Until recently, most people had never heard of cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Today, there’s substantial demand for it. CBD products have moved into pharmacies and mainstream retailers and millions of people are using it as a health supplement. But what is it? Where does it come from? And is it safe?
CBD is a cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp — two varieties of the cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. Proponents of CBD oil claim that it can treat a wide variety of health issues, ranging from everyday ailments to chronic medical conditions.
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It has been shown to have some benefit for two rare and severe seizure disorders. While CBD is being studied as a potential treatment for a wide range of conditions, including: Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety, research supporting the drug’s benefits is still limited. Non-FDA-approved CBD is sold online, in dispensaries, in pharmacies, and smoke shops in an array of forms such as: oral or topical oils, caps, tabs, SL sprays, edibles, creams, and more. Legal status for these products depends on the state.
CBD use carries some risks. Though it’s often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects such as: dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you’re taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products. A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than labeled. In addition, THC was found in 18 products.
Unfortunately, there is little oversight for manufacturing hemp-derived CBD products, which can lead to confusion and deception. Many hemp-derived products are mislabeled as to CBD and THC content. Compounding the
issue, poorly processed CBD oil may be contaminated with dangerous solvent and pesticide residues, thinning agents, corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and other toxins.
If you plan to use products containing CBD, talk to your doctor first. Also, be sure to read the ingredients carefully before purchasing a CBD oil product, and look for evidence of laboratory tests and verification of CBD concentrations when buying a CBD remedy or supplement.
If you plan on utilizing CBD oil, be sure to follow these three guidelines before you buy:
Always talk to your doctor. You may also want ask for advice from an advocacy organization to find out which brand is right for you.
ASK TO SEE THIRD-PARTY LAB RESULTS
Sellers should be willing to share test results for potency, pesticides, residual solvents, and mycotoxins.
READ LABELS CAREFULLY
Dosage listed on the bottle should be the actual active CBD, not the dosage of CBD hemp oil.