CBD beginners guide

CBD for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

CBD is taking over the world, its growing popularity and the recent “buzz” around it may have you wondering if it‘s just the latest fad or over-hyped health product.

Reports from people finding relieve from things like anxiety, insomnia, pain, acne and opioid cravings, continue to pile up. However, the research behind the properties of this compound is still young and only one product has the FDA-approval in the U.S.

Nevertheless, CBD already has some high-profile backers, celebrities use it for aches and pains, pro athletes are championing its use for sports recovery and apparently, it’s also great as a gift bag or a baby shower theme.

However, there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the extend of CBD’s usefulness and its products among consumers. In a world of fast-growing innovations—without official guidelines in place—it’s hard to track which products and brands to trust. That’s why I’m lending you a hand with this guide that answers your most burning questions.

Let’s start with a bit of CBD 101.

Table of Contents

What Is CBD?

CBD—short for cannabidiol—is a chemical found in cannabis plants, classified as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are a class of compounds able to interact with specific receptors in your body. To date at least 113 cannabinoids have been identified in this plant.

While cannabis is infamous for THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid that makes you “high,” CBD has no psychotropic effects, but users do report feelings of well-being, relaxation, and calm.

cannabinoids infographic part 1
cannabinoids infographic part 2
cannabinoids infographic part 3
cannabinoids infographic part 4
RELATED POST

How Does it Work?

The CBD molecule interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS)—a system that regulates important biological processes, including mood, memory, appetite and pain sensations.

The ECS is comprised by the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 which are widespread throughout your body. CBD interacts in a unique way with both receptors, that, in turn, have a balancing effect on your body’s cells and their systems.

The endocannabinoid system produces its own cannabinoids called “endocannabinoids” (eCBs). And their correspondent enzymes, responsible for the creation and destruction of these cannabis-like molecules.

Cannabidiol can inhibit the action of these enzymes, allowing endocannabinoids to run in your bloodstream for longer. More eCBs in your bloodstream means better chances of feeling good, keep your heart in check and inflammation at bay.

But CBD’s actions go beyond the endocannabinoid system, it’s believed that the compound hits 65 targets in the human body, though the course of action is yet unclear for most of them.

Experts have found that this nature wonder helps bring the immune, hormonal, and pain response systems to a state of balance, known in medical-speak as “homeostasis.”

This is how CBD can help relieve pain and inflammation, regulate your sleep, mood and appetite, and help improve symptoms of chronic diseases.

Cannabidiol also interacts with the serotonin receptors. Serotonin is the “hormone of happiness”—a neurochemical with feel-good effects.

Current research suggests that at least some of the antidepressant, mood, and sleep-enhancing properties of CBD can be attributed to its action on the serotonin channels.

RELATED POST

Does CBD Make You Feel High?

CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule, meaning it can’t get you high. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, they have almost identical chemical makeup and share similar pathways. But the way CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors is completely different to THC.

In your brain CBD can counteract the overstimulation of the cannabinoid receptor CB1. This receptor is psychoactive, and that’s why THC can alter your mind when binding it.

Unlike THC—CBD can’t bind this psychoactive receptor, but it still has an indirect impact on it by triggering the TPRV channels. As a result CBD dampens the activity of CB1 preventing psychosis, paranoia and substantially attenuating THC’s high.

What’s the Difference Between Hemp- & Marijuana-Derived CBD?

Alright, marijuana and hemp are varieties of cannabis. They look similar but there are some fundamental differences between these plant cousins. The main differences are their THC content and their legal status. In the eyes of federal law, hemp has insignificant levels of THC, up to only 0.3%. Anything with higher levels of the high-inducing chemical is considered marijuana.

In other words, no matter how much hemp you smoke, it won’t have you feeling euphoric, head rushed or munching on goodies—because its THC content is not enough to cause a high.

CBD can be sourced from both hemp and marijuana. This cannabinoid has exactly the same properties regardless of where it comes from.

Hemp is federally legal in the 50 states of the Union, while marijuana remains illegal at a federal level.

