Safe CBD Products

Safe CBD Products

 

There are over 11,000 websites with CBD for sale as of this writing, so thank you for taking the time to visit us. Here are some of the reasons we hope you will consider us for your CBD purchases.

  1. We have spent countless hours researching CBD hemp extracts to learn about the best products using all the criteria detailed below. We are committed to brands with full transparency about every one of these criteria.

 

  1. We have tested and personally tried over 75 brands in our search for the highest quality and most effective products. This was after eliminating many before we even tried them.

 

  1. We only sell authentic products with comprehensive, third party lab reports.

 

  1. We will not sell any products that withhold information or are unclear about their CBD content. For example, many hemp nutritional products are currently available on Amazon and other online sources. While these products may have their own nutritional value, please know that nutritional hemp oils or hemp seed oils are not the same thing as CBD hemp extracts. Amazon does not allow the sale of CBD in its marketplace as of this writing. Therefore, any products sold there cannot disclose the specific CBD content. Effectively, the seller is not disclosing that it contains CBD, so they will be allowed to sell it. There is, therefore, no way to know if it contains CBD or not!!  It also means they are in violation of established state guidelines for labeling (in FL and elsewhere).  We will not sell any products that are not completely transparent about all the items below.

The Criteria we Evaluate

ADDITIVES

What is it?

 

Additional ingredients added after the hemp is processed

 

If products have added ingredients, we look for all organic, naturally derived wellness additives that increase therapeutic properties (like lavender or other plant oils) whenever possible. We avoid chemical additives such as Propylene Glycol. This is one of the reasons we do not support many of the water-soluble "nano-emulsified" CBD products on the market. They may have the benefit of being more bioavailable, but the nano-emulsification process includes adding chemical emulsifiers to hold the product in the emulsified state after processing. We  select vape products that only contain hemp extract and plant terpene profiles without the addition of cutting agents including fractionated coconut oil. 

EXTRACTION PROCESS

What is it?

 

How the therapeutic compounds are removed from the hemp

 

Blue Lotus Botanicals CBD Oils use the evaporative extraction method for their Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp extract. 

 

Most of our industry uses solvents, but we use air. Cannabinoids and beneficial terpenes are evaporated in seconds – directly from plant material – to produce higher potency extracts with vastly superior terpene content. In a single combined step, our manufacturer extracts, fully-activates (decarboxylates), and refines hemp to produce a potent, high terpene content premium full-spectrum extract. The many benefits of this solvent-free method include

 

  • extracts created by directly evaporating cannabinoids from plant material
  • extraction is completed in seconds, preserving natural compounds including minor cannabinoids and terpenes
  • higher terpene content and higher cannabinoid potency
  • USDA Organic certified extraction process

 

We also support and carry CO2 extracted hemp products. Blue Lotus Botanicals Salves use CO2 extracts. CO2 is a clean, more cost effective, process but does not maintain quite as high a concertation of beneficial hemp components as other methods.  There is a difference between subcritical CO2 extraction and supercritical CO2 extraction. Subcritical CO2 extraction retains more beneficial plant components. If not disclosed by the manufacturer of a product, it is most likely supercritical.

 

We also support and carry alcohol (ethanol) extracted hemp products. This is a more labor intensive process but retains more therapeutic plant components without the use of harsh solvents such as hydrocarbon butane.

 

We choose not to carry hydrocarbon extracted products. If you choose to use CBD products that do not disclose their extraction method, we sincerely advise you to be sure that the product has lab results that test for residual solvents. Hydrocarbon extracted products can be safe as long as the solvent remediation process has been thorough. 

PRODUCT TYPE

What is it?

 

Full Spectrum,  Broad Spectrum, or Isolate CBD

 

Full spectrum means that the product includes numerous cannabis compounds (minor cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids), including a small amount (<0.3%) of delta-9 THC.

 

Broad spectrum means that the product is further refined to filter out any remaining delta-9 THC (if made correctly and in accordance with currently accepted industry standards).  This filtration also removes some beneficial compounds so broad spectrum products typically have a lower concentration of minor cannabinoids and terpenes than full spectrum products. 

 

Isolate products are even further refined so that only the CBD from the hemp plant remains. Parents that choose to use CBD with their children often use isolate CBD products. 

 

Each type of product has a place in our selections, as they all offer different benefits to different people. Full spectrum products have a small chance of causing you to fail a drug test for THC due to the small amount of delta-9 THC that remains in the products. If drug testing is a concern for you, we recommend using a broad spectrum or an isolate CBD product. We also have several clients with a very high sensitivity to CBD and THC and the broad or isolate products work better for them as a result. The downside of broad spectrum and isolate products is that they do not retain as many other beneficial plant components that contribute to the "entourage effect." Additionally, many clients find that they need a larger dose of a broad or isolate product to be as effective as a full spectrum product. 

