Although cannabis can be used to make marijuana, CBD itself is non-psychoactive—meaning that it doesn’t get you high the way smoking or eating cannabis-related products containing THC (the plant's psychoactive compound) can. Still, there’s a lot doctors don’t know about CBD and its effects on the body, and a lot consumers should understand before trying it.
Full spectrum CBD does, however, bring with it the sticky issue of THC. The government regulates concentration levels of THC at 0.3 percent, an amount which results in minimal psychoactivity. But THC metabolites are stored in the fat cells of your body, building up over time. If you ever need to take a drug test, this could create an issue for you.
Watch Out For: Hemp grown in the European Union (EU) and China. Even in countries with agricultural regulations, the list of approved pesticides is far from safe. Thus you are really relying on the specific company’s ethical standards when it comes to hemp cultivation. The reason this is such a big deal with hemp when compared to other plants, is that hemp is a dynamic accumulator plant. Dynamic accumulator is a term used to describe plants that gather minerals – both good and bad – from the surrounding soil and store them in its tissues. So if you’re growing a hemp plant with petroleum-based pesticides in soil that contains heavy metals…you’re inevitably going to have a hemp plant containing both toxic pesticides and heavy metals. This is why many people have poor experiences when first trying CBD – you buy your vegetables organically, why not your hemp? The presence of these toxins is not regulated by any agency and they will end up in your CBD oil if you don’t purchase from the correct company. We like Ambary Gardens because they ensure that all of their CBD products are produced from organically and sustainably grown hemp without the use of pesticides.
So Herrera, who's experienced her own share of pain due to a shoulder injury followed by a bout of Lyme disease, went to a local herb shop and bought a vial of the oil, which, by some definitions, is legal in all states if it doesn't contain more than 0.3 percent THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis. She began putting seven to nine drops under her tongue first thing most mornings – and was startled by the results. "It's changed my pain level, my anxiety level and my stress level," says Herrera, who already practiced yoga, meditated regularly, ate a healthy diet and tried conventional medical treatments for pain and mobility. "It was shocking," she says, because she thought her patients' reports were due to the placebo effect. "Right now," she adds, "I feel pretty amazing."
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to widespread use of CBD is price. High-quality tinctures from brands like Floyd’s of Leadville and PlusCBD cost $35 or more; the bottles contain enough tincture to last about a month if you’re using an eyedropper’s worth per day. Prevail’s 2-ounce topical salve, which the company says should last most users between 30 and 45 days, costs $133. A one-month supply of a daily gel typically costs $30 to $60.
And while there are some studies being done to see if CBD is anti-tumor, it is not recommended to use CBD in lieu of chemotherapy. "I would never recommend someone stop seeing an oncologist or stop medication their oncologist recommended to take CBD," said Dr. Solomon. "I would add it as an adjunct to that medication, letting the oncologist know that they're taking it." The stories you may hear by word of mouth claiming that CBD alone cured someone's cancer? Purely anecdotal as of now.
These CBD-only laws also attempt to impose some regulation on CBD oils, such as establishing how much CBD and THC such products must contain. For example, on June 1, the day I sat down with Hernandez in Fort Worth, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed the state’s Compassionate Use Act into law in Austin. The law requires that all CBD products contain no more than 0.5 percent THC and at least 10 percent CBD. However, the bill does not specify how the state plans to enforce this requirement. The law contains no language outlining how laboratories can test CBD products, what kinds of standards they would use, or who would regulate them.
The compounds found within cannabis (known as cannabinoids) are very similar to the ones produced naturally by our bodies. These cannabinoids have been observed to relieve the symptoms of various conditions by attaching themselves to particular receptors in the brain, thereby blocking or boosting certain signals. This can help bring calm to an otherwise stressful situation.
If you Google “buy CBD oil” right now you’ll get more than 5,950,000 results, but you know what’s curious? Most of these producers and distributors offer no tangible evidence to support the claim that their products are the best. Surely, lower prices are more attractive, but if I were you, I would think twice before picking the cheap CBD oil over the high quality one.
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