The CBD industry is full of terms that you may not understand. Product labeling can include terms like “organic,” “full spectrum,” “isolate,” and the nebulous term “pure.” What do all these terms mean, and how do they affect which CBD product you choose?
With numerous products all claiming to have the same benefits, it’s up to consumers to read the fine print, do the research and determine the best products for their lifestyle. Before picking up any tincture, capsule or edible, here’s what everyone needs to know about the claims of “pure” CBD oil.
Is CBD Oil Regulated?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for overseeing all the different vitamins and medications Americans take daily. While the agency has approved one CBD-based medication for the treatment of a disease in Epidolex, they have taken a rather neutral stance on the rest of the CBD industry.
Despite the decades of research, the FDA has not thoroughly evaluated CBD products, and they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Instead of offering guidelines and standards, the FDA chooses to send warning letters to CBD producers, many of which are never seen by the public. Over the last five years, the agency sent over 65 letters to CBD producers, warning them of everything from claims on their products to how they are sold. As a result, the lack of government supervision creates a very lenient marketplace on how CBD is labeled, and where it can be sold, and the industry is left to self-regulate.
In of itself, this creates a major problem for consumers. Because there are no regulated purity or labeling standards, companies claiming to sell CBD oil are popping up overnight and at the most unlikely places. Today, CBD is sold everywhere from whole foods stores to truck stops.
In many cases, these aren’t actually CBD-based products at all. A 2017 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that 45 percent of the purported CBD products sampled were counterfeit items. The problems ranged from less CBD inside than advertised, to more THC than the label claimed.
The Key Terms on CBD oil
Because it’s an open market in a self-regulated industry, consumers need to understand all the different terms associated with CBD oil. It’s critical to understand the difference between “pure,” “isolate,” and “full spectrum” labeling on products.
The textbook definition of pure is: “not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.” In terms of CBD oil, the term “pure” suggests that there are no synthetic additives or substances mixed with the oil.
It’s important to note that “pure” and “organic” are not the same thing. While “pure suggests that nothing but extracted CBD is the main ingredient of the product, “organic” is a federally-protected term designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For anything – including licensed hemp and cannabis crops – to be labeled “organic,” it must meet strict production requirements, including crop cycling and pesticide use limitations.
The other difference consumers need to understand is the difference between “isolate” and “full spectrum.” While both can be “pure” CBD oil, there’s a very distinct difference among these two types of CBD product. CBD isolate is extracted from plants grown to only contain cannabidiol, shortened as CBD. The result of taking this is the reported benefits from one cannabinoid. Full spectrum CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp plants, and contain five cannabinoids, including CBD. Science suggests full spectrum CBD oil is better because all the cannabinoids work together in the “entourage effect” to deliver better results.
How to Do Due Diligence on CBD Oil
Before buying and trying and CBD oil, it’s important for everyone to do their research on their products and ensure they are getting the right items. While organic, full spectrum CBD oil is the gold standard of the industry, consumers shouldn’t settle for the first product they see. Critical questions consumers need to ask include:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Does the company do third-party testing for quality and purity?
- Is the product certified by industry-governing bodies, like the U.S. Hemp Authority?
Doing the due diligence early can help you determine if the product meets accepted standards and is engineered to deliver the best purported benefits. When you buy CBD oil, you can feel confident you’re getting something healthy in your body.