Whether you’re new to the benefits of CBD oil or you’re a long-term aficionado, it’s very likely that at some point, you might have wondered whether to buy your oil from a cheaper supplier.
We all want value for money, but unfortunately, when it comes to buying CBD oil in the UK, a cheap price should probably be a big warning sign that a product may not be safe or effective.
The huge rise in demand for CBD products here in the UK has led a number of unreputable CBD manufacturers to capitalise on the trend by manufacturing low-cost, low-grade products at a fraction of the price of more responsible and trustworthy companies.
Safe, high-grade CBD oil is more expensive for a variety of reasons; farming methods, manufacturing processes, extraction methods and product testing are all costly but essential parts of selling high-quality products.
Here at Heart Hemp, the safety of our customers is our absolute priority, so we’ve created this guide to the risks of buying cheap CBD oil to help you make safe and well-informed decisions about the products you consume.
#1. Cheaper CBD oil means lower quality
We’ve all heard the phrase: ‘you get what you pay for’. Buying an extremely cheap version of any product will almost always mean it’s of an inferior quality. But when it comes to buying cheap CBD, inferior quality products may not just be ineffective - they could actually be dangerous.
Because the market in the UK is still largely unregulated, there are a number of low-grade CBD sellers who have found ways to cut corners and sell substandard products that may not be fit for human consumption. They may contain chemicals, metals, toxins or even illegal levels of THC, and as a buyer, the product you think you’ve purchased may not be what it claims.
On top of the quality issue, CBD oils that are significantly cheaper than their safe, organic and tested counterparts may not even contain any CBD at all – regardless of what a manufacturer claims on their website.
#2. Hemp is sourced from farms with poor standards
As with any plant-based product, the standards to which hemp is grown vary wildly around the world. Some countries have extremely robust farming standards, while others don’t regulate or audit hemp farms at all, meaning products may contain dangerous chemicals and impurities.
As the CBD market is still developing here in the UK, we don’t yet have the farming standards and regulations in place for large-scale hemp production. This has led some companies to source their CBD extract from farms in unregulated areas, like Eastern Europe.
Hemp that’s grown organically in the USA, however, is farmed to extremely high standards of quality and sustainability, and because it’s heavily regulated, American hemp is generally considered to be the safest and highest quality CBD you can buy.
Using high quality US-grown CBD extract from sustainable farms in Kentucky, Heart Hemp’s products are then manufactured here in the UK to make sure we meet both Soil Association farming standards and UK-specific manufacturing guidelines. These processes, plus import costs, naturally makes higher quality CBD products slightly more expensive.
#3. CBD might not be safe to use
Once hemp has been harvested in its raw form, its extract has a strong, bitter taste. To make CBD oil, the hemp extract must be carefully distilled and condensed by heating it under pressure.
With broad spectrum CBD extract, the oil is then distilled a second time and the THC vapours must be removed to create a CBD-rich distillate; this is what gives you the health benefits of hemp, without the harmful effects of THC.
The equipment, technology and labour needed to distil hemp extract is highly specialised, and therefore quite expensive. But it’s also crucial, because one of the most important phases of distillation is the removal of dangerous compounds.
These compounds could include cheap pesticides that might have been used by farms with lower soil standards, dangerous chemical dilutors that allow some companies to ‘cut corners’ on the extraction process, and even heavy metals from pollution. The potential impact of impurities on your body is a definite cause for concern, so transparent extraction methods are an absolute must.
#4. The CBD might not have been tested
Any CBD oil worth buying will be tested regularly by an independent lab. Cheap CBD oil companies may claim their products have been lab tested, but if these test results aren’t clearly available for the buyer to see, it’s a definite red flag.
If you can’t find a recent set of test results from a reputable, accredited lab on a company’s website, the product could contain anything (or nothing – in some cases, products advertised as CBD oil might not even contain CBD) and may be highly unsafe to use.
Lab tests are essential because they provide proof that the product you’re buying contains exactly what it says on the label, and is safe to use. Lab tests naturally cost money, while companies who skirt around these tests can make any claims they like, without the cost of backing them up.
#5. The CBD may not even be legal
CBD oil is legal in the UK, but only on the basis that it contains no more than 0.2% THC; the natural compound in hemp that gives you the sensation of being high.
Being able to prove that a product contains the legal amount of THC or less is another reason why responsible CBD companies use third party lab testing. If you buy cheap CBD oil and you can’t verify through an independent lab report that it contains 0.2% of THC or less, it could contain far higher levels of THC - which ultimately makes it illegal.
Not only can higher levels of THC show up on a drug test, but you may also experience unpleasant side effects that you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) experience with properly manufactured CBD oil. Heart Hemp’s products are THC free, and our 0% THC standards are proven in our lab reports.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful, but if you have any other questions, you can find a trove of useful information in our FAQ. Stay safe!
The Heart-Hemp Team