The Muddy Waters of CBD
Heard the buzz going on about CBD? Sounds interesting. Who would not want to learn more about this natural substance that can help with your mental and physical well being? However, if you have done even a single google search on CBD products you will likely agree that the information is overwhelming and a bit hard to sift through. For starters, is CBD even legal? It can often be confused with THC that is found in the marijuana plant. Both THC and CBD are one of hundreds of cannabidiols that are found in the many varieties of cannabis plants. Marijuana and hemp are two well known species of cannabis plants where CBD can be found. The new market of wellness focuses on CBD derived from hemp plants.
The 2018 Farm Bill signed by Trump changed the market for the hemp plant, finally separating it from it’s marijuana cousin. This bill signed in December 12, 2018 reclassifies hemp from a controlled substance and legalizes hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC for commercial uses. This finally moved regulation and enforcement of hemp from the control of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
So where does that leave us now? Honestly, it leaves us in some muddy waters because now this a substance that is largely uncontrolled. Without regulation it is possible for some bad apples to exist, giving the CBD industry a bad name. There are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of retailers and wholesalers to sift through, so how does one know where to turn? There are countless reviews (some monetarily driven) and endless articles to read. Finding a shop you trust is key to making sure you only use quality products that will work for your intended purpose. But there are certainly some basic characteristics to look for.
- Is it actually CBD? Many look at hemp extract or hemp oil and automatically think it must contain CBD. This is not true. There are many oils that are derived from hemp seed which does not contain CBD. Your product should tell you the percent CBD per serving either on the product or on the website.
- Has it been tested by a third party who can report on the purity of the product, some have been found to contain high levels of metals or arsenic. Any reputable vendor should clearly outline their process seed to sale and provide lab testing results known as a Certificate of Analysis (COA)
- What type of extraction method do they use? Are you getting full spectrum or isolate? Full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts (0.3 percent) of THC, while CBD isolate is a pure isolated cannabidiol with plant material removed. Full spectrum CBD is preferred by those who want the inclusion of plant terpenes, but CBD isolate is a lower cost per milligram.
Like any other product out there, do your research and remember that cheaper isn’t always the way to go when looking for quality product.