With scary stories about vaping in the news, and a lack of regulation around the CBD industry, the CBDfx team wants to talk CBD safety.
The CBD industry is currently not regulated – what are you doing to ensure you know the ingredients and quantity of ingredients?
You’re right, the CBD industry is currently very lightly regulated at the moment, which means it’s up to brands themselves to follow best practices of manufacturing, and ensure they’re doing right by their customers. Perhaps in no other market is it quite so important to only purchase from a reputable, major brand like CBDfx who has been around for over 5 years and is featured in “big-box” stores throughout the country. To your point, CBDfx spends tens of thousands of dollars per month on third-party, independent batch testing so that we can publicly post lab results showing exactly what’s in our products. Nobody is requiring us to do this — we do it as a show of good faith to our customers, many of whom rely on our products for daily use.
Additionally, we have close relationships with our partner farms in Kentucky, who follow our strict guidelines for organic farming and help us ensure we’re starting with the best hemp plants on the planet. This commitment to product quality and transparency is at the heart of everything CBDfx does. It’s our point of origin that we never waver from. CBD is something that you put into your body: we take that fact very seriously, and we prove it by the way we go about our product manufacture process.
What is your process for CBD – from raw material, to extraction to final product?
We start with our hemp farms in Kentucky, who follow modern ethical farming practices that are based around organic, non-GMO agriculture. From there, we extract the CBD oil from those organic hemp plants in our Southern California laboratories using a process called supercritical CO2 extraction. This step is vitally important, because it’s another example of CBDfx stepping up and going out of pocket to choose the better option for our customers. Most CBD companies out there use a solvent-based extraction method to source their CBD oil, using agents like ethanol which don’t fully evaporate out of the final solution. Then, customers end up getting traces of those same solvents in the products they use. CBDfx, again, uses CO2 extraction, which is totally clean and results in completely pure CBD oil — at the end of the extraction process, the CO2 is simply released and allowed to evaporate.
Do the processes change, depending on the products you’re making with the CBD?
Our product research and development team is arguably the very best in the business. The way in which we source our CBD oil — the fundamental ingredient — is the same regardless of the product. However, the supporting ingredients or formulations in our various SKUs are meticulously researched and tested until we get a final product we can confidently stand behind. Sometimes this takes years from product conception to launch. We’re simply not interested in selling a product that doesn’t meet our exacting standards of quality.
How are you different from other CBD companies?
Our willingness to put customer safety and product purity, combined with our incredible variety of CBD products, really sets us apart from other CBD companies. Typically, you find a lot of CBD companies that offer a huge amount of products, but the quality may suffer. On the other hand, there are some other companies doing the right thing in terms of purity and transparency, but they offer only a few products for sale. We’ve managed to capture the best of both worlds, which predictably wins us a lot of loyal customers who wouldn’t consider going anywhere else for their CBD products.
Explain to people what the current concerns are with the fake THC?
There are several different issues being conflated at once in the current vaping panic you read about in the news. First of all, CBD has not been linked to any negative outcomes whatsoever, so let’s make that clear. Next, it’s not a matter of “fake THC or CBD” per se, it’s more about homemade, black market and/or “bootleg” THC vape cartridges that are responsible for the actual illnesses. The responsible ingredient in these homemade cartridges appears to be vitamin E acetate, which is being used as a cheap emulsifier — or liquid mixing agent — to make the solution vape-able. No reputable vape company would ever, ever dream of using this ingredient in their cartridges, not even the lower quality companies using second-tier ingredients. This is the work of black market cartridge dealers with zero regard for anything other than making quick cash in back-alley deals or out of the trunk of their car — literally. Unfortunately, people scan a news headline online, see the words “vaping illness outbreak”, and it paints the entire industry negatively. At CBDfx, we want to make sure we’re speaking up loud and clear on behalf of the brands who are doing things the right way.
You do rigorous testing, please explain why and what this encompasses?
Simply put, we rigorously test all of our product batches because we care about our customers, many of whom are already suffering from health concerns. We believe that in the absence of meaningful regulation, it takes a company with a strong ethical backbone to step up and set the benchmark for the industry in general. To be clear, we test our products on a batch level, meaning that each and every new batch we produce can be cross-referenced with a lab report so that you can see exactly what’s in your bottle of gummies, capsules, vape juice, or anything else.
How do you ensure the raw materials you use are pesticide-free/chemical-free etc?
This is part and parcel to the vetting process involved in selecting partner farms who are willing to abide by our agricultural standards and practices. Those who can’t comply, are not eligible for supplying us with the hemp we use to make our CBD products. CBDfx is using a proprietary extraction method that completely eliminates any form of solvent unlike what the vast majority of the industry is doing. Typically, the refining process from hemp biomass to potent finished CBD oil involves either pentane, hexane or butane after the biomass has been CO2 extracted. By using targeted CO2 extraction that utilizes various temperatures and pressures, we are able to preserve a high level of cannabinoids and terpenes which is crucial for the efficacy of the end product. In addition to superior full spectrum and broad spectrum profiles, a solvent-less approach also eliminates the risk of residual solvents showing up in the final product. For the consumer, the CBDfx approach means more efficacious end products that offer a wider range of other cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, CBG and CBL that are known to contribute to the entourage effect.
Explain the certification (COA) process?
Whenever we finish a production of any given product, randomly selected units from the production line are being picked out and sent to the lab. This happens for every batch of products, so the consumer can find a lab report specifically for the production batch that they got their product from. When we get the results from the lab, products are being released from quarantine and the lab report is being uploaded to our site.
How are companies mis-labeling? What is the problem? And how are you personally ensuring mis-labeling doesn’t happen at CBDfx?
Mis-labeling happens in a wide variety of ways, from overstating the amount of CBD in a given product, to omitting the presence of perhaps a less-desirable ingredient from the product label. Considering that we make our independent lab reports publicly available on our website, it’s pretty easy to make sure mis-labeling doesn’t happen. Just choose a product formulation you’re proud to stand behind, assume the expense of proving the purity of your ingredients via lab reports, and it’s pretty easy to avoid issues of mis-labeling.
What is CBDfx’s main message you’d like to get out to the consumers?
The main message we’d like to convey is that our products are safe and have not been linked in any way, shape, or form to the current vaping scandal in the news. In fact, no CBD products have — only black market THC cartridges. A few bad apples have totally misrepresented the entire vaping industry, but CBDfx remains as committed to product purity and quality as ever. The well-being of our customers means everything to us. Not only do we avoid using cheap and potentially harmful ingredients, we go the extra mile at our own expense to make sure we have the safest possible products. Absolutely no negative reactions have been linked to the use of CBDfx products, and in light of the recent vaping issues, we intend to seize the moment and set ourselves out there as an example of how to manufacture CBD items safely and ethically. We’re not afraid of scrutiny — in fact, we welcome it with open arms. We’ve been doing things the right way since day one.
How do you select your labs for testing? What are your checks and balances?
CBDfx works with ISO/IEC 17025 accredited labs that have a proven ability to test accurately across multiple product formats because they are adhering to the highest standards of testing protocols set forth by the ISO/IEC accrediting organizations. This ensures that the consumer can rest assured that products have been thoroughly tested by a true third party lab that produces accurate and reliable lab reports.
You have different labs for different products – why?
CBDfx currently works with just one lab that is testing all products. We only have a few older lab reports on our site for products that we haven’t done a recent production batch of. We are constantly looking for ways to improve every part of our operation and lab testing is definitely one of those areas.