CBD is short for ‘cannabidiol,’ which is a naturally occurring chemical compound derived from the hemp plant. As a non-psychotropic cannabinoid with bountiful uses, CBD has successfully infiltrated the mainstream market.

CBD is derived from hemp and was made federally legal thanks to the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018; a year that saw the online popularity of CBD soar 260%! As the popularity of CBD grows, so does the number of companies actively selling cannabinoid-infused consumer packaged goods (CBD-CPGs). While necessary to serve the ever-expanding consumer demographic, buyers ought to exercise caution with whom they do business.

As an influx of new advertisements permeates the online world, you must do your research to find the best CBD brand on the market before parting ways with your hard-earned cash.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has consistently stated its position on CBD-infused products are subject to the same laws and requirements as every other FDA-regulated products. In November 2019, warning letters were distributed among 15 different non-compliant CBD companies by the FDA.[1]

Countless companies are attempting to profit by breaking the rules, whether those rules pertain to false marketing, incorrect packaging, or processing CBD products. With so many unlicensed and untrustworthy sellers trying to cash in on the CBD craze predicted to yield in $16 billion in revenue by 2025, you need to mitigate risks by doing your due diligence:

1. Ask The Age Old Question: How Is It Made?

The genetic composition of CBD oil will depend on how it is extracted. In order to extract the non-psychotropic cannabinoid effectively, pressure must first be applied to the plant. When this happens, the trichomes are forced to open and the excreted oils are captured. It’s important to remember that the way in which a CBD seller applies pressure to hemp or cannabis will affect the quality.

Instead of buying CBD oil from companies, that extract the cannabinoid with heat methods using butane oil or ethanol – which not only results in the chemicals interacting with and tainting the genetic profile of compounds, but also destroying important terpenes in the process – search for a supplier that focuses on clean and green methods, like hōlus.

Our team specializes in producing CBD products utilizing supercritical CO2 extraction. As an all-natural solvent that does not require the use of foreign substances, CO2 is an environmentally conscious choice. With a low carbon footprint and zero risk of cross contamination, CO2 is an evironmentally and quality choice extraction system. Moreover, this method will ensure that all the plant’s powerful therapeutic powerhouses (cannabinoids and terpenes) remain intact.

2. The Best CBD Provider Will Offer Full Spectrum Options

A basic search for the best CBD brand will alert you to the fact that two main varieties are permeating the market — full-spectrum CBD, broad spectrum [2] CBD and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum oils have more of the over 100 cannabinoids, creating a product with a greater diversity of phytocannabinoids for effective delivery and update to your endocannabinoid system. While isolated CBD has been shown to be efficacious for medical purposes,[3] anecdotal evidence and experience suggest a full spectrum or broader spectrum product will successfully address your physical needs.

Regardless of your specific ailment or requirement for finding the best CBD brand, you can yield the greatest benefits when you choose a full spectrum or broad-spectrum product. The “entourage effect” – a fascinating phenomenon that occurs when cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids, omega fatty acids, glycerides, and other plant compounds work in synergy to amplify their effects – will kick into high gear when you consume whole plant extracts in the form of full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD.

Adding terpenes like myrcene, limonene, and linalool to the mix will give your body an extra dose of goodness. After all, terpenes – the organic compounds that give cannabis its signature smell – each possess their unique therapeutic properties. The full-spectrum tinctures available from hōlus CBD are USDA certified organic.

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3. Review Third-Party Testing Reports

Current federal regulation for CBD products is lacking. Because of this, CBD testing procedures are inconsistent. In some instances, competitive sellers have been diluting their products with unsafe substances, such as vitamin E acetate, which spurred a vape-lung crisis across the U.S. in 2019.

If a brand does not openly tell the customer they are third party tested, that is a major red flag. Before buying CBD, find the COA or certificate of analysis to prove that the product has been third-party tested. By doing so, you can ensure that the information printed on the label is accurate and has not been falsified. Additionally, third-party lab tests will help you to avoid buying products that contain less than the advertised amount of CBD.

