A successful experience with CBD starts with finding the high-quality products that will work for you. With so many products and retailers to choose from, it can feel overwhelming when you begin your search.
Not all CBD products meet the rigorous production standards we uphold at Luce Farm. Some potential CBD users are afraid to make a purchase for the fear of wasting their money or using a product that could do more harm than good. In this post, we’ll show you how to know which CBD to trust so you can make the most informed choice for your health and your wallet.
How to recognize low-quality CBD products
For best results, you’ll want to avoid low-quality, misleading products that could contain little or no CBD at all. How can you spot a substandard product? The following are a few red flags that could indicate inferior CBD:
Price is too good to be true: Remember the old saying: “you get what you pay for.” When it comes to CBD, it tends to be true. This is not to say that you should go looking for the most expensive CBD on the market. Gold flakes won’t make your CBD work any better. But if you find that the CBD you’re considering is much cheaper than average, it’s possibly an inferior product.
Limited information on their website: Establishing trust is necessary for any business offering a wellness product. When considering a CBD purchase, be sure to visit the brand’s website. If it doesn’t provide helpful content, it might be wise to look for another brand. A good website doesn’t automatically indicate a better CBD product, but (just like an extremely low price) a website without informational content should be seen as a red flag.
Unclear or misleading labeling: CBD has been called by many different names: cannabidiol (its scientific name), CBD oil, hemp oil, hemp extract, and many others. Regardless of the name on the package, your product should clearly indicate how many milligrams of CBD it contains. The quantity will either indicate the CBD amount within the entire package or the amount per serving in the case of pre-measured servings such as gummies.
If you can’t find the amount of CBD on the packaging, it’s important to ask yourself why. It could mean that the CBD levels are unknown due to a lack of lab testing. It could also mean that there is very little or no CBD at all, and you’re overpaying for an ineffective product.
Unfortunately, low-quality CBD products are everywhere, so understanding how to know which CBD to trust is your first line of defense.
What to look for in high-quality CBD
Now that you know what to avoid, let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of high-quality CBD.
There are two distinct approaches to hemp cultivation - these can be divided into craft vs commercial cultivation. The difference is in both the size and scale of the operation, but is also in the philosophy.
You can think about these different approaches to hemp cultivation by comparing them to the beer industry. On one hand you have Budweiser, and on the other you have your local craft brewery.
The craft approach prioritizes quality over quantity. Craft growers focus on growing and harvesting techniques that optimize hemp’s cannabinoids and terpene profiles. Large scale operations on the other hand focus on quantity and optimizing for cost and efficiency.
Craft hemp cultivation and harvesting is done mostly by hand. This higher level of care and attention to detail can have a huge impact on the quality of the end product. Here at Luce Farm we carefully harvest and trim our hemp by hand and use a slow and steady drying process. We believe this is one of the reasons for the outstanding results that our customers rave about.
Growing hemp in the United States comes with a number of special considerations. US-based hemp farmers are mandated to apply for cannabis cultivation licenses, which typically come with fees and lots of paperwork. Commercial hemp cultivators in the United States are also required to test their soil. Soil tests ensure that the land does not contain harmful contaminants such as heavy metals, toxic waste, or radiation.
Due to these strict regulations, many US-based CBD manufacturers find it easier to import their hemp from overseas and then process it in the United States. It’s impossible to know the soil conditions of hemp from unknown origins, and not every country has the same regulations regarding soil quality. This is why many CBD users prefer US-grown hemp.
Soil quality is particularly important to hemp cultivation because hemp is one of the most effective phytoremediation crops. This means that hemp is extremely efficient at absorbing elements from the soil. In fact, after the famous Chernobyl nuclear disaster, hemp was planted on the surrounding land to help remove radiation. When hemp plants absorb harmful substances, they can end up in the final product.
It’s important to read the label or check out the CBD brand’s website to learn where they source their hemp. At Luce Farm, for example, we grow our hemp near our headquarters in beautiful Stockbridge, Vermont.
