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NSF Brings Scientific Testing, Auditing and Certification to the Hemp and CBD Industry


NSF International has announced it is providing a wide variety of independent testing, verification, auditing and certification services to manufacturers of consumer products containing hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). NSF subsidiary Quality Assurance International, Inc. (QAI), a USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)-accredited organic certifier, began offering organic certification of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products last month. Hemp and hemp-derived CBD are widely available in the United States in products ranging from dietary supplements, beverages and edibles to oils, creams and sprays.

“These products can be manufactured and marketed by small start-ups with little expertise in quality management, good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and labeling requirements, which creates potential risk and confusion for consumers,” said Lori Bestervelt, PhD, executive vice president and chief technical officer at NSF International. “Even established brands may have limited experience sourcing, authenticating, producing and packaging products containing hemp or hemp-derived CBD.”

As is true for all ingredients, rigorous standards, validated tests and third-party audits are needed to protect consumers purchasing food, dietary supplements and personal care products containing hemp or hemp-derived CBD. Without rigorous requirements and testing, hemp and hemp-derived CBD products may contain:

  • Pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants
  • E. coli, Salmonella and other microbes
  • Undeclared ingredients
  • Quantities of ingredients that conflict with labeled amounts
  • THC at more than 0.35 by dry weight

“As a mission-driven organization focused on protecting and improving human health, NSF International is committed to providing services that help manufacturers produce, process and package products made with hemp or hemp-derived CBD consistent with GMPs appropriate quality-control procedures and applicable labeling requirements,” Bestervelt said.

Beginning in October 2019, NSF International plans to offer the following services for products containing hemp or hemp-derived CBD:

  • Certification to the American National Standard for Dietary Supplements: NSF/ANSI 173
  • Toxicologic evaluation
  • Supplier assurance audits
  • Verification of food safety programs involving hemp and hemp-derived CBD
  • Evaluation and/or certification of food equipment used for hemp and hemp-derived CBD
  • ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 audits for facilities

For more information, visit www.nsf.org or www.qai-inc.com.