Now that the legal CBD hemp industry is establishing itself somewhat across the U.S. and more and more patients are coming to terms with what the compound is (and what it does), it appears that legitimate, high-quality brands are finally starting to gain some traction in the industry and claim their place at the top of the commercial CBD marketplace.
Over the last few years, legal CBD in the United States has witnessed a rather shocking explosion in popularity, with literally hundreds of brands and manufacturers available to choose from. Given the unregulated nature of the industry, however, customers have found it difficult to distinguish between effective, reliable products and gimmicky “scam” products that offer virtually no form of relief or therapy.
Simply put, the CBD market has has witnessed a rather turbulent run of form over the last couple of years in terms of the availability of quality products.
Fortunately, a few top brands have taken appropriate steps in order to ensure the availability of potent, effective, and (most importantly) safe products for consumers across the nation. One of the ways they have been doing this is by employing licensed pharmacists to not only help with the extraction and purification processes (which can be quite complex), but also to compound and finalize specific formulas for products like CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD edibles, and CBD vape liquids.
In this article, we talk about the importance of having the right professionals in place when it comes to the formulation of therapeutic CBD-infused products, and which companies have taken the next step and invested in expert pharmacists as a means to ensure the quality and safety of their products.
How is CBD made, anyway?
One of the reasons why the U.S. CBD oil market has seen such saturation in recent years is because, simply put, it is not that hard of a product to make. Well, let us rephrase that – it is an easy product to make, but a difficult product to make correctly.
| “CBD oil is an easy product to make, but a difficult product to make correctly.”
For example, companies with little concern for safety or quality can simply acquire a large stock of hemp plant material, run some ethanol or butane (lighter fluid) over it, extract the active ingredients, and bottle up the end product and sell it as “CBD oil.”
While “technically” a CBD oil, a crude extract like this will likely be riddled with solvent residue, unfiltered plant material, and even toxic chemical residues. In order to make a pure and potent product, manufacturers must employ various levels of processing in order to refine the raw CBD extract and purify it into a safe, pure oil tincture. Many CBD oil companies selling products in the USA have neither the knowledge nor the access to proper machinery that’s needed in order to make a truly top-shelf tincture.
Moreover, few people understand the process of mass spectrometry, which is a technique used to test end products for both the presence of cannabinoids (like CBD) and the absence of potentially dangerous compounds like solvents, pesticides, and heavy metals.
This is where the expertise of someone like a licensed pharmacist can come in handy, and is the reason why select few companies are able to distinguish themselves among the pack in terms of producing a truly top-shelf, hemp-derived CBD oil.
How licensed pharmacists can make the difference between an “average” CBD oil and a truly top-shelf one
To be clear, there are certainly plenty of top-quality CBD hemp oil companies that do not employ licensed pharmacists. Premier brands like Pure Kana and Charlotte’s Web, for example, continue to manufacture gold-standard products without (at least to our knowledge) the guidance of a pharmacist.
One brand in particular, however, has employed a licensed pharmacist since the beginnings of their company, and have experienced unparalleled results and top-notch customer feedback as a result of their long-term investment.
Green Roads is a Florida-based CBD company that has been featured by the likes of Yahoo and CNN, and has even been included on Forbes’ list of the Top-10 CBD oils for 2017. Their (potential) secret to success? The fact that they employ an expert pharmacist capable of overseeing the entire manufacturing operation, from extraction of the raw plant material to the refinement, processing, and purification of the end product.
Laura Baldwin-Fuentes, one of the co-founders of Green Roads CBD (and now the company’s president), had dedicated the better part of 25 years to the “traditional pharmaceutical world” before deciding to invest her career efforts into holistic medicine and natural, non-toxic alternatives to prescription drugs.
As a graduate of Florida’s Nova Southeastern University and a frequent collaborator on hemp-related studies with the University of Miami and the University of Florida, Fuentes has no doubt helped to set the industry standard when it comes to formulating CBD-infused oils, edibles, topicals, teas and coffees, and even CBD pet products. Green Roads offers one of the most extensive selections of hemp-based products, and most would agree that Fuentes is the mastermind behind each and every batch; ensuring that the end products are not only potent and effective, but also safe, pure, and as side-effect free as possible.
In fact, Laura’s work and dedication to hemp-based holistic therapy over the last several years has recently earned her recognition in Boca Life magazine as one of South Florida’s “Medical Experts,” where she has been lauded as a licensed compound pharmacist dedicated to bringing “hope and healing to those searching for natural, non-toxic alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter medications.”
According to Fuentes, CBD can offer ‘safe alternatives to prescription painkillers and other toxic drugs that contain harsh chemical compounds.
In an interview with the magazine, Fuentes is quoted as saying that CBD research has shown promising signs of its potential to help with things like neuropathic pain, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, migraines, epilepsy, and even for allergies and the regulation of blood sugar.
And perhaps the best part of all? Being that Fuentes’ products are extracted and made from industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC, Green Roads is able to ship to patients in all 50 U.S. states.
[Related article: Green Roads 2018 CBD Products Review]
While the industry is certainly not regulated yet to the point where it probably should be, Fuentes and her company Green Roads are no doubt setting a golden standard in terms of the quality, potency, and effectiveness that all other brands should be striving for.