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Now that the New Farm Bill is signed by the US president, more Doctors than ever are recommending that patients use CBD cannabidiol. This comes as the medical community released several research papers indicating that CBD is useful to manage a long list of autoimmune related and other health problems. Also included on the list is epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, Alzheimers’, psoriasis and acne.

What was alternative has now become mainstream:

At a time when the US is grappling with the opioid crisis, it is normal for members of the public to seek out alternative options, yet now that CBD is legal -and all over the media, more Doctors are starting to recommend it too. CBD is therefore no longer an alternative: it is mainstream. This comes with a caveat. People will naturally want the cheapest products – as good cannabidiol products made from pure ingredients are not cheap at all. 

Consumers have legitimate questions that need to be answer. For example, is there a risk in buying the cheapest product that is labelled as CBD? Does it really matter in which country it is manufactured and how cheap it is? Do the words “non GMO-certified” mean anything? 

After tracking down two industry experts who attended the annual AMMG conference, we were able to gather some information, aimed at answering these questions:

A warning to consumers: source your CBD carefully

Dr. Deepa Verma, the founder of Synergistiq Integrative Health, Clearwater, FL is a prominent voice on holistic healing. She had the following to say on the issue of CBD cannabidiol quality:

“As an MD, I always advise my patients to avoid purchasing nutraceuticals and healthcare products such as CBD hemp products over-the-counter or off the internet from any random website. 

It is unclear where the products are derived from and they may contain toxic and harmful chemicals and substances which could damage one’s health or exacerbate already existing medical conditions. 

Patients and clients must be extremely cautious and prudent when looking to purchase CBD products whether it be oil, capsules, vape pens, edibles, skin care or even products for their pets. 

It is important to know where the CBD/hemp is sourced and even to look at the CoA (certificate of analysis). 

CBD must be analyzed and evaluated to certify that it is pure and free from harmful toxins and pesticides and chemicals. CBD must be verified that it can provide the claimed and listed benefits. 

There are over 100 cannabinoids and they all have different functions in the brain and body. As with many natural products, the properties of full-spectrum hemp oil can vary immensely from producer to producer. Before you buy CBD/hemp oil, learn what to look out for.

Common hemp tests

CBD/hemp oil is usually tested by third-party labs – these are companies not related to the producer. After testing, the labs issue a CoA. While CoAs from different labs will often look different, each should include the following points:

Potency testing

Pesticide testing

Microbiological testing

Terpene profiling

Residual solvents testing

It is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable practitioner to inquire the source of the CBD and to make sure it is free from pesticides and toxins. 

It is important to understand the difference between isolates and full-spectrum CBD. 

Since there is no FDA regulation on CBD products or nutraceuticals, I explain to my patients that products should be physician-regulated and pharmaceutical-grade to meet the highest standards of purity and efficacy. 

Everyone from children to the elderly can benefit from CBD, so quality is of the utmost importance. No harm should be inflicted by taking an impure product.

It is all about education: when patients understand the how to source the right CBD products to treat their condition, I can feel assured that my patients are only getting the very best. 

I personally use the oil tinctures and skin care products and have noticed some wonderful sequelae.”

We asked a leading CBD manufacturer:

Edmon Mamane is an Israeli-American who commands a global CBD supply chain, serving both B2B wholesale and B2C markets. We wanted his feedback on issues around cannabidiol quality. He had the following to say:

“As you can tell from the expert opinion of Dr. Verma, it is incredibly important that we continue producing CBD that is non-GMO certified, made from pure quality hemp that is absolutely free from pesticides. Else, how can we expect people to see the real health benefits for which the product is intended?” 

Concerning product pricing – and whether it would make sense for companies to introduce a more affordable version of CBD products, he said: “We see people who live with chronic conditions consume superior quality cannabidiol products for a lifetime: month after month they re-order the same reliable products. If we were to fiddle with cheap imports where the contents are compromised, people will only try CBD once and will cease to use it. This does not benefit the consumer, supplier or manufacturer. Therefore, we do not see a sustainable position in lowering quality for the sake of mass consumerism. I see this as an unprecedented opportunity for American CBD producers to lead the way, as other continents are flooded with compromised products. I would like to see the FDA and EU health regulators get more involved in this process sooner rather than later”. 

Conclusion:

With CBD being legal in the US, we can now expect to see the number of relevant Amazon and Ebay storefronts increase exponentially. Until such time the FDA and EU regulators lay down specific quality standards, expect to see a wide pricing gap between the superior kind of products Dr. Verma referred to – and inferior products that may have been compromised. If these two industry leaders are correct in their assertions, then consumers and wholesales need to pay close attention to ensure the consumption of quality CBD products. Product certification – and the words “Made in USA”, will certainly be key considerations for US consumers.