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Is Gas Station CBD Oil Legit?

Written By Ellese Symons Jan 24th 2024
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When pilot programs first reintroduced hemp as an agricultural commodity, most retailers were hesitant to sell hemp-derived CBD products. Back then, hemp was still strongly associated with marijuana. There were also highly debated questions of legality, payment processing issues, and an alarming number of reports of product misrepresentation. Although many companies were eager to sell CBD once the decades-long federal ban was lifted, many industry skeptics predicted consumer interest would fade rather quickly. 

Despite that initial skepticism, experts predict that 35% of US adults will have added CBD to their health and wellness routines by 2024 (Julia, 2023). That's an impressive number for a population known for its relatively short attention span. Today, hemp-derived CBD products are sold in many types of stores, including gas stations. Should you buy it there? With so many articles suggesting gas station CBD is sketchy at best, you may want to put that decision on hold until you have the information you need to evaluate product quality and confirm that it's legit. 

Regulatory Oversight and Legal Aspects

When considering the purchase of CBD products from gas stations, it's crucial to understand the regulatory landscape that governs these products. Unlike prescription medications, the oversight of CBD, especially those found in non-specialist retailers like gas stations, is less stringent. The FDA has not fully regulated the CBD market, leading to a disparity in the quality and labeling of products. This lack of federal regulation means that the responsibility often falls on state laws, which can vary significantly.

In some states, gas stations that sell CBD may be subject to state-specific regulations that dictate the permissible levels of THC, the type of CBD products that can be sold (like CBD gummies at gas stations), and the labeling requirements. However, in the absence of comprehensive federal guidelines, the quality and legitimacy of CBD products at gas stations can be inconsistent. Consumers should be aware that while it's legal to sell and purchase CBD at gas stations in many areas, the lack of uniform regulatory oversight can affect the product's quality and safety.

Understanding the Concerns About Gas Station CBD Oil  

Gas stations are accessible and convenient. While there are many advantages to having a place to pick up a bottle of CBD (cannabidiol) oil when you stop to fill your tank or pick up a gallon of milk, it's wise to be skeptical. Take reports of a gas station selling CBD in Virginia, for example. The owners believed they were selling hemp-derived CBD. Local authorities testing some of the many products sold in county convenience stores discovered the business was not selling what they thought they were. Their "hemp flower" was, in fact, marijuana. Although no charges were filed (in this case) because authorities understood the sales were unintentional (Oliver,2018), this story serves as a cautionary tale for merchants interested in adding CBD products to their inventories and their customers.  

Delving Into the Concerns Fueling Questions About Legitimacy  

Hemp-derived or not, federal guidelines classify any cannabis product registering more than 0.3% THC (by weight) as marijuana. The concerns fueling questions about product legitimacy include (but are not limited to) reports of fraudulent manufacturer claims, mislabeling (inaccurate CBD or THC content), and ongoing reports of product contamination (Evans, 2020). Plus, there are still multiple companies profiting from the widespread embrace of CBD by selling overpriced "hemp oil" made from the plant's seeds. Although hemp seed oil is not a legitimate source of CBD (Mead, 2016), many people don't fully understand the differences between hemp seed oil and the hemp oil extracted from the plant. If these suppliers (or companies like them) are also selling merchandise to gas station owners, concerns about "fake" CBD are quite valid. 

But that doesn't mean you can't find high-quality CBD products in gas stations. Some of today's most reputable brands (including CBDistillery®) offer wholesale prices to their retail partners. Those retail partners are selling high-quality, legitimate products in independent pharmacies, retail shops, wellness centers, and convenience stores worldwide. But before indulging an impulse to purchase the first product you find, we suggest remaining skeptical until you know how to differentiate between high-quality CBD made by reputable companies and some of the many inferior products lurking in the shadows. 

