Verdant Notes: Today, we're finishing our discussion surrounding the most prevalent answered and outstanding questions surrounding Cannabidiol (or "CBD").
"What Is CBD? Everything to Know About the Weed Derivative Everyone's Buzzing About" - Continued
So, should you try CBD?
The answer depends on where you live and your appetite for the unproven. Despite the promise of CBD, the industry is currently “the Wild West,” Armentano says.
Where to buy CBD oil?
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.
Buying online is less reliable still because there’s no regulation or standardization. What you see on the label may not be what you are getting. A 2017 study in JAMA found that of the 84 CBD products researchers bought online, 43% had more CBD than indicated, while 26% had less, and some had unexpected THC. “There’s a 75% chance of getting a product where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Marcu, one of the study’s coauthors.
Quality is a particular concern, because cannabis plants easily soak up heavy metals from pesticides and other contaminants, Marcu says. If you are buying online, look for a company that documents how it tests its products. (If the website doesn’t indicate this, call and ask.) “Buying from a reputable manufacturer is crucial, because it matters how the plant is cultivated and processed,” Dr. Maroon says. One clue that a company is cutting corners: too low a cost. Good CBD is pricey—a bottle of high-quality capsules is sold in Cohen’s office for $140. But for many, it’s worth the money. Roth spent $60 on her tiny bottle. But when her energy returned the day she started taking CBD, she decided that was a small price to pay.
How to buy the best CBD oil
Choose products made with American hemp
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
Look for “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum”
These terms mean that all or most of the components that can be extracted from the hemp plant are concentrated in the oil. The wider the range of components included, versus just CBD, the greater the potential medicinal benefit of the product, says Lee.
Note the amount of CBD and THC per dose
There’s no definite amount that’s appropriate for everyone, but the ratio of CBD to THC will indicate how psychoactive the product is and if it’s legal in your state. The more CBD compared with THC, the less of a high, and vice versa. “Managing psychoactivity is key to successful cannabis therapy,” says Lee. “Amounts should be made clear on the label and lab-certified so people know what’s helping them and what’s not.”
References & Resources
What is CBD? Everything to Know About the Weed Derivative Everyone's Buzzing About (source article)
What is CBD? Everything to Know About the Weed Derivative Everyone's Buzzing About (source pdf)