What do third-party lab results mean for CBD benefits, and for our customers' knowledge? First, let's be clear. When you buy CBD, you always want to see third-party lab tests done. Always. Why? Cannabis oil lab results show that a company's products are purely hemp-derived, and meet the standards of the U.S. Farm Bill that legalized hemp products. Compliance with the federal Bill must be at the top of priorities for a production and marketing of any hemp product.
When an independent third party provides lab test results, this shows that the quality of cannabis-derived products has been professionally examined. This is super important in a market that operates without FDA standards for label specifics.
You need authentic guidance in order to steer clear of false marketing ploys and exaggerated health claims. We all do. That is why the public eagerly awaits more FDA guidance.
Meanwhile, good makers of CBD products follow the current federal standards, pay for lab testing, and label our products with care and specificity.
Let's Look at the Legal Context Surrounding CBD Right Now.
First, people might ask: is CBD legal? It is. The recent explosion of CBD products wherever you look can mainly be traced to evolution of the law.
State laws were in the forefront of making CBD available to the public. Then came the 2018 Farm Bill, which released hemp from being categorized with marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act. CBD, under the Farm Bill, means cannabis and cannabis-derived products that have very low concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (that's THC, responsible for the "high" from marijuana). In legally available CBD, the maximum can only be 0.3% THC.
As we see, the law is certainly involved. And if a company markets products with CBD on the label, regulatory authorities will take note.
In short, CBD does falls under certain legal requirements that govern federally regulated products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews both the style and substance of CBD advertising. And the FDA does consider CBD products in the general category of drugs — at least when they are intended to ease symptoms of disease or to influence any of our bodies' functions. As the FDA states, the agency's priority is protecting the public's health. Part of that role involves educating the public as to whether products can put anyone's health and safety at risk. Therefore, the agency has the legal task of exposing false claims that any product could avert, diagnose, ease, or reverse serious diseases.
Yes, the FDA Does Examine CBD Claims.
The FDA not only examines claims. It has run tests to identify the chemicals present in some CBD oil and other cannabinoid products. It turns out that a high number of the products the FDA assessed did not actually contain the levels of CBD the company claimed to be selling. These companies should be stopped. Customers hoping to benefit from the effects of CBD should never be induced to buy snake oil products that have little or no actual CBD.
The FDA is also rightly concerned about the quality of products that do contain CBD. The agency has even received reports of some CBD products possibly containing heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants. The agency says it is now reviewing these reports.
Further, the FDA is appropriately concerned about unsubstantiated health claims that could place consumers at risk should they put off necessary medical treatment.
Looking at the full context, we can see that third-party testing provides basic transparency.
Testing is costly, and it is not required. Yet the benefit of paying for and applying analytical laboratory equipment is to offer customers a way to discern good, quality products, that contain what the company claims, verified by an outside source.
That said, let's reiterate an important truth. It is always important to meet with a doctor when deciding on the best ways to treat the symptoms of physical or mental health conditions.
What Is CBD Oil? Each Bottle Has Specific Cannabinoids and Terpenes.
Sophisticated customers know how to read a CBD test result, and laboratory testing is also important to offer educated customers insights into the cannabinoid and terpene makeup of the products they choose.
So, CBD oil lab results are important not only for product safety, but also for identifying all that the product contains, and in what proportions.
If there are no third-party lab results, then there is no way to discern the profile of the strain of hemp, and the derivatives featured in a given bottle of CBD oil.
As science continues to produce studies, there will be more descriptive findings about particular cannabinoids and terpenes and their effects on specific conditions. Therefore, it makes good sense to show customers which elements are present, and in what amounts, in a given CBD oil.
Going Forward: What's Next on the FDA's Path to Product Regulation?
The 2018 Farm Bill made way for the legal growing, selling, and marketing of industrial hemp and products containing CBD. Scientific findings on CBD and its effects on our bodies and mental states continue to be published. Even so, the FDA has yet to provide solid guidance to the industry and to customers.
So far, only one prescription CBD product, used for a specific form of epilepsy, has received FDA approval. The agency deems the currently available findings on CBD too limited to approve further types of CBD products. The agency says it's "working on the matter."
The FDA's current stance is that the drug approval process should apply to CBD products. It says it is committed to supporting cannabis-derived treatments through its traditional process of drug approval.
The FDA also says it's looking at updating federal regulations to permit non-drug uses of CBD.
Meanwhile, products that have third-party test results are playing a key role in consumer knowledge.