It seems like CBD has never been easier to come across. Not only can you find it in supermarkets, health shops, and pharmacies, but huge numbers of products are also available online. No matter what type of CBD-infused product you’re looking for – CBD gummies, oils, or topicals – you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. But with so many products – and brands – out there, how do you know when you have found a CBD brand you can trust?
It can be incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed when starting your search for the perfect CBD product. Sure, a quick Google search might return countless results that all seem great at first glance, but how do you know which ones are the real deal? Luckily, there are a few key things that you can look out for in your search for a trustworthy CBD brand. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at these tell-tale signs of a top-quality brand (as well as some of the red flags to keep an eye out for!).
Warning signs to look out for
Before we get onto the positive signs of a trustworthy brand, let’s take a quick look at the key warning signs that could save you from buying a dud – or even a harmful – “CBD” product.
While many of us might pretend this isn’t the case, first impressions are always important. This holds true for almost every aspect of our lives – including when it comes to the products we buy. With the vast number of CBD products available, something as simple as packaging could tell you much of what you need to know. Low-quality packaging and design, including the boxes and the products themselves, can be a major red flag – particularly if they feature spelling mistakes!
High-quality, trustworthy brands will take care to ensure their products are presented in the best way possible. Not only will they make sure that their products are attractive to the customer, but they will also include accurate and helpful information on every package; which brings us on to our next point…
False medicinal claims
Under UK and EU law, CBD brands are not permitted to make any medicinal claims about their products or CBD in general. While highlighting current research findings and anecdotal reports from customers doesn’t usually fall into this restriction, any products making outright medicinal claims should be approached with caution. For example, if a CBD brand tells you that their products will cure your migraines or anxiety – avoid at all costs. This is a sure sign that the brand isn’t operating within the rules and regulations of the CBD industry.
Unlikely celebrity endorsements
Celebrity endorsements are a common advertising tactic that can influence us to purchase any manner of product – including CBD. But while there are a number of legitimate celebrity endorsements for CBD brands (some celebrities have even started their own!), if something seems too good (or bizarre) to be true, then it probably is.
A number of A-List celebrities have been caught up in this trick, including Keanu Reeves, David Attenborough, and Dolly Parton! In many cases, a quick internet search can discredit fraudulent celebrity endorsements, so always double-check before an advert featuring your favourite celeb pushes you to buy a phoney product.
So, the CBD brand in question has passed all of the above tests; does that mean you have found the trustworthy brand you were looking for? Well, not exactly. The increasing popularity of CBD unfortunately, means that there are a lot of people out there simply looking to make money off the back of it – and some of these people are willing to put in the work to dodge the obvious warning signs we mentioned above. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still catch them out.
Signs of a trustworthy CBD brand
Recent changes to the regulations affecting CBD companies in the UK and the EU mean that the consumer is in a better position than ever to spot a reliable CBD brand. There is now more guidance on what you, as a customer, should be looking for in your chosen CBD supplier, and we’re going to touch upon these in more detail below.
Novel Foods certification
In January 2019, the European Food Safety Authority ruled that CBD was to be included in their list of Novel Foods. This meant that CBD would be considered a food supplement but, since there was not sufficient evidence of its consumption as a food before May 1997, it is a “novel” product. This might not sound like a big deal, but this decision introduced a wave of regulations that had not been there before.
Perhaps the most important impact of the Novel Food ruling is that CBD brands now had to apply for Novel Food certification from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA). CBD brands must have submitted a Novel Foods application by March 2022 for their products to be legally sold in the UK. Brands that failed to submit their application had to remove their products from the market; however, cracking down on these rogue brands isn’t as easy as you might hope.
Still, a quick search of your chosen brand on the FSA website will tell you whether its products are associated with a Novel Food application. Take CBD Guru, for example!
Certificates of Analysis (Lab reports)
Before Novel Foods regulations were introduced, being confident that you were buying from a truly trustworthy CBD brand was a little more difficult – but certificates of analysis were a good way of being guided. Over the years, the commercial CBD industry has received a lot of bad press because of the many low-quality products available.
In fact, a 2019 report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) found that, of 29 CBD oils purchased from online and offline UK retailers, only 11 were found to contain within 10% of the advertised CBD content. Furthermore, 11/29 products actually had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content and one product had 0% CBD.
As you can see, with results like this, the availability of third-party lab reports to prove the contents of each product are a valuable resource. Brands that provide you with easy access to third-party lab reports/certificates of analysis for each batch of their CBD products are much more likely to be trustworthy than those that do not! Lab reports may be available through a link on the product page if purchasing from an online store, or perhaps through a QR code available on the product itself.
At CBD Guru, third-party lab results can be found for each one of our products. Just take a look at our Lab Results page!
Features on third-party review sites
In the digital world we live in, online reviews can make or break a brand. In fact, according to recent research, 79% of us place as much weight on online reviews as we do on word-of-mouth recommendations. This, then, should be a great way of telling whether your potential CBD brand is all they claim to be. Unfortunately, it isn’t always as straightforward as all this. The number of fake reviews left online has been on the rise in recent years, so being able to consider reviews from third-party sites is a great way to get a real feel for a CBD brand!
Education and resources
When it comes to your health, few things are as important as education. This is even truer when it comes to products and ingredients that are vulnerable to being taken advantage of – like CBD. The good news, there is a lot of high-quality information out there about this ever-popular cannabinoid. In fact, the best CBD brands will make it part of their mission to make sure their customers are as informed as possible when it comes to the benefits – and other potential effects – of CBD. Most trusted CBD brands will be willing to go the extra mile to provide their customers with the resources they need to not only understand the potential properties of CBD, but also to stay up to date with the latest findings.
Any claims or information given by brands should be backed up and supported by references from reputable sources such as government agencies and research papers – and, again, any brand that uses their blog to make outright medical claims about their products or CBD, in general, should be approached with caution.
At CBD Guru, our team is dedicated to keeping our ‘Articles’ page updated with valuable educational resources to help guide our customers. We cover everything from scientific evidence, anecdotal reports, and helpful product guides to give you all the information you need to make the best decision for you. Check It out for yourself!
So, there you have it – an extensive guide to identifying a trustworthy CBD brand. It just goes to show that, with attention to detail, careful research, and awareness of potential red flags, we could all be enjoying the perfect CBD products for us with complete peace of mind over their contents, quality, and consistency.