The CBD marketplace has expanded rapidly, with many varieties and formulations of CBD oil being offered for sale both online and in stores. What are the important considerations when choosing a product?
WHERE IS THE HEMP FROM?
When America banned commercial agriculture of the hemp plant in 1958, the industry had to begin importing hemp from other countries. Hemp has been imported from Canada, the EU, China, and other places. In the last two years, however, state department of agriculture have begun allowing hemp farming, both for research and pilot projects, and as commercial production. Hemp is a product with many uses--for building materials, such as hempcrete, clothing and textiles, hemp seed oil as a food product, and CBD oil.
IS THE HEMP BEING GROWN ORGANICALLY AND LOCALLY?
With the new legalization of hemp farming in many states, it is possible to get both food-grade hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and CBD oil that is grown from organic hemp in America. This matters because of our high standards for organic production and farming. When a product doesn't have to be shipped across the world for processing, the carbon footprint of the industry is reduced. When looking for a CBD oil to buy, check the website for information on where the hemp is grown, and how. Many products are being made from organically grown American hemp.
HOW IS THE CBD OIL BEING EXTRACTED?
There are several ways CBD oil can be extracted from hemp. How effective and how safe the final product is will be determined both by how the hemp is grown and how the CBD is extracted. There are several methods, some involving use of chemicals such as benzene, which are dangerous, and others involving careful processing; a distillation similar to the way that essential oils are extracted from roses for perfume making. A company with transparency about their manufacturing is more trustworthy than one that gives lots of questionable medical advice, but does not discuss source and methods.
IS THERE INDEPENDENT THIRD PARTY VERIFICATION?
When CBD oil is labelled, it is usually described as the weight of the oil carrier, such as olive oil; it is also described as the amount of CBD in that much oil. So the amount of CBD in a single dose depends on how concentrated it is. Two different companies listing a 1000 mg capsule of CBD oil may very well be selling two different products. Before a consumer buys CBD oil, they should look on the website for how the hemp is grown, how the CBD is extracted, and they should also look for any information about third party verification. If the company sends their product out of house to a third party lab for verification of concentrations and doses, or purity, that product is more likely to accurately describe what is in the bottle.
DOES THE CBD COME IN A VARIETY OF FORMULATIONS?
How the CBD is processed, and what is included in the formulation of oil sold, may impact the therapeutic effects. Therapeutic synergy is the process seen when pharmaceutical grade products are made from the whole plant, rather than extracted from parts of the rest of the plant. Whole plant CBD has this therapeutic synergy, meaning the various active compounds in the hemp plant that increase the absorption, distribution, and effectiveness of the CBD remain present in the CBD oil you can buy. The ways of processing can also impact the strength and effectiveness of the product. Raw CBD is processed in such a way that no heat is applied during processing. Just as fresh vegetables have more nutrients than cooked vegetables, raw CBD has more of the natural nutrients from the plant. Heat is used to concentrate the CBD, though, so the raw CBD tends to be of lower strength. Some heat is applied to processing the more concentrated forms.
The way the CBD enters the bloodstream also has an impact on how the body uses the product. While most of us prefer taking pills to other ways of taking medicine, the bioavailability of the CBD when taken in the oral route is lower. If taken with a high chain triglyceride oil, the absorption is better. Many of the capsules that contain CBD are contained in olive oil for this reason. Inhaled forms, or those delivered under the tongue, are absorbed quickly into the blood stream.
With CBD dosing, more is not better. What we understand about therapeutic doses is that there is a narrow range of effective doses. If a person takes more than recommended, the kidneys just flush the extra out. Side effects tend to be dose related, so the recommended dose should usually not be exceeded.
WHAT ABOUT MIXING WITH OTHER MEDICINE AND SUPPLEMENTS?
Any over-the-counter or prescription medicine can be impacted by nutritional supplements such as CBD oil. Particular care should be taken if a person already takes any medicines that cause drowsiness. CBD oil is not known for causing drowsiness, but many medicines that do, such as sleeping preparations and allergy medicines can have their effects intensified. When taking any new supplement, it is a good idea to first take it on the weekend or on days off from work, when one doesn't have to drive. That way if there is a synergistic effect, or a worsening of side effects from other over-the-counter medications, one knows to exercise care in mixing. The same caution goes for alcohol. Many substances, both natural and manufactured, can have this synergistic effect when mixed.
CAN I GIVE CBD TO MY DOG?
Many consumers are buying CBD products for their dogs as treatments for anxiety, seizures, pain, and other ailments. While the research is new, studies from both Cornell University and Colorado State University have shown effectiveness with arthritis and seizures. Many vets still feel uncomfortable making recommendations about CBD use, as the research into the effectiveness is so new. There are several formulations being made especially for dogs. Just like with humans, taking the CBD by mouth is the least effective way to get CBD into the blood stream. Preparations for dogs are usually based in oil to aid absorption.
We know you have many choices for your CBD oil. Thank you for considering us! We would love to share more information.