Detailed Analysis of Common Contaminants

One of the significant risks associated with purchasing CBD products from gas stations is the potential presence of contaminants. Low-quality CBD products, including some varieties of gas station CBD offerings, may contain harmful substances that can adversely affect health. Common contaminants include heavy metals like lead and mercury, which can accumulate in the body over time and cause serious health issues. Pesticides used in the cultivation of hemp can also remain in CBD products and pose health risks, especially when consumed regularly.

Synthetic additives, often found in cheaper CBD products, can cause allergic reactions or other adverse health effects. Additionally, the mislabeling of THC content is a common issue in less regulated environments like gas stations that sell CBD. This not only poses a risk for consumers seeking THC-free products but can also lead to legal complications in states where THC is still regulated. It's crucial for consumers to be aware of these risks when purchasing CBD products from gas stations.

How Reputable Brands Rise to the Challenge of Assuring Product Quality  

Many concerns about product purity and potency stem from the fact that industrial hemp draws heavy metals, pesticides, and other potentially harmful substances from the soil and groundwater (Placido & Lee, 2022). Plus, growing conditions can affect CBD concentrations, cross-contamination can occur during manufacturing, and some extraction methods leave solvent residue behind that most people wouldn't knowingly ingest, apply to their skin, or allow to absorb into their bloodstreams. 

Reputable manufacturers understand what it takes to ensure purity (and potency) through each phase of production. They uphold rigorous quality control standards and verify the success of those efforts by enlisting the services of an independent lab to confirm the amount of CBD (and THC) in every product matches the amount printed on their labels and that each sample is screened for heavy metals and other potentially harmful contaminants, including mold, mildew, e-coli, and salmonella (Montoya et al., 2020). 

Guidance on Reading Labels and COAs

Understanding how to read labels and Certificates of Analysis (COAs) is essential for anyone considering the purchase of CBD products, especially from places like gas stations where the quality can vary. A COA is a document issued by an accredited laboratory that confirms a product's compliance with specific standards, including its cannabinoid profile and the presence of contaminants.

When examining a COA, check for the product's THC and CBD concentrations to ensure they match what's advertised. This is particularly important for consumers buying CBD at gas stations, as labeling inaccuracies are more common in such retail environments. The COA should also list tests for contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents. A lack of these tests or any indication of harmful substances should be a red flag.

On the product label, look for clear indications of the CBD content in milligrams, the type of CBD used (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate), and any other ingredients. Be wary of vague labeling or the absence of essential information, which is often a sign of lower-quality products. Remember, reputable brands will provide easy access to their COAs, either through their website or via a QR code on the product packaging. This transparency is less common in products like do gas stations sell CBD, so extra vigilance is needed when purchasing from these sources.

Education & Awareness: Factors to Consider Before Finalizing Your Purchase   

No matter where you shop, you'll soon discover that most companies claim their CBD products are third-party batch tested. But you can't trust broad assertions at face value. Product manufacturers know that rigorous testing builds trust and brand loyalty. But it also increases production costs. Of the 75% of brands that specify their products are third-party tested, only 13% test at least 90% of their products (Harrington, 2021). Companies that understand the value of transparency in this relatively unregulated industry make it easy for their customers to confirm the purity and potency of their selection by posting a Certificate of Analysis (COA). 

If you're in a gas station staffed by workers with limited product knowledge, they may not be able to direct you to this essential documentation. If that's the case, look for a QR code on the packaging. You might get lucky. Once you've had a chance to verify CBD concentrations, THC content, and product purity, there are several other factors to consider before finalizing your purchase. 

The Differences Between Product Types  

CBD is the most abundant of more than 113 cannabinoids in hemp. As you're shopping, you'll find products labeled as full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. When you choose full spectrum CBD oil, you're getting all the additional cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients in the same ratios produced in the plant. That profile includes a small amount of THC (Jenkins, 2018). 

With broad spectrum and CBD isolate products, the THC is reduced to non-detectable levels. Broad spectrum CBD oil contains many of the same cannabinoids and terpenes as full spectrum, but some people feel the lack of THC diminishes the "entourage effect" full spectrum products are known for (Wilkins, 2022). Tinctures made with 0% THC CBD isolate give you the health and wellness potential of using cannabidiol on its own. 

