Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become very popular. CBD is widely available in our corner shops, supermarkets and can be found in health food sections, on skincare counters, and amongst tobacco displays. From protein shakes to sublingual oils and muscle balms to vapes, the options are endless for this natural hemp extract. However, is CBD a short-lived fad, or will we see more products in our shops? The UK is currently the second biggest consumer of CBD after the US, and we spend more money on it than we do on vitamins B and C together.
The hemp plant has been known as a source of various commercial products since early times. Aside from being a source of products like rope, clothing and textile, hemp is also a good source of food, paper, and biofuel. With modern innovations, the study of cannabis has given birth to the discovery of cannabinoids and how to extract them for recreational and therapeutic purposes.
Cannabidiol (CBD), NOT tetrahydrocannabinol delta-9 (THC)
With more than a hundred cannabinoids discovered, another cannabinoid stands out – cannabidiol (CBD). This is due to its non-psychoactive properties while providing relief to many body ailments. Unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol delta-9 (THC), CBD is not addictive and does not produce euphoria or feeling high.
CBD has earned a lot of fans across the globe, where it is legally sold. However, even with anecdotal evidence from those who have experienced its benefits, and the number of scientific research available, the question still remains for many, is CBD safe?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or commonly known as CBD, is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants. It is one of the known cannabinoids discovered in the 1940s, along with tetrahydrocannabinol delta-9 (THC). Although other cannabis strains also contain CBD, it is found that the industrial hemp variety contains more CBD than THC.
CBD is extracted using the CO2 extraction method, which is considered the safest process available and doesn't harm cannabinoids or the active ingredients in cannabis. Through this process, CBD oils and other CBD products can be made.
CBD oil is considered one of the most common forms of CBD products, but depending on your needs, you can also opt for CBD capsules, CBD balms, CBD skincare, and even CBD-infused snacks and drinks.
When deciding on what CBD product to use, it is important to know which one you are using to better understand its effects and the components of each kind. It is available in three CBD classifications:
Described as the richest among all the CBD classifications, full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids found in hemp plants, including THC, terpenes and flavonoids. It is suggested that full-spectrum CBD products deliver an entourage effect due to all the derivatives that work synergistically to deliver more potent effects to the body. Note that this type of CBD is not for those who take periodic drug testing, as traces of THC might be detected.
Broad-spectrum CBD is described as closely related to the full-spectrum class but with distinct differences. It does not contain any traces of THC and is made for those who are reluctant to take anything with THC, which delivers psychoactive effects and may be detected on drug tests. Similar to full-spectrum CBD, this type of CBD still delivers the entourage effect that cannabinoids can provide but without THC, which is the culprit for the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
Referred to as pure CBD, Isolates do not contain traces of other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. It often comes in powder or crystal form as it was produced using repetitive extraction methods until Cannabidiol is the only cannabis compound left. A product is considered a CBD isolate when it has a purity of 99%.
Where to get high-quality CBD
Getting hold of CBD products nowadays isn't as hard as it used to be. Because of its popularity, more and more brands are surfacing in the market, making it difficult to determine which sells safe and legit CBD products.
Aside from purchasing from trustworthy sources like Edinburgh CBD stores, always look for the Certificate of Analysis (COA). It is a document that can tell you a lot of information about the CBD product you are buying. COAs are lab reports that will show you the potency and the breakdown of the amounts of cannabinoids present in the product and are issued by an independent, third-party laboratory. Having CBD products evaluated by others besides the company who manufactured them signifies that the product you are buying is safe and has met certain specifications.
When a CBD brand has a Certificate of Analysis on their products, you can trust that it was evaluated unbiasedly and that you can have confidence that the label shows accurate information and is not just made up in order to sell.
Is it safe? What do experts say?
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved one CBD-based drug as a prescription medication for two types of epilepsy. Although Epidiolex is the only approved CBD-based treatment available in the market, scientific studies and research are ongoing on CBD's potential benefits for many other health conditions.
Experts consider CBD as well-tolerated and generally safe with proper dosing. However, keep in mind that it is not a miracle or a cure-all medication. CBD is not yet concluded as an approved treatment for other health problems. But there is moderate evidence that supports CBD's benefits on pain, sleep disorders, muscle spasticity, stress and anxiety, skin health, and gut health.
Side effects involved
CBD is considered generally safe and well-tolerated. However, because each person does not have the same biological response to everything, some may experience side effects when using this cannabinoid. Here are some of the side effects related to CBD use:
- Dry mouth;
- Reduced appetite;
Note: If you are taking any medications, including blood thinners, speak with your health care provider first before using CBD, as it can interact with certain drugs.
CBD's popularity keeps growing, and more and more people are discovering its health benefits. And while there is growing anecdotal evidence pertaining to its potential for overall health and certain health conditions, research about the effects of CBD on our body and its benefits on managing diseases is still ongoing, and there is still much to be discovered.
Certificate of Analysis
To guarantee that you are only getting a high-quality CBD product with accurate labels and are proven to pass the standards, opt for brands that have a Certificate of Analysis. With the correct information and proper guidance from professionals, using CBD is considered generally safe. Always remember to use it moderately, starting in low doses and slowly making your way up to give your body time to adjust and see how you would react to it.