Shopping for CBD? Let Quality and Verifiability be Your Guide

By W. Louis Miles
Founder, Clarity Nutraceuticals

Like many native South Carolinians I applauded when state legislators allowed industrial hemp to be legally grown here. Putting family farms back in profitable territory is just one of the benefits; another is unlocking the powerful potential of a plant that appears to benefit many people, in lots of ways.

My perspective on industrial hemp and its well-known derivative, CBD, is colored by more than my Palmetto pride. As a trained research chemist (go, Clemson!), veteran of the Colorado Cannabis industry, and fitness enthusiast with more than my share of lingering aches, I’ve always been interested in the healing powers of plants.

Mother Nature is an amazing chemist, bestowing us with roots, berries, leaves, barks and derivatives that do everything from lowering blood pressure (L-Theanine from Green Tea) to reducing inflammation (Piperine from Black Pepper) to enhancing cognitive function (Caffeine from various natural sources).  Cannabidiol or CBD derived from hemp plants shows promise for enhancing quality of life, acting as a preventive medicine tool, and even reducing symptoms of various ailments.

My interest in plant-based health supplements led me to go all-in, creating a Charleston-based wellness supplements manufacturing company. Clarity Nutraceuticals launched in October with a line of CBD isolate products designed to help people obtain optimal wellness.

In launching Clarity, our team has committed to taking a lot of the mystery out of CBD. We’re concerned that the lack of federal regulation for hemp-derived products leaves room for bad actors.  With that in mind, we offer the following guidelines to help make curious consumers smart shoppers of CBD.

  1. Don’t let price guide your CBD purchase. Shop for actual potency, which should be spelled out on the product label. Look for a lot-code, which indicates the batch has been tested against its dosage claims. And make sure dosages are indicated on the label.
  2. Look for THC-free CBD (isolate) products if you worry about drug testing. Full spectrum CBD may contain trace amounts of potentially beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids, but also is most likely to contain potential contaminants from cultivation such as metals, microbials, and pesticides. Both full- and broad-spectrum CBD products contain THC at levels so low users won’t get ‘high.” but could still cause positive test results for the drug. Seek pure isolate CBD, which contains no detectable THC.
  3. Know where your CBD is made. We favor locally produced products with verifiable batch testing, because it’s easier to trace the product back to its manufacturer. Even when purchasing from a national manufacturer, we recommend you ensure all products are domestically produced.
  4. Location matters! Sure, CBD is available next to the caffeine shots at the gas station. But given the unregulated nature of supplements, you’re better off relying on quality curating like you get from a neighborhood pharmacy, wellness or nutrition store, medical office, or other reputable source.
  5. Ask questions! A reputable professional (like a pharmacist or supplements specialist) can describe the difference between full spectrum and isolate. They can steer you to the best platform: tincture or gummy, capsule or cream.
  6. CBD is not a cure for anything! Sure, we’re excited about the natural benefits CBD appears to be delivering to folks. But be warned: if you see claims that CBD will cure something, run away. Also be aware that like any chemicals, CBD can interact with your medications. That’s another reason to involve medical professionals in your supplements journey.

At the end of the day, we believe wholeheartedly that CBD will one day be just one of many naturally-derived wellness products that contribute to a healthy society.

We’re betting on it – and a host of other ingredients – with all the energy and resources we can muster.  Which leads to our final bit of advice: when it comes to CBD, channel the advice every wise elder has given a kid: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.