4 things to consider before buying CBD oil

4 things to consider before buying CBD oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil holds promise for those whose ailments have not responded to traditional medical treatment.

In addition to reducing seizures in epileptics, CBD can potentially treat anxiety disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s, diabetes, inflammation, chronic pain, and cancer.

 With so many health benefits, one might be eager to purchase the first CBD product they find; however, because cannabidiol is largely unregulated, consumers must do their own homework to find the safest and purest CBD oil on the market.

 To aid you in your search, here are 4 things to consider before buying CBD oil:   

  1. THC levels. Depending on the manufacturer’s extraction methods and plant source, CBD oil can contain varying levels of THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana. Cannabidiol is found at varying levels across all cannabis species, including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis, and their hybrids.

CBD extracted from hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa, is probably best, as industrial hemp has the lowest levels of THC, usually less than 0.3 percent. THC content at these concentrations are highly unlikely to get you in the Dude’s state of mind.   

Despite the unlikelihood of intoxication, the THC found in some CBD oils can show up on a drug test. Before using CBD oil, you should consult your company’s drug policy and check into the testing methods (i.e. how sensitive are the tests?).

  1. Product quality. Because CBD oil is not well regulated in the US, consumers need to do their own homework. When looking for quality cannabidiol products, consumers should consider the following:
  • Is the CBD synthetic or natural? CBD is one of over 80 cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis. Synthetic cannabinoids are often far more powerful than naturally-occurring ones and come with a host of adverse side effects, including vomiting, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and even death. For everyday use, natural may be safer.
  • What extraction method was used? There are a variety of methods that can be used to extract cannabidiol, including processes using carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol, or butane. Certain extraction methods may leave behind chemicals that could irritate users with certain conditions.
  • How potent is the CBD oil? CBD levels are not the only factor that influences a product’s potency. CBD products can be manipulated through various means, including liposomal delivery systems, to enhance the absorption rate, or bioavailability, of the cannabidiol.
  • If naturally derived, how was the cannabis plant grown? Hemp plants tend to absorb heavy metals and pesticides from the soil. Ask companies for more information on the soil conditions and growing methods of the cannabis plants used to produce their CBD products. If they’re unsure, you may want to purchase elsewhere.  
  1. The required dose. The dose of CBD required to relieve symptoms will depend on the condition and the person. For effective treatment, certain conditions require high doses of cannabidiol, sometimes the equivalent contained in an entire bottle of CBD oil. And CBD oil is not cheap. A 50mL bottle of high-quality CBD oil can set you back as much as $100 – a cost medical insurance providers do not cover.

To boot, finding the right dosage may take some experimentation. You might be a few bottles in before you find the perfect dose for you.    

Despite the high price tag, CBD oil could be a worthwhile investment if traditional medical intervention has failed. In any case, you should always consult your doctor before starting any health regimen.

  1. Possible side effects. Though a meta-analysis of studies and clinical data regarding the safety of CBD found severe side effects were rare, cannabidiol may pose a health risk for people with certain medical conditions and taking certain prescription medications. For instance, CBD may interfere with how particular drugs are broken down and absorbed by the body, reducing their effectiveness.

The most common side effects reported were fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in weight and appetite.

  1. Legal status of CBD oil in your state. Despite the numerous scientific studies demonstrating the possible health benefits of cannabidiol and the unlikelihood of producing psychoactive effects, the federal government has classified cannabis and all cannabis-derived compounds, including cannabidiol, as Schedule I drugs, deeming them illegal.

However, the use of marijuana or other cannabis products for medical purposes is legal in 29 states, of which 9 allow recreational use. In 17 other states, CBD products with no or low THC content are allowed, while all other cannabis products remain illegal. Only Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas align with federal law, prohibiting the use of all cannabis products. Before purchasing CBD oil, make sure you are complying with your state’s laws.    

CBD oil may be all the rage, but before you hop onto the bandwagon, do your research – some cannabidiol extracts are better than others. Once you do find the CBD oil you feel confident in, remember to take it slow, as everyone’s tolerance level and needs are different.

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CBD Oil Fact Sheet

CBD Oil Fact Sheet

What is CBD?
The cannabis plant has over 400 naturally-occurring chemical compounds, of which over 80 are classified as cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD) and the more well-known THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD is likely the most abundant cannabinoid, composing about 40 percent of cannabis resin.

CBD is sold in a variety of forms, including tinctures, sprays, oils, edibles, and topical creams; though, most people purchase CBD as an oil.

Though more research is needed, some scientific studies have shown CBD may have certain healing properties and can be used in the treatment of chronic pain,
inflammation, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and anxiety, just to name a few.

What is the difference between CBD and THC?
The main difference between CBD and THC is their psychoactive effect, or their mind-altering abilities. While THC impairs mental and physical functions and can produce a state of euphoria, CBD does not produce feelings of being “high”. In fact, CBD has been shown to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC.

Though scientific studies have shown THC to have therapeutic effects, the cannabis compound can increase the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety, induce temporary psychosis, and impair short-term memory and motor functions.

CBD, on the other hand, does not negatively affect memory or coordination, is thought to have antipsychotic effects, and is shown to improve anxiety symptoms, especially in those with generalized social anxiety disorder.

Because CBD does not produce mind-altering effects, CBD oil can be used in everyday situations, including social, academic, and professional environments.

What are the possible health benefits of CBD oil?
Though more research is needed, scientific studies have shown CBD may have a
number of therapeutic effects, including:

  • Preventing seizures. Though research regarding CBD’s impact on epilepsy is still in its infancy, the American Epilepsy Society says the outcomes are promising. One such study showed an oral dose of 2 to 5mg of CBD per day, in addition to existing epilepsy medications, resulted in an overall reduction in seizures by nearly 37 percent per month.
  • Reducing Anxiety. CBD may help people with anxiety disorders manage their systems by affecting the way cell receptors react to serotonin, a molecule that regulates everything from mood and sleep to bowel movements. Other ways CBD may help relieve anxiety include diminishing psychological stress and reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat and nausea.
  • Relieving pain. CBD may help alleviate pain by acting as an anti-inflammatory and affecting brain receptors responsible for pain perception. The National Institute of Health is studying CBD’s potential to reduce pain caused by arthritis, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS), muscle pain, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Protecting nerve cells. CBD has neuroprotective properties and may help improve the quality of life for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s disease, and alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.
  • Enhancing cancer treatments. In addition to relieving the side effects of cancer treatment, including nausea, pain, and loss of appetite, CBD may also aid in killing cancer cells, decreasing tumor growth, and preventing metastasis, or the spread of cancer to other areas of the body.

What is the appropriate dosage of CBD oil?
Though a wide variety of doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD have been reported safe, individual tolerance levels will vary. Harsh side effects were either rare or unobserved in people using CBD, though the most common side effects reported by users are tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite and weight.
Is CBD oil legal?
Since CBD is a chemical extracted from marijuana, a Schedule I drug, CBD oil is
deemed illegal by the federal government. At the state level, however, CBD is legal
where recreational and/or medical marijuana is allowed as well as in states that have approved CBD products with low THC levels.

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