If you’ve researched natural pain treatments, you’ve likely seen articles and adverts for hemp CBD oil, an extract of the cannabis plant that reportedly eases pain without causing euphoria like marijuana. As a chronic pain patient myself, I realize how tempting it is to hand over your credit card number in hopes of finding relief.
Before you do that, realize that all hemp CBD oils are certainly not created equal! Research conducted recently published in the Journal in the American Medical Association found nearly 70 percent of hemp CBD oil sold online was mislabeled. During the Penn Medicine study, researchers analyzed 84 products purchased in 31 companies. Around 42 percent of products were under-labeled, meaning the merchandise contained more CBD than labeled. Twenty-six percent of products contained less CBD than indicated on packaging.
“Only 30 percent of CBD products purchased contained an actual CBD content which was within 10 % of the amount listed on the product label,” reads a press release concerning the JAMA study. “While research has not shown that too much CBD can be harmful, products containing either too little or too much CBD than labeled could negate potential clinical help to patients. Further, the variability across products may make it troublesome for patients to get a reliable effect.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began testing hemp CBD products in 2015 and has reported similar findings.
Hemp CBD oil is not really regulated, creating a situation of buyer beware. Regardless of this, hemp CBD oil remains very popular as an increasing number of chronic pain patients look for choices to opioids and drugs with troubling negative effects. Because of so many companies pushing their products and services, how will you ensure you’re buying a quality product that’s potent and safe to use?
I recently interviewed Martin A. Lee, director of Project CBD and author of “Smoke Signals,” and asked for his advice regarding how to choose quality hemp CBD products, but first, let’s cover some basics.
There are 2 kinds of CBD, or cannabidiol, oil: hemp-based CBD oil and marijuana-based CBD oil. Both are produced from kinds of the cannabis plant. Hemp-based CBD products can be bought online or at certain stores; marijuana-based CBD is normally sold by dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal.
According to experts I’ve interviewed through the years, a marijuana-based Citizen truth is always preferable to hemp as it contains multiple cannabinoids as well as other compounds that work well synergistically to supply better pain relief and healing. Dispensary products are also likely to be safer because they are tested and grown in controlled environments.
“Essentially CBD is not any different whether extracted from industrial hemp or from marijuana,” Lee explained. “What’s different is exactly what else is in there. Once you extract from industrial hemp, you’re not receiving plenty of cannabinoids. You’re not getting much CBD. You’re getting very, hardly any THC. Because it’s a low-resin plant, you don’t have plenty of cannabinoids which can be inside the resin.”
Hemp CBD oil is basically a stripped down version of what you’d buy at a dispensary. It likely won’t be as effective, but some people do think it is good for pain and other conditions.
(Read more: What’s the real difference between hemp CBD oil and marijuana-based CBD oil?)
“The main overarching criticism we have with all CBD hemp products – even good quality ones – is that they’re restricted,” Lee said. “They’re just basically something: lots of CBD and incredibly little of anything else. Which will help some individuals sometimes but most men and women will find they want other available choices. There’s other cannabinoids you need – sometimes THC, sometimes THCA.
“What we realize is the fact THC and CBD combined includes a greater therapeutic effect than either one given alone,” Lee continued. “The best medicines to make use of are definitely the medicines that have both THC and CBD. What we should suggest to folks – and I will emphasize we are not doctors – is the fact that people should use products that have just as much THC as is possible, using the CBD, that doesn’t make sure they are feel dysphoric or stoned.”
(Continue reading: Exactly what are cannabinoids?)
Hemp CBD products have limitations, but they’re still a choice for people who aren’t able to access marijuana in a legal state. For people who are thinking about trying hemp CBD oil, below are lioifz characteristics to find when attempting to pick an excellent product.
Many hemp CBD products are produced from industrialized hemp grown overseas. These countries might or might not have strong environmental regulations governing how and where the plant is grown. That can generate problems since both hemp and marijuana are bio-accumulators, meaning they suck up chemical toxins from your soil in which they’re grown.
Depending on how the oil is processed, consumers may end up in contact with toxins and/or chemical solvents utilized to purify the CBD after harvest.
U.S.-produced hemp CBD products are usually safer due to better growing and refining practices.