4. Find Out Where the CBD Products are Sourced

A top tip for people who want to obtain products from the best CBD brand is to stick with sellers that source their goods from United States growers. Why you ask? The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for U.S. hemp cultivators and CBD product manufacturers to produce hemp-derived CBD products. As a heavily regulated commodity, it’s best to stick to sellers that are Farm Bill Compliant and is has Good Agricultural Practices.

The environment in which hemp is grown will have a direct effect on the quality of the finished product, such as the pH of the soil, temperature, humidity, and light intensity. Soils from many hemp growing regions in south and central America are sourced from volcanic ash have a high degree of heavy metals in them including elevated levels of mercuric content. The best CBD brand will collaborate with a U.S. source, so keep this in mind.

5. Look for CBD Formulations that Increase Bioavailability

Methods of CBD administration will have an impact on its overall effect. For example, bioavailability – the percentage of CBD absorbed in the bloodstream – tends to increase when cannabinoids are ingested sublingually, as opposed to other less direct absorption methods. Knowledge of product bioavailability is paramount, because the more compounds you absorb into the bloodstream, the stronger its influence on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a network of receptors that react when exposed to cannabinoids like CBD. Oral administration is one of the most bioavailable options since CBD can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream this way. Edibles, however, must first pass through the digestive tract , the liver, and be absorbed by the gut, a tedious process.

6. Pay Attention to Product Packaging

You might not think it’s important, but how a CBD brand packages its products will say a lot about the company. From the moment hemp leaves are plucked from the plant and begin to lose essential compounds to the finished packaging on a consumer packaged good – you want to know that the CBD company you chose has done its legal, due diligence, and has your best interests in mind. Check the product to see if it identifies whether the product is full-spectrum or “THC Free;” whether the product has a quick response (Q.R.) code for customers to review the certificates of analysis; whether the package is appropriately labeled and discloses the appropriate product information. A good CBD brand will take pride in packaging their products appropriately to ensure that the natural elements are preserved.

In addition, CBD degrades over time and packaging says a lot about preservation life. For tinctures especially, you want to look for dark amber bottles. Glass clear bottles have a lower shelf life than dark matted amber bottles.

7. Seek Out Customer Support and Product Exchange

Reputable CBD brands will be so confident in what they bring to the table that they will be willing to stand behind their product and offer to replace your product, should you be displeased with the product in some way. In addition to inquiring about return policies, search for a CBD supplier that excels in its customer service department.

As a plant-derived compound that is still relatively new to most people, and not thoroughly understood, it is essential that a customer service team can aid you in your quest to learn everything from FDA regulations and dosing recommendations, to production processes and farming procedures. Some qualities of a reliable customer support team include adequate training, knowledgeable staff, responsiveness to inquiries, friendliness, and, of course, gratitude.

Why Choose Hōlus?

Our high-quality hemp flower oils are extracted from USA Wisconsin-grown hemp biomass that contains high quantities of cannabinoids. All hōlus products are processed with supercritical CO2 extraction technology, which produces the purest, highest quality CBD oil. Hōlus 1000mg full-spectrum tinctures are USDA Certified Organic. Customers are also provided access to a list of third-party lab reports and Certificates of Analysis (COA).

About the Author:
Bethan Rose Jenkins is a passionate cannabis advocate, writer, and traveler with no permanent address. Currently, based on the Indonesian island of Bali, she can usually be found curating cannabis content on her hammock. High Times Magazine, Leafly, Green Rush Daily, CFN Media, Weed World Magazine, LiveStoner, VeriHeal, Nutritional High, and Cannabis News Box (Ultra Health NM) have featured her work.

References
[1] Available at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/warning-letters-and-test-results-cannabidiol-related-products (last viewed Feb. 17, 2020).

[2] “Broad Spectrum” indicates a cannabinoid content for tetrahydrocannabinol of non-detectable to less than 0.3%.

[3] See FDA Press Release re. Approval of Epidiolex for epilepsy. Available at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms (last viewed Feb. 17, 2020).