CBD has a purity problem. But the Mayo Clinic has a Checklist to help you find the highest-quality product

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What’s really in your CBD oil?

 “… I must say that today in Canada to find pure cannabidiol is very, very, very difficult. Even if you go in the legal shop you find the lowest kind of cannabidiol with the THC,” says Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatrist at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and a frontline CBD researcher. Indeed, a 2017 JAMA study found that of 84 online CBD oil products examined, only 26 were accurately labeled for CBD and THC content, with CBD often being overlabeled (it has less CBD than advertised on the package) and THC underlabeled. Oh, and watch out for pesticides and heavy metals that may have found their way into the cannabis plant that your CBD comes from.

So what can you do? Take a look at the Mayo Clinic’s Checklist for Finding a High-Quality Cannabidiol and Hemp Oil Product (Table 3 in their report), found in their superb literature review of CBD science, published just last week. Here’s what they say you should look for:

1. Does it meet the following quality standards?
(a) Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) certification from the US FDA
(b) European Union (EU), Australian (AUS), or Canadian (CFIA) organic certification, or
(c) National Science Foundation (NSF) International certification
2. Does the company have an independent adverse event reporting program?
3. Is the product certified organic or ecofarmed?
4. Have their products been laboratory tested by batch to confirm tetrahydrocannabinol levels <0.3% and no pesticides or heavy metals?

In addition, the Clinic says you should ensure that (1) the product has been extracted by carbon dioxide with no solvents, and (2) the product is not merely hemp seed oil, which although containing nutritious omega-3 fatty acids, does not contain any of the plant-derived cannabinoids, notably CBD.

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