What to look for when buying hemp extract
AT ALTA GOODS, we spent a lot of time looking for the highest quality full-spectrum hemp extract to put in our bars. We tasted dozens of oils, poured over COAs, impurity results, and visited farms to find the best oil so you could be assured that you were getting the best product on the market. But, while having your daily hemp extract in a delicious, grab and go bar is fantastic, sometimes you want your own hemp extract to drop into your turmeric latte or drizzle over your oats. So, we’ve put together a list of the most important things to look for in a hemp extract and the company that is selling it:
- COA. A COA, or Certificate of Analysis, will tell you the profile and potency of cannabinoids present in the product. In other words, the COA tells you exactly how much CBD, THC, CBG, terpenes, etc. are in an extract. If the COA is not readily available on the company’s website, ask for it. You should avoid any company that refuses to send you an up-to-date COA.
- Impurities Testing. It’s important to know that most plants will have some level of heavy metals, yeast, and molds; however, limiting them to below regulatory standards is really important. Heavy metals occur naturally in soil, but human behavior has made metals like lead (leaded fuel) and arsenic (arsenical-based pesticides) more prevalent in topsoil. Look for a company that tests for heavy metals, yeasts, and molds in their extracts and that complies with their state regulations for these compounds.
- Sourcing. Whether you choose a hemp extract that is made with single source hemp (from one farm) or aggregated hemp (from several farms) is simply a matter of preference. If the company is working with high quality plants (also known as biomass) and a skilled extractor, then what plot of land the hemp comes from shouldn’t matter. What does matter is how the hemp is grown and sourced. Look for hemp grown organically and preferably regeneratively. You may not know the exact farm where hemp is grown, but the company you’re buying the hemp from should and they should disclose what region or state that hemp is grown. One way to find out is to ask if the company works directly with farmers or if they’re just buying whatever excess biomass is around. The quality of the hemp extract you buy can only be as good as the quality of the hemp plant that it comes from. The more the company selling an extract knows and will tell you about its sources, the better chance that the extract is of high quality.
- Extraction method. There are myriad extraction methods for hemp - from CO2 to olive oil - and sometimes it feels like you need a PhD in chemistry to figure out what the best one is. We won’t go into it all here, but this article includes a great digest of all the different extraction methods. Supercritical CO2 (or CO2) extraction and ethanol extraction are the most common. Alta Goods uses oil derived using CO2 extraction. We feel that CO2 extraction makes the cleanest tasting oil for baking while also preserving the beneficial components of the hemp plant that make our bites effective. Avoid products that use hexane or butane extraction methods, as those solvents are toxic and residual solvent can remain in poor quality products.
- When in doubt, go to your local health food store or a well-respected online retailer that has clear and transparent policies on how they vet hemp extracts that they sell.
There is a lot to consider when you’re picking the right extract, but luckily with the right knowledge of what to look for and consider in a brand, it’s easier to make the best decision for you. We’re also here for you if you have questions about picking a hemp extract. Just leave a comment or question on this blog page or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.