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Brett Heaps: So, what we’re not allowed to do with our products is make any medicinal claims, ’cause they’re not medical products. All our products that we sell are wellness products to improve sleeps and moods. We see CBD as a homeostasis product, which balances the levels in your body to get you into a normal state and balanced mind.
Narrator: But because of lax regulations in the industry, this fundamental difference in CBD oils is often disguised by manufacturers. The front of this premium $300 bottle, for example, does not display that it is, in fact, made from isolate.
Gordon: Sometimes you have to dig into the nitty-gritty of the ingredients. And sometimes you even have to, you might have to call the company and see what they’ve actually used. But in general, the labeling criteria are becoming a little bit stricter, so more and more consumers will be able to know what is a CBD isolate product and what comes from a full- or broad-spectrum source.
Dani Gordon: CBD stands for cannabidiol. That’s the chemical name for one of the chemicals in the cannabis plant. The CBD oil that you’re seeing on shelves that consumers can buy without a prescription is actually from low-THC, the stuff that makes you high, varieties of the cannabis plant.
Gordon: You wanna look for a certificate of analysis. That means that that is a third-party-tested lab report. They test their product to make sure that it’s not contaminated, make sure it doesn’t have accidental THC levels above the allowed limit. Make sure it doesn’t have heavy metals in it. Make sure there’s no microbials, so, bacteria or fungus that can grow in these plants. No herbicides, pesticides, things you don’t want in it.
Narrator: Thankfully, despite the misconceptions, no matter what you use it for, there is a way to get a snapshot of the quality of CBD oil.
Narrator: These products can also be measured by the amount of cannabidiol in each bottle.
This is especially bad for hemp farmers, as other crops receive more favorable taxation. This means there is little incentive for farmers to grow cannabis – or hemp for that matter. Naturally, this reduces the supply of domestically-grown hemp. It also drives prices up even further.
Without even considering the legalities, the actual process of growing quality cannabis is expensive. It’s true that cannabis is a hardy plant – hence its common name of ‘weed’. However, to obtain quality yields it still requires things like specific temperatures and moisture content. In some localities, these are impossible to provide without sophisticated (and very expensive) indoor grow operations.
The Effect on Hemp Farmers
Though it is well known that CBD is in no way psychoactive or at all addictive, many people still treat it with the same dubiousness and fear that they do regular cannabis. For this reason, many countries have extremely stringent rules regarding how CBD oil is to be tested, as well as numerous regulations that the product itself must conform to.
After CO2 extraction, the resulting mixture gets frozen and purified in a process known as winterization. Winterization allows manufacturers to separate specific compounds prior to finalizing and bottling a tincture.
In other countries (for example, in the United Kingdom) the problems are worse. In the UK, the government only allows a finite number of growers to obtain cannabis growing licenses. These licenses are hard to get, and they often go to friends and family of the UK government. It’s no secret, for example, that the husband of a UK minister tasked with discussing cannabis policy is the largest grower in the British Isles.