There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the legalization of cannabis and CBD these days. It seems like there are updates about new products, industry successes, and passing legislation on a daily basis. But with all the good news, there’s also bad news that calls into question whether or not customers can trust if they’re using safe, high-quality cannabis.
Whether you’re a medical or adult-use cannabis user, there’s a lot of information being brought to light regarding the safety and quality of cannabis products sold in the illicit and legal markets. From cannabis products being completely mislabeled to CBD products containing toxic, dangerous contaminants—it’s nearly impossible for you to know what products are safe to consume.
Since consuming contaminated cannabis can result in infection, reproductive issues, developmental damage, and an increased risk of cancer, it’s critically important for you to know whether what you’re consuming is safe. But with the lack of regulation in the industry, how can you be sure?
In this article, we’ll discuss some strategies for identifying safe and high-quality cannabis and CBD products. Keep reading to learn more, and scroll to the end for a 100% free hack for finding safe and high-quality cannabis.
1. Always Shop From a Licensed Dispensary
Let’s get this straight: there is absolutely no way to know if illicit cannabis or “street weed” is high-quality or safe. Even if you’ve grown it in your own backyard. It is impossible to know if cannabis is safe without a reputable lab test.
This is because the cannabis plant is naturally absorbent. It acts like a sponge, soaking up all toxins and contaminants in the soil. Heavy metals like lead, bacteria, mold, and toxic chemicals are only a few of the 679 different types of contaminants commonly found in American cannabis plants.
The plant is so absorbent, in fact, that it’s actually used to repair contaminated soil. So, since you likely don’t have a soil profile of the ground in which the cannabis is growing, it’s not possible to know whether or not it’s safe.
A recent study of unlicensed cannabis dispensaries in New York found E. coli, salmonella, nickel, and lead in many products. 9 out of 40 products surveyed contained either E. coli or salmonella, which is an alarming rate of 22.5 percent.
2. Start by Reading Reviews
You might think you’re safe purchasing high-quality marijuana from your local dispensary. But don’t assume that just because you buy something from a licensed business, that means it’s safe.
Although businesses are required to properly test their legal cannabis products, the unfortunate truth is that many still don’t. A shocking 60% of CBD products are estimated to be mislabelled. And what’s worse—many researchers have found contaminants even in licensed products.
So, be sure to read the reviews of the company you’re purchasing from. This includes the dispensary and the brand. Unfortunately, this alone will not protect you from unsafe or low-quality cannabis, but it is a good place to start.
3. Review Ingredients
The third step is to examine the brand’s resources and review its ingredients. You should never consume a cannabis product without an in-depth understanding of its ingredients.
The list of ingredients to avoid varies by product, but a good cannabis or CBD product will typically have a simple, readable ingredient list.
The bigger challenge with the ingredients, however, is that it’s difficult to completely trust the accuracy of ingredient lists, due to the prevalence of fake lab tests and other dishonest business practices. That being said, it’s still important information to review.
4. Look For a Lab Report
Even though there is a possibility that a lab report could be fake, altered, or outdated, you should still check to see if a company has one listed on its website. You should absolutely never consume a cannabis product that doesn’t have a lab report supporting its quality and safety.
5. Check for FDA Warning Letters
Finally, once you’ve read reviews, checked the ingredients, and looked for a lab report, it’s time for the final step: checking for FDA warning letters and/or state recalls of product.
The FDA releases all the warning letters they publish to the public as a part of its commitment to providing transparent information to consumers. You can browse their directory of warning letters on their website to check if your favorite brand has been reprimanded in the past.
Each state’s cannabis control commission will monitor the safety of cannabis products and issue recalls. Last year, there were a number of recalls from various states of which the vast majority of consumers were completely unaware. It is important to be tuned into these recalls and avoid any product that has been issued an official state recall.
6. Verify Safe and High-Quality Marijuana in Qredible®
Going through all these steps might seem like a lot of work, but it’s necessary to protect yourself from the potential negative health effects of consuming contaminated cannabis.
Luckily, there is a free-for-consumers, no-strings-attached resource that can do all that for you. Qredible® is the only online registry of validated and verified brands in the cannabis industry.
While shopping, simply scan the QR code of your favorite product to read everything you need to know to make an informed decision from a single, accessible profile.
Here are some of the things you can read about a brand in Qredible:
- Brand history
- FDA warning letters
- State-issued product recalls
- Ingredient list
- Lab reports
- Compliance history
- Licenses and registrations
- Verified certificates
Committed to Trust & Transparency
Brands in Qredible are completely committed to transparency. They submit Q-Verified lab reports into a blockchain registry directly from the testing equipment, meaning it is impossible to alter in any way. This means there is minimal risk of fraudulent lab reporting, as there is no way to alter or remove the original document.
Companies in Qredible also agree to show all information about their products and brands—Q-Verified brands are not able to delete reviews, remove FDA warning letters, or make false claims on their profile. Every certification or claim they made is validated and monitored by Qredible’s advanced AI software. If anything changes, you’ll be able to read about it.
100% Free and 100% Unbiased
Companies pay Qredible to use our monitoring service (that’s how committed they are to safe commerce!) so we can offer all this information to you at no cost.
And since we are not a marketplace and therefore never profit from the sale of any cannabis products on our platform, we are able to provide a completely unbiased resource to help you make the best decision.
Qredible is on a mission to arm consumers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions that lead to a better, safer industry. To learn more about how Qredible can help you find high-quality marijuana, visit our consumer page.