RELATED POST

CBD is obtained from the flowers, stems, and buds of the hemp plant, but hemp is an industrial crop that produces fewer cannabinoids resin. Therefore, large amounts of hemp are needed to extract CBD.

On the flip side, marijuana is harvested to produce more resin with a richer profile of cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabis compounds work better in tandem with each other which makes marijuana-derived CBD a more potent product.

However, more potent doesn’t mean better as THC has paradoxical effects and a lot of people is sensitive to it.

SO, WHICH ONE IS BETTER?

Marijuana-derived CBD has a richer content of cannabis compounds like terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids and also more THC, which compromise its legal status, but it’s more effective for severe conditions.

Hemp-derived CBD, on the other hand, has a narrower profile of cannabis compounds, therefore, it’s better suited for those seeking to feel relaxed and Zen, without unappealing effects. Additionally, it’s legal at the federal level.

Depending on your health goals each is better than the other to alleviate symptoms.

Is CBD Legal Everywhere?

Well, this is sort of a hazy topic. On December 2018, President Trump signed a bill that legalized hemp and all the products that come from it. But the Feds kept marijuana illegal…meaning marijuana-derived CBD is also illegal for the federal government.

However, states have set their own individual rules around hemp and marijuana products. 11 states are now cool with marijuana. It’s use is still completely illegal in other 16 states, and a doctor’s order is needed to get marijuana-derived CBD in the remaining ones.

Despite legalization, CBD from hemp is still illegal in Nebraska and South Dakota, only FDA-approved products are legal in Idaho. In Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, you can only get CBD with a prescription.

RELATED POST

Is CBD Approved by the FDA?

The FDA holds the authority to say whether a CBD product is legal or not. Right now, the only approved product is Epidiolex—a prescription medicine that treats seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two forms of childhood epilepsy.

To present day, the other thousand products that are flooding the market are yet non-approved. The agency is looking into how to regulate them for the future, but things are not moving as fast as everyone is expecting. Meanwhile, the FDA is leveraging two important rules to take some sort of control:

  • NO HEALTH CLAIMS

    The benefits attributed to CBD are not strongly supported by scientific data. That’s why “may,” “might,” and “could” are the most used verbs to describe CBD’s “potential” properties.

  • CBD CAN’T BE ADVERTISED AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT

    CBD is approved as a drug. Drugs are NOT allowed in things like supplements, food, or drinks because they fall under a different set of regulations.

On November 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an update to warn consumers about the lack of evidence regarding the safety of CBD and its related products.

These warnings completely contradict previous reports from the World Health Organization that stated CBD is safe to consume and pose no danger for abuse.

The agency also released warnings to companies that advertise their CBD products claiming they can prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes.

Although it’s true that lack of research has prevented us from knowing more about the extend of CBD’s safety, the health concerns are neither backed by strong evidence.

Is CBD Safe?

Despite the FDA concerns, CBD is considered safe, and it’s well-tolerated by most people. During the summer of 2018, The World Health Organization (WHO) released an official memo addressing the safety and efficacy of the compound.

The WHO stated that “CBD is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile and doesn’t appear to be a risk for abuse or dependence.” Adverse effects might not be caused by CBD itself but as a result of drug-drug interactions between the compound and other medications, the organization added.

But CBD isn’t perfect, some side effects were reported during Epidiolex clinical trials. Patients experienced adverse symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Liver damage

These symptoms are dose-dependent, meaning that they appear when you take too much CBD. That’s why it’s crucial to dose CBD the right way.

Research reporting the side effects of this compound is limited, there’s no convincing evidence in favor or against the safety of CBD for any particular demographic.

The stakes, however, are higher when consuming products from the black market. Ingesting questionable products expose you to unsafe mislabeled CBD.

In a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that only 30% of the available products are reliable. The other 70% don’t come closer to what’s printed on their labels. Some contain too much CBD others don’t contain CBD at all.

