“I don’t think we have that many good drugs for pain, and we know that CBD has fewer side effects than opioids or even nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause bleeding and cardiovascular problems,” he says. “If I have an elderly patient with arthritis and a little bit of CBD can make their knees feel better, I’d prefer they take that than some other drugs.”
Strength is also an extremely important consideration. Beginners may find that it’s easier to control dosage using a lower strength tincture. On the other hand, experienced CBD consumers know that high strength tinctures are more cost effective. Although stronger tinctures cost more, you get more CBD oil and other beneficial cannabinoids in each drop. Most CBD brands offer more than one option for strength.
Similarly, though CBD oil is technically illegal on the federal level, it is sold freely online and in stores even here in New Jersey. Erica McBride, executive director of the National Hemp Association in Washington, said there have been instances in states where pot hasn't been legalized where CBD oil was confiscated at the post office or people possessing it were arrested, but it's “very rare.”
Finally, in general, we almost always recommend full spectrum tinctures over supplements made from isolates (extracts of CBD alone). Full-spectrum or whole plant tinctures take advantage of the ‘entourage effect’ that comes from combining all the naturally occurring chemicals found in the hemp plant. Isolates are great for cooking with CBD or consumers that are especially sensitive to the taste of hemp extract, but some research suggests they may be less effective for certain uses than full spectrum extracts. All but two of the brands below are made from full spectrum hemp, and the exceptions are clearly noted.
The 44,000-square-foot building hulks across from a police station in an industrial part of Denver, along a gritty stretch of converted warehouses that’s come to be known as the Green Mile. There’s nothing to indicate the nature of the enterprise. The door buzzes open, and I’m met by the chief horticulturist of Mindful, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. A druidlike 38-year-old with keen blue eyes, Phillip Hague wears fatigues, hiking boots, and the incredulous grin of someone who—through a confluence of events he never imagined possible—has found his exact life’s calling.
The same terms could be applied to what's actually in CBD products. While some do contain CBD, others (often marketed as "CBD-rich hemp oil") may have barely any, Asquith says. And depending on state laws, they can include varying levels of THC too – a combination shown to have some benefits, but also drawbacks, of course, if you're not looking for a high. "People will play all these games with the numbers because the consumers aren't really educated in this space yet and it's easy to get taken advantage of," he says. "It's the milligrams of the actual CBD molecule that matter."
DiPatrizio says, “There may be some benefits outside of improving epilepsy outcomes, but a lot more research is required.” Any research on athletic claims would almost certainly come from the industry; there are more urgent public health CBD topics to investigate than whether it reduces runners’ knee pain. For the foreseeable future, runners interested in CBD’s effectiveness will have to rely on anecdotal, subjective reports.
The DEA isn’t the only government agency scrutinizing CBD vendors. To fend off the FDA, hemp oil companies contend their wares are not drugs but “dietary supplements.” Despite the suggestive “meds” in the company’s name, HempMedsPx is careful to note on its web site, “Although some of our founders are medical professionals, we cannot make medical claims about the benefits of our products.” Others are not quite so nuanced in their marketing. The internet is flooded with CBD products claiming to treat everything from seizures to arthritis to skin conditions and other maladies.
This is a hugely beneficial effect of CBD. Free radicals are the culprits when it comes to oxidative damage and inflammation. But CBD’s antioxidant properties can help to combat the negative effects of everyday exposure to elements that increase the production of free radicals. These elements include pervasive, but hugely unsurprising, things like:
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
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