Navigating a lawless market: 3 tips for getting safest, highest-quality CBD

4 mins read

CBD has been changing lives since its chemical structure was identified in 1963.  But even today, we still don’t have federal regulations in place that would ensure safe, high-quality CBD products are available to all who want and need them. The result? There are too many shoddily made CBD products out there.

You’ve probably read unsettling reports like this one, which found that an astounding three out of four CBD edibles didn’t contain the amount of CBD listed on their labels. And some manufacturers are still making outrageous, unproven claims—like suggesting CBD can treat Alzheimer’s Disease. (Really? Wouldn’t that be all over the news if it were true?)

One survey found three out of four CBD edibles didn’t contain the amount of CBD listed on their labels.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has cracked down on a few truly egregious offenders, but from a consumer safety standpoint, these actions are too little and come too late.

At Caliper, we decided from the start that we wouldn’t wait for “the Feds” to act. Instead, we’ve always acted as if we’re already regulated. We’ve made our products following the food industry’s highest standards, and invested in credible, published research to support everything we do. It’s just what a reputable company does!

At Caliper, we aren’t waiting for Federal regulation. Instead, we’ve always acted as if we’re already regulated, following the food industry’s highest standards.

“We strive to equal or exceed all mandated testing requirements,” explains Keith Woelfel, Caliper’s Director of Research & Development. “We developed and implemented robust testing programs to confirm our potency and safety from contaminants, and we work only with suppliers that can provide a high degree of transparency and documentation.”

 

But it’s still true that many companies haven’t been so diligent. How can you make sure you’re getting a safe, high-quality CBD product, given the realities of today’s CBD marketplace?

Here are three crucial things you can do now.

1   Skip the sell, seek the science. If you see a CBD product that’s making a claim, like “fast-acting” or “helps relieve arthritis pain,” look for the scientific evidence to prove it. Was there a study cited? Was it done in humans? Was it published? Can you read it? If the answer to any of these questions is no, the claim probably isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

 

“I’ve seen products advertise that their CBD starts acting in as little as 2 to 5 minutes. That’s faster absorption than water!” says Keith, shaking his head. “How’d they come up with that claim? Is it just a person’s opinion, or is it truly quantitative data?”

If a CBD product makes a claim like “fast acting” or “helps relieve arthritis pain,” look for the scientific evidence to prove it.

At Caliper, we don’t just say our products act fast—we’ve invested in credible research to prove it. A study at Colorado State University, published in the prestigious journal, Pharmaceuticals, found that our CBD began absorbing within 10 minutes—significantly faster than tinctures.  “Our university studies are designed to be unbiased, independent research, suitable for publication in respected journals,” Keith explains, “and available as open-sourced research to the community.”

 

2   Take a label-reading deep dive. Does the product label tell you exactly what’s inside? Caliper Senior Scientist Drew Hathaway notes that some manufacturers hide details behind confusing labeling—for example, stating that they contain “X mg of hemp extract”— which tells you nothing about how much CBD is actually in the product. “It might not contain any CBD at all,  so you’re potentially wasting your money!”  Others might not label the presence of some ingredients, he adds, “like a beverage made with water-soluble CBD that doesn’t list any of the emulsifiers needed to make it water-soluble.”

A label touting “X mg of hemp extract” tells you nothing about how much CBD is in the product. It might not contain any at all,  so you’re potentially wasting your money.

Our policy at Caliper is to fully disclose our ingredients. We believe you have a right to know what goes into our CBD, and why it’s there! Read more about our ingredients here.

3  Check the Certificate of Analysis (COA).  Any reputable CBD company should be able to provide a COA—documentation attesting to the safety and potency of the product, down to the batch it was sourced from. If a company doesn’t supply a COA, choose another brand. And, when you find the COA, “make sure it actually matches the product and its lot code,” advises Keith. “We’ve seen a few examples out there where that wasn’t the case.”

Any reputable CBD company should be able to provide documentation attesting to the safety and potency of the product, down to the batch it was sourced from. If it doesn’t, choose another brand.

Each batch of our Caliper products is tested by accredited third-party labs to ensure safety, quality, and consistency, and is fully traceable to a COA. Want to check your Caliper? You’ll find comprehensive COA information here.

Will the Federal Government finally get its act together and start regulating CBD? We’ve seen recent moves in Congress that suggest some kind of action may be imminent—but after years of waiting, we’re not holding our breath that it will happen anytime soon.

In the meantime, it’s up to all of us to be wise CBD consumers, taking a “verify, then trust” approach to any CBD product we buy. And at Caliper, we’ll continue working hard to bring you products you can trust, with solid science behind them!

Be informed.

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