Last updated on July 19th, 2019 at 09:03 am

Beware of Over-the-Counter CBD Products

There are undeniably many CBD products being produced and sold throughout the state of Texas. And unfortunately, some of these products are of variable and sometimes questionable quality and safety. In the interest of protecting fellow Texans from potential harm, we offer this checklist of questions to ask when considering CBD products.

Is it certified?

Demand to see a thorough Certificate of Analysis (CoA), which should be readily available online or attached to the package. A thorough CoA certifies that the product meets quality and safety standards and provides laboratory test results identifying CBD potency (by weight) as well as the presence of toxins including heavy metals, residual solvents, pesticides, and microbials.

How much CBD & THC?

CBD and THC content should be clearly labeled on the packaging in percent by weight. Remember that THC is psychoactive and classified as a controlled substance – anything above 0.3% by weight is against federal law. Be wary of products claiming to contain only “hemp extract,” “hemp extract oil,” “phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract” or similar statements. These have no relationship to actual CBD or THC content. If a product contains CBD or THC, it will say so on the package.

What’s the concentration?

The concentration of CBD is crucial to delivering an effective and repeatable dose. The product should specify clearly defined doses with known CBD concentrations. For liquids, pay attention to mg/mL. For capsules and edibles, note the mg per serving. There’s no standard dosage that’s right for everyone – be prepared to test different dosages to find the one that’s right for you.

What’s the source?

Make sure you know where the original cannabis came from. While manageable under controlled growing conditions, cannabis is a known bioaccumulator of heavy metals and other toxins. Soil contamination is known to be more prevalent in certain countries or geographic regions – and consumer protections for food safety vary widely among countries.

How was it made?

There are a number of ways to extract CBD. Look for a process that involves CO2 extraction for a clean, pure, high-quality oil that is safe to produce. Other methods of extraction include ethanol or hydrocarbons such as butane or propane. These are generally less desirable due to safety hazards and the potential for toxic residual solvents being present in the final product. Ethanol extraction is safer than hydrocarbons but requires additional post-extraction processing.

Any other ingredients?

CBD products should use a high-quality carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Review the ingredients listed on the label for carrier oils, sweeteners, or other flavor additives – especially if you have any known allergies.

Who can I talk to?

If you are having trouble finding ANY of the answers to these or other questions, the manufacturer’s customer service department should be able to readily answer your questions. If they can’t, consider that a warning.

If you would like to see specific dosing and concentrations, click here.

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