To add to the challenges, brands in the CBD space are struggling to verify their own products. Laura White, founder of Soul Addict, started a CBD line after she found it helped her with crippling anxiety. Wanting to create a reliable product in both purity and potency, she’d test on top of the farm’s tests and kept running into the same problem: The lab results didn’t match. When White finally found a farm that had accurate tests, she’d partner with them. A few years later, Soul Addict now sources all its CBD through small, family-run farms in Colorado and White is in the process of integrating her own crops from North Carolina. The lesson she learned? Brands should be constantly testing their product to verify their farms’ reports.
In order to convince people to buy CBD oil or other products made of hemp or containing cannabidiol, companies claim that their CBD can cure pretty much anything from cancer to acne scars, yet they have no scientific argument to back up their statements. It’s therefore not surprising to see that people are reluctant when it comes to purchasing such products, or that they feel overwhelmed and have no idea how to buy CBD oil without getting scammed.
• Raw (Green) – This is as close as you are likely going to get to the plant growing in the earth. It will be composed of cannabinoids, plant terpenes, and plant matter. It’s generally a thick paste with a small recommended starting serving size of 1-2 grains of rice sized servings per day. The taste will be very earthy (we use “hempy” as an adjective.)
Hemp oil cold pressed from hemp seeds grown in Canada. This hemp oil is also from an industrial hemp variety of Cannabis sativa which doesn’t require herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Hemp oil is considered to be very nutritious with an ideal profile of omega 3 and 6, but the main purpose for it being in our blend is to have a base oil to emulsify the hemp extract into.
That’s why, when it comes to purchasing CBD products, you need to know what to look out for before you start browsing. Do you know which companies have a reputation for producing low-quality versus high-quality CBD products? Do you know which lab results you should ask to see? Or which manufacturing certifications point to quality practices being adhered to?
Cristina Sanchez, a molecular biologist from Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, explains to CannaInsider, “cells, not only cancer cells, but every cell in our body can die in different ways. One could be similar to an accident, a car accident, a traumatic death which is called necrosis. And there is another way to die which is a clean death and by clean I mean no inflammation of the surrounding tissues. And this cancer cell death is called Apoptosis. And when someone’s dealing with anti-tumor compounds, one wants this particular kind of death to happen because the other one is associated to inflammatory processes and things like that that you don’t want in a patient.”
We gave the highest points to companies that use a CBD distillate for their tinctures. The process of distillation creates an extract that is pure on a molecular level. There are people who think distillate is too pure, and that a full spectrum decarb produces a more effective tincture. But in light of the inconclusive evidence, we prefer a distillate. The process allows for a high degree of control as to the finished product. It’s also odorless and tasteless, so those tinctures tend to taste better.
Tinctures start with a raw or decarboxylated oil, but they are a more palatable (tastier if you will) option. In order to make a tincture, emulsifiers and a carrier oil and flavoring are added to the base oil. They will be packaged with a dropper or spray top for ease of use. They may even contain sweeteners. These are a great starter product or an ideal daily food supplement for anyone who does not enjoy a hempy flavor. Some flavors, like spearmint and orange, will mask the hemp flavor while other lighter options, like vanilla, will complement it.
Filtered oil has been through the most processing. Generally, filtered oil has been decarboxylated and then even further refined by filtering out the phytochemicals and plant materials. This makes the oil gold in color which is often considered the highest quality compared to raw or decarboxylated oil. Filtered oil is commonly referred to as “gold” CBD oil and is very popular among consumers. It also tends to be the most expensive, but this isn’t always the case.
Watch Out For: Hemp grown in the European Union (EU) and China. Even in countries with agricultural regulations, the list of approved pesticides is far from safe. Thus you are really relying on the specific company’s ethical standards when it comes to hemp cultivation. The reason this is such a big deal with hemp when compared to other plants, is that hemp is a dynamic accumulator plant. Dynamic accumulator is a term used to describe plants that gather minerals – both good and bad – from the surrounding soil and store them in its tissues. So if you’re growing a hemp plant with petroleum-based pesticides in soil that contains heavy metals…you’re inevitably going to have a hemp plant containing both toxic pesticides and heavy metals. This is why many people have poor experiences when first trying CBD – you buy your vegetables organically, why not your hemp? The presence of these toxins is not regulated by any agency and they will end up in your CBD oil if you don’t purchase from the correct company. We like Ambary Gardens because they ensure that all of their CBD products are produced from organically and sustainably grown hemp without the use of pesticides.
We’ve systematically sought out the most beautiful and healthy hemp cultivars for our raw ingredients used in CBD oil manufacturing, and we always test for purity and potency. Hemp, because of its innate ability to thrive easily, doesn’t require pesticides (the aromatic terpene compounds in hemp can actually act as natural pesticides), fertilizers, or herbicides in its cultivation, and requires much less water than standard commercial farming. The hemp we use is grown under the same methods and standards of organic farming.
Research on CBD and anxiety has generally looked at cannabis as a whole product, not as CBD as a standalone compound. Some studies suggest that it can help with anxiety: like this 2011 study that suggests CBDcan reduce social anxiety or this 2015 review that says CBD could be promising for many forms of anxiety. It’s also important to consider whether the CBD comes from the cannabis plant and therefore may include THC, a cannabinoid that for some, induces anxiety. Read our comprehensive article on CBD and anxiety, here.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator, meaning it is capable of absorbing both the good and the bad from the air, water, and soil in which it’s grown. This makes it all the more important to know that your CBD oil comes from organically grown hemp that can be tracked to its US-grown source. The last thing buyers want is for their CBD oil to have accumulated toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. For decades, farmers have used pesticides to protect crops against insects, disease, and fungi – and have used herbicides to control weeds – but we’ve known for quite some time that chemicals used to harm other species can also be harmful to our own species. That’s one big reason behind the global push to go organic. People are starting to prioritize organic crops, whether you’re talking about fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, livestock feed – even textiles like cotton, wool, and flax.