The 5 Steps to Determine if CBD is Safe

    by John Reid / January 3, 2019

    The term snake oil comes up a lot with CBD oil. Snake oil salesman refers to a person or entity who knowingly sells fraudulent goods that do not work. Unfortunately, that largely defines the realm CBD consumers operate in when purchasing CBD oil today. In fact, a 2017 study done by Marcel Bon-Miller of the University of Pennsylvania School of medicine found that ~70% of CBD products are mislabeled. There are retailers looking to capitalize on the CBD market to make a quick buck, sell mislabeled products, and leave you wasting your money, or worse, putting your health at risk with harmful ingredients. Fear not, young Skywalker, there is a new hope.

    Relief Scout is peering through the opacity of the CBD market to ensure you’re putting only the best and safest products in your body. Clear labels are a good start to know what is in the package, but Relief Scout goes above and beyond that by only offering products that have completed third party testing and proven each product works as described on the label. Our thorough vetting processes ensures every product Relief Scout sells is safe and effective before it touches your endocannabinoid system.

    How does Relief Scout make sure each CBD product is safe?

    Each of our vendors must earn 5 badges to be qualified for sale through Relief Scout. We follow a 5 point criteria process, and recommend you do the same when deciding whether or not a CBD vendor is worthy of your time, attention, and money.

    • Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract

      • Full-spectrum hemp has the maximum therapeutic effect. CBD isolates may seem to provide maximum benefit because they infer pure CBD, but they take much higher dosage level to take effect. There are naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, minerals, omega acids, and protein in full-spectrum hemp that enhance the benefits of CBD when consumed.

      • In addition to not selling CBD isolates, Relief Scout does not sell products derived from hemp seeds because cannabinoids are not present in hemp seeds. CBD - and other cannabinoids - can only be extracted from a mature hemp plant.

      • Opt for CBD product grown and extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant that contains less than .3% THC so it is legal to ship to all 50 states under the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill. This amount of THC is also negligible and a high is not experienced when consuming.

    • No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

      • This means safe, non-toxic extraction methods. Relief Scout leverages testing to ensure source material is free of contaminants like toxins, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and soil additives.

      • Relief Scout prefers to work with brands that work directly with farmers so we can clearly understand the product from seed to sale.

    • Follow FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs)

      • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) means CBD is tested throughout process at cultivation, harvest, extraction, and packaging before shipment. Relief Scout prefers to partner with CBD oil companies that do all of this due diligence so we know exactly what farm grew the CBD oil that goes into the product you purchase from us.

      • Hemp is grown under different rules for each state. There are varying regulations about who can grow hemp, where hemp seeds can come from, and what farmers are allowed to do with each crop. Not all states allow for hemp to be grown and because it is grown outdoors, varied climate plays a role in the quality of harvest. Relief Scout takes all factors related to farmers’ ability to innovate and manufacturer into consideration, which ultimately translates into optimizing the cost of benefit to our consumers.

    • 3rd Party Lot Review

      • Relief Scout reviews a 3rd party Certificate of Analysis for source materials and each lot number for each unique batch of CBD. In other words, we know where the hemp comes from for each product, have verified that the label description matches the contents, and that it is confirmed via a 3rd party before the product is packaged and sent to you.

      • 3rd party tests look for heavy metals, residual solvents, microbial contaminants, and excessive THC. Relief Scout only works with vendors who make their 3rd party testing available to us and our customers. When purchasing CBD independently it is important to verify the quality of CBD because some companies sell what looks like legitimate CBD product, but are unwilling to put display the 3rd party testing results on their website. Buyers beware - this practice is key to the hemp industry keeping snake oil salesman from making profit and keeping you safe. 

    • Socially Responsible Organization

      • You might say that all CBD companies are green (pause for laugh). Beyond farming and processing in an organic fashion, Relief Scout is committed to being in the business of giving back to the planet and its people. Relief Scout seeks partners that care about giving back to their community through volunteer efforts and goodwill.

    How Relief Scout is different

    Instead of selling the most, Relief Scout sells the only the best quality CBD on the market. We thoroughly review documentation, ask detailed questions of our partners to understand their approach to farming and extraction processes, and ensure only best products end up in our store for purchase. Instead of offering everything under the sun, we narrow down your choices to only the best quality. Relief Scout puts our name behind every CBD product we sell.

    Know a CBD product you love that Relief Scout doesn’t sell?

    Doesn’t mean Relief Scout can’t love it too. Relief Scout is always looking to make more friends as long as they fit our 5 point badge system. Submit your suggestion on our vendor submission page (form at the bottom of this page). Relief Scout will even send you a discount on your next product order if you do. You scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours.  

    Want a second opinion?

    Find the right CBD product for you in the 60 second questionnaire with a recommended starting dosage for your specific needs and body type. In addition, Relief Scout recommends that people interested in CBD seek out a knowledgeable doctor who is in tune with the uses of CBD. We are happy to make recommendations if you would like to contact us directly. Relief Scout ensures that our products are safe, but it is important to verify that CBD is safe in combination with any prescriptions you are taking.

    Whether purchasing through Relief Scout, or conducting your own research into an ideal CBD product for you, this 5 step process will keep you and your wallet safe.

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    John Reid

    John Reid

    John has over 13 years of experience in finance and consulting. John has joined the industry-wide mission to educate and introduce people to the value of this often misunderstood component of the hemp plant. When not working with the Relief Scout vendors, you can find John and his wife enjoying the great outdoors and surfing in San Francisco. And if you ever want to talk music, John is all ears.


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