Purity and potency testing is key in the wild west of cannabis

Purity and potency remain relatively unknown in today’s cannabis market. This is because, even in legalized territories, regulation and enforcement are not at the levels they should be. The result is an industry where seemingly anything goes.

Tragically, such oversight can be dangerous for consumers. In the UK, for example, a young woman died last month after eating a cannabis edible mixed with “spices”. It is in this context that purity and potency testing are crucial for consumer safety and quality control. We are going to explore.

At this time, the purity of the product is largely unknown.

CBD represents a new frontier in wellness. It is non-intoxicating, well tolerated and capable of treating various disorders. So it’s no wonder so many of us are looking for a high-quality CBD edible or tincture to sit on our nightstand. However, the buzz around CBD has caused a largely unregulated industry to explode with little guarantee that consumers are getting what they pay for.

This is evident when it comes to the purity of the product. As shown in recent Leaf Report research, one in four brands reviewed did not perform any purity testing. This means that even the creators of the product are not sure what is inside the bottle. Additionally, the research found that only 13% tested their products for purity, checking for microbial content, pesticides, or heavy metals.

People refer to the CBD industry as the “Wild West” because of ideas like this. With little oversight or regulatory compliance, companies feel free to create products that lack quality control. As the Leaf Report research shows, there are many companies that use extraction methods that leave various non-beneficial and unwanted residues in their oil.

This is why consumers and industry experts are beginning to request mandatory third-party testing. For purity, a test by an independent laboratory is an easy way to prove that there are no impurities in a given product.

Product potency results vary widely

Unfortunately, the same problems also affect the potency of the product. Leaf Report found that the vast majority of the company’s claims regarding potency were inaccurate. For example, more than eight out of 10 products tested in potency did not measure within the acceptable variation of up to 10%.

This finding reflects our experience with Vitality CBD. In the past, we’ve taken samples of oils that we thought were questionable and analyzed them. The results were shocking. We discovered that one tincture was 100% hemp seed oil that contained little to no CBD and we found another tincture that was listed as an “unknown substance.” This product did not contain a single milligram of CBD.

Anecdotal and research evidence supports the need for verified product testing for potency. This is mandatory because users often like to take specific doses of CBD at specific times during the day. At this point, how does the consumer know that their 1,000-milligram tincture contains 1,000 milligrams (mg) of CBD?

The responsibility lies with the consumers

In my opinion, third party purity and potency testing should be the norm. The CBD industry is setting some higher standards for itself, but there is no regulatory office that actually enforces these standards and makes sure that suppliers meet them. True accountability is necessary and fast.

For now, due diligence is up to the consumer to ensure that the product they are buying is safe and real. The good news is that some signs can help consumers select better CBD products. First, look for oil made from naturally grown hemp. As a plant, hemp readily absorbs whatever is in the soil it grows in. What you absorb can be helpful, like vitamins and minerals, or harmful, like lead, oil, and toxic chemicals. Therefore, consumers are always better off buying hemp that is naturally grown and organically sourced.

Second, make sure the price isn’t too good to be true. High-quality CBD oils are not cheap to produce, so if the price is too low, it is a strong sign that it is made with substandard or contaminated raw materials or low-quality solvents. Also, it may not contain much actual CBD.

Third, make sure the product discloses the amount of CBD. A good oil made by a reputable company will tell you how much CBD you are getting on the label. Bad oils will often try to hide or omit information. Therefore, look for the concentration or the total number of milligrams in the bottle. Higher numbers mean a more powerful product. To be considered effective, CBD oils must contain at least 250mg per 10ml bottle. Anything less and you are wasting your money.

While these tips are not a silver bullet, they are helpful in identifying bad actors in this space. Unfortunately, until regulators step in, the onus to step up rests with consumers.

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