The first step to finding good-quality CBD products is choosing a reputable CBD shop. The CBD market has become a veritable anything-goes bazaar, and newbies can quickly find themselves lost and confused — and easy prey for dishonest sellers offering poor-quality and even unsafe products.
Here’s a beginner’s guide on finding the best CBD shop.
A good CBD shop knows its products
Keep in mind that whether the CBD shop is the same company that manufactures the CBD products or a retail store that offers different brands, all the staff should be experts on all their products.
They should have good knowledge about CBD - the science, how it works, its potential benefits, its use, risks and precautions, and everything about where it was sourced. They should also be knowledgeable about the other ingredients present in their products. They should be able to adequately answer their customers’ questions about any of their products.
A good CBD shop values quality
You should find mostly, if not all, good-quality CBD products in a trustworthy CBD shop. You can gauge the quality of a CBD product by finding out some basic information:
- Was the hemp used organically grown in the US?
- How was the CBD extracted?
- Are the other ingredients present in the product also organic or, at least, natural?
A good CBD shop can provide COAs for its products
The certificate of analysis, or COA, is proof that the product underwent testing from a reputable third-party laboratory. A third-party product testing is a quality control process performed by an independent (third-party) company to check the exact contents of the CBD product, and their exact amounts. The COA will show if the amount of CBD is exactly as indicated on the label; if there is THC and if it’s no more than 0.3%; the other ingredients used; and if there are trace amounts of chemicals and other harmful contaminants.
Third-party lab testing should be done on a regular basis for all products; the COA should have been issued within the last 12 months. The COA should also be easily accessible to customers on the product/company website or in-store.
A good CBD shop does not make false health claims
From the CBD shop’s marketing materials and informational copy — whether printed on paper or published on the website — to the products’ labelling, a good CBD shop does not make scientifically unproven health claims regarding the benefits of CBD, as well as of other botanicals used.
Take note that CBD science is still in its infancy. Very little is still known about how CBD affects the body, although early findings combined with a lot of anecdotal evidence show that CBD has great potential in helping manage certain conditions. These include anxiety, insomnia, pain, epileptic seizures, inflammatory skin conditions, and other inflammatory diseases. The findings are still far from conclusive, but any responsible and trustworthy CBD seller should know better than to make promises about how CBD can “treat” this or that condition.
Promoting a CBD product by making unfounded health claims may indicate that the shop/company cannot be trusted.
FDA regulations for the manufacture and use of CBD products are still lacking, and every state has its own set of guidelines and restrictions mostly concerning the sale of these products. But keep an eye out for a CBD company or seller that has received an FDA warning, which may have been brought about by making false health claims or selling unsafe products.
A good CBD shop has good customer service
Any business that’s worth their salt should not only provide good-quality products but also good customer service. After all, customer satisfaction is not only derived from product quality and effectiveness but also from the customer’s overall experience dealing with the business.
Good customer service should not only be provided during a sale, but even after. The shop should be able to address customer inquiries and concerns adequately and in a timely manner. Customers should be made to feel comfortable and welcome, regardless of their intent to make a purchase.
Especially because the CBD industry is still fairly new despite its explosive growth, the majority of customers have very little knowledge about CBD. Beginners will partly rely on information they can get on their own, and partly on information a CBD seller can provide.
On its own, CBD is generally safe and is well-tolerated by most individuals. However, a CBD product can be made unsafe by improperly processed CBD; by CBD sourced from poor quality hemp; by unsafe ingredients also used in the product; improper/misleading labelling; or false health claims, among many others.
For beginners in the world of CBD, finding the best CBD shop is key to getting their hands on good-quality CBD products.