The fastest growing industry in the U.S. right now, according to inc.com, Rolling Stone and Market Watch, is the CBD industry. It’s projected to be worth more than $22 billion by the year 2022 and big-brand companies like Coca-Cola are even getting in on the CBD game due to the massive demand for this cannabinoid.
This has led to many CBD companies popping up all over the country trying to get their piece of the pie. This means there are going to be some dirtbags in the mix that will risk your health for the chance to make a quick buck.
This was the case in 2017 and 2018 when Vice, the New York Times and Consumer Report found that CBD suppliers were caught lying about cannabinoid content, extracting CBD from industrial hemp containing harmful chemicals and labeling products as hemp-derived when the THC content far exceeded the legal limit. So, there’s a bunch of things you need to look out for when searching for a reputable wholesale CBD partner so you can avoid these scam artists.
In this article, we are going to discuss the different types of contaminants to be aware of, what types of pesticides shouldn’t be used when growing hemp, trust-worthy labs and a few other important tips. If you pay attention and take careful notes, you’ll be able to find a wholesale CBD partner in no time at all!
This is first on our list because it is absolutely the most important thing to watch out for. When you search for CBD wholesalers, you need to make sure that their CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC. There are several important reasons for this and each one is vital.
Firstly, any CBD product that contains more than 0.3% THC is considered illegal. That means that the product isn’t cleared for travel and can’t be sold online. It could not only get you in trouble but also the customer that buys it as well.
Secondly, a good chunk of the people who are using CBD are using it instead of THC because they don’t want the high. This makes it especially important that the wholesaler’s CBD contains less than the allowable THC limit to ensure customer satisfaction and safety.
Because hemp has been grown mainly as a fiber crop, not a lot of concern was given to the type of contaminants that might be present in hemp-derived CBD. These types of plants aren’t meant to be consumed by humans or animals and are sprayed or fed with harmful and toxic chemicals that keep pests away and allow the plant to grow as big as possible.
The recent boom in the cannabis industry has paved the way for better lab testing and a better public view of what is contained in the various hemp-derived products that were on the market. In turn, this has led to many hemp farmers to resort to better growing practices and better in-house testing as well.
Here are some of the most common contaminants that show up in CBD products and why you need to watch out for them:
1. Heavy Metals
Arsenic — Toxic to humans when ingested. Associated with higher rates of cancer and heart disease.
Cadmium — Toxic to most animals, but especially fish (can cause ecological problems if water runoff from the hemp plants get into streams or lakes). Causes damage to the lungs, kidneys and bones when ingested by humans.
Mercury — Causes muscle weakness, numbness in the hands and feet and poor coordination.
2. Microbiological Contaminants
The organisms and constituents that are needed in order to make a hemp plant grow and thrive is what makes this part of contamination testing a bit difficult. There are many micro-organisms that are healthy for plants and protect them from diseases while others can destroy an entire crop.
Yeast and mold are the two most common contaminants that are tested for. Having either present in CBD can cause all kinds of health problems for customers. However, do keep in mind that there are organic famers out there who use certain strains of fungus and yeast to grow their hemp. These varieties of mold and yeast aren’t harmful to humans and are actually extremely good for a hemp plant’s overall health, but shouldn’t be in the final product.
3. Pathogenic Bacteria
These are types of bacteria that cause diseases. Normally, most forms of bacteria are harmless and even beneficial. But, just like with food, there should definitely be testing for pathogenic bacteria to ensure that the CBD oil doesn’t spread any diseases. Some of the most common bacteria that need to be tested for are:
Aspergillus — Most varieties don’t cause any harm to humans with normal immune systems. Certain strains (A. flavus, A. terreus, etc.) can cause problems to those with weakened immune systems and damaged lungs.
E. coli — There are a bunch of different strains of E. coli that, like Aspergillus, are totally fine and not harmful. In fact, this bacterium lives in the intestines of healthy humans and animals and is extremely important in maintaining a healthy gut. However, some strains of E. coli cause violent bouts of vomiting, abdominal pain and excessive diarrhea. E. coli in hemp is caused by water contaminated with fecal matter being given to the plants.
Salmonella — This is one of the most common bacterial diseases to affect humans and can live in the intestines of humans and most animals. Like E. coli, salmonella is spread through contaminated water and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea.
When looking for a CBD wholesale partner, you can’t overlook the pesticides that are used in the production of the hemp. There are plenty of safe, organic options out there, but they can be a little pricey. This has led some CBD wholesalers to cut corners and use cheaper inorganic pesticides that aren’t supposed to be used in the production of plants for human consumption. Some of the more common pesticides used include:
Griseofulvin (fungicide) — Causes liver and thyroid cancer, irreversible cell damage and liver damage.
Dienchlor (miticide) — Effects the central nervous system causing tremors, convulsions, agitation and nervousness.
Tetracycline (bactericide) — Causes gastrointestinal irritation, renal failure and nausea/vomiting.
Finding a wholesale CBD partner is a lot easier when you know that they conduct quality testing and use labs that do the same. Quality testing means testing the hemp for all contaminants possible and cannabinoids present, as well as having a third-party lab verify those results.
This will ensure that customers are paying for high-quality CBD products that meet sanitation and legal requirements, especially when it comes to the cannabinoid content. Having two parties verify that the THC is below 0.3% is just the smart thing to do.
Some third-party labs that are trusted throughout the CBD industry are:
- SC Labs — Founded in 2010, SC labs has been offering quality testing for all forms of cannabis, including hemp, for over a decade and is a trusted name in the CBD industry.
- AgriScience Labs — A Colorado-based company, AgriScience Labs is one of the most established labs in the cannabis testing market.
- Evio Labs — Located in 5 states and Alberta, Canada, Evio Labs is the leader in hemp testing across the U.S. and knows the importance of quality labs.
The recent rise in popularity of extractions or concentrates (oils that include terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids that are extracted from the hemp plant and contain a concentrated amount of CBD) has led to many different types of extraction techniques to be developed. The most common solvents used in the extraction process are butane, propane, CO2 and ethanol.
While these are all great options for solvents, there is only one that is considered food grade and is therefore totally safe to consume: ethanol. So, while butane- and propane-extracted CBD products might be of OK quality, they won’t be at the same level as ethanol-extracted CBD and could potentially cause damage to your body.
How Was It Grown?
Last, but certainly not least, have a look at the method being used to grow the CBD. This is particularly important when it comes to hemp-derived CBD. Hemp has been grown mainly as a fiber crop which means that the hemp was grown to be made into textiles and fiber, not used for human consumption. Because the hemp isn’t supposed to be consumed by humans, the farmer will use pesticides and growing chemicals that contain toxins that seep into the CBD final product.
Even if the hemp farmer is using organic materials to grow, the actual grow environment has to be clean. When grow areas are dirty or left alone for long periods of time, hemp plants can develop molds, pests and pathogens, making the product unsafe for humans.
There’s a lot that goes into growing and extracting CBD. Finding a CBD partner that follows the laws and meets all the quality standards can seem like a daunting task, but if you know what to look for when searching for a CBD partner it can be a lot let stressful. As long as you follow this guide and do your research, you’ll be ready to find a quality wholesale CBD partner in no time at all!