Not every CBD product is created equal out there and when you start delving into the “what’s and wherefore’s” of it all it can be quite confusing. Knowing what questions to ask can assist you in getting the best option for what is ailing you whether it is from straight isolate CBD or a Full Spectrum of what the Hemp Plant can offer you.
Most people think that by smoking or eating Marijuana that it helps with anxieties, and stresses as well as calming the tremors, or cases of epileptic seizures. Although the THC that is ingested can assist in brain abnormalities, what most people are looking for is what relief they can have from the CBD that is present in their “Weed” intake. They want that thing!
The thing they’re talking about is how CBD can have an effect on their systems.
For those needing a refresh, CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many compounds, or cannabinoids, found both in cannabis sativa (what most people know and think of with marijuana and still is federally illegal) and industrial hemp (gray area) that has shown clinical promise in treating anxiety and inflammation. Adding to its therapeutic legitimacy, CBD has been FDA-approved to be used in an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex making it the first of the many cannabis compounds to be federally recognized. Over the last few years, CBD’s become the darling of the wellness world, working its way into our juices, facials, creams, and cocktails, purportedly giving people the benefits of cannabis without the THC high. Which for most imbalances in the body is sufficient.
That notwithstanding, when it comes to cannabis in America, unless you’re buying cannabis connected CBD in a state where weed is recreationally legal or have a medical card in a legalized state, you’re shopping in the unregulated market that is industrial hemp CBD.
These unregulated markets come with some of the obvious risks; the lack of oversight, no uniformed certification of efficacy, false claims aplenty, the potential for dangerous pesticides and contaminants, just to name a few. Cannabis related products, in states where it’s legal, are regulated to a certain point. In most states, when you are talking about CBD in any store, it must contain less than .03% THC. Because the full spectrum of phytocannabinoids are present in the Sativa Marijuana as well as the Industrial Hemp. Any amount of THC above that, most states require a doctor’s prescription. You need to have the confidence that the CBD-dominant product, whether it be tinctures, topicals, vapes, and/or edibles on shelves are accountable to purity and accuracy tests.
When buying industrial hemp CBD, it can be a crap shoot. Because there is no set standard presently across the industry of CBD, manufacturing companies that use hemp CBD operate in a gray market with no oversight. Everything currently on the market for interstate CBD sales is unregulated under the supplement clause of the FDA. And product labels can be wildly different from what’s actually contained in the product. Multiple studies of CBD oil sold online have repeatedly exposed brands that misrepresent purity and CBD dosage levels.
How the hemp is grown can have some concerns. Pesticides, mold, and other contaminants are obviously substances you don’t want to be mainlining into your body, but properly dosed CBD is also crucial and can be a factor in what you need to buy. You need to have confidence that each dose you take has the amount of CBD you are looking for. When you ingest that gummy you want to know if you are truly getting that 25 mg of CBD that it says on the label.
That’s important because your body’s response to CBD dosage is bell-curved. Too little and you won’t feel anything; too much and it’ll dampen the impact with reported side effects like lethargy and diarrhea (not ideal). Given the lack of research into dosage and the variety of ailments CBD is used for, most people have to find their own “Goldilocks Zone”by testing out what dosage milligram amount can have the best effect you are looking to achieve.
CBD in all forms has enormous potential. Doctors are excited, the wellness community is excited, and I personally use it on a regular basis for pain and inflammation. But, like all things marketed as panaceas, be skeptical and do your research before buying. If you’re interested trying CBD, always talk to your doctor first (particularly if you’re on other medication, which can interact with the cannabinoid). Start with a small dose and work your way up
Don’t judge a brand just by its chic, well-designed label. Ask these questions before buying CBD anywhere:
Are they open about third party tests and willing to share the results? When in doubt, ask for multiple lab tests including from the farm and a third-party lab. They’ll list out contaminants, solvents, and the percentage of cannabinoids. Brands should be happy to share their results as they’ve invested in those tests. If they aren’t transparent, be truly suspect. Pay attention to the species of cannabis the CBD is being derived from, since you can’t travel across state lines with cannabis CBD, look for industrial hemp CBD brands that have well-sourced farms and openly share their certification tests.
Where is their CBD from? Hemp point of origin is important for two reasons; If your CBD isn’t from the U.S., it’s definitely not legal and, if they can’t tell you where the farms are, they may not know, and to be safe you need to know where the CBD is sourced from.
Is it full-spectrum? Full-spectrum is the use of the whole hemp plant vs. an isolate which extracts the CBD from the plant. Using marketing terms like “pure” and “all natural,” isolates are sometimes not hemp at all and synthesized in a lab. (That is why you want transparency from the store on how they source their CBD) While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum.
Does the label list the amount of CBD per serving? Products called hemp oil or hemp extract may contain little-to-no actual CBD. Ensure as much as you can that every does you take has the stuff that will benefit you, otherwise you are just taking some MCT or Coconut Oil for nothing. Unless the label tells you how much CBD is in the bottle and how much CBD there is per serving, you can’t be sure it’s legit.