Items infused with CBD have exploded on the wellness market in recent years and they’re putting consumers in an interesting position.
Cannabinoid providers have flooded the health and wellness industry due to the explosion of general CBD oil tincture, CBD vape oil, CBD hemp oil and other, legal cannabis subsidiaries. CBD is one of the growing health and wellness phenomena on the market today with more than 100 quality, safe and innovative companies across America and the world more broadly. Some experts are even hailing the CBD as “the next gold rush.”
According to predictive market research firm Brightfield Group, hemp-derived CBD products are expected to reach profits of $22 billion by 2022. This explosion in the industry comes despite the legal grey area of these hemp-deprived products, which may limit overt marketing techniques, according to Brightfield Group.
Of course, CBD is legal and as such there are noticeable limits and restrictions on the market hemp-based, CBD-centric products. Even still, as the industry continues to boom, everyone wants a piece of the pie.
Consumers can find CBD-based products in gas stations, online boutiques, health food stores, nutrition shops and everywhere in between. Often, mass productions come with untested products as producers are more concerned with making a quick buck. Particularly, an industry that exists within a legal grey area and therefore with little to no FDA restrictions.
According to a study published by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers, find that quality control remains an issue with this industry as many compounds are not lab tested. They found CBD oils from popular dispensary Diamond CBD have harmful chemicals such as dextromethorphan, which is found in cough syrups, and 5F-ADB known for being combined in synthetic, illicit drugs like K2 and Spice.
Of course, not all health and wellness boutiques that sell CBD use non-lab tested compounds and products. Some more notable and reputable companies have an interest in their consumers that go beyond profit and includes their well-being. So, they make sure their products are as holistic as possible.
Aside from consuming synthetic ingredients that have a high probability of causing addiction, the importance of lab tested CBD oils, CBD waters or other hemp-derived products can be dangerous. This is where third-party lab testing comes in. Many CBD enthusiasts have come across this term browsing online boutiques or reading product labels, but what, exactly, does it mean? Let’s unpack it.
Third-party lab testing separates the good from the bad. They are, as the name suggests, unrelated, unbiased testing facilities to analyze and verify the quality of a product. These analytical laboratories often come at high cost to manufacturers and distributors and can turn up negative results for certain providers. It’s clear why some don’t bother with third-party testing.
However, in a consumer market where buyers are increasingly interested in the transparency of their providers. According to a report titled Social Media and the Evolution of Transparency, 86 percent of consumers say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before.
Establishing transparency through “third-party tested” stickers signal to consumers that a CBD brand cares about them. By proxy, this signal helps to cultivate a reliable and loyal consumer base by showing care for the wellbeing of consumers is an important step toward foundational support for any business.
Even more so, as the market becomes increasingly saturated, the crème rises to the top.
The businesses and CBD brands that are the most communicative, honest, authentic and clear stand out. Of course, having a great product would not hurt either.
Most CBD consumers are beyond simple buyers—they’re enthusiasts. They know the powers of CBD and what it can and what it is supposed to do for their specific needs. Non-tested products sold by shoddy brands may result in unintended effects. Likewise, the intended effects—those most often associated with CBD consumption or dermal application such as including physical and mental soothing—may not be present or faint at best.
For instance, in the aforementioned lab results of Diamond CBD researchers at the institute found some disturbing news. Not only did they find an inordinate amount of melatonin present in some products, but it was the “major constituent” of the CBD product. Meanwhile, the actual CBD was only a minor component. Essentially, selling a melatonin product, but masquerading it as CBD attempting to take advantage of the booming market.
While CBD corporations aren’t required to lab test their products, it is an indicator of quality. The non-regulated reality of hemp-based products allows producers and distributors to get away with untested consumables and dermal applicators like CBD hemp salve or even CBD lotions that, in any other industry, would be regulated by the FDA and consumer protection agencies, respectively.
However, not all third-party lab tests are created equally. According to reports, many of these labs are not inspected by the proper authorities to make sure their lab tests are being conducted in the most conducive environment. More to the point, there are labs considered “friendly” to the hemp-based product industry that reject fewer items and discount prices considering the exorbitant cost associated with a more reputable, quality facility.
One of the most important ways to differentiate between good and bad CBD is there third-party tested status and even then, it’s further divided between reputable tested products and their non-reputable counterparts. Customers in the growing CBD market have to be more vigilant given the nature of the industry. Look up the brands they fancy and inspect their testing process. Any brand worth their salt will have, on their company page, information about the results of their lab testing and the facilities at which their products were tested. Do research on those analytical laboratories to make sure they keep up with industry standards.
Consumers should always be cognizant about what they’re putting in or, in some cases, on their body. If a CBD provider has the wherewithal and the funds to invest in reputable analytical lab testing, it’s probably a safe bet that they’re among the top choices for interested enthusiasts.
Making sure the purity and contents of a product is in line with consumer standards is of utmost important. Verifying the potency of the cannabinoid contents can be the difference between a booming business or a failing one. As the American government regulates the percent of THC allowed in hemp-based products, an untested CBD option with more than the allotted amount of THC could spell disaster for both the provider and the customer.
Consumers are savvy. Particularly in this day and age when social media provides a repository of reviews, critiques and photographic evidence of audience dissatisfaction and experiences with a given brand. Consumers want something that is tested, that is reasonable and, above all else, that will work! Particularly, new CBD consumers. One bad, non-tested product could not only ruin a given brand’s reputation, but it could also ruin the experience for that consumer who is looking to CBD as a reprieve.
As more and more CBD providers prepare to sweep the industry and cultivate a consumer base, people will have to make a decision in their best interest. Whether to splurge on a reputable product or penny pinch for something a bit cheaper. From physical health shops to the online boutiques, all kinds of buyers can find something they like in this industry.
The last thing you need to be spending your hard-earned money on is a CBD product that doesn’t contain any CBD. And given the current mechanically unregulated state of the industry, this is an all too easy mistake to make. To be successful, it’s fairly simple: stay vigilant about the products. From good consumer feedback to analytical laboratory lab testing, it’s important to make sure your CBD providers are third-party testing their content for your sake and theirs.