Other studies report nasty chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals in the content of illicit products. Worse yet, some items were found containing a dangerous synthetic street drug.

Be a savvy shopper and skip that unknown-quality CBD from the gas station, always look for top-quality products online or at licensed dispensaries.

RELATED POST

How Does CBD Help Your Health?

Millions are using CBD products, and many praise its benefits. But hard data is scarce and unimpressive, most of the hype comes from anecdotal experiences and studies on rodents. So unless you’re a mouse those studies are NOT conclusive.

I believe research should be taken seriously but the thousands of people who swear by their CBD products shouldn’t be overlooked.

The compound is already changing lives and those who are benefiting from it—me included—don’t seem to be moving on to the next big thing.

Okay, without any further ado let’s explore what preliminary tests and research suggest CBD is good for.

Here are some of its potential medical uses:

RELIEVING STRESS

CBD may help your body and mind recover from short-term and chronic stress by promoting hormonal balance. When you’re under stress, you experience higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

When cortisol is high, serotonin—the “happiness hormone”—drops. CBD is shown to activate serotonin receptors in the brain, which has the effects of boosting serotonin levels, lowering cortisol and promoting a sense of peace and wellness.

RELATED POST

REDUCING ANXIETY NATURALLY

The calming effects of CBD seem to be two-pronged. First, it brings cortisol and serotonin levels into balance, which may help those struggling with anxiety disorders.

The other way CBD helps you keep your cool is by boosting the production of anandamide, the endocannabinoid that your body produces to help you feel good.

In studies, people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been shown to improve symptoms from taking CBD.

RELATED POST

FIGHTING PAIN

Pain comes in three different types:

  • Nociceptive pain: Associated with tissue injury, damage or potential damage.
  • Nociceptive inflammatory pain: Tissue damage triggers inflammation that stimulates nerves and causes pain.
  • Neuropathic pain: Associated with injury or disease of nerve tissue.

CBD can be used to help manage neuropathic pain by modulating the body’s pain regulatory system in a way that actually reduces the brain’s perception of pain.

The anti-inflammatory mechanism of CBD suggests it may help relieve pain that is caused by inflammation.

It appears that CBD is less effective for other types of pain.

A recent review by Dr. Ethan Russo board-certified neurologist and cannabis researcher, suggests that the pain-relief effect of CBD is increased when mixed with THC. Clinical trials with cannabis-based drugs Nabilone, Sativex, and Marinol were presented in this review and they show to be effective for a diverse range of pains that include:

  • Neuropathic pain
  • Acute post-operative pain
  • Multiple sclerosis pain
  • Postherpetic neuralgia from shingles
  • Intractable pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis pain
  • Spinal cord injury pain

HELPING YOUR SLEEP

CBD is not sedative nor narcotic, but it’s shown in studies to promote longer and better sleep by balancing your sleep-wake cycle. When you take CBD on a regular basis, you may feel more awake in the day and sleepier at night, because the right hormones are being released at the right times.

Bad sleep is often the aftermath of other conditions like chronic pain, stress and anxiety. Your sleep may be improved as a result of the relief CBD provide from the debilitating conditions that keep you up at night.

RELATED POST

IMPROVING SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

It’s speculative that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance happening in your brain. There’s no convincing data that supports this theory, but that’s the way of action of Prozac and Celexa, the most used antidepressants in the world.

We already know that CBD has antidepressant properties. It activates serotonin receptors to restore brain chemical balance in favor of happiness and tranquility.

Groundbreaking research explains that antidepressants can regrow hippocampal neurons. The hippocampus is a brain organ responsible for forming and storing your memories. This organ is smaller in patients with depression. The growth of brand new neurons in this area of the brain may be the real reason antidepressants work for some depressed people. And CBD can mimic these effects.

Another way CBD may work against depression is by fighting chronic inflammation, which has been linked to higher rates of this mental illness.

