How to Identify a Quality CBD Product from the Imposters

by Mike Bryce

It seems these days that just about everywhere you look, you see or hear about a new CBD brand popping up claiming to be the best quality in the market.  The good news is that CBD is helping a lot of people quiet their mind, promote a better night’s sleep and find natural relief from sore and tired muscles.  The bad news is that with little to no industry standards or federal regulation, it’s often hard to identify the quality products, providing you the what they actual claim on pack from the rest.

Here are three things to look out for to help you identify the good from the bad:

  • Hemp Extract does not equal CBD
  • Many CBD brands are misleading consumers by claiming very high milligram amounts of Hemp Extract or even CBD Hemp Extract but beware of what you’re getting a milligrams of Hemp Extract does not equal milligrams of CBD.  Hemp extract can have very different concentrations of CBD depending on quality of the raw material, extraction technique and dilution with other ingredients.  Based on this, you can find hemp extract with a 5% concentration of CBD or Hemp Extract with an 80%+ concentration of CBD, meaning that 1,000mg of Hemp Extract can have anywhere from 50mg to 800mg of CBD!

    When choosing a product, look for brands that clearly label the mg of CBD you are getting per serving or in the whole pack and in the ingredient list generally found on the back of pack, select product that clearly label how many mg of Hemp Extract as well as CBD is found in the product.  You can then determine the quality of the hemp extract found in the product (i.e. 50mg Hemp Oil/Extract and 40mg CBD means a CBD concentration of 80%).

    ‘Hemp Extract can have very different concentration of CBD depending on the quality of the raw material…

  • Published 3rd party independent lab testing is a must
  • Even if a CBD brand clearly claims milligrams of CBD present in the product, it’s always a good idea to check to see if they have published independent 3rd party full panel lab reports on their website where you can see exactly what’s in the product.  Unfortunately, this is the only way to know for sure as a study by the FDA has found that over 80% of the CBD products tested, do not have the level of CBD they claim in the product.  All quality brands will publish there lab results so if you can’t find the lab reports, choose a different brand.  I would also recommend to look for brands that have full panel lab reports, which means they do not only test for the level of CBD and other cannabinoids present in the product, they also test to make sure the product is pure and without any any contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, solvents.

  • Look for products that contain custom active blends of ingredients
  • The majority of CBD brands out there White Label their products which means that they look at a menu of set product offerings from a manufacturer, choose one, and just place their branding and design on it.  This is the fastest and easiest way for a new brand to get products on the market as there just selecting product which already exist.  If you’re looking for a brand that is truly focused on provided the most effective products possible against specific benefits such as calm and sleep, then I would recommend to look for products that contain custom blends of CBD plus other clinically backed natural ingredients specifically designed against the specific benefit you are looking for.  When looking at these products, also check that the other ingredients besides CBD that are included in the product are added in sufficient level to actually have an effect vs. just being their at very low amounts so they can list the ingredient on the front of pack.  This is difficult to determine just by looking at the ingredient list, however if any of the main ingredients are in the product at less than 5mg, would be worth to compare to other brands. 

    Hope this has been helpful and remember, with CBD dosing isn’t prescription, it’s highly personal.  When you have a selected a quality brand, start with a small dose and work your way up to find the optimal dose for the intended effect you’re looking for.  If you’d like some simple tips on finding your optimal dose, check out the article ‘What’s The Right Dose of CBD For Me’ by Dr. Mary Clifton.