Exactly What to Look For in CBD Products

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This article first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of NewBeauty. Click here to subscribe.

Ashley Lewis, cofounder of Fleur Marché, a CBD e-tailer, breaks down to what to look for when buying CBD products.

Label Lingo
Look for the actual letters CBD on the label, or the words cannabidiol, hemp extract or hemp extract oil. 

Hemp Source
Look for hemp grown in the U.S or Europe that is certified-organic, organic compliant, eco-farmed or food-grade hemp, which verifies the hemp isn’t grown with or near dangerous contaminants. It’s important to note, however, that it can be hard to find certified-organic hemp, as the USDA only recently started allowing hemp farmers to certify their crops. 

Extraction Method
You want to make sure you’re avoiding any toxic chemicals: The most widely used (and recognized as safe) methods of extracting CBD are ethanol and supercritical CO2.

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Potency
This predominantly applies to ingestibles, such as tinctures, gummies, capsules, etc. You want to understand the potency of the product—milligrams per serving—so you’re aware of how much you’re putting into your body. Microdosing—taking smaller amounts of CBD throughout the day—to start can give you a better idea of how you’ll react to a larger cumulative dose down the road. 

Third-Party Testing
This is very important, as lab testing can verify the amount of active CBD and other cannabinoids in a product, as well as the purity of them, meaning the freedom from all residual solvents, heavy metals, pesticides or bacteria. Many brands will post this information on their website, or even on the products themselves for full transparency.