RELATED POST

SLOWING THE AGING OF YOUR BRAIN

For decades, the medical community told us that our brains only grow new cells when we’re very young and aging was the epitome of brain breakdown. However, cutting-edge research has proven this to be wrong. The human brain can grow fresh new neurons at your 60s, 70s and beyond.

This amazing feature is known as neurogenesis. Neurogenesis might be your secret weapon for better mental health and CBD may help your brain achieve this important function.

CBD is also an antioxidant, this quality and its ability to modulate brain chemistry to restore homeostasis may also have amazing benefits as you age. By lowering inflammation, increasing blood flow to the brain and protecting against free radicals, CBD might help prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and dementia.

In fact, it could potentially improve symptoms in people with these diseases. In human studies on patients with Parkinson’s disease, CBD seems to reduce symptoms in a dose-dependent manner.

LOWERING INFLAMMATION

Chronic inflammation is at the root of many diseases and mental disorders, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, arthritis and depression. Small bouts of inflammation are good for your body to defend it from infections, diseases, and injuries.

The problem is that many factors can heighten unnecessary inflammation in your body. When this happens your immune system turns into your worst enemy.

Immune cells and infection-fighting cytokines increase, and your overall health pays the price. One way CBD can reduce inflammation is by modulating the cannabinoid receptors CB2, which regulate cytokines’ production.

CBD also fights inflammation by stimulating the PPARs channels. PPARs are a family of receptors that signal your DNA to change its genes expression. In layman words, PPARs can turn your genes on and off.

The effects of CBD on these receptors have been linked to its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions.

PROTECTING YOUR HEART

By lowering inflammation, maintaining cerebral blood flow and fighting free radicals, CBD helps your heart.

In animal studies, it has been shown to improve blood flow in arteries with plaque, lower cholesterol, protect blood vessels against oxidative stress, and prevent abnormal blood clots. Through these effects, it could reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke

IMPROVING WEIGHT LOST

By promoting better hormone balance, CBD oil may help reduce your appetite and prevent “stress eating.”  

In a 2016 study published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry it was found that CBD also increases the breakdown of fat and reduces the synthesis of new fat cells. It also boosts energy consumption in the mitochondria—the cells’ energy centers—which has a metabolism-boosting effect.

I have to bring it to your attention that these investigations are in its infancy so don’t expect miracles. CBD is NOT a cure-all. Its effectiveness has limitations, while some find relief, others don’t.

Always discuss with your medical provider how this compound can be integrated in your ongoing treatment.

CBD REDUCES SEIZURES

This is the only use of CBD with strong evidence that includes several phase III randomized research on people. As addressed above Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved prescription drug, with CBD as its main ingredient. The drug is intended to treat two severe forms of epilepsy that affect children development and their outlook for the future.

Epidiolex studies reported a dramatic reduction in the number of seizures in 89% of the patients of which 5% became seizure free. 

In addition, the research team noted other improvements including enhanced alertness and motor skills as well as better communication, and quality of sleep.

What Are The Different Types of CBD?

Cannabis is a fascinating plant with incredible attributes. The plant produces over 400 different chemicals that include cannabinoids, terpenes—aromatic molecule that gives the characteristic aroma to the plant—flavonoids, fatty acids, amino acids, waxes and chlorophyll.

Cannabis experts have found that these compounds work better as a team than in isolation. This theory is termed the “entourage effect.”

The entourage effect is beneficial for many conditions but also counterproductive in certain circumstances. For this reason, three types of CBD products are offered to consumers:

  • FULL-SPECTRUM

    Full-spectrum means that nothing from the plant is removed, and all the compounds that comprise cannabis are present in these products. Hemp-derived extracts contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, while marijuana-derived products have higher amounts of this mind-altering compound. Full-spectrum is more potent and more popular among users.

  • BROAD-SPECTRUM

    Broad-spectrum extracts are basically a full-spectrum formula, but the THC has stripped out from them. These products are perfect for people that are sensitive to THC but still want to get the entourage benefits.

