For those needing a refresh, CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many compounds, or cannabinoids, found both in cannabis sativa (federally illegal) and industrial hemp (gray area) that has shown preclinical promise in treating anxiety and inflammation. Adding to its therapeutic legitimacy, CBD was recently FDA-approved to be used in an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex making it the first cannabis compound to be federally recognized. Over the last year, CBD’s become the darling of the wellness world, working its way into our juices, facials, creams, and cocktails, purportedly giving people the benefits of cannabis without the THC high. Very chill.
I said the stuff you see advertised ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD – I wasn’t referring to anything that’s “not from a dispensary”. Where I live (outside Galveston TX) there are a few places that advertise “CBD Sold here” and I’ve tried it, was a complete waste of money. I have used Green Roads and I know for a fact it is a good CBD oil that has great results. Just can’t really afford to buy a bottle every two weeks. I had an MMJ card when I lived back in PA but unfortunately Texas doesn’t have a medical program
Watch Out For: Companies that do not have test results or refuse to give them to customers. Also be wary of companies who only test one batch of finished product and then assume that all future batches will be the same – big mistake. Hemp is a product of nature and thus, no two batches will ever be identical – even in the most regulated environment. The company must provide you test results for the actual product you intend to purchase as well as the plant material used to make it – otherwise you are jeopardizing your safety and the medical efficacy of the product.
Are they open about third party tests and willing to share the results? When in doubt, ask for multiple lab tests including from the farm and a third-party lab. They’ll list out contaminants, solvents, and the percentage of cannabinoids. According to White, “brands should be happy to share their results as they’ve invested in those tests. If they aren’t transparent, it’s suspect.” Brands like RITUAL, Care by Design, Humbodlt Apothecary and Kinslips have all gone through rigorous testing standards as they are cannabis derived. Since you can’t travel across state lines with cannabis CBD, industrial hemp CBD brands that have well-sourced farms and openly share tests include Lily CBD, Rosebud, Honey Pot Supply, and Soul Addict.
Being a hyperaccumulator also has drawbacks: If a hemp plant that is used in production of CBD oil was cultivated in a land that is rich in heavy metals such as mercury and lead, the resulting oils will also reflect the amount of heavy metals absorbed by the plant, making it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children or others who are extremely vulnerable to toxins.
Conversely, to preserve most of the plant’s trichromes – these are the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids – look for Supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction. This method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil. While this method is more expensive and involves complex equipment and expertise, it ensures quality.
While researchers are calling for more robust studies on the role of CBD on mood disorders, there is promising research that points to CBD’s role as an anxiolytic – which means it has anti-anxiety effects. Another study showed CBD to have antidepressant effects comparable to those of the prescription antidepressant Imipramine. We noted above that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – and it’s these same neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in mood regulation.
This may seem like a repeat of an earlier question, but while that question related to concentration of CBD in the product, this is simply a question of how much you’re getting in total. Most bottles are labeled in a similar way – “1,000mg CBD Oil” or “1,000mg Hemp Extract” – which generally means the entire bottle contains a total of 1,000mg of CBD.