Calculating Your Cost Per Milligram  

You can't determine the value of any CBD product by the number of ounces of liquid in a bottle or the number of gummies in a jar. In fact, finding larger-than-average-sized bottles or jars priced well below competitor prices in a gas station is a huge red flag. You've likely found gummies with very little CBD per piece or tinctures diluted with unusually large amounts of carrier oil.   

Instead of being sold by volume or count, CBD prices from reputable brands are determined by their total amount of CBD, a number that should be specified in milligrams (mg). While comparing prices, it's best to divide the amount you'll pay by the total number of milligrams in the bottle. If you see a vague term like "extra strength" without a number, there's probably not much CBD.   

Brand Reputation & Consumer Satisfaction  

Product reviews and customer service comments can tell you a lot about a brand. If you're curious about a CBD product sold in a gas station, consider browsing for brand information on your phone. If you can locate a website, take a few minutes to read product reviews and customer comments. If you can't find this information, consider yourself spared a potentially disappointing purchase. 

When you're directed to a site that seems legit, look for proof of third-party testing (COA). If everything seems on the up and up at this point, consider the terms of the brand's satisfaction guarantee. Since every CBD user has a unique physical chemistry, it could take time for your purchase to have the effect you're hoping for. It's best to stick with brands that offer hassle-free returns for a reasonable amount of time.   

Why People Looking for Legit CBD Choose CBDistillery® Products   

When you're shopping for CBD, quality matters. CBDistillery® is a reputable industry leader with more than 2 million satisfied customers. We were one of the first CBD brands, if not the first, to post our third-party batch test results on our product pages. You'll find links to download those results on our website and QR codes printed on every product label. Our QR codes make it easy to confirm our batch test results when you're shopping locally. But our commitment to providing high-quality CBD, fair prices, and rigorous third-party testing is just part of our story. 

CBDistillery® is a vertically integrated company. That distinction means we oversee every aspect of production, from the development of our CBD, CBG, CBN, CBDA, CBC, and Delta-9 THC products, to packaging and distribution. Our non-GMO hemp crops are naturally farmed, we rely on the cleanest food-safe extraction methods in the industry, and our products are manufactured in an A-rated NSF cGMP-registered facility. Plus, our customers appreciate knowing they can count on our 60-day satisfaction guarantee. 

Based on the results of our internal survey, most people using CBDistillery® CBD products report positive results using our tinctures, topicals, softgels, and gummies for relaxation, better sleep, mild or temporary anxiety, and to alleviate discomfort after physical activity. If you're not quite sure which of our many product options might be best suited to your needs, consider taking our 3-minute CBD Product Quiz or scheduling a personal consultation. Most of our survey respondents report achieving their best results within 7-14 days of consistent use. 

References 

Evans D. (2020) Medical Fraud, Mislabeling, Contamination: All Common in CBD Products. 117(5) Mo Med 394-99. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723146/ 

Harrington A. (2021) 25% of CBD Products Are Not Tested for Purity. Forbes. 

Jenkins B. (2018) Is Full Spectrum CBD Really Better? Terpenes and Testing Magazine.

Julia N. (2023) CBD Statistics: Usage Data & Demographics (2023 Update). CFAH 

Mead A. (2016) The Legal Status of Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoid (CBD) Under US Law. 70(B) Epilepsy Behav 288-91. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28169144/ 

Montoya Z, Conroy M, et al. (2020) Cannabis Contaminants Limit Pharmacological Use of Cannabidiol. 11 Front Pharmacol. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.571832 

Oliver N. (2018) Virginia Sherriff Says Gas Stations Selling CBD Were Unknowingly Hawking "Pure Marijuana." NBC12.com.   

Placido D, Lee C. (2022) Potential of Industrial Hemp for Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals. 11(5) Plants 595. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050595 

Wilkins T. (2022) What Is the Entourage Effect? How This Enhances CBD Effects. Marijuana Takers.