Some of the biggest challenges that have come with the rapid growth of the CBD market are a lack of clarity and demand outweighing supply.

One of the biggest issues contributing to a lack of clarity is the influx of businesses hoping to capitalize on market growth without necessarily having the expertise to offer quality products or information to the people using them. With new products popping up all the time, and with no standardized way to present the vital stats about them, it may be difficult for new users to understand that one bottle of CBD can be materially different than another.

And because CBD is undoubtedly trending right now, many people are anxious to get their hands on some—often without knowing what they should know about it. This huge demand means some companies are opting to get their hemp from less desirable sources.

Grown in the USA?

Hemp has a long agricultural history in the United States. So would it surprise you to learn that not all hemp-derived CBD starts here, even if it was made here?

In the past few years, the hemp market has exploded in China, where oversight is not the same as it is in the USA. Some hemp plant material is imported and used to create CBD products. Why does this matter? Industrial hemp is often used for phytoremediation, which can be thought of as filtering soil of contaminants like heavy metals to “clean and balance” it. Other questions linger about hemp sourced outside the country: Was it grown organically? Has it been tested for heavy metals, pesticides and microbes?

Made in the USA?

In addition to hemp plants, China is also a major producer of CBD extract. Just as there is little transparency about the cultivation of hemp plants, it’s difficult to know for sure how CBD manufactured elsewhere has been extracted, whether it’s been tested and what else it may contain. Within the USA, there are a couple of layers of oversight via federal and state governments, and it is possible (but difficult) for growers to be granted Certified Organic status by meeting the USDA’s strict standards.