 

If our clients are able to use and tolerate a small residual amount of delta-9 THC, we typically recommend full spectrum products as they have the highest concentration of  therapeutic compounds to work in conjunction with the CBD. For those that need an alternative to full spectrum, we offer top quality broad spectrum and isolate CBD products as well. 

LAB TESTING

What is it?

 

Analysis of the specific compounds present in a product, and their concentrations

 

All of our products must have publicly available lab testing results from an independent laboratory, so that we all know exactly what they contain.

 

Not only is it important to know the cannabinoid concentration in a product, it is important that products be tested for safety to include residual solvents, heavy metals, pesticides, and microbials. 

 

Terpene testing is an excellent addition to the testing profile of CBD products, especially edible and inhalable. Terpene profiles can give you information about these valuable components and the effects they offer. 

MANUFACTURING STANDARDS

What is it?

 

Manufacturing facility certifications and processes

 

We look for high quality manufacturing processes and certifications including in GMP certified and FDA registered facilities. We prioritize USDA Certified Organic products and ingredients whenever possible.  

 

We strive to select products manufactured in appropriately licensed facilities and with transparency about manufacturing.

POTENCY

What is it?

 

The concentration of CBD (and other cannabinoids) in a product

 

We carry a variety of concentrations to meet varied needs.  Labeled potency is validated through 3rd party lab results.

PROCESSING TECHNIQUES

What is it?

 

How the plant and oil is processed

 

Raw refers to hemp plant material or extracts that have not undergone any heating or curing processes. These products contain a higher quantity of the acidic form of CBD or CBDa. Cannabinoid acids have, in their raw state, their own unique health benefits, which can be broken down through decarboxylation.

 

Extraction is the process of removing the initial crude oil from the plant. There are many different techniques as discussed in the extraction section above. 

 

Winterization is a process only needed when the oil was extracted at high pressure/high temperature (supercritical) because this intense extraction pulls everything from the plant, including material you don’t want in the final products. This involves mixing the oil with alcohol, freezing it, and then filtering it. 

 

Decarboxylation refers to heating and curing methods. Decarboxylation can happen in one of two ways:

 

The natural way – raw cannabis matures over time. With exposure to sunlight and air, decarboxylation slowly transforms compounds such as CBDa and THCa into CBD and THC, respectively.

 

The manual way – using an artificial heat source to ignite the compounds and cause decarboxylation instantly. Smoking or vaporizing raw cannabis are prime examples of manual decarboxylation.

 

Decarboxylation is an essential mechanism because it lets the cannabinoids yield their desired effects when raw cannabis or hemp is heated up. The process converts the acidic forms of cannabinoids (CBDa) into the ones our body primarily uses for therapeutic effects (CBD). Otherwise, people would just be eating cannabis raw instead of typically smoking it or making oils and edibles.

 

Depending on the type of extraction method for oils, decarboxylation may take place at different stages of the process. 

 

Many oils are also filtered at various stages depending on the extraction method. Some techniques use filtration to remove residual THC and others use nano-filtration to filter out microbials. 

 

Distillation is usually a final process used for many products. Varying degrees of heat are used to vaporize off only specific compounds from the oils like the individual cannabinoids or terpenes. These "pure" isolated compounds can then be used or combined back together in specific quantities to make very consistent final products. While these products are the easiest to use to formulate products, they are also the farthest from the natural state of the plant. 

 

We investigate all aspects of hemp processing to understand the full benefits.

SOURCE OF HEMP

What is it?

 

Where the hemp is grown and how it is handled

 

Our products are from hemp sourced in Oregon, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, and Florida.  These states (and many more now) have a proven record of high-quality phytocannabinoid rich hemp cultivation. We carefully investigate the source of the hemp in our Blue Lotus Botanicals products and the products we carry in our boutique. We look for USA, organically grown hemp. We also investigate growing methods as the area of "craft hemp" cultivation is rapidly developing. Also of note is that many manufactures and processers use large quantities of low quality biomass to extract their oil while others use higher quality trim or flower only. 

TERPENE PROFILES

What is it?

 

Aromatic organic compounds found in plants that provide odor, flavor, and additional therapeutic benefits

 

All terpene profiles offer different benefits to the CBD products through the "entourage effect". Some are more relaxing and others are more energizing or uplifting. We investigate and understand the terpene profiles of all our products.  Some have a robust terpene profile or have added terpenes.  Strain specific vapes are an example of products to which terpenes have been added back to them in order to offer more specific effects. We stay aware of which manufacturing processes reduce the terpene profiles and therapeutic effects of the products. 

VERTICAL INTEGRATION

What is it?

 

One company controls the hemp from “seed to shelf”

 

In our case, we control the “shelf,” but we strive to do business with companies that control the process from seed to bottle.  This provides greater control and transparency. Even if multiple companies are involved in producing the final product we investigate all aspects that lead to the final form including hemp source and growing method, extractor and extraction process, manufacturer, source of ingredients, formulator, bottler, and third party tester. 

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