[Infographic] 3 Ways to Help Consumers Verify Your CBD Product Is Legitimate
The popularity and demand for CBD products are currently at a fever pitch. Scroll through your favorite social media platform or stop by your local gas station or beauty salon and you're bound to find a variety of CBD products that advertise an assortment of health benefits ranging from stress relief, better sleep, and much more.
But, are all CBD products created equal? According to a recent investigation conducted by an NBC News affiliate, the answer is "no."
If you're a dietary supplement brand owner that's considering jumping into the CBD "Gold Rush" you'll want to be transparent with your customers and do your due diligence to confirm your product meets label claims.
Why the Sudden Surge In Popularity for CBD Products?
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December separated hemp from the legal definition of marijuana and made it legal to cultivate, process and sell it as an agricultural product. Many entrepreneurs and existing dietary supplement brands pounced on the opportunity and started the process of formulating and bringing their own products to market.
According to researchers with Brightfield Group, a CBD marketing research firm based in Chicago, IL, the CBD was a $619 million industry in 2018, but thanks to the Farm Bill, the CBD industry is expected to hit $5.9 billion by the end of 2019 and $22 billion by 2022.
While the majority of the industry is excited about what's in store for the CBD industry, there's also confusion about who's regulating it and if this lack of oversight is allowing brands to enter the market with products whose formulations may not meet label claims.
The FDA's Current Stance on CBD Products
CBD is not considered to be a food or a dietary supplement, so there aren't strict regulations or testing requirements for products. However, FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, M.D. has said that the organization will subject products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds to the same authorities and requirements as products containing other substances.
We’ll continue to take action against products being unlawfully marketed and that create risks for consumers. We also recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) December 20, 2018
Are "Fake" CBD Products Currently Being Sold On the Market?
Earlier this month, an NBC News affiliate released the findings of an investigation it conducted on various CBD products.
According to the news story that was published on February 6th, investigators from NBC 6 in Miami, Florida purchased 35 CBD products, mostly gummies and oils, from seven different companies. The product label of each sample was covered to ensure anonymity and was taken to a local testing facility to see if the amount of CBD in the product matched what was being advertised on the product label.
Results of the CBD Product Tests
Of the 35 samples that were tested, a staggering 20 products had less than half of the amount of CBD advertised on the labels. In some cases, some samples had no CBD in them at all.
Explanations from representatives whose products failed to meet label claims ranged from the error was an "innocent mistake" to the products that were tested were made using manufacturing techniques and equipment that are no longer in use today.
How Can You Help Consumers Verify Your CBD Products Are Legitimate?
We're so glad you asked!
We just produced a fantastic infographic (see below) which explains how you can help consumers and prospective buyers verify that your CBD products meet label claims. If you're new to the industry, you'll quickly learn that transparency is of paramount importance and goes a long way in earning trust and a loyal base of customers.
Include a QR code or a bar code on your product label that can be scanned with a smartphone or tablet. Once scanned, consumers can instantly view the test results supplied by your testing facility (as long as you publish them online). This will help them verify that the amount of CBD in your product matches what's on your label.
Your customer service representatives should be adequately trained so they can answer product questions and provide testing information quickly. If a technical question comes up, don't be afraid to reach out to your supplement manufacturer so you can provide your customer with a thorough answer. As a rule of thumb, do your best to answer all inquiries within 24 hours of receiving them.
Expiration Dates & Batch Numbers:
Consumers can use the batch number on your product label to find out where and when your product was made and the expiration date to ensure it's fresh. As previously mentioned, you may want to publish your product test results on your website, Amazon storefront, etc. so consumers can easily match the batch number to the product.
This is unquestionably an exciting time for the dietary supplement industry! Brand owners should seek to partner with a reputable dietary supplement contract manufacturer that's capable of producing well-formulated CBD / phytocannabinoid products in a variety of innovative delivery formats and that can provide the documentation necessary to verify that the product is high in quality and meets label specifications.
To learn more about NutraScience Labs' phytocannabinoid supplement manufacturing services - including minimum order quantities, dose forms and more - give us a call at (855) 492-7388 or send us a request to receive a free manufacturing price quote.
About the Author: Andrew Goldman
Andrew Goldman is the Vice President of Marketing for NutraScience Labs. In this role, he leverages his 10+ years of experience to develop cutting-edge initiatives for our firm.