As the growing popularity of CBD as a health and wellness product becomes more evident these days, there is also a great increase in interest in the hemp flower itself and its properties. With the rapid and continuous increase in the industry and market, consumers are now faced with multiple choices with regards to the product and the retailer.
Here are some things you should look for in a reputable hemp flower vendor.
Does the vendor sell a quality product? Quality can mean many things.
The hemp flower that they grow or sell should first and foremost come from quality genetics, that is, genetics that is specifically bred for high CBD, low THC cannabis. The COAs (Certificates of Analysis) should affirm this but generally, they should be traceable to one of the few dozen strains that are currently being cultivated as hemp. You can find our COAs here.
There is a big contrast between industrial hemp and CBD hemp. Industrial hemp is cultivated for the flower’s seed and fiber (for industrial purposes), while CBD hemp is cultivated for dietary and pharmaceutical supplement with the aims of consumption through smoking, vaping, edibles, and teas. The ideal conditions for higher quality CBD hemp flower includes:
- Smaller farms where each plant can be inspected every day
- Growing operations under about 5 acres or in greenhouses
- Organic growing practices where the use of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers are avoided.
This of great importance in the quality of the CBD flower. Usually, CBD hemp flower is harvested by hand to ensure the flower heads are kept clean and intact. If hemp is dried quickly, cleanly and with minimal damage or loss of the product it maximises the quality of food, medicine or fibre products from the harvest.
In contrast, hemp that is harvested too wet, or dried too slowly, or with inadequate ventilation, or gets dirty or contaminated by fungi or bacteria during harvest and drying may become spoiled, unsaleable and totally unsuitable for food or medical processing.
Additionally, proper curing times (30 days or more) are necessary to reveal all of the quality and integrity of any premium grade flower and ensure that all of the smell, flavor, and potency are properly preserved and developed.
A hand-trimmed flower will always be the standard but some machine trim is passable if in a pinch.
Copies of third-party lab tests should be available to confirm that the product is actually the CBD-rich hemp strain that it claims to be. This gives certitude that the purchased product is hemp and not marijuana. While these labs are prone to errors, they do give some credibility to the vendor that you are buying from.
HOW IS THE PRODUCT PACKAGED AND SHIPPED?
In any situation where you are ordering online, you want to guarantee that your package arrives in a safe and discreet manner which, in this case, is especially important with hemp flower. In the perfect packaging scenario, all hemp flower is double bagged and heat sealed then shipped via USPS priority mail in a box, not envelope, to protect the CBD flower and preferably accompanied by their individual COA’s along with a standard notice to law enforcement to avoid any misunderstanding with the nature of the product. A shipping confirmation with a tracking number is ideal so that all orders can be tracked so both you and the vendor should know where the package is at all times.
Customer service is the deal breaker. In addition to the aforementioned above, the vendor must
- be forbearing when faced with the concerns of the customer,
- be sharp and equipped to handle inevitable mistakes,
- always put the customer first and aim to satisfy their needs and requests.
- overall, aim to provide an uncomplicated, outstanding experience to the customer, whether online or physically in the store.