The hemp industry is still new, and, unfortunately, still somewhat controversial because of legalization that only took place in 2018. A combination of fast-changing laws, rapidly growing demand and a lack of FDA approval has led to an industry in which bad actors have been able to make their mark, selling hemp products made with low-quality ingredients, poorly extracted hemp extracts, insufficient potency levels or outright counterfeit practices. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to find a hemp brand that is GMP-certified.
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices
GMP is short for Good Manufacturing Practices, an international set of standards, regulations and guidelines for how certain types of products, including foods, beverages, dietary supplements and cosmetics may be produced. They aim to ensure that each batch of a product made in a facility maintains a specific level of quality and safety for the sake of consumers, and that these standards are maintained consistently from batch to batch. Without them, consumers would not have the ability to verify that a manufacturer is making products with their best interests in mind.
GMP is overseen by different types of governing bodies depending on the country in which the facility is located. In the United States, it’s overseen by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). In most countries, GMP is legislated for all producers of specific types of goods.
For manufacturers in the United States, GMP requires that they:
- Maintain a clean and hygienic facility
- Control the environment to prevent cross-contamination of adulterants and allergens that could cause the consumer harm
- Must clearly define all steps of the manufacturing process to be verified by GMP overseers
- Must have any changes made to the manufacturing process validated
- Must write instructions and procedures using clear language according to determined documentation standards
- Must train employees to follow said instructions and procedures
- Must produce records to ensure that all instructions and procedures were followed
- Must provide records that allow the history of each batch of a product to be traced
- Must ensure that distribution of products does not interfere with its quality
- Must develop a system that allows a specific batch of product to be recalled if necessary
- Must allow complaints about a product to be investigated, with the possibility of the investigation leading to a recall
Regulations that Benefit Consumers and Businesses Alike
The hemp market has yet to be approved by the FDA, and this has allowed for an environment in which questionable brands are able to release low-quality, ineffective and even fake products onto the market. This directly hurts brands like Gas Canna, who seek to legitimize the industry and sell honest products to consumers. But, by maintaining Good Manufacturing Practices, companies are able to give customers the assurance they need that each product is made in order to be safe and high in quality. Much like third-party-testing, GMP certification means that customers don’t have to just take a brand’s word for it. This gives consumers security when purchasing hemp products, and it gives companies the ability to prove their legitimacy to the public.
Finding a Brand That’s GMP-Certified
Not every hemp manufacturer in the United States is GMP-certified, as there are still shady brands out there trying to capitalize off of the hype behind the hemp market while producing products that are either low in quality or downright unsafe. The good news is that a company that is certified will be able to present their certification to consumers. Certification comes with an identification number so that the consumer may cross-reference if they so choose.
At the end of the day, we urge all hemp enthusiasts to only purchase from GMP-certified brands. Between that and third-party lab reports, it’s the only true way to have verification that the products sold by a company are able to meet your needs.