If you’re looking for a CBD product, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to use. As with every medicinal treatment and supplement, CBD can do a great deal of good for your health. But it can sometimes come with unwanted additives, mislabelling, or a dodgy reputation. Here are four easy ways to help determine if the CBD you’re buying is legit and safe to use.
1. Know Your CBD is Safe: Read their certificate of analysis
A certificate of analysis (COA) is a third-party lab report detailing the contents of your CBD product. These reports confirm what the packaging says about how much or how little CBD is found in the product. These should include other cannabinoids found in hemp, as well. Like CBG and CBN.
To find the COA, you could ask the CBD company for it, search online. Or you can contact the third-party laboratory responsible for testing products. You could also access a product’s COA by scanning the QR code that normally comes on the packaging. If the company doesn’t provide you access to a COA, there’s no sure way of knowing exactly what you’re getting. It’s an easy decision to never buy a CBD product that doesn’t have a COA.
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2. Make sure the FDA hasn’t sent them a warning letter
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sends warning letters to CBD companies that break the rules. That includes mislabelling their products, making illegal claims, inappropriate market products etc. Companies try to get away with understating or overstating the CBD content of their products. And some even sell ‘CBD’ products that contain no CBD at all! You can find a list of recipients of these letters on the FDA website.
While the FDA does send these warning letters, they don’t regulate the sale of CBD or other dietary supplements. This means that the responsibility falls on you, the customer, to do background checks and only purchase products from reputable CBD companies. And it’s important to note that some of these letters are around the marketing of CBD. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that the CBD isn’t safe. It just means the company made a claim that the FDA didn’t like.
If the brand hasn’t received a warning letter from the FDA and is transparent about its COAs, it is more likely to be a reliable company and its products are more likely safe to use.
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3. Check out their reputation online
There are various ways to tell if a product or company is the real deal, but the best way is word of mouth. Check out the company online. Check out their reviews. What do people say about their products?
The experiences of others are often a good indication of the reliability of the brand, but if you want to be extra certain, search the brand name online. Look for a professional, comprehensive website with contact details. Check if their name comes up in the ‘News’ tab and check the FDA website for mentions of the brand’s name. If there are no red flags down these avenues they’re probably okay and their products are more likely to be safe to use.
A good indication of a product’s reliability is if it has no unverified claims. CBD can help alleviate symptoms of many ailments, but it hasn’t been shown to cure or diminish any disease entirely. If the product or company claims CBD is a miracle cure-all, they’re probably not trustworthy. This is a great way to get a sense if your CBD is safe.
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4. Check out the additives
CBD is best absorbed when administered in a carrier oil. If you have any allergies, it’s wise to find out what this carrier oil is. It should be listed on the packaging. Companies typically use:
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Olive oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Cranberry seed oil
Companies might also use flavorings and added health ingredients. For example, some CBD Oils include organic ginger extract, because ginger may offer anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s important to take notice of these flavorings and avoid it if you have any allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients.
It’s always important to check the ingredients of a CBD product online or on the packaging, but if you want to double-check, you can find all the information about ingredients and potential allergens in CBD products in the product’s COA.
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How to Know Your CBD is Safe – Summary
Lastly, remember that CBD is not for everyone. While it’s considered a safe substance, it does have a few noteworthy side effects. These can include fatigue, change in appetite, and nausea. If you do happen to experience any of those side effects, talk to your doctor. It’s always best to get a doctor’s opinion before using a health product of any kind, CBD included!
In order to fully reap the benefits of CBD, it’s important to purchase high-quality CBD products from legitimate, reputable companies. Practice these points when buying CBD products and you’re sure to have safe CBD experience.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa and she has written for publications such as Healthline, Greatist, and Psych Central to name a few.