The First Quality-Minded Questions to Ask Your CBD Ingredient Supplier

There is a lot of confusion about how to evaluate the ‘best’ CBD ingredients that will be consumed as finished products. But the types of questions to qualify a CBD ingredient for your consumer product starts out as basic, simple questions.

The first question may be obvious – but it is important to ask it first, because it will eliminate many offers without wasting more time:

Where was the plant material grown?”

Let us say the answer is “Colorado.” That is fine – but we want to drill down more:

Do you know the farmer?”

Would we be able to talk to the farmer?”

If you cannot talk to the farmer – then we want to know about what other information we can get about where and how the material was grown. If the farmer is not known, or your material is combined from multiple farms, then a follow-up question might be this one:

What kind of information can you provide about where and how the material was grown?”

At this point, if you are getting a blank stare or the runaround, then you might as well assume your supplier does not really know where the material was grown, aside from the state in the U.S.

The next question relates to how the material was processed after harvest. Typically, the harvest is cured/dried on the farm, or a facility near the farm. Then it is transported to a processing facility where is milled and extracted. (Sometimes, drying, milling and extraction occur at the same facility).

Where was the material processed?”

How was the material processed?”

This line of questioning shows how much (or how little) your supplier knows about how it was processed.

Sure, the material might be called “full-spectrum,” and they can offer a lab test report, also known as a “lab COA.” But what solvents are used? Were Good Manufacturing Practices employed? Which level of GMP’s? (Note: There is food GMPs and supplement GMPs, which are very different from each other). Does the ingredient contain non-cannabis ingredients?

There are a lot of questions you can drill down on, but to start with the basics:

Where is the processing facility? What kind of GMPs do they meet?”

Once we get through the main GMP related questions, we can address the primary documentation requirements for the product – the next set of quality-minded questions.

Be sure to see my follow-up entry where these questions will be answered.

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Blake Ebersole

Blake Ebersole is President and Founder of NaturPro Scientific LLC, a scientific consulting firm offering decades of experience in R&D, product design and development, sourcing, and quality assurance of natural products for the dietary supplement, food and beverage, and related natural products industries, such as cannabis and hemp. Blake supports product development from concept to shelf. As one of the few consultants with strong background in both the science and the business of natural products, Blake has helped numerous start-ups, growth-stage and multinational firms in the natural products space achieve their goals. As a subject matter expert in the chemistry and quality of natural products, Blake participates on a number of standards-setting technical committees and expert panels, including ASTM International, AOAC International, American Herbal Products Association and the U.S. Hemp Authority. Blake loves to collaborate and help his clients create the best natural products, foods, and supplements possible. Visit the NaturPro website at for more information.

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