While the growing use of plant-based wellness and legalized hemp agriculture is good for Americans, a largely unregulated hemp and CBD industry suggests people using these amazing plants should seek out brands committed to quality and purity.
In 2018, the federal government made agricultural hemp production legal as part of the U.S. farm bill and removed hemp and hemp products from the list of Schedule I drugs. The decision prompted celebration among many groups—including farmers and environmentalists—who had long seen the potential of hemp as a sustainable crop with myriad industrial uses, from construction and medicine to food and textiles.
But hemp’s ability to straddle numerous sectors has resulted in a lack of regulation—what some refer to as ‘the Wild West’ of agriculture. What’s more, CBD products don’t fall into any traditional consumer category, meaning testing for quality and purity falls to the companies themselves. Analyses of the accuracy of CBD product labeling often yield less-than-heartening findings. One large study revealed that only about 30% of CBD products contained the amount of CBD specified on their packaging.
“As a new and unregulated industry, we’re seeing products lacking what they claim to contain,” says Jeff Tacy, co-owner of Franny’s Farmacy. “We’re also seeing lots of misleading packaging, ingredients and marketing.”
How can hemp and CBD buyers trust the quality and labeling of the products they purchase in an industry with no regulation? For now, responsibility for choosing high-quality products falls on consumers. That means researching companies and brands, learning about the plants and ingredients they use, then buying only from reputable companies that offer transparency and quality throughout the production process.
Quality Is a Choice
As founders of one of the first legal commercial hemp farms in North Carolina, Franny’s Farmacy founders Franny and Jeff Tacy have been keeping a close eye on the industry’s progress, both positive and negative, as it unfolds.
“As part of our product development process, we spent a good bit of time researching the currently offered products and their ingredients,” Jeff says. “Simply put, there are a ton of scams happening in this industry, and unfortunately, many consumers are being taken advantage of.”
For Franny and Jeff, putting customers first was never up for debate. Committed to supporting their community and the health of their friends, family and customers, Franny and Jeff founded their farm in 2012 with the purpose of creating a sustainable place where people could celebrate a connection with nature and each other.
“I have a masters in Special Education, and I taught in the public school system for six years,” Franny says. “A big motivation behind the farm was to fulfill my dream of educating children, parents and families about the benefits of CBD.” Franny loves CBD because it helps children, the elderly and others in need without throwing them off balance (literally and figuratively) so they can function, drive and thrive.
“We decided to focus on quality and purity because we are committed to our customers,” Jeff says. With so much doubt surrounding hemp and CBD products, he expects that commitment to be good for business, too. “We believe that this philosophy will ultimately earn long-term trust and loyalty, and give us an edge in the market.”
How Do You Know You’re Buying a Quality Hemp or CBD Product?
Franny’s Farmacy’s advice to anyone looking at adding CBD to their lifestyle is to do research and know the source of the products they purchase. If a CBD company isn’t transparent about its sourcing, that may be a red flag.
Franny’s Farmacy prides their hemp genetics and growing techniques on collaborations with leading researchers, breeders, soil scientist and agronomist from NC State University. Franny’s Farm and the growers for Franny’s Farmacy are fully transparent, educational, committed to research and growing to highest standards.
From the farms, whole hemp plants, leaves and flowers are harvested, dried, cured and processed according to the specifications of over 50 branded products in the Franny’s Farmacy line. In the case of Franny’s CBD products, plants are processed locally, using whole plant extracts.
“A good majority of CBD products on the market right now are made with CBD isolate derived from untraceable sources,” Jeff says. “The vast majority of our products are manufactured with full spectrum crude oil and distillate. This is one of those rare cases where more is better. Crude and distillate have a whole lot more of the good stuff than any isolate, regardless of source.”
That “good stuff” is made even better by the fact that it’s derived from and paired with mostly organic ingredients. And Franny’s products never contain fillers, artificial preservatives or common commercial stabilizers.
At Franny’s Farmacy, ultimate quality control means closely monitoring each step of production, from seed to sale, Jeff says. “Our system of vertical integration keeps every step of the process in-house and ensures that all of our products meet the quality standards we’ve set forth.”
While we can likely expect industrial regulations in the future, in the meantime Franny and Jeff urge customers to do their homework on hemp and CBD products. And always feel free to reach out to Franny’s Farmacy with your questions or concerns. “We want our customers to be able to rely on us so that they don’t have to be experts,” Jeff says. “That’s our job.”