For some CBD oil users, ‘pure’ cannabidiol relates to isolate. This is a product that can contain up to 99.9% CBD. However, this process means you don’t benefit from the entourage effect. This is the term given to the belief that cannabinoids work better together than in isolation.
Ethan Russo is one of the biggest proponents of this theory. An updated study of his, published in Frontiers in Plant Science in 2019, followed up on earlier research. Although some argue against the phenomenon, there is a lot of evidence to back it up.
For other CBD oil users, ‘pure’ cannabidiol merely relates to products that contain no chemicals or toxins. For UK residents, this means conducting some research because the industry remains poorly regulated. The situation is undoubtedly improving, but it still pays to delve deeper into CBD brands’ activities.
In this article, we focus on outlining the best way to find pure CBD in the UK.
Where Does the Hemp Come from?
It is worth noting that hemp is a hyperaccumulator. It readily absorbs toxins and heavy metals in soil. This makes it a great crop for helping to purify the soil. Indeed, it is reportedly grown in the soil near Chernobyl for this reason. However, if a disreputable brand uses hemp cultivated in poor conditions, it will absorb the harmful toxins which end up in the CBD oil.
Therefore, it is essential to only purchase hemp products from brands that take their cannabidiol from organic material. It doesn’t necessarily have to be organically grown hemp, but it should come from well-known EU or US farms.
What Is the Extraction Process?
How a brand extracts the material plays a huge role in the quality of this oil. Most industry experts recognise that carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction provides the best products. It is the most expensive form of CBD oil extraction but works wonders for a company’s credibility.
The process involves the use of pressurized pumps and chambers. They expose the CO2 to low temperatures and high pressures to create liquid carbon dioxide, extracting the CBD oil from the hemp. The liquid CO2 ultimately evaporates into a gas. The result is no residue left in the CBD. The process requires specialized equipment and a significant degree of expertise.
The next most popular option is solvent extraction. In general, hemp brands that go down this route use ethanol. However, certain companies use non-food grade ethanol. It is a far cheaper form of extraction than CO2. Unless the company uses food-grade ethanol, the final product will be extremely low quality and possibly filled with harmful solvent.
Even when an organisation uses natural solvents, the process may extract chlorophyll. The result is a bitter and unpleasant taste. Please avoid any oil where the extraction method involves petroleum, butane, or propane as the solvent.
A small percentage of brands use steam distillation. The process involves using steam to separate CBD oil from hemp. It was used for a long time but is now outdated and inefficient. It requires huge volumes of hemp and doesn’t extract as much CBD as CO2.
Where Are the Lab Reports?
How do you know if a brand’s CBD oil is ‘pure?’ You can look for evidence in the form of third-party lab reports. Also called Certificates of Analysis (COAs), this documentation lets you see what is inside a cannabidiol product. A COA should contain information on the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids in the oil. It also has evidence that the product doesn’t contain heavy metals, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals.
However, it isn’t enough for a brand to have COAs; these must come from reputable labs. Everyone in the industry knows that lab reports are essential to a brand’s credibility. Sadly, there are plenty of examples of fake COAs.
In some cases, the brand isn’t aware, and the onus is on the company to know that its oil is legal and pure. Signs of fake COAs include:
- Vague or whited out information
- No date for the lab report
- Information on THC content is missing
- Unprofessional looking reports
- No certification numbers
- Lack of information on the testing type, such as HPLC or GC
One useful tip is to research the name of the lab that performed the testing. You will quickly find out whether they are a legitimate laboratory or not.
Ultimately, finding pure CBD in the UK involves the following:
- Determining the source of the hemp
- Analysing the method of extraction
- Checking for legitimate lab reports
Customers who purchase this type of oil from Provacan find that this UK brand ticks all of the boxes and more. It uses organic material for its CBD oil and pays for CO2 extraction. Every Provacan product features testing from a reputable lab. You can find out more about the Provacan process on its official website.