What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 chemical compounds from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is collected from marijuana or hemp and it is known for its perceived benefits in chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia. CBD does not trigger patients to feel high, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC). While THC induces toxicating symptoms, the impact of CBD on the brain and body is not the same.
Many consumers have definitely been involved in the rapid rise in CBD products. In a study led by the University of California, San Diego, there has been a 100% annual increase in google searches for “CBD” since 2017.
If you intend to use CBD, then the distinction between CBD derived from marijuana and hemp-based CBD is necessary to consider. First of all, under U.S. regulation, hemp-based CBD products comprising no more than 0.3% THC are federally legal. Note that hemp contains THC trace amounts but is cultivated for multiple applications. Hemp may be used for the production of paper, fabric, food, and beverage products.
The FDA approval of Epidiolex, a CBD pharmaceutical-grade product, has been one of the biggest victories to CBD. This drug is used to treat seizures in people who suffer from two unusual, serious cases of epilepsy. For the present time, there is no conclusive empirical data for certain CBD safety arguments.
However, here are a few common reasons people utilize CBD:
- Chronic pain — CBD ‘s possible advantages of treating chronic pain are gradually being studied. 27 countries (including Canada and the UK — but not the US) have produced Sativex, a cannabis pain reliever containing THC and CBD . In addition, studies tend to focus on evaluating CBD’s effectiveness in nerve pain and irritation.
- Anxiety and Depression – Continued research implies that CBD can potentially help those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Although further research is needed, frequent CBD users hope that it can help diminish their emotional responses and help relieve symptoms of depression.
- Sleep issues — Research shows that CBD will help users fall asleep quicker, wake up less frequently, and get healthier rest at night. While more work is required to progress, anyone needing relief for sleep may find assistance in CBD products.
What To Look For
The optimal CBD should not be taken easily and is not risk-free. Through social media, CBD has all the buzz and also gets its support for its supposed advantages from popular celebrities. Buyers should know what to look for when purchasing CBD products, even if they receive support from celebrities.
The existing lack of supervision and accountability in the industry has given rise to some serious questions which buyers should know about:
- Product labels can potentially be inaccurate or misleading
- Products can potentially contain additives that alter your mood
- Metals, pesticides, bacteria, and solvents from cannabis plants can be present in your products
- Many CBD products remain untested
Additional concerns to consider include:
- Adverse Effects — Drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite and other side effects were documented by several Epidiolex patients in clinical trials. Liver damage has also been documented, so those who use Epidiolex frequently should monitor their liver function
- Drug Interactions — The effectiveness and metabolism of certain popular medications may conflict with CBD. Therefore, antibiotics and antifungal medicines that can affect CBD potency should be considered.
- Quality Issues — Because the CBD industry has become minimally monitored and managed, it is important to mention that the label information is not necessarily reliable. As a customer you can read the Certificate of Analysis (COA) well enough that you know what substances are in your product. Continue to read if you aren’t familiar with COA’s.
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a test certification indicating the amount of specific compounds in a CBD product. The report is an inspection mark. CBD producers are advised to submit every batch to a laboratory for full inspection and evaluation of its contents. This ensures that the people who buy the product receive what is advertised on the product.
It is important to note that not everyone shares their COAs openly. If a business does not disclose their COA’s publicly, you should contact them for more details before buying any CBD products. If you are unable to obtain the COAs from the manufacturer’s website, customer service, or the product label itself, it’s best to avoid purchasing them. Companies of quality CBD will test their products and provide their COAs. Above all, the goal of COA’s is to ensure the quality and transparency of its goods to both the supplier and the consumer.
COAs are not always easy to read and understand. You will find that they often do not all look the same, and they can be written in numerous formats.
Commonly, you’ll see COAs that show results in one of the following three ways:
- Milligrams (mg) of CBD in the full product
- Milligrams (mg) of CBD per gram (g)
- Milligrams (mg) of CBD per milliliter (ml)
Please note that CBD is used in this example, but the same goes for all of the other cannabinoids in the COA.
When the COA displays the first type of result, mg of CBD in the entire product, you do not need to make any calculations. The complete sum of cannabinoids is shown in this test already. This figure will be matched with what is shown on the product label to ensure they fit.
If the results are displayed like the last two examples, then calculations would be necessary. Bear in mind that a milliliter (ml) is a measurement of volume and grams (g) are a measurement of weight. While most CBD products display the amount of ounces (oz), this quantity can be translated into milliliters. Recall that 1 oz always equals 30 ml. Note that two 30 ml tinctures will not weigh the same in grams, since each ingredient in the product formulation will affect the weight (g).
Again, it is crucial to understand COAs when trying to determine which company to buy CBD from. Generally, you may want to stop buying CBD from a company that does not provide any of its COAs.