several samples revealed only one cannabinoid – CBD – was present, indicating that these products were made with a CBD isolate rather than a more efficacious whole plant CBD-rich extract.

Another problem: Some overly processed hemp-derived CBD products are tainted with toxic solvent residues, corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and other contaminants.

But good quality CBD-rich products are also available. Too many questions still remain, but we have compiled a short guideline to help you pick the best CBD products for you and your loved ones!

Guidelines for Shopping for CBD Products

  1. Consumer Reports suggests looking for products made by companies in states that have legalized the recreational and medical use of cannabis “since they tend to have stricter standards.” If you live in a “CBD-only” state, choose CBD products made with American-grown hemp (from Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, Vermont, Tennessee, etc.) rather than foreign sources.

  2. Choose “full-spectrum” CBD-rich oil extracts, not isolate, distillate, or products labeled “pure CBD” or “no THC.” Full-spectrum means it includes numerous cannabis compounds, including a small amount of THC. If THC is completely illegal in your state, opt for so-called “broad spectrum” CBD oil products that include other cannabis components but no THC.

  3. Look for product labels that indicate the amount of CBD and THC per serving – not just the total cannabinoid content for the entire bottle.

  4. Beware of companies that make explicit health claims about CBD products (this is not allowed by the FDA).

  5. Seek out CBD-rich products derived from high-resin cannabis grown sustainably in accordance with certified regenerative organic standards.

  6. Avoid CBD hemp oil vape cartridge products with toxic thinning agents (such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol), flavor additives, and other harmful ingredients.

  7. Avoid poor quality CBD-infused gummies made with corn syrup and artificial colors.

  8. Think twice about brands that claim their CBD is derived from the seed and stalk of the hemp plant. CBD is not present in hempseed and barely any CBD is present on the stalk of the hemp plant.

  9. Beware of multilevel marketing schemes and companies that seek to sign you up right away for recurring purchases.

  10. Don’t be afraid to contact CBD companies directly and ask questions. And if you cannot reach them directly, try another brand.