In order to convince people to buy CBD oil or other products made of hemp or containing cannabidiol, companies claim that their CBD can cure pretty much anything from cancer to acne scars, yet they have no scientific argument to back up their statements. It’s therefore not surprising to see that people are reluctant when it comes to purchasing such products, or that they feel overwhelmed and have no idea how to buy CBD oil without getting scammed.
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?
There are over 85 cannabinoids that make up the marijuana plant. The most popular and well known of these is tetrahydrocannabinol, or better known as THC. THC is a psychotropic cannabinoid that causes a high when inhaled or ingested. CBD has no THC. This means those dealing with various forms of pain and depression can safely use CBD to curb negative effects on the body without having to turn to prescription pharmaceuticals.
But is there a possibility of CBD oil getting you high? Well, CBD oil comes from the extracts of hemp plants, which do contain very low levels of THC. If the extraction method used to get the CBD oil cuts corners or is done incorrectly, though, there is a chance that THC levels will be great enough to produce a high. This is where we can refer back to point number one – affordability vs quality!
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is one of the cannabinoids present in both marijuana and agricultural hemp, and it is the substance responsible for giving a psychoactive effect on the body. It is what gives a user a “high.” The reason why hemp is used over marijuana when creating CBD oil is because of the former’s innate low levels of THC over CBD, making it perfect for CBD oil processing.
There is a lot to be hopeful for as legalization marches forward and as cannabis becomes more widely accepted for its medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, with cannabis and CBD still listed as schedule one substances, research is limited and many medical professionals still remain in fear to discuss or endorse medical cannabis for something like cancer. As of March 2015, over 15,000 patients in the state of Colorado reported severe nausea or cancer as their reporting condition for their medical card. Organizations like Project CBD, Realm of Caring, and CannaKids provide resources and connect families who seek cannabinoid therapy for their illnesses. According to a 2016 estimate by procon.org, there are over 2.5 million medical marijuana users in the United States. This number grows every year as more states legalize access to medical cannabis and it’s becoming harder for the mainstream medical community to ignore this growing group of people.
CO2 extraction is one of the most common ways CBD is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plants. This method uses expensive equipment that adjusts temperature and pressure to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material, without damaging them. The other common method is to use solvents like ethanol or butane to extract the plant material. These solvents have to be burned off the final product which may damage the cannabinoids or terpenes in the process. There is also a risk that these solvents may not have burned off completely and could end up in your end product.
It is a strict violation of the Food and Drug Administration DSHEA guidelines to make medical claims about the efficacy of CBD products in the treatment of any medical condition or symptom. Although preliminary research has shown tremendous promise of CBD oil helping people in pretty remarkable ways, legitimate CBD companies will refrain from making any direct medical claims. Be very wary of companies that defy this guideline, because if they disregard this particular rule, what other rules are they willing to ignore?