Having watched the CBD industry grow from its infancy, it has been both amazing and at times scary to see it grow from obscurity to one of the trendiest products in the health marketplace in a span of a few years. The last year in particular has seen an absurd amount of new CBD companies enter the market place.
It has been a lot of great news for Hemp farmers and CBD companies who have been researching, exploring and creating CBD products. However, there has also been a rush for companies to capitalize on the CBD trend, and rush to market with little to no oversight. We are bombarded daily with new companies marketing their CBD products and many do not even know where it comes from.
We are at a very critical juncture in the growth of this industry right now, because there needs to be more understanding of the products people are getting. If people get inferior or untested products, the credibility of CBD will soon be lost and more people will be calling it a placebo, or possibly dangerous. We are going to outline some critical steps everyone should take when researching CBD products, and try to show you the differences between all the products inundating the market place.
Read the "About Us" Page
This is probably the easiest way to determine who is for real and who isn't. Check for a background of the company you are seeing. Have they been involved in the Hemp/Cannabis industry for a long time, or is it a new company trying to capitalize on a trend. Do they farm their own Hemp or work directly with farmers who do? Do they use isolate's or full spectrum products? Can their CBD be traced? Are lab tests available? Are they using US grown hemp? Essentially, the more information a company is willing to give, and how long they have been around is a good sign when researching CBD. A reputable company should be easy to contact, with a visible phone number, physical address, email contact or easy contact form. Employees should be able to answer questions about their CBD easily and be knowledgeable about different products.
Beware of Franchise Opportunities and Affiliate Programs
We have noticed a number of CBD companies overselling their products, and in most cases these tend to be inferior, generic, rebranded bulk isolate products. If a CBD company offers franchise opportunities on their website, you should run. This is a company who's sole mission is to capitalize on a trend. Most of them use the lowest price product they can find, and many have no idea how CBD even works. These sites capitalize on marketing gimmicks, re-branding the same product, and selling through as many channels as possible. What you want to see, is brands that focus on the quality of the Cannabis they grow, the oversight of their extraction process, and the potency, and quality of their final product.
Beware of Fake Review Sites
There seems to be a dearth of CBD review sites on line, but unfortunately, very few of them are trustworthy. The majority of them are either paid ads, or slick marketing devices by less reputable companies trying to build SEO content and link to their product. These fake review sites can often lead to the very worst exploiters of the CBD trend and to the companies who are trying to capitalize on inferior, untested product. It's frustrating to see because they are undermining the entire legitimacy of this incredible movement. Please be extremely skeptical of review sites. Find out the credentials of the site, the reviewer, and their policies. Do they accept paid advertising? Are they easy to contact? Do they have a phone number, email address, and physical address? A good review site should tell you about their methodology, and be easy to ask or contact about how they came to their conclusions.
Compare Products and Understand Their Differences
We know CBD can be confusing. We answer questions about it all day! The sheer numbers of products that have come to market in the past year alone can be overwhelming for consumers to understand. There are some key terms to understand before comparing products, but it is extremely helpful to know the difference before you start price shopping and looking for the product that is right for you. Below are what we feel are some of the most important terms to help you understand the difference between products and help you find the CBD product that is best for you.
Full Spectrum- This term means you are getting a whole plant extract. The extraction process for CBD is generally done with either Isopropyl Alcohol, Food grade Ethanol, or SubCritical or Supercritical CO2. Each of these extraction techniques has their merit and all are considered safe and effective.
Our customers have enjoyed amazing success with products utilizing all of these extraction techniques, which is why we feel it is essential to have a good representation of all of them in our product lines. Once the Hemp plants are put through the extraction process, they yield a concentrated oil which has a particular and unique profile of cannabinoids.
There are over 100 different cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. While CBD is the most dominant cannabinoid in all the products we carry, full spectrum products will have small amounts of many other cannabinoids as well.
Full Spectrum CBD products are considered the highest quality due to the nature of what science has deemed the"entourage effect". This phrase, first coined by Israeli researchers in 1998, deems that it is the profile of all these different cannabinoids working in harmony, and symbiotically that gives cannabis its therapeutic efficacy.
Science will continually be trying to find the answers to what cannabinoids have exactly what effect, but we feel this will be a long and continued exercise in futility. The amazingly low toxicity of Cannabis gives us the freedom to explore different profiles quite easily with little to no risk.
Every human being is different and will have variations in their endo-cannabinoid system. Every cannabis harvest will have slight variations in its cannabinoid profiles. Finding the right cannabinoid profile to match and balance your own unique endo-cannabinoid system is what will ultimately help you to achieve your wellness goals. This is why we feel it is essential to offer a variety of high quality products for you to experiment with.
It is important to understand that using full spectrum products means that THC is generally present at legal levels (below .3% is the threshold for industrial hemp). This low amount of THC in full spectrum products is akin to alcohol being present in many kombucha drinks at the supermarket. It generally is not enough for the consumer to feel high. However, if taken in higher doses, and for long periods of time, it may be enough to trigger a positive on a drug test for THC.
CBD Isolate- This term is exactly how it sounds, it refers to the isolated CBD molecule. CBD isolates are not necessarily bad, but unfortunately this is the area where lack of oversight can really hurt the industry. Unfortunately a quick search on Alibaba can lead you to 30 different providers of extremely cheap Chinese or Romanian made isolate products. These are either synthesized in a lab, or extracted from industrial hemp by-products, or possibly even invasive weeds. It doesn't seem possible to produce isolate as cheaply as these sellers are selling it for which makes it extremely suspicious.
Keep in mind a lab test is important, but companies can still quite easily post any lab test they want online and associate with any product. This is why it is so essential that you look into a company's background and trustworthiness when buying CBD. Every brand we stock at The Hempest is thoroughly vetted and the oils or isolates are all traceable to the farmers who grew the Hemp. Quality US grown and extracted isolates are able to be found and we carry a few varieties on our site. The benefits of these products are that they contain 0% THC which is good for people who need to take drug tests.
Many of our customers also use CBD isolates in conjunction with their THC intake to help balance the effects. Isolates can be dabbed, smoked, eaten, or infused into topicals. One of our customer favorites for topicals, the Ralph's Organic Garden Salve, is actually an isolate based product which we constantly hear works amazingly well. For tinctures, we usually stick to Full Spectrum products, as the medicinal benefits have always been way more noticeable to our customers.
With full Spectrum products, higher dosage seems to have more impact, whereas with isolates, scientists have seen a bell curve effect, where there is a certain dosage that works for people, but lower or greater than that amount does not. We are learning more about CBD Isolates all the time, but rest assured every isolate we carry on our site will be reputably sourced from US farms with regulated grow licensing and proper lab tests in place.
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