Is CBD Oil Safe and Effective?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is quickly becoming a popular, natural alternative for a wide range of uses. While many people swear by the healing power of CBD, a fair amount of skepticism remains. You may have heard, seen, or even tried CBD, but may still be wondering, “Is CBD oil safe and effective?”
While CBD oil may be relatively new to modern science, it has actually been used for centuries. Evidence of hemp rope dating back to 8000 BCE suggests that early civilizations were using hemp as a viable everyday resource. Even early Chinese cultures were using hemp seeds and oil in their food for additional nutrients.
With such a lengthy history, hemp and CBD must be safe for human consumption, right? If civilizations have utilized hemp in the past, why is there so much skepticism surrounding this potential natural marvel?
To put it bluntly, many people are associating CBD with cannabis...
Marijuana and Hemp: What’s the CBD Difference?
It’s safe to say that if you haven’t heard of CBD, you’ve probably heard of marijuana. Unfortunately, many people generalize CBD as marijuana—that’s simply not true.
CBD derives from both marijuana and hemp. While both plants are a part of the Cannabis sativa plant species, they differ in their genetic makeup.
Marijuana is bred to have higher levels of THC (psychoactive cannabinoid), whereas hemp is grown to emphasize increased CBD (non-psychoactive cannabinoid) content and low THC content. THC is the cannabinoid found in marijuana that induces the “high” sensation that many skeptics fear.
Unlike marijuana, the 2014 Farm Bill declared that industrial hemp and products derived from that hemp are legal.
This bill makes CBD derived from industrial hemp legal when the industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC. Some companies offer CBD oil combined with THC, but not everyone is looking to get half-baked.
If you’re looking for all-natural relief without the couch-melting high, look for hemp-sourced CBD products.
CBD Oil: Is It Safe?
So, now we’ve established the difference between hemp and marijuana, and how their CBD makeups differ. The question still remains, “Is CBD oil safe?"
According to a study published in 2011:
CBD is non-toxic in non-transformed cells and does not induce changes on food intake, does not induce catalepsy, does not affect physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature), does not affect gastrointestinal transit and does not alter psychomotor or psychological functions.
That same study reported that chronic, everyday use and doses up to 1500 mg/day of CBD were tolerated well in humans. This study seemingly infers CBD oil is safe for daily use.
But, more studies need conducting. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of CBD’s potential healing properties. Even with continued studies and further research, some questions still remain about CBD oil safety:
How do I know my CBD oil is safe?
Since CBD oil remains in FDA limbo, it is up to the consumer to do their research on CBD companies. But, if you take the time to follow a few rules, you’ll be on your way to all-natural relief.
To make thing simple, here are five rules of thumb when buying CBD oil:
- Beware of “Free Trial” offers - One offs the oldest gimmicks in the book. These companies just want your money, and they’ll suck you in for monthly payments. No reputable company will offer a “free” bottle if you just pay shipping and handling. Look for companies that provide a wealth of information on CBD oil and their products, like here.
- Selling only on social media - With sponsored ads and click-bait links, social media can be the wild west of online shopping. This tactic doesn’t mean quality companies aren’t using Facebook or Instagram; in fact, most high-rated companies have a large social media footprint. But if they’re only using ads and sponsored content on social media, be wary of what you’re buying.
- Lack of third-party lab results - This is a major red flag. Any company not willing to openly share their third-party results, may be trying to hide something. Reputable companies will always share the results of lab testing because it shows their products contain high-quality ingredients—just like they claimed.
- A limited number of reviews - If a company has quality products, the CBD community will talk about it. Check company websites, social media pages, and other digital platforms to see what customers are saying. Real customers leave real reviews for real products. If something looks fake, it probably is