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CBD oil has become the general term used when referring to these different oils, but while they derive from the same plant, they are actually quite different. Cannabis CBD oil sometimes contains high quantities of THC (between 5%-10% or even higher), while hemp CBD oil usually contains less than 2% THC. Industrial hemp, on the other hand, contains even less THC (under 0.3%), and therefore can be sold, bought, consumed and shipped legally in some U.S. states.
“Barely in its infancy, the CBD medical market is still largely unregulated; quality control is meager at best, and consumers are largely unaware what to look for when shopping …,” explains Carlos Frias of the Texas Wellness Center. Frias, who has been with the cannabis industry for more than 15 years, has seen, firsthand, the shadiness that exists in the CBD market.
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. While the efficacy of full-spectrum is debated in the scientific community, anecdotes and a study in Israel favor full-spectrum. In addition to potential benefits, there’s another reason you should be buying the whole plant: contamination. Chen notes that isolates are harder to trace back to origin and can be straight-up fake. Overseas lab-made isolates are cheaper than domestic versions, making the potential for contamination high. Utah recently grappled with synthetic CBD when 52 people became sick from an isolate. While isolates can be legitimate (FDA-approved Epiliodex is an isolate), you’re going to have to spend more time researching the brand’s products and practices. Put it this way, if you could get your vitamin C from Sunny D or fresh squeezed OJ, which would you prefer?
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
Tinctures start with a raw or decarboxylated oil, but they are a more palatable (tastier if you will) option. In order to make a tincture, emulsifiers and a carrier oil and flavoring are added to the base oil. They will be packaged with a dropper or spray top for ease of use. They may even contain sweeteners. These are a great starter product or an ideal daily food supplement for anyone who does not enjoy a hempy flavor. Some flavors, like spearmint and orange, will mask the hemp flavor while other lighter options, like vanilla, will complement it.
Mary's Nutritionals pioneered the first CBD transdermal patch, after using this technology with great success in their Medicinals line of marijuana based products, that have been available in certain NW legal states for many years now. Mary's is an established name, now bringing to market high quality cannabis oil products sourced from domestic Colorado grown hemp.
There is a growing number of medical cannabis dispensaries offering CBD-rich products in the U.S. Most physical dispensaries are required to operate under state health and safety standards set by law. The state conducts background checks on owner and staff, and dispensaries must meet security requirements and strict licensing guidelines. When buying hemp-based CBD oil (low in THC or/and CBD) you will not need a card, however, to purchase cannabis plant-based CBD oil patients need to be certified by a doctor who is part of their continuing care, and who’s registered with the state’s medical-marijuana program. That, however, applies only to those living in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. It is important for one to visit the dispensaries and get as much information as to whether their products have been tested and undergone clinical trials.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator, meaning it is capable of absorbing both the good and the bad from the air, water, and soil in which it’s grown. This makes it all the more important to know that your CBD oil comes from organically grown hemp that can be tracked to its US-grown source. The last thing buyers want is for their CBD oil to have accumulated toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. For decades, farmers have used pesticides to protect crops against insects, disease, and fungi – and have used herbicides to control weeds – but we’ve known for quite some time that chemicals used to harm other species can also be harmful to our own species. That’s one big reason behind the global push to go organic. People are starting to prioritize organic crops, whether you’re talking about fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, livestock feed – even textiles like cotton, wool, and flax.