Product Standards Policy
Ashford International LLC™ & Ashford Wellness ™ Standards Policy
Ashford International LLC is dedicated to advancing education, scientific research, quality standards, and the development of a personalized approach to the use of health and wellness products.
To assist consumers and healthcare providers in identifying high-quality health and wellness products, Ashford International LLC has launched an educational and ecommerce platform referred to as Ashford Wellness.
To qualify to be listed on the Ashford Wellness platform, all products must pass a rigorous, pre-defined set of quality standard tests. The product evaluation process is undertaken and facilitated by Ashford International LLC. The evaluation process is based on the following components:
- Highly qualified, certified, independent 3rd party laboratory testing
- Rigorous and comprehensive standard evaluation criteria
- Quantitative and qualitative analysis of results
Quality Criteria / Standards: We see no reason why consumers should accept low-quality ingredients or unnecessarily expose themselves to avoidable contaminants. We adopt the most meaningful and strict standards for our evaluation process, based on the latest international research and recommendations. As research and quality standards are updated, this policy may be updated as well.
Types of Products Tested: When requested by a brand, Ashford International evaluates that brand’s consumer products relating to health and, wellness, including cannabis and hemp-derived products.
The Ashford Wellness CLEAN CBD™ AWARD Product Evaluation Process for Hemp Derived Products (less than 0.3%THC)
The Three Pillars to Quality Testing: Ashford International has what we believe is the highest testing standards of any third-party group independently evaluating the quality of hemp-derived health and wellness products. We use three main pillars to evaluate quality:
- Identity: Does the product evaluated meet recognized standards of identity and transparent labeling?
- Potency (quantity): Does the product evaluated contain the amount of cannabinoids claimed on the label?
- Purity: Is the product tested free of unsafe levels of specified contaminants?
Testing Process: Brands seeking to be evaluated and included on the Ashford Wellness platform undergo the following testing process for each of their products.
1. Brands request their products be independently evaluated by Ashford International. A myriad of hemp-derived products will be considered, however infused devices, including but not limited to pillowcases, yoga mats and toothbrushes are not eligible for evaluation.
2. Brands pay a product evaluation fee.
3. Ashford sources a product sample from an online or public retailer (mimicking the consumer shopping experience).
4. Ashford receives the product sample and ships the product sample to a qualified, certified, independent 3rd party laboratory for testing.
5. The Ashford Wellness Scientific Advisory team reviews the Certificate of Analysis from the independent 3rd party laboratory, the brand’s publicly available Certificate of Analysis, and the label on the packaging to ensure quality and consistency standards including the following:
a. A product sample must pass the current Colorado requirements for heavy metals and trace elements including the following:
b. A product sample must pass the current Colorado requirements for pesticides including the following:
c. A product sample must pass the current Colorado hemp testing
requirements for microbial contaminants:
- Shiga Toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC)
- Salmonella spp.
- Total Yeast and Mold
- Total Aerobic Bacteria
d. A product sample must pass additional microbial testing including:
• Listeria monocytogenes
• Bile Tolerant Gram-Negative Bacteria
e. A product sample must pass the current Colorado requirements for
residual solvents including:
f. A product sample must contain less than 5000 ppm of ethanol, in alignment with Class 3 Residual Solvent USP guidelines and California hemp requirements.
i. Exceptions: No alcohol action limits will be applied to topical products that list ethanol and/or alcohol as an ingredient on the label.
g. A product sample must pass the Colorado hemp requirements for
• Aflatoxin B1
• Total Aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2)
• Ochratoxin A
h. Measured cannabinoid content must be within a range of the amount stated on the label:
i. For major cannabinoids listed on the label, the cannabinoid content
must be between 10% under and 20% over the stated label claim.
ii. All products classified as “hemp-derived” must be under 0.3% THC. iii. Values <0.5 will be rounded down and values>/= 0.5 will be rounded up.
i. Products containing synthetic cannabinoids, including but not limited to, Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, THC O-Acetate, are not eligible to be included on the Ashford Wellness platform.
j. A product sample undergoes testing for terpenes. There are currently no widely accepted criteria for the amount or type of terpenes and as such, Ashford International does not use terpene profiles in its quality analysis. However, each product is tested for terpenes and the report is listed in the Certificate of Analysis to promote transparency for consumers.
6. The Ashford International Scientific Advisory Board reviews all available data and determines if the product sample meets stated requirements.
7. The results of the evaluation process and the Certificate of Analysis from the independent 3rd party are shared with the brand.
8. Passing products may be listed on the Ashford Wellness platform upon mutual agreement of the brand and Ashford International.
9. The independent Certificate of Analysis is posted on the Ashford Wellness platform as part of the product description page.
Ashford only tests one product and one product sample and as such, these results cannot and should not be used to draw definitive conclusions regarding the quality or the contents of all marketed products.
The Ashford Product Renewal Process
To ensure consistency and quality, products may be randomly re-evaluated at any time, but at minimum are re-evaluated every 12 months.
The Ashford Product Removal Process
Products may be immediately removed from the Ashford Wellness platform and stripped of their Ashford Wellness CLEAN CBD Award if the Ashford International Scientific Advisory Board feels they no longer meet the specified quality standards, including, but not limited to any of the following reasons. Product re-evaluation and re-certification may occur via the Ashford Product Evaluation process:
- The product is reformulated.
- The manufacturing processes have been changed in a way that would cause any of the approval requirements to be questioned.
- The product has undergone repackaging/rebranding that directly impacts the ingredient or cannabinoid content descriptions.
- The product manufacturer has changed.
- The product has a health-related product recall.
- Ashford Wellness receives customer feedback related to serious health-related adverse effects directly caused by the product.
- Any governing body requires the production of the product to be halted or discontinued.
- The manufacturer/brand discontinues regular production of the product.
- Any other change to the product that may cause the quality of the product to come into question.
If any of these occur, the brand agrees to notify Ashford International
immediately via firstname.lastname@example.org.
OWNERSHIP, AFFILIATIONS, AND SOURCES OF REVENUE:
Ashford International LLC is a privately held company based in Puerto Rico. Revenues are derived from product evaluation fees associated with the independent product evaluations as well as affiliate links. Only products passing product review criteria are listed on the Ashford Wellness platform. The Ashford Wellness site contains links where consumers may easily purchase the products directly from the brand/manufacturer. Revenues are earned from affiliate links when consumers use the Ashford Wellness site to link to the brand/manufacturer.
We take every commercially reasonable step to ensure our process and analyses are accurate and high-quality. That being said, we cannot and do not guarantee the results of any tests, evaluations or analyses we conduct or order. The information we display on our website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered health advice.
Ashford International welcomes input from any interested party (e.g., consumer groups, retailers, healthcare professionals, academic and commercial researchers, manufacturers, government agencies, trade groups, etc.) in its testing policies and procedures. Comments and questions should be submitted electronically to email@example.com.