What to Look For: Choosing CBD Products Part 2

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In Part 1 of “Here’s what to look for when choosing CBD Products” [insert link once active], we outlined the minimum information that customers want to look for when purchasing a CBD product, whether it is ingestible or not.

We met with Frogsong Farms, an Organic certified Hemp farm in the Willamette Valley, to learn the details of what you should be looking for when you purchase a CBD product. Frogsong Farms is the first CBD Company to obtain a B Corp Certification.

Good generic information on what a CBD customer should always ask of any CBD company before making a purchase:

  • On the growing side
    • Where was the hemp grown that you use in your products?  ( Foreign or domestic)
    • What farming methods were used
      • Organic
      • No-till
      • Conventional
    • What chemicals were used on the ground or the crop during it’s growing season (this is important to ask even if the hemp is certified organic because there are organically certified chemicals that are not necessarily good for humans)
  • On the harvesting/processing/drying side
    • How was the hemp you use harvested ( hand stripped in the field, combine harvested, entire plant harvesting, etc…)
    • How was the hemp dried
      • Many large processor’s use massive equipment that heats the hemp up with high heat and airflow to speed up the drying process (and increase their margins and throughput). We on the other hand use very low temperatures in an open barn setting with good airflow and take days rather than hours to fully dry our product.  This preserves more of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
      • How was the dry hemp stored ( huge 300-500lb supersacks, bales) or as with us, in secure, airtight totes that are infused with Nitrogen to flush out all oxygen and prevent oxidation of the key compounds.
      • For how long was it stored that way.
  • On the extraction side
    • What type of extraction process do they use
      • Most common and best are
        • Ethanol (always ask if they use organic) Most do not, we always do.
        • Supercritical CO2
        • Other solvents such as benzene, butane and other nasty chemicals can be cheaper and pull more cannabinoids out but at what cost to our health?  I’d steer clear of any product that, at any point in the extraction process uses anything other than CO2 or ethanol.
      • Is your concentrate/extract fully decarbed?
      • Is it full spectrum?  Broad spectrum (minus THC … and generally terpenes and other cannabinoids)
      • Is it a CBD isolate?
      • How is it stored (should always be in airtight containers in a dark, cool place.  Light and heat are the enemy here.
  • On the retail product manufacturing side
    • What other ingredients are used?  Organic? Other certifications? Purity levels?  A great many companies cut corners here as it costs a lot to purchase high quality, pure organic ingredients.
    • Are the products test results available
      • At the retail level the only required tests are for potency.  This will tell you how much CBD and THC (and usually a few other minor cannabinoids) is contained in the products you are considering.   NEVER purchase products from a company that does not have test results posted on their website
    • Return policy-make sure you know what the policy is…and that there is a return policy.  If there isn’t one it’s a red flag.
    • If a company does not know the answers to all of the questions above that is a red flag as well.  Means they really don’t know where the stuff they sell originates…at least at some level.

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