What to Look For Before Buying a CBD Product

Still unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, CBD can be confusing to purchase. With a dizzying amount of products available everywhere from the fancy car wash to the supermarket shelf to the espresso stand to luxury retailers to websites to . . . it’s a lot to figure out.

But when it comes down to it, quality hemp-derived CBD products all share the same three attributes in terms of the product itself:

  • Purity
  • Full-Spectrum
  • Transparency

What’s more, the companies that we esteem, work with, and support all also hold an additional value high: They all cultivate a culture of altruism, giving back to the community as part of what they do every day.

So, while quality in CBD is generally dependent on the quality of the hemp from which the CBD was derived, that isn’t all. It’s the type of CBD harvested, the way it was grown and harvested, and the stories that brands are willing to tell about themselves and what values they support. If not confusing, then perhaps it’s more correct to term the search for the best CBD to be “exhausting.” 

And because the FDA isn’t (yet) involved other than to help quash quacks, the manufacturer, the retailer, and the consumer all have to be informed in order to make the best decision about the kind of CBD they want to produce, sell, and consume.

At Reed’s Remedies, we tackle this problem quite literally from the ground up. If the FDA can’t yet offer guidelines for CBD, they do offer them for herbal supplements in general, so we follow those guidelines for our products, anticipating the most stringent protections possible in order to be certain we’re protecting and supporting our customers to the highest degree.

Soil Matters

That’s also why we start with the ground. Because hemp is a natural at phytoremediation, one of its core actions is to draw metals, additives, poisons, and toxins from the ground in which it’s grown. That’s wonderful if you’re trying to clean your dirt; it’s not so great if you are going to consume the hemp that’s done all of that cleaning up.   

We only purchase U.S.-grown hemp raised on a Colorado farm with which we keep in close contact. This organically sun-grown hemp is drip irrigated to conserve water and is never treated with chemicals or pesticides. Our farm partner is one of just a few in the country to earn the U.S. Hemp Authority seal of approval, which sets the standard for quality and safety in the industry.

Inexpensive CBD products are typically derived from cheap hemp imported from outside the U.S., where agricultural standards may differ wildly from the norms experienced here. Or from US hemp that does not meet our strict purity standards. 

We don’t feel comfortable offering that many unknowns to our customers, preferring to pay more for the safe manner in which our hemp is grown and processed. 

Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate

It’s a point of pride that our products contain a “full-spectrum” of cannabinoids. A 2015 study found that, in comparison to CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD offers higher levels of relief to the largest number of people. With full-spectrum, CBD, THC, and all other naturally occurring cannabinoids are left in our final formulas (though the THC is never in excess of .3% and won’t get you “high”). 

We believe that our customers should have access to whole plant medicine rather than an “isolate,” which is just the singular extracted compound. CBD isolate is an extract so processed that it removes all of the plant’s naturally occurring chemical compounds and leaves behind just the CBD powder.

By contrast, “broad” or “wide spectrum” cannabinoids refer to a hemp extract that preserves the plant’s naturally occurring cannabinoids except for THC, which is removed during processing. 

Glass Houses

Transparency is highly prized in the CBD world in great part because the FDA hasn’t finished its work, meaning that we have to. All trusted CBD sources have their products tested by an independent third-party lab. 

We run test samples at least three times, from seed to finished product, for each batch. You can find the results for all products by checking our website or using the QR code on the product’s box. Once scanned, you can see the test results for the product you’re currently using. 

A competent lab includes its license number and accreditation on its Certificate of Analysis (COA). Because hemp is a phytoremediator, be sure to also check the COA for its analysis of any heavy metals the plant might have sucked up as well as molds, pesticides, and solvents. You want to see the word “PASS” or ND, indicating “None Detected,” on all lines. Check out a recent COA for our Soothe Relief Balm.

Sure, we take this to the nth degree — but really, we suggest you don’t trust any company that doesn’t offer this breadth of transparency. Instead, ask yourself: What could they possibly have to hide?

Words Words Words

Be wary of any CBD brand that touts its health benefits because the FDA has not yet weighed in. Words like “cure,” “prevent,” “reduce,” and “treat” are forbidden because they denote medical benefits not yet codified by the government. Also avoid products that say  “hemp seed oil,” as they do not contain any CBD at all. 


Because we’re passionate about soil health as one of the most important building blocks to healthy hemp-derived CBD, we’re passionate about soil health, period. Soil packed full of microbes and other living organisms is a significant answer to the troubling question of a warming planet as healthy soil can sequester significant amounts of carbon. From healthy soil come healthy plants which feed animals and aid their well-being and so on. That’s why a percentage of every Reed’s Remedies’ purchase is donated to the Environmental Defense Fund

We are proud to be able to check all of the boxes on the What to Look For list, offering the best possible products to you from U.S.-farmed hemp that produces pure, full-spectrum, CBD for daily health and wellness while maintaining a great value and giving back to the very Earth itself.