Certified Organic CBD
In addition to quality of the soil, the farming methods used throughout the hemp plant’s life cycle also have a significant impact on the final product. Certified organic CBD is cultivated without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other harsh chemicals.
The process to become organic certified is long and complicated. Farmers must keep extensive records to prove that only organic practices have been used for at least 3 years before they can become eligible for certification. Organic certified farms are also subject to random inspections and must renew their certification annually.
Organic CBD is processed with clean ingredients, is free from pesticides and harmful synthetics, and represents some of the most rigorous farming standards in modern agriculture. All of these factors result in the highest-quality CBD available on the market.
Luce Farm is proud to be organic certified as part of our commitment to the wellness of our customers and sustainable farming methods.
Full-Spectrum/Whole Plant Extract
There are two major types of CBD: full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains a wide range of cannabinoids in addition to CBD. There are at least 113 known cannabinoids, and each has a unique effect on the human body. With full-spectrum products, you get the benefits of CBD plus a wide range of beneficial compounds including terpenes and flavonoids. These powerful plant extracts also promote wellness in their own unique ways.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, is up to 99% pure CBD with none of the additional compounds or benefits. This type of CBD is typically sold in powdered or crystalline form, and used in mass-produced edibles because of its uniform consistency and lack of taste.
CBD isolate does not promote the entourage effect—the synergistic effect of CBD when combined with the entire spectrum of beneficial plant compounds that are found in hemp. All Luce Farm hemp products are made with full-spectrum CBD, which allows our customers to take advantage of the entourage effect.
Supercritical CO2 is an extraction method that uses pure carbon dioxide, held at a specific temperature and pressure, to extract a full spectrum of cannabinoids from the hemp plant. This method is chemical-free and results in some of the highest-quality CBD products. This is the only method we use at Luce Farm.
Some cheaper methods of producing CBD include butane and hexane extraction. These solvents can leave behind chemical residues that can end up in the final CBD product and ultimately in the body. Supercritical CO2 leaves behind no chemical solvents. Any CO2 that is not recollected during the process simply evaporates into the air.
It’s important that the CBD you use is compliant with federal law. There are two components that contribute to the federal compliance of CBD products:
- They must not make health claims: It is a violation of federal regulations to claim that CBD can cure or treat any disease that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Any CBD producer that makes unsubstantiated health claims is subject to hefty fines.
- They must contain 0.3% or less THC by dry weight: THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, and it remains outlawed by the federal government. Hemp must be specially cultivated and processed to contain only trace amounts of THC to maintain federal compliance. With the legal concentration of 0.3% THC or less, CBD products are highly unlikely to produce an adverse or intoxicating effect.
While lab testing is not required by law for CBD products, high-quality manufacturers of CBD like Luce Farm take this step to go the extra mile for their customers.
Independent laboratories check for potential impurities in the formula such as microbes, pesticides, residual solvents, and heavy metals. They also check for the concentration of cannabinoids. This helps to ensure federal compliance and also proves that the CBD content listed on the packaging is accurate.
When it comes to CBD, transparency is always the best policy. CBD that has been lab tested demonstrates a higher commitment to quality and accountability than CBD that has not been checked by an independent lab.
How to find high-quality CBD
So how do you find out all of the necessary information about a CBD product? You don’t have to call every customer service number of every brand. Most reputable CBD sellers will demonstrate their value by offering resources on their website.
Although this is not a hard and fast rule, you’ll probably find that quality CBD brands will focus on building trust with customers through education and transparency. Make sure that their website has at least some information about the company and the quality of their products. Bonus points if they have a blog (like this one!) that provides additional thoughtful and well-researched information about CBD, so you can make the most of your experience.
If you’re looking for industry-leading CBD products, look no further. At Luce Farm, we have a commitment to quality that starts with local organic hemp farming. Our hemp is processed with supercritical CO2 and combined with clean, organic ingredients. Finally, it is thoroughly lab-tested to provide CBD you can trust.