After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill where a set of standards was set to legally grow hemp, there has been quite the rush of products to launch and get into consumers’ hands. Inevitably in the rush, there have been companies that overlook some of the finer details or may not have their customer’s best interests in mind when creating products. As it has been shown in a Leafly article, some products have not contained any CBD at all, leading many to the conclusion that there are a few unscrupulous or undiligent actors in the industry. Since the posting of the Leafly article in November of 2019, many of the more ethical or quality-minded companies in the market have taken it upon themselves to obtain a certificate of analysis (COA) test on each batch of product to ensure that the products do in fact contain what the label states (i.e. CBD concentrations and free from heavy metals, pesticides, and residual solvents). The best thing to do after seeing that they have a COA is to make sure you understand what it is saying. For those of us that haven’t worn a lab coat and tested plants, Way of Leaf has created a short read so more people can understand the basics of a certificate of analysis. One other important step to take after reading the certificates from a lab is to determine which lab the results came from. There are many reputable labs ) out there that can test hemp and cannabis products (RYTE CBD uses ACS Laboratory), however, there are also some labs that will put whatever the manufacturer wants on the COA (a practice known as “dry labbing”).
Before you start researching the product’s testing profile, the first thing to think about is what kind of product you are looking to use and in what form. Once you have found the lotion, ointment, gel capsule, or tincture that you think would be the best for your application, you will want to consider how the company extracted the CBD oil from the plant. There are two main ways to obtain the oil material from the plants that are very different and may work differently depending on the application and the person. CBD Oil Review covers both CO2 and Ethanol extraction and what may work for you. Another consideration you will want to investigate is where the company sources its hemp from. Many companies purchase their hemp from farmers that either they approach, or create a contract with before the growing season starts. Contracting out the farming makes sense for most manufacturers as they then do not have to invest the time, money, and effort into growing their own hemp. However, this means that they lack true quality control over the product before it is delivered to them. Some of the top companies in the CBD industry have partner farmers that grow the hemp under their supervision. If the company is growing the hemp themselves, it means that they are concerned about producing the best quality product starting in the field and that will flow into their manufacturing processes.