The federal government’s 2018 legalization of hemp and its derivatives opened the floodgates for CBD products made from the low THC plant to emerge onto the market. New brands are popping up every day, and business is booming. While this is excellent news for consumers looking to support their wellness naturally, farmers looking for new crops to supplement their income, and the best CBD gummies companies looking to profit while helping people, there is a dark side to the celebration.
Lack of CBD Regulation
With the passage of the Farm Bill, the FDA took CBD off its list of controlled substances, transferring responsibility to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics division. The FD&C then issued a statement asserting that CBD is not approved for food, supplements, or therapeutic treatments. Since the FDA does not recognize CBD as a drug, and the FD&C does not recognize CBD as a food or supplement, the only agency left to impose any sort of oversight is the Department of Agriculture.
The USDA does closely monitor and regulate the farming practices of hemp, but since it is not intended for human consumption (save for hemp oil, which is different from CBD oil), it is largely not regulated as a crop that people ingest.
This total lack of oversight or regulation leads to disreputable CBD companies skirting safe and ethical business practices, of which consumers are increasingly aware. The FDA has issued warnings about products on the market that are mislabeled in a variety of ways, including CBD content, THC content, and the presence of contaminants, heavy metals, and dangerous pathogens. Consumers have responded by either avoiding CBD products or being more diligent about verifying their products are in fact safe.
If Only There Was Trust
We seem to be at a crossroads of sorts at this point. People everywhere are singing the praises of the way CBD has changed their lives for the better, and even highly recognized medical professionals like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, are acknowledging that there is a legitimate medicine to be found in CBD products. Yet, the agencies that are supposed to ensure our safety refuse to help us determine which products are legitimate, and which are outright dangerous. This may not matter anyway, however, as more and more people are finding distrust in government agencies on a daily basis.
How, then, can the CBD market keep expanding with consumer unease on the rise? And how can consumers feel safe taking the products they invest in? The answer may be in blockchain technology.
How Blockchain Solves the CBD Regulation Problem
Blockchain’s three foundational tenets are decentralization, transparency, and immutability. Blockchain is too complicated for a detailed understanding in this article, but the basic concept is this: Instead of data sets being stored on a centralized server, they are stored on a peer-to-peer network of servers.
When data is changed on the network, it has to be verified at every single point of storage, and all previous data is added to a permanent chain. Deleting or tampering with data is nearly impossible, as any changes in one system must take place in every system in order to be valid. So long as these networks are public, everything can be seen by anyone at any time.
Blockchain helps the best CBD gummies brands by providing a platform that can track every single point in the process of creating safe, high-quality CBD products. Before hemp is planted, soil test results, seed origin, and GPS coordinates of the land are entered into the blockchain. Software that automatically tracks weather, irrigation, and general climate conditions, shares that information into the blockchain as well. The details of harvesting and the extraction process are recorded before the final product goes to a third-party lab to be tested for safety, purity, and potency.
Everything gets tracked and stored on a network of thousands to millions of servers, never to be falsified, deleted, or lost. When consumers want to confirm anything about the products they purchase, they need only search the blockchain to find their answers. The source can be trusted, and consumers can be confident about their choices.
The Future Of the CBD Market
The future of the CBD market does not lie in the hottest new products. CBD lattes may be in vogue, but the stabilization of the market requires a level of consumer confidence that we currently are not seeing. The issue lies in the lack of oversight by a trusted source. But what if you didn’t need oversight by one trusted source, instead relying on massive amounts of data verification from thousands or millions of sources all at once, to ensure honesty and safety?
Developers are working on the technology to make this happen in the very near future. Brace yourselves. Once CBD is mainstream on the blockchain, another green wave is sure to reach all the consumers who were holding out for a product they could trust.