CBD awareness in the US and beyond is growing. A 2019 poll found that 64% of US adults are familiar with CBD and a whopping 33% of them have used CBD products one or more times.
These percentages are expected to keep on climbing. All 50 US states have legalized CBD as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less. Plus, states are making it easier than ever to buy CBD, especially with the rise of the online CBD outlet.
Yet, buying CBD products online can be a tricky business. After all, how do you know a CBD brand is who they say they are? Worse, how do you know their products contain the cannabinoids listed on the label?
Want to know our top tips for safely purchasing CBD online? Then you better check out this article because we're telling you the answer to that question and many more.
Why You Need to Shop Smart for CBD
So, you may be wondering why you should stress about shopping smart for CBD in the first place. Since CBD isn't considered a medication just yet, the FDA doesn't regulate new CBD products the same way they do the pharmaceutical industry.
While most brands choose to put out high-quality, safe products, some have taken advantage of the relaxed regulations.
Some companies are selling CBD products that don't contain CBD. Others make wild claims about what their product can do for your health.
The good news is you can identify some of these bad actors. The FDA posts a list of warning letters to CBD companies who are confusing their customers or, worse, outright lying to them.
From 2015 to 2019, the list of CBD brands making false or misleading claims has increased in size. Now more than ever, you need to be careful when shopping for CBD online.
Choosing the Most Reputable CBD Brands
Is there anything you can do to prevent yourself from purchasing from a suspicious brand? Yes! Though the industry hasn't yet put regulations in place to protect consumers, some awesome brands are leading the way in quality online CBD.
Here are three factors you need to look at when deciding whether a new CBD product or vendor is right for you.
Let us let you in a little secret about CBD: it comes from hemp, and hemp is what's known as a phytoremediation crop. That means if you plant hemp, it will absorb anything and everything in the soil around it.
For this reason, it's always a better bet to choose non-GMO, US-grown organic CBD products. A USDA Certified Organic product goes through rigorous farming methods designed to keep the soil, the hemp plant, and, ultimately, you safe.
Also, make sure you search for CBD extracted via the CO2 method. Extraction is the process through which the CBD is harvested from the hemp plant. CO2 extraction is known to be the safest, most non-toxic form of extraction around today.
Another important factor in your CBD buying decision? You should ensure your chosen CBD brand is as transparent as possible. They shouldn't make any wild claims about CBD curing cancer or recommending CBD for adolescents and children.
Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a quality CBD brand is their Certificate of Analysis (COA). All brands should rigorously test their CBD to ensure the label correctly displays what's actually inside the bottle.
Even better, ensure the company offers a third-party laboratory COA. That means a lab not affiliated with the brand has tested the product. In this way, companies can remove any bias that could come from only performing in-house analyses.
How to Read a Certificate of Analysis
As we mentioned above, the COA is essential to protecting yourself from low-quality CBD brands. That's why we want to help you understand the COA and how to read one yourself.
Oh, and one other thing: you should always ask for the COA that matches up to the batch number of the product. That way, you get the most accurate results. Once you have the COA that matches up with your product's batch number, here's how to read it.
First, you'll probably want to know if your product does, in fact, contain CBD. If so, you'll also want to know how much CBD it contains.
Scan the COA for the section labeled "cannabinoids" or "total cannabinoids." This should tell you the amount of CBD in milligrams present in the batch. If the number on the COA doesn't match up with the label, steer clear!
As we mentioned, hemp tends to absorb anything that's in the soil. That means pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and whatever else is lingering in the soil. Those toxins can ultimately end up in your CBD products.
That's why it's so important to also check for contaminants. A COA should list the contaminants the lab tested. Usually, these are heavy metals, solvents, or any pesticides or other chemicals present.
Another note is to look for the section labeled "microbiological testing." This section should show the absence of mold or bacteria that can infect some hemp plants and damage your health.
Finally, a COA should mention whether good manufacturing practices (GMP) were used to the product, extract, and bottle the product. Keep in mind that the more established the brand, the easier a time they can prove GMPs to the third-party lab.
The Bottom Line on Buying From an Online CBD Outlet
Buying from an online CBD outlet doesn't have to be scary. As long as you're an informed consumer, you can feel confident that you'll find the product that's perfect for your needs.
Mountaineer Brand RX offers US-grown organic CBD that's always third-party lab tested. Learn more about us today to find out why we're the CBD brand you've been searching for.