By Brandy Palmer Founder and Owner of Green wellness Life
When I started working in the hemp industry 4 years ago, it was a whole new world for me. I could name maybe 5 uses for hemp – and none of them had anything to do with balance in our bodies. The CBD industry at that time was still new. I definitely couldn’t spell cannabidiol and my family and friends hassled me with a lot of pot jokes! Fast forward to 2019 and it seems that CBD is becoming a common household item. It’s everywhere – from your inbox (seriously – I have three emails TODAY inviting me to participate in CBD studies, from companies I can’t pronounce) and Facebook feed, to your local discount shoe store and hair salon. That is awesome and challenging all at the same time. This is a compound that we are putting in and on our bodies. Many of the people hawking CBD today don’t know a thing about it. This is bad for both the people that are buying and selling it. CBD can be confusing especially for someone trying to find the best choice for their unique system and circumstances. Here’s hoping that this article can help you to know what to look for when buying CBD.
Time in the Industry
New companies that manufacture CBD products are popping up daily. The 2014 Farm Bill made it legal to grow and produce a multitude of products with hemp in the United States. This bill also came with a number of restrictions. These restrictions created some barriers for manufacturers. Many of these restrictions were effectively wiped out with the 2018 Farm Bill update, and the floodgates are effectively opening. Some of these new companies offer great products; However we also know that in the US 1 in 3 businesses will fail in the first year. They may have an awesome product, but marketing and managing a team is an entirely different animal to tame. There’s nothing worse than coming to rely on a product for your family and then learning that it’s no longer an option for you! I’m still pretty angry at TGI Friday’s for getting rid of their grilled vegetable sandwich and there was significantly less at stake there, than on the CBD I take daily. So make sure that the company you’re buying from has been in business for a little while.
There are a lot of areas that I am not knowledgeable about. Ask me about computers or why your car engine is making a funny sound, and I’ll stare at you blankly. Ask me about CBD, though, and I know some things. You need that knowledge if you’re new to hemp and the compounds it’s made up of. It’s great to start with a company that you heard about from friends or family, but your needs may be unique from theirs. It is key to call that company and ask them questions. You’ll know pretty quickly if they know what they are talking about or NOT! If it’s the latter, steer clear! You need an knowledgeable company to help you to be an educated consumer.
There’s a tanning salon in my town that’s selling CBD. They have big posters in their window and a cutesy display on their counter. I went in and asked some questions and knew in about 1 minute that the adorable girl working had NO CLUE what she was selling. That’s not only bad business, it’s likely a turn off to people who will try products. It is easy to take CBD but when you do not know which kind or how much you need to take and how to increase in order to see results you can easily get frustrated and deduce that you saw no results…“CBD doesn’t work!” Make sure that the company you’re working with knows the product.
Avoiding Medical Claims
I know I’m a broken record here, but there really is no “one size fits all” with CBD. Can I promise it will heal your <insert problem here>? No, I can’t. No one can. If they promise a specific medical result, that’s not only unethical – it’s potentially predatory. Many people see a real benefit from CBD, once they have determined the right product and serving size and are taking it consistently. “Many” doesn’t mean everyone. I’ve told people directly that I don’t think that they will see what they are looking for from CBD, which is not an easy thing to say. I’ve also told people that I thought they would see a real benefit and they didn’t. At the end of the day, every system is unique and each person will see varying results with CBD. If the company that you are working with tells you anything other than that, find a new company.
As the CBD market grows, it can be easy to find multiple companies selling the same products. When that happens, the key difference will be the service. Look for customer reviews and check out their return policy. If your initial choice isn’t a great fit, make sure that the company you’re working with will, at a minimum, swap it out for another product. Be sure to ask if all sales are individual or if you’re signing up for a monthly subscription program? There’s certainly nothing wrong with subscriptions – I get my vitamins like clockwork and that’s pretty convenient; but they can get us into trouble sometimes. I like those meal subscription services. They do pile up quickly and I tend to forget to cancel a week. This results in lots and lots of cooking and freezing meals. Oops. Make sure that you have some flexibility and are fully aware of the cost if you do go the subscription route.
I like to buy as many products as I can from one source. I blame Amazon for spoiling me, but it’s reality. If I can find one source I trust, I stick with them. The same should be true for CBD. I give cannabidiol to my dog and two cats, my son, and my husband. We use a variety of products from tincture to e-liquid and salves and there is a real value in being able to get them from one place. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to CBD, so when a company has a variety of options, it means that I have a better chance of finding my best fit without having to look to another source.
Clear Labeling & Descriptions
CBD is one of the more than 80 different compounds in hemp and marijuana plants. Many CBD products that you buy contain all of those compounds, while others are strictly the isolated CBD. You should know that from a clear label and product description. We go into greater detail in another blog…see more. The amount of CBD in a product should not be a guessing game. While some manufacturers do call it different things (Hemp Extract, Phytocannabinoid Blend, Phytocannabinoid Rich Oil to name a few,) you should always see the total milligrams of that active CBD on the product label. You should also know that test data is available and be able receive that detail when you ask for it. That test data will show you that what you want is in there, and what you want to avoid (think high THC, pesticides, heavy metals) is not present. If the label and description aren’t clear, and you can’t get the detail you need from Customer Service, take a pass.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is true here to a point. You want to be looking at the cost per milligram of CBD. That cost per milligram will be higher on things like gummies and chocolate because of the other ingredients. Some manufacturers have a perceived brand value and will charge more per milligram, but you should otherwise see fairly close pricing for the same type of CBD. It’s important to compare apples to apples – a CBD isolate product will not be the same cost as a full-spectrum, but if you’re looking at two 1000 mg bottles of full-spectrum tincture (even if those bottles are different sizes!), they should be fairly close in price. If not, ask why and steer clear of both overpriced and under priced products.
These are exciting times, where we as consumers have more access to information than anyone who came before us. We can take control of our own health and well-being and that of our families. Was it Spiderman that said “With great power comes great responsibility?” I may have my superheroes mixed up, but you get the point. Making smart choices about what we put in and on our bodies is definitely a great responsibility – here’s hoping that this article has helped lift that burden, if even a little bit.
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