How can you make sure the CBD you’re buying is authentic and safe?

You’ve googled all the acronyms, asked all your friends and you are just about to pay for your first CBD product. Did you check it really was CBD?

With the proliferation of CBD products on the market, there are unfortunately some unscrupulous sellers out there. You may have seen studies on high street products where there is a marked difference between what it says on the bottle and what is inside. In a 2019 study by the Centre for Medical Cannabis 62% of the 30 products tested didn’t match what was on the label.

This raises the question: How can you make sure that the CBD you are buying is authentic and safe? 

The first thing to look for or ask your seller for is a COA (Certificate of Analysis) this gives you a breakdown of the contents of your product. There are different degrees of details that COA’s can give, Cannabinoids, Terpenes, Contaminants…

The top of the pile for us is always Cannabinoids – does the Cannabinoid profile on the COA match what the labels says? Generally the CBD content will be expressed in milligrams or as a percentage on both the label and the bottle. It will display the levels of all the cannabinoids present from THC (there won’t be much of that!) through to CBG/THCA/CBN and so on.

The bigger more in depth COA’s will also outline all the lovely terpenes present in your product… Myrcene, Linalool, Limonene and more.

They will also screen for other pesticide and heavy metals that may get into badly cultivated hemp. And will look something like this….

The second main point that we always bang on about is the Brands. The people who make the best products always give some of themselves to make the brand, you can see that in all the little touches – the stories on their website, messages on their social media, articles and videos on their site. Without that devotion to the product it’s just another bottle of oil or a gummy bear.

It is that authenticity which always makes nabino happy to stock a new brand.

What happens if I don’t see a COA?

Always ask your seller. At nabino we have lots of products with lots of batches so we don’t always have the COA’s available on the site. If you drop us a note ( we’d be happy to send you copy of anything you are looking for. We are working on a great new COA library so stay tuned… maybe sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know when its fully loaded.

It’s not just about the CBD

All CBD and Cannabis products contain another ingredient or sometimes a carrier oil/liquid. It is just as important to check on the other components as well.

Is the product organic?

Is it GMP? What is GMP?

Always with the questions. (Sorry, my mother always said I should have been a quizmaster.)

The Soil Association is a great place to dig a bit deeper into organic labelling and what it all means, if you have a bit of time that is. If not the quick version is that for something to have an organic stamp on the label – EVERYTHING – in the product has to be from organic sources.

GMP – another acronym? Not to worry, think this is the last one. This means Good Manufacturing Practices. It is primarily a US based system set by the FDA (oops one more acronym – that’s the American governments main regulatory body – The Food and Drug Administration)  but is followed in lots of countries. If you see cGMP that means that is the most current set of guidelines.

Why does it matter? It makes sure that cultivators, manufacturers and companies operate with integrity and within a set of parameters that define quality.

The main definitions are:

  • Proper training of employees
  • Valid record keeping
  • Proper equipment functioning & testing
  • Cleaning protocol & sanitation standards
  • Means of raw material acquisition
  • Batch consistency
  • Quality assurance
  • Effective processes in place for batch recall

Adding it all up

Well you can’t really add up lots of letters, but if you always think COA when you think CBD you will be A-OK. If you see GMP the FDA in the USA has given the A-OK. If you see BBC then you are probably watching the telly.

Taleesa Warrior

Taleesa Warrior

e-Commerce Manager, South London dweller, leopard print lover. Advocate of cats and espresso martinis.

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