So what's all the buzz about? CBD (Cannabidiol) seems to be turning up everywhere.
There's an extensive list of conditions that it might treat - anything from psoriasis to anxiety to pain and inflammation. The hype is everywhere you can find CBD - at gas stations, big box stores, pharmacies and a variety of other places.
But what should you know before you buy? How do you know you're not buying fake CBD oil?
Let's start with looking at certificates of analysis (COA). Has the product been third-party tested? If you're looking at a product, you may find a QR code on the label. This can be quite helpful in taking you directly to the COA, or lab report.
If the product you're buying doesn't have a QR code, it would be best to visit the company's website to see if there are lab reports posted. Companies that are following best manufacturing practices will be happy to offer you an independent third-party lab report.
Once you have the report, it is important to know what you're looking for. You will see a list of cannabinoids - these are all naturally occurring chemical compounds that are found in a cannabis plant.
If you work for a company that does drug testing, you probably don't want a product with THC. Look for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 0.00 or Delta9 ND (none detected).
Full-spectrum CBD products are legally permitted to contain up to 0.3% of THC. You should note that these products might yield a positive drug test, though the amount of THC is very small.
The other two types of CBD products commonly seen in the market are isolate and broad spectrum. Isolate products will contain just the CBD cannabinoid. Broad-spectrum will contain CBD and other cannabinoids, but no THC.
With all the buzz, it's important to know that we are still in the infancy stages of studying the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids. Most of what you hear will be largely antidotal evidence.
What we do you know is that at high doses of cannabinoids over a period of time, liver enzymes will show elevations. We also know once the cannabinoids are stopped, the enzymes return to a normal state.
We also know there can be drug-to-drug interactions, most notably with first generation blood thinners Warfarin/Coumadin and adult aspirin (325 mg). People on these medications should not take CBD.
We also know that CBD can interact with certain medications that use the liver enzymes CYP 450 to process to them.
It is always suggested to speak to your healthcare provider before starting any CBD product.
You should know that not all CBD products are created equal, so ask these questions before you buy: Where is the hemp grown?; Is there a certificate of analysis? (and ask to see it); Does the company have a website and phone number?; Does this company have reviews? Companies that are following best manufacturing practices will have all of the above. With this information you will be able to find a confident, consistent source for your CBD products.
Cynthia Groff, CCMA is the owner of Sativa Health Products on Hilton Head Island. SativaHealthProducts.com