While there is a lot of talk about CBD with it being the new(ish) kid on the block, it is imperative to know your source to ensure you are buying a legal CBD based product.
This is according to Dr Alison Richardson, neurologist and spokesperson for Oil Science, a company that specialises in the supply of premium CBD products, who says that there are several important things to look out for before purchasing so that you don’t end up with a fraudulent or toxic product.
Richardson says that there are 5 key things you should look out for when considering trying out a CBD based product. Here is her take on it:
NOT ALL CBD IS CREATED EQUAL
It’s extremely important to be an educated consumer. As CBD products are now legal in our country, there are many retailers who boast high-end tinctures and infusions, but quality does vary.
Oil Science’s hemp is grown in Lesotho, following international cultivation techniques, ensuring quality and consistency in each batch. The hemp is then processed in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified facility so that each batch is produced consistently and full traceability is maintained from raw material to final product.
Products are then sent to an independent laboratory for final testing where a COA (certificate of analysis) is produced. The COA indicates the cannabinoid and potency profile. When considering your CBD brand, a full COA should be available for each product.
CHECK THE LABEL
These days, people won’t buy cereal without knowing what’s in it, and the same should go for CBD. As mentioned above, reputable CBD companies use and publish certificates of analysis (or COA’s), that tells you the quality of the CBD source, listing key information such as potency and solvents. All reputable CBD companies use, and publish COA’s to verify the quality of their products. If the COA seems tampered with or there isn’t one, take a huge pass. Without the COA, you may be buying a product that’s toxic or fraudulent. Given the health risks, not to mention that true CBD can be pricey, it’s just not worth taking the chance.
KNOW YOUR HEMP FROM YOUR MARIJUANA
There is a difference, and it’s vital. Although both hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, hemp has higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC (the psychoactive compound that makes you “high”) than a marijuana plant. In South Africa, only CBD products containing less than 0,001% THC concentration are legally allowed to be sold.
CHECK THE COLOUR OF THE CBD OIL
A surprisingly large number of people are blissfully unaware that CBD oil comes in varying degrees of strength and quality. Generally speaking, there are two types of CBD oil.
Raw: the type of oil is black/dark green in appearance, because it has been extracted from raw hemp material, and no further purification process has been implemented. You can be sure that this will contain plant matter, varying amounts of THC and chlorophyll.
Filtered: This comes in a lovely light golden/amber colour and has undergone both decarboxylation and filtering processes, removing parts of the plant that were leftover from the initial extraction process. If you want to look at things in a more translatable way, high-grade CBD oil is like a fine brandy, in so far as it has been triple distilled for purity.
QUALITY OVER AFFORDABILITY
We all love a bargain, but as a customer concerned about your general health and well-being, it definitely pays to know what you are buying. If you were to go online and do a simple search for “CBD oil”, hundreds of thousands of results would pop up at the click of a button.
Sounds fantastic right? Well, the fact of the matter is that the majority of these products are likely to be cheap, low-quality oils that probably won’t offer much more therapeutic benefits than the cold-pressed olive oil sitting in your kitchen cabinet. By simply ‘knowing your source’, you can save yourself loads of money, time and frustration. When in doubt, always consider quality over affordability.
Here are my final thoughts on how to identify high-grade CBD oil: there is an enormous amount of research which shows the efficacy of CBD in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. This versatile compound is a potential game-changer in the medical field, as it produces no high, but in order to achieve full therapeutic potential, you will need to sort your choice of CBD oil from the host of low-quality products out there.
“The human body is a complex thing. When everything is in balance, we feel like we can achieve anything, but if any of our systems are out of sync, we can experience a number of adverse health effects,” she says. “Natural solutions exist that can help keep your body in balance and improve your health as a result. CBD helps in various ways, by promoting homeostasis in the body.”