  • ISOLATED CBD

    Isolated CBD is an extract that only contains CBD. It goes through a purified process that ditches all the other components from the plant. Although it doesn’t provide the entourage benefit, this extract is perfect for beginners, for people who undergo drug-tests regularly or have plant allergies.

RELATED POST
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum or Isolate: How to Pick the Best CBD for You

Will You Fail a Drug Test for CBD?

Drug tests don’t look for CBD but for THC metabolites because THC is the compound that induces a high. However, you can still fail a drug test by using a product that has trace levels of THC. 

Even with hemp-derived CBD that only contains 0.3% THC, there’s a risk to show up on the screen. Isolated CBD is your go-to if you get drug tested regularly.

How to Take CBD?

You already know that CBD is everywhere and infused in everything. Today you can eat it, inhale it, chew it, wear it and literally sleep with it. CBD is now infused in sheets, mattresses and pajamas. With so many options, it’s easy to integrate this rock star cannabinoid into just about every lifestyle.

But products aren’t created equal, they deliver CBD in different ratios and their effects vary wildly. Depending on your health goals and lifestyle, some methods suit your needs better than others, thus, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what’s out there.

VAPORIZERS

CBD vapes are a significant part of this newflanged industry, despite the health concerns that the recent vaping crisis has unleashed, and the environmental impact used vapes are causing.

Vaping CBD is the trendiest way to get the benefits of this cannabinoid because it delivers potent and fast-acting effects, making it the best option for people in need of an instant relief. In addition, CBD vapes are simple to operate, easy to carry and come in cool flavors.

Vaping involves the use of a CBD juice that’s attached to a vape dispositive with batteries. This juice is specially crafted to be inhaled, meaning CBD is mixed with a thinning agent to produce more vapor and less gunk, making the whole vaping experience more pleasant.

The problem is that this chemical agents can be toxic and produce byproducts when heated. Nobody knows what the long-term effects of these chemicals and their byproducts are and how they affect your lungs or the rest of your body.

The flavor additives and terpenes that are usually present in CBD juices can also be dangerous for your lungs.

The recent vape illness epidemic has been linked to illicit THC vapes containing vitamin E acetate—a popular chemical in skin care products that turned to be toxic when inhaled.

Even though, CBD pens carry risks if poorly manufactured and disposable vapes create a lot of waste—they’re here to stay and it’s on you to be conscious and cautious when purchasing.

It’s crucial to be aware of the ingredients and additives in these vaping juices. And if you’re an eco-friendly consumer—I really hope you are—look for brands that have recycling programs in place or connect with drop-off centers that accept vape-related items. Become part of the solution!

Nasal sprays and inhalers are a healthier alternative to vapes and they come with greater absorption rates but they’re still not as popular as vape pens.

RELATED POST

OILS & TINCTURES

This is the highly recommended way of taking CBD, all you need to do is to drop a bit of oil under your tongue, let it sit for 30 seconds and swallow. CBD is absorbed for the rich capillary areas underneath the tongue. This pathway avoids the digestive tract or “first-pass metabolism.”

CBD oil usually refers to a liquid extract that comes with a dropper, they also come in the form of tinctures. The main difference between oils and tinctures is the base. For oils, the base might be coconut or olive oil, while tinctures are alcohol-based.

These extracts are used for a wide variety of symptoms including pain, stress, anxiety, and insomnia. They provide relief after 30-60 minutes of ingestion, but results may vary between individuals.

RELATED POST

EDIBLES

As the name implies, CBD edibles are food and drinks that are infused with any type of CBD. They have low rates of bioavailability, which means that a very small portion of the CBD taken is actually absorbed. However, once they kick in—their effects can be long-lasting, up to 8 hours. But these effects can be pretty inconsistent.

The most popular CBD edibles are gummies and they’re best suited for pain management, stress and inflammation. These fun treats are easy to carry everywhere, the downside is the added sugar and other junk ingredients that they usually contain. 

CAPSULES

This is another way to ingest CBD orally. Same as edibles capsules have to pass through the digestive tract, so their bioavailability is low. But capsules come with some additional benefits like getting the same amount of CBD each time, additionally they’re discreet, tasteless and easy to take.

