With a plethora of hemp CBD products available in the market, choosing one that maintains the quality and purity standards is not an easy process. Because the CBD industry is largely unregulated, a large number of fraudster CBD manufacturers are part of the market, selling poor-quality products. In this article, we discuss the major factors that have to be taken into consideration in evaluating hemp extracts containing CBD.
GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) is a significant index of security and quality. As per the FDA rules, a GRAS requires a company to present scientific evidence that has the same quality and quantity as that of scientific evidence that is required to get the substance approved as a food additive. The process involves various toxicological and safety testing procedures, as well as a review by a panel of scientists that takes a final decision on whether the substance can be regarded as safe or not.
Just because you see “no THC” printed on the product label, you cannot blindly believe it to be true. Some FDA studies have found that hemp products that came with a “no THC” label contained THC and in some cases, the concentration was greater than the 0.3% limit recommended by the FDA.
Techniques for identification and quantification of bioactive compounds in herbs keep undergoing constant reforms. This is singularly unerring in the case of hemp.AOAC international which expands to the Association of Agricultural Chemists has formulated a set of norms for hemp and cannabis. High-performance Liquid Chromatography(HPLC) with UV detection is considered an exceptional approach for weighing the cannabinoids present in unprocessed hemp or hemp extracts. It can detect all major cannabinoids, which include CBD, THC, CBDA, THCA, and more. Gas chromatography cannot be used for the quantification of cannabinoids, as the process decarboxylates THCA and generates inaccurate readings.
Analytical quantification methods are limited by various factors including the diversity in the forms of hemp products. It lacks rationale to assume that an analytical method that perfectly quantifies cannabinoids in tincture will be appropriate when it comes to edibles or topical formulations. We simply cannot regard any analytical quantification method to be universal.
Compliance With FSMA And GMPs
As of now, the FDA does not consider the use of isolated, purified CBD as a supplement to be legal but hemp extracts with naturally occurring CBD are regarded as herbal supplements. Companies that are involved in the manufacture of CBD should comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and FDA-recommended Good Manufacturing Practices(GMPs).PCQI or the Preventive Control Qualified Individual policy must be adhered to by the company, in accordance with the FDA guidelines. He/she will be trained in food safety and will be certified competent enough to manage safety programs as per the requirements of the law.
The 3-D configurations of CBD and THC are quite complex. Both compounds, CBD and THC have four mirror isomers each. Although the four forms of CBD are chemically identical, they are biologically different. Standard analytical procedures like HPLC and gas chromatography cannot detect chirality and specialized tests are required for the same.
Presence Of Toxins And Contaminants
Being a hyperaccumulator of toxins, hemp absorbs all toxic elements present in its growing soil. This indicates why experts strongly recommend the screening for toxins and contaminants in hemp products.
Manufacturers should test hemp products for the presence of the following:
Manufacture of CBD products will involve various processes including extraction that usually requires a solvent like CO2, butane, and ethanol, etc. The presence of the solvent in the final product is not desired because residual solvents can affect the quality and purity of CBD products.
Hemp accumulates soil metal toxins like mercury, lead, arsenic, and other common heavy metals found in contaminated soils. Heavy metal testing is mandatory for all herbal supplements and hemp CBD products must be tested for metal toxins.
Microbial contamination is a common issue associated with herbs, and the issue is relevant when it comes to hemp as well. CBD manufacturers have to conduct quantitative PCR tests for Salmonella, E.coli, and other biological contaminants.
Hemp Oil Vs Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp oil is the term generally used to refer to hemp CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is nonidentical to hemp oil although both are obtained from hemp plants. Hemp seed oil is attained by cold pressing hemp seeds that have little cannabinoids. Natural cannabinoids are derived from the flowers of the hemp plant and not from its seeds.
Unethical brands are selling hemp seed oil in the name of CBD oil by adding synthetic terpenes and cannabinoids to it.Buying a low-quality CBD product is not just a total waste of money but it can even affect your health adversely. Before you purchase any brand’s product, conduct a thorough research about it to be sure of the brand’s authenticity.