Comparing CBD Products
What you should know
There is no regulatory oversight in the CBD industry. Not the FDA, not the DEA, and not the Department of Agriculture. There are thousands of CBD companies selling CBD products today in a totally unregulated market. There are currently no labeling requirements for CBD products, making it difficult to do cross-comparisons. And there is no one ensuring your product has CBD in it at all. In this post, we will explore terminology commonly used for CBD products, and how to compare products. We will also share how we at Apple Valley RX CBD differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp Oil are not CBD
If a company advertises 1000mg+ of hemp oil or hemp seed oil, that is not CBD. The majority of cannabinoids (like CBD) are found in the flower of the hemp plant – not the leaves, not the stems, and not the seeds. Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is comparable to olive oil. You can use for cooking or to make a vinaigrette, but it has no benefit beyond being a healthy fat. If a company is not promoting mgs of CBD, and is instead advertising hemp oil or hemp seed oil, the product will not include any detectable amount of CBD. And if you’re shopping for CBD, be sure to avoid Amazon, as Amazon does not permit the sale of CBD on their site.
Is the hemp organically grown? Is it grown in the USA?
Hemp is a bio-accumulator, meaning it naturally pulls toxins from the soil. What does this mean for hemp-derived CBD products? If it’s not organic, it could contain heavy metals, pesticides, or molds.
At Apple Valley RX CBD, we use only organically-grown, hemp-derived CBD in all of our products. Our hemp-derived oil is grown by local farmers, and formulated and manufactured in our facility.
Does the product contain full-spectrum oil, broad-spectrum or an isolate?
Full-spectrum oil indicates that all of the cannabinoids and terpenes are naturally grown in the hemp plant (to include THC at the legal limit of 0.3% or less) are present, whereas an isolate is a pure, single-molecule compound consisting of CBD only. It would seem that a product formulated with pure CBD-isolate would be superior to the more “crude” full-spectrum alternative, however, research indicates a very limited beneficial range for CBD-isolate with no anti-inflammatory or analgesic benefits in either too low or too high a dose. Comparatively, CBD-rich, full-spectrum oil can potentially ease inflammation and pain in smaller doses. It was a 17:1 CBD/THC ratio in this particular study.
Consumers are often wary when consuming full-spectrum products for fear of feeling “stoned”. And they need not worry, as hemp-derived CBD products cannot contain over 0.3% THC legally. At this concentration, you will not feel intoxicated.
Most recently, extracting companies have begun offering broad-spectrum oil. CBD is present in broad-spectrum oil, as well as other minor cannabinoids and terpenes. However, broad-spectrum oil does not include THC. Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum oil include terpenes, which not only have their own healing benefits but also further enhance the effects of the various cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. This synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes is commonly referred to as the entourage effect, where the therapeutic benefits of the whole plant far outweigh any one part.
At Apple Valley RX CBD, we use full-spectrum, whole-plant medicine in nearly all of our products. We further enhance the effects of CBD by adding concentrated terpene profiles, specially formulated by our staff pharmacologist. All products include concentrated full-spectrum CBD with concentrated terpene profiles, formulated by our staff pharmacologist.
Does the company third-party test? Do they share their test results?
It is important to remember there are currently no regulations in the CBD industry regarding quality, safety, or efficacy. Therefore, it is imperative that companies third-party test their raw oils and isolates. It is the manufacturers’ responsibility to ensure their products are free of contamination.
Apple Valley RX CBD third-party tests all raw oil and isolates upon arrival at our facility. Once cleared for use, we then third-party test our finished products to ensure the CBD content is as advertised.
Are they adding additional active ingredients?
We work to ensure both CBD and terpenes are present at the necessary concentrations, so you receive their full, medicinal benefits. We ensure our additional plant-based, active ingredients enhance the healing effects of our products. In short, we’re paying close attention to the pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant-compounds, so you have the most effective CBD products on the market today.
Is the product concentrated?
Once you’ve confirmed a company third-party tests, concentration is the next important point of consideration. If you are not using a concentrated CBD product, then the unfortunate truth is you are wasting your money. So, what constitutes a concentrated product verses a diluted product?
We’ve seen many companies with 500mg or less in 30mL tincture, which is quite misleading. The consumer assumes a larger bottle contains more CBD. In actuality, they are purchasing a diluted product (see image below). Remember concentration effects absorption, so to receive the full benefits of CBD, you need to be using a concentrated product. To better explain concentration, we’ll use alcohol as an example.
If you were to make two gin and tonics, both with the same amount of gin, but one with 8oz of tonic vs 24 oz of tonic – which would cause intoxication? You would not feel the effects of the alcohol when consuming the cocktail with 24oz of tonic. Your body would metabolize the alcohol before it reached your bloodstream. Similarly, if you consume CBD from a 300mg/30mL or 500mg/30mL bottle, your body will likely metabolize the CBD before you receive the therapeutic benefits. It is for this reason that Apple Valley RX CBD formulations are highly concentrated (ex: 50mg/mL up to 150mg/mL) with the added benefits of our proprietary terpene blends and various plant extracts.