The owners of Aspen Valley Hemp Company and Pure CBD Exchange have been active in the Hemp-Derived CBD industry since its earliest days in 2015, focusing on high quality CBD oil products, CBD flower, and Hemp cigarettes. As the CBD industry is beginning to mature, they’ve seen a flood of companies jumping into the space looking to attain success from the temporary allure of large profits and unstoppable growth. Unfortunately, these businesses also seek to capitalize on a “Wild West” atmosphere, resulting in a compromise of consumer safety and product quality.
Exploiting the lack of sufficient regulation has become prevalent in the CBD industry and this dangerous, get-rich-quick mentality has begun to give rise to consequences and litigation. Misguided consumers, well-intentioned farmers, and small shop owners are more frequently falling victim to the shady practices of illegitimate CBD companies. In this ever-changing industry, Aspen Valley is striving to educate consumers, while prioritizing quality and safety.
Lack of Compliance
Many companies, whether knowingly or unknowingly, are pushing products into the marketplace that are either ineffective or genuinely unsafe. The low-cost and ease of creating products with CBD Isolate leaves consumers ingesting products that do not work as well as Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil (see “entourage effect”). What’s worse, some companies will flat-out lie about the CBD concentrations in their products. The lack of required third-party testing has led to the discovery that CBD products often contain significantly less cannabinoids than advertised. Sadly, these consumers move on from their initial experiences viewing CBD as a useless fad, despite research that shows otherwise.
Although not required by law, Aspen Valley Hemp Company puts their products through rigorous third-party testing in order to verify the legitimacy of their claims. Aspen Valley only uses CBD Oil from laboratories that are registered with the FDA, GMP compliant, ISO certified, and Certified USDA Organic.
In the case of CBD Flower, the market can be even less sophisticated. Farmers who, in the hopes of chasing profit, have scaled up production before being fully prepared, sacrificing quality (sometimes to a hazardous extent). Negligent farmers or those who have expanded operations beyond their means, have been known to implement reckless harvesting and drying techniques to cut costs. Further, Hemp farmers are not subject to sufficient quality control standards, which allows some to forgo implementing proper preventative treatments for mold and other contaminants commonly found in outdoor crops. These potentially harmful contaminants run rampant especially when inclement weather strikes outdoor farms, as it did most recently in Oregon’s 2019 harvest.
Unless meticulously cared for, CBD flower can contain high levels of mold, powdery mildew, and heavy metals. Because no requirement to test Hemp for such contaminants exists, CBD flower producers willfully sell products to consumers before testing for harmful bacteria and fungi. In the most extreme of cases, Aspen Valley has even come across samples containing contaminants like Black Mold, mycotoxins, and bacteria from mammalian urine. These farms are still selling products to the public today.
The Solution: Responsible Sourcing.
The bright side is that product safety can be achieved if it is a main point of focus. Consumers must only purchase products from reliable brands whose products go through testing at legitimate laboratories.
The Aspen Valley process looks like this:
- CBD flower samples are sent off to certified, independent third-party labs to test for potency, microbial contaminants, and heavy metals. After multiple samples and inspections, flower is then transported to climate controlled facilities where it is continually monitored for moisture and contamination.
- CBD Oil products are made in an FDA-compliant lab that adheres to the same food manufacturing standards as major corporations. These products are tested with HPLC and other reliable methods to ensure that they’re market-ready, then sent to third parties to verify.
- Then and only then, reliable products are introduced into the marketplace for purchase.
The Future of Hemp
“At Aspen Valley, we believe that as the industry evolves, consumers will become more educated and regulations will become more stringent. Although there is money to be made for reckless companies right now, those that survive the current boom need to have a long-term mentality. Our goal is to create trust by focusing on products that work, are safe, and drive quality standards forward, not just keeping up with the current status quo.”
– Shawn Short, COO, Aspen Valley Hemp Company