For manufacturers of CBD products, the bar for high-end, effective products has never been set higher. Consumers are quickly becoming educated about hemp-derived CBD products and demanding only the highest quality. However, a quick look at hemp suppliers illustrates significant differences, not only in hemp processing practices, but also in the quality of ingredients that comprise the product.
“Extractors come in all shapes and sizes, with varying levels of sophistication, and each has his own philosophy on which solvent or process is the best,” stated Joe Cachey, Chief Executive Officer, Green Rock Hemp Holdings. “They discuss CBD isolate, distillate, full- or broad-spectrum, and the host of CBD products as if there are well-defined and agreed-upon definitions of what ingredients make up those products, when in reality there is tremendous variability in the ingredients of products using the same name.”
To succeed, not only do you have to build a team and infrastructure to manufacture and then market your product, but you also must be able to sift through a smorgasbord of suppliers to find the few that truly know how to produce high-quality product. To make this search easier, we have compiled a list of five critical considerations when choosing a supplier, along with some important questions to ask them.
- Vision and Mission Statement
Although this may sound trivial, it is key to work with a company that has a clear vision and mission statement – one that is forward-looking and quality-centric. With the CBD industry in such a nascent and undeveloped stage, it’s important to work with extraction companies that are visionaries in terms of their approach and goals. Choose an extractor that understands core industry issues, sets high standards, and pursues their mission relentlessly.
- What is their mission statement?
- What are they trying to accomplish in the industry?
- What sets them apart?
- Do their goals align with yours?
- Manufacturing Certificates
With the CBD industry still largely unregulated, manufacturers have not been forced to adopt any standard of production. It is often up to the manufacturer to self-police and set their own high standards. A facility that is ISO 9001 (a standard of quality manufacturing systems that meets high customer and regulatory requirements, certified internationally) and cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices enforced by the FDA) certified is what should expect of your supplier.
- What manufacturing certifications do they have?
- Does it align with their mission statement?
- Are they open to a facility tour?
- Operations Tested Team
The sophistication of the machinery and processes for legitimate and scaled extraction has reached a level that requires true professionals with years of experience in the field. Make sure your manufacturer has a team of battle-tested professionals who know the ins and out of hemp extraction.
- Who are their chief operators?
- What are their qualifications?
- Do they have hemp extraction specific knowledge?
- Trustworthy Hemp Biomass Supply
Does your extractor know exactly who their supplier is? A high-end extractor only uses the highest quality biomass from sources they can trust. Make sure it’s domestically sourced and from a limited number of farms to minimize the risk of contamination and fluctuations in consistency.
- Who do they use to source their hemp and why?
- How many sources do they have?
- What can they tell you about them?
- Testing, paperwork, and a deep understanding of their product
By now, you should know to ask for Certificates of Analysis (COA’s) from third-party labs for every product that an extractor sells. In addition, make sure they can have a sophisticated conversation about the quality of their ingredients. Not all distillate, full- or broad-spectrum oils, are the same, and it is imperative that the person you are trusting to supply you with your key ingredient knows this.
Can they provide COA’s for potency and contamination for their entire product line?
Can they tell you about the makeup of their product, down to the minor cannabinoids or carrier oil that make up the full profile?
Asking these tough questions and knowing how they should be answered will help in the search for a legitimate, quality CBD supplier. “When it comes to selecting a processor, you are not just looking for a supplier, you are seeking a trusted partner,” Cachey concluded. “Choose carefully. The success of your business depends on it.”