Our Review Methodology

By Marc Lewis

Today, health brands look like lifestyle brands. Slick branding and busy Instagram accounts can mask product flaws. This is especially true in the unregulated hemp market where people are turning to CBD to treat anxiety, pain, and sleep issues. 

We decided to take an unbiased look at CBD brands and use lab tests to tell consumers who to trust. 

For people buying CBD, Remedy Review is the only product review site invested in 3rd party testing to support the wellness of consumers and hold brands accountable. In an unregulated industry, our review process is one consumers can trust.


Developed by Experts

We developed our testing protocol with the input of product developers, laboratory experts, and consumer advocates. We met with hemp lawyers. We spoke to brands and labs about standards they want to see in place industry-wide. Our review process is based on those conversations.

Now, our goal is to test every CBD product that we can. Because we think the industry could use someone randomly testing products to keep people safe.

To Protect Consumers Buying Hemp Online

All CBD oil for sale online looks the same. There is no barrier to entry for new brands. With absent regulations, consumers are left to guess what is good and what is bad.

On top of this, the CBD industry has created a sub-industry of review sites. It’s impossible to know who to believe. Many online reviews rely on brand relationships and user opinion to rate products. We think consumers deserve honest guides to help them shop.

And Reward Quality Brands

Marketing is easier than managing an agricultural supply chain. Making Instagram ads is easier than understanding product testing and inventory management. We’re here to help great brands find customers in need. The Seal is an effort to connect people with brands they can trust.

What it Takes to Earn the Seal

To earn the Remedy Review Seal of Approval a brand must complete a two-step quality review. The first step of this unbiased process takes place at a third-party ISO-certified laboratory that specializes in testing hemp products. There, products are tested using the following criteria. 

Label Accuracy: The sample is analyzed for plant-based cannabinoids by Liquid Chromatography. This profile of potency is measured against the concentration on the label. Most labels list a total number of milligrams of CBD. One can divide the total milligrams of CBD by the milliliters in the bottle to arrive at a promised concentration. We measure this label concentration against the concentration the lab finds. A label within 10% of the test results is deemed accurate.

Terpene Profile: The sample is analyzed by Head-Space Gas Chromatography (HS-GC). Collected data is compared to data collected for certified reference standards at known concentrations. Terpenes are a great measure of quality for full-plant products, but not a measure of pass/fail.

Heavy Metal Test: A heavy metal test is performed in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025. Lab tests look for the presence of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.

Pesticide Test: Pesticide analysis is conducted using Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometric detection (LC/MS/MS). Lab method used for sample prep is based on the European method for pesticide analysis (EN 15662). Testing limits for ingestion are established by the State of California: CCR, Title 16, Division 42, Chapter 5, Section 5313.

Residual Solvents Test: Each sample is analyzed for volatile organic compounds, or residual solvents, using Head-Space Gas Chromatography (HS-GC). Collected data is compared with data that was gathered for certified reference standards at known concentrations.

Microbiological Contaminants Test: Test method is performed in accordance with requirements of ISO/IEC 17025. This test is for Aerobic Bacteria, Coliform Bacteria, Bile Tolerant Gram Negative Bacteria, Yeast and Mold.

Pathogenic Bacterial Contaminants Test: Test method is performed in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025. This test is for E. coli and Salmonella.

Mycotoxin Testing: Test method is performed in accordance with ISO/IER 17025. This test is for Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin.


What Else Makes a Brand Great?

Once a product is tested for quality, we evaluate the brand on 12 other factors. These more subjective components of the buying experience help distinguish brands intent on building a great customer experience from companies that simply sell safe hemp. We encourage consumers to use these factors to decide what companies match their values and purchasing tastes.

Value ($/mg): To help people understand the right amount to pay for good CBD in a space where prices vary, we present cost in a way that allows for easy comparison. If one brand costs more per milligram of CBD than another, look at the terpene profile. That more expensive brand may be sourcing higher quality hemp.

Strength (mg/ml): Labels are confusing. We want to help people identify normal, medium, and strong products. Note: this is a measure of comparison, not a claim about the efficacy of a product. ⚡

Source (USA/Other): We encourage people to buy American hemp. But you might choose a brand that you like who has more flavor or delivery options and sources European hemp. 🇺🇸

Flavor: Flavor is most important to some people. Other people consider hemp medicine and are used to medicines tasting bad. We give notes on flavor profiles and understand there’s differing opinions on what tastes good and bad, even in our office. 👅 🤢

Transparency: All brands must clearly post test results and be open and transparent about extraction methods. In our experience, brands that are slow to produce test results are quick to say depth of testing is unnecessary. 

Corporate Citizenship: Notes on customer service, online ordering process, and shipping matter in e-commerce. We also highlight brands who make products more accessible to those in need or support our military with generous discounts.

Brand Experience: Packaging, presence, and experience are important factors in consumer goods. You want to give your money to a brand who cares about the entire process.

Full-spectrum & THC-Free Options: We believe in full-spectrum products but understand they may not be right for everyone. Where we can, we will point out brands that promote “whole plant” therapy.

Product Diversity: We like specialists, or brands that have mastered one or two products and control the entire supply chain. But we also understand some shoppers want to find everything in one place when they buy CBD online. We make distinctions between quality brands making a variety of products and brands white-labeling a variety of products with little care for hemp origins.

See All Approved Brands

Our Approach to Consumer Protection

We have family members who found relief in cannabis derivatives, relief that allowed them to take less medicines, worry less, or live more. We have spoken to parents, veterans, athletes, and folks across the country who believe CBD improved their lives. We also know farmers need a new cash crop to make each year a little easier. 

Hemp represents a chance to bring people together—people who want new jobs, improved health, and stronger family farms.

It’s with this hope and grand potential that we go forward.

Our goal is to do a small part to support this growing industry by bringing a measured voice to the space. We aim to be a resource people can trust. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use an ISO-certified lab?

In most countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard a lab must achieve to be considered technically sound. This relates to the equipment and methodology used in testing.

Is there an industry-wide testing standard?

No. This is one of the issues in the hemp space. Some brands run each batch through a wide range of tests while others test a few things sporadically—and everything in between. We tried to partner with labs who believe in a stringent, more detailed approach to product testing.

What about the Hemp Authority Seal?

The Hemp Authority Seal is a great resource for consumers who are interested in farming and manufacturing standards. Our goal is to be a little different. We want to dive deep into the customer journey a brand offers prospective buyers, shop as if we were online looking for products, and translate what we learn in a simple way so consumers can save time and money.

What qualifies Remedy Review to say what is good and bad?

It’s a great question. The truth is we study the natural health space each day and still have a ton to learn. That’s why we lean heavily on experts to help us shape our standards.

We regularly meet with health professionals, lawyers, lab operators, brand owners, and consumers to learn what makes a great CBD brand and an effective CBD product.

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