Capsules can be used for the same applications as CBD oils and tinctures. They come in different potencies and are usually a bit more expensive than CBD oils.

TOPICALS

CBD topicals are products that you put on your skin. They come in many forms and can be classified as:

  • Products for local relief such as lotions, creams, balms, gels, sprays, oils, and lubes that target the cannabinoid receptors present in the skin. These products must have high potency CBD to be effective because the penetration rate is very limited.
  • Transdermal products come as patches that are specifically crafted to pass through the small spaces between the cells of the skin. The transdermal delivery of CBD bypasses the digestive tract and gets to the heart directly from the bloodstream, providing a fast-acting effect than can last several days.

SUPPOSITORIES

Probably the most “unique” way to take CBD but not everyone’s cup of tea. They can be administered anally or vaginally.

Suppositories have a two-pronged benefit. Acting as a topical for local relief but also effective because the CBD can be absorbed into the bloodstream via the anal and vaginal lining walls which are rich in capillaries.

This method has 25 to 50% more bioavailability than oral administration.

Needless to say it’s important to take note of the hygiene when using these products.

RELATED POST

How Much CBD Should You Take?

CBD is taken at a range of dosage amounts, there’s no one-size-fits-all dose with this cannabinoid. Your ideal serving size depends on diverse factors that include your symptoms or ailments as well as their severity. Other determining factors are the method you use to deliver CBD, your weight, and even your DNA.

A cannabis medical adviser can help you determine the right dose for you. Or, you can start with a small dose and increase it slowly until you reach the right serving size that brings you relief.

RELATED POST

When to Avoid CBD?

CBD is a natural occurring compound, but it’s not for everyone, these are the situations when CBD should be avoided.

IF YOU HAVE LIVER COMPLICATIONS

The FDA has been stressing that the evidence about the safety of CBD is limited and the compound pose unknown health risks. The agency said that CBD can cause liver injury, and can increase the risk of sedation or drowsiness, when combined with alcohol or other medications.

In defense of CBD there’s no strong evidence to prove its safety neither to prove it’s unsafe. And all medications carry a risk of drug-drug interactions.

The FDA is warning consumers based on studies on Epidiolex. During clinical trials, children showed elevated aminotransferases enzymes on tests, after taking extremely high doses of purified CBD. Aminotransferases are liver enzymes important for the synthesis of amino acids and increased levels may indicate liver damage.

Although speculative, if you have liver complications, it’s better to be cautious with CBD.

IF YOU’RE PREGNANT OR NURSING

According to the FDA, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid cannabis products altogether, for the safety of the developing fetus, the mother, and the breastfed baby.

But studies on this topic are minimal. For obvious reasons, researchers tend to avoid using pregnant and nursing women in clinical trials. One study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that CBD consumption can increase the permeability of the placental barrier. This could be detrimental for the developing fetus.

IF YOU TAKE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

CBD has drug-like effects in your body, therefore your body treats it like any other drug. Drugs are metabolized in the liver by the Cytochrome P450 enzyme system, and CBD is a potent inhibitor of these enzymes.

Taking CBD alongside with other drugs, can decrease or exacerbate their effects. This is particularly hazardous with medications that become dangerous at irregular dosage such as blood thinners.

I highly encourage you to speak with a medical professional if your taking prescription drugs and plan to incorporate CBD into your daily routine.

IF YOU HAVE LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

There’s research suggesting that CBD can cause a modest drop in blood pressure in people taking high doses, which could be a concern if you’re already dealing with hypotension.

Chronic low pressure without symptoms is usually not serious. In some people it’s indeed, a sign of good health and fitness. However, a sudden drop can deprive your brain of adequate blood supply, causing you lightheadedness and drowsiness.

Caution is key when it comes to using CBD if you suffer from low blood pressure.

