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Written by Nicholas Patrick – Owner of Embrace CBD Wellness Center.

There is a ton of “hype” surrounding the CBD industry right now and as a result of that hype there has been a drastic increase in quality control issues that have made their way into this blossoming industry. Misleading medical claims and mislabeled products have now saturated a market that was created to help people find natural remedies to assist them in managing their symptoms from ailments such as anxiety and depression to chronic pain and inflammation among several other conditions. CBD is now being found in everything from shampoos to chocolates, from bottles of water to gummy bears and everything in between that you could possibly imagine; but our word of caution to you is “find out the facts and forget about all the hype.” Now, with that being said, there is a lot of truth to the claims being made about what CBD can do for people suffering with a variety of conditions, but that does not mean that all CBD products are created equal.

CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis plant (otherwise referred to as a cannabinoid) that acts on the CB2 receptors found throughout the human body that form a system known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the early 1990s by an Israeli doctor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, named Dr. Lumir Hanus along with American researcher Dr. William Devane. It has since been accepted as a fact across the entire medical community that the endocannabinoid system exists and can produce some incredible regulatory benefits for the body and mind when correctly manipulated. Since the ratification of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) and the updated 2018 Farm Bill all hemp-derived products have been declassified as a controlled dangerous substance and separated from marijuana which contains higher levels of the cannabinoid THC which creates the “high” that people associate with marijuana. CBD does not create a high and all hemp derived products containing less than 0.3% THC have been made legal to purchase and possess. This new uncharted territory of industrial hemp derived products has led to a boom in the agricultural industries and also created a wave of CBD products flying off the shelves everywhere from gas stations to your local supermarket and pharmacy. However… there are many problems that have arose in this “budding” industry…

CNN and NBC each have done individual studies in which lab results have shown that over two-thirds of CBD products being sold online and in retail stores are fraudulent or mislabeled, many containing 0% CBD and some even containing seriously harmful chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals, mold, residual solvents, and even synthetic chemicals such as synthetic THC. People who have accidentally used synthetic cannabinoids and have been taken to emergency rooms and have shown severe effects including rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, and suicidal thoughts. Synthetic cannabinoids can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart, as well as kidney damage and seizures. Use of these drugs is associated with a rising number of deaths.

The FDA has a very loose enforcement policy at the moment which has helped to produce this climate that allows for people to create these bogus and potentially harmful products, and many store owners and online retailers don’t have quality control on their list of priorities… its all about the dollar for many of them.

So, with all of that being said here are some things to look out for when shopping for CBD products.

1. THC Content

As previously stated, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the main active cannabinoids in cannabis plants. It is the compound responsible for producing a psychoactive effect on the body causing a “high”. For some, having more than minute amounts of THC might not matter. However, for those who complete drug tests for work or perhaps operate heavy machinery, they most likely want to limit the amount of THC they consume. Regardless, identifying how much THC a CBD oil product contains is important for other reasons, too. For instance, it might help identify how effective a product will be, as well as where you can purchase it. Some research shows that in certain individuals, CBD might actually work better when mixed with a little THC. This is something referred to as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the notion that combining two or more chemicals produces an effect greater than if they were consumed alone. While THC is legal in a handful of states, it still remains illegal in many. For a CBD product to qualify as a legal hemp product, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. This is the amount that is typically regarded as safe and should not impose the psychoactive effects of THC.

2. Third Party Lab Test

This is definitely the most important detail in our list of what to look for when buying CBD products. If a product has truly been tested, then the full lab reports should be readily available. There, you should be able to find a product’s COA, or certificate of analysis. This is a document that confirms a product has been thoroughly checked for CBD, THC and other cannabinoid content levels. It also verifies that the product is free from any and all foreign materials or contaminants. Whether the product is 3rd party tested is a very important factor in terms of what to look for when buying CBD oil. If you are unable to find these lab reports, you should not purchase that product and the integrity of that company should be called into question. With no certificate of analysis, there is no way to confirm what is in a product or if it is safe to consume and use. For this reason, it is exceptionally important to always ask for a product’s COA before purchasing one. If the company does not answer or mention testing on their website or in their stores, you should reconsider purchasing a product from them. It is important to see on the product’s COA that the cannabinoid content on the product’s package is consistent with the report. Each product’s analysis report should list every cannabinoid in a sample, along with the concentration inside that sample.

Although it’s typical for the cannabinoid content to vary a little bit, a significant difference is for sure a red flag.

3. Sourcing & Manufacturing Methods

Manufacturers of CBD products can source hemp from many different areas throughout the United States and beyond. Those in the industry consider Colorado to be one of the best places to source hemp due to its agricultural hemp program. This program makes sure to spot-test the plants while they are still in the field to make sure they are growing correctly and following the proper procedures. That being said, it’s important to check a product’s labels to see if they say where it was grown. Products produced using hemp grown out of the country can be a problem. Why? Because these products are not required to have any state or federal testing. Where your hemp comes from is important because you want to make sure that the manufacturer is following the FDA’s standards for good manufacturing practices. Another important aspect in what to look for when buying CBD oil is the cultivation processes used to create the hemp.

Along with where the hemp was grown, utilizing the best cultivation practices like maintaining the right pH balance in the soil and refraining from pesticides, GMOs and other synthetic practices should set the precedent for all CBD product production processes.

4. Concentration

The concentration, or amount of CBD in the product, is also an important factor in what to look for when buying CBD oil. Products should state not only how much CBD is in the entire container but also in each dose. This will tell you how much CBD you will be ingesting, which helps you gauge how the product will benefit your condition or overall lifestyle. Dosages change considerably depending on the type of product.

Consumers should be skeptical of products that do not include the CBD concentration on their labels. There are certain products that list only the amount of cannabinoids it holds, rather than how much CBD it contains.

When it comes to what to look for when buying CBD oil, one of the most essential parts is where you buy it from. It’s vital to look if the CBD product is being sold legally, with full transparency and liability.

There are plenty of sketchy businesses that include false claims on their products and typically sell inferior quality products.

Here at Embrace CBD Wellness Center we refuse to be part of the problem. We want to instead be part of the solution. We have aligned ourselves with some of the hemp industry’s leading experts in the fields of manufacturing, merchandising, consulting, testing, and cultivation to help us find the BEST and most effective products to bring to retail at our stores. We carry CBD Oils, CBD Vapes, CBD Topicals, CBD Edibles, CBD Beverages, CBD Hemp Flower and more, and every product has been tested for the presence of foreign materials as well as verification of the amount of CBD or other cannabinoids in each product.

As larger corporations begin to make their way into the CBD space we at Embrace CBD Wellness Center have a few core values that we refuse to compromise on.

1. Families First
2. People over Profits
3. Education Before Sales
4. Quality Products over Higher Profit Margins
5. Truth over Hype

We will never change these core values and believe that if we continue to treat people well our business will continue to grow. We strive to treat our customers like family and do our best to truly meet their needs. We are dedicated to our community and love having the opportunity to serve our customers. We don’t take it for granted and consider it an honor to be Anne Arundel County’s most trusted source for CBD Products.

At Embrace CBD Wellness Center we are able to truly put the customer’s needs first! We aren’t here to ride the CBD wave. We are here to bring validity and confidence to the retail CBD space. Come check us out or give us a call today!

Nicholas Patrick

Owner and Founder of Embrace CBD Wellness Center

9-18-2019 6:52pm

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