IF YOU LIVE IN A PLACE WHERE CBD IS ILLEGAL

The stigma and legislation surrounding cannabis is finally changing but this plant and its products remain illegal in many places around the world. Some countries have really strict drug policies, and you can face up years in prison if you’re caught with even trace amounts of any controlled substance.

This is the case for countries of the United Arab Emirates and most Asian countries.

How to Find High-Quality CBD?

CBD dazzles in an emerging and yet unregulated industry. With the growth in popularity of this compound new merchants and brands are springing up everywhere. Finding what is reliable requires taking a little time to educate yourself and being extra cautious about what brands to trust.

Follow these steps to ensure you’re making an informed and responsible purchase decision.

FIND YOUR BRAND

Be your own regulating agency and look for brands that:

  • Provide a good website that’s not only easy to navigate but also provides education and transparency.
  • Offers a helpful customer service
  • Provides a money-back guarantee
  • Has good manufacturing practices
  • Allows all types of reviews

READ LABELS

In this uncontrolled market, 70% of products are mislabeled. Make sure you read every label carefully to identify the amount of CBD your product contains. Also, check the THC content and look for the good manufacturing practices (GMP) logo.

ASK FOR TEST RESULTS

A third-party lab report is the only way you have to ensure the product you’re purchasing is accurately labeled. This report is known as a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Every CBD product should have one, otherwise, pass on it.

Brands usually put these reports on their websites.

RELATED POST

CHECK THE PRODUCT’S MANUFACTURING PROCESS

Extracting CBD from hemp isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of work, a lot of hemp, and powerful extraction machinery. Cheap extraction methods involve toxic chemicals that are harmful to your health.

Keep an eye on this important matter before adding a product to your cart. If you don’t find enough info on the brand’s website, reach out and call their support center.

HOW CBD IS SOURCED ALSO MATTERS

Hemp absorbs everything from the soil it’s growing in. A strong reason to ask how the hemp was grown and where it comes from when purchasing your product. Look for CBD that’s organic, non-GMO, and preferably grown on areas that require soil testing like FDA-compliant farms.

Although there are a reputable farms in Europe, foreign hemp has been shown to contain pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals, and you don’t want those toxins in your body.

PASS ON PRODUCTS THAT MAKE EXAGGERATED HEALTH CLAIMS

CBD is a remarkable product but not a cure-all. The FDA has made it clear that no company can legally claim that CBD treats or cures any medical condition.

If the product you intend to purchase is marketed as a miracle drug, pass on it, it’s probably a snake oil.

DON’T LOOK FOR CBD ON AMAZON

CBD is currently considered a drug, and drugs are NOT allowed for sale on Amazon. But the titan of e-commerce has also put a ban on CBD through a disclaimer placed on their website. In short, CBD can’t be sold there.

Hemp seed oil—another hemp product with health properties—is heavily marketed on Amazon and this can confuse people as there’s very little, if any, CBD in it.

You still can find vendors on the site labeling their CBD products as “hemp extracts” just to play it safe. This speaks for their ethics and buying from them is a risk.

RELATED POST

Final Considerations

Once illegal, now the fastest growing crop in America. The legalization of hemp has opened the door to an industry that’s proving to be disruptive, impacting the way we tackle health and wellness.

CBD is an interesting but understudied molecule. It holds promise to improve human health in many ways, but science still lags behind the growing demand for these products.

With the opioid crisis that America is facing and the rise of anxiety and depression, people is more open to alternative therapies like CBD. Yes, it may help but we still need solid pieces of evidence to prove that this compound is the panacea the industry is claiming.

The market is huge, unregulated and full of deceit. Luckily, there are also industry-leading brands offering fantastic products made with top-notch ingredients for your CBD needs.

You just have to do your homework and educate yourself. Always ask for lab results before purchasing, read reviews or reach out companies by phone. The more knowledge, the better the purchase.

Just for the record, I love my CBD, I’m sure it helped give me back the quality of my life. I’ve witnessed how it has helped friends and relatives and I hope it helps you too.

Feel free to share if you find this guide useful, or know someone who can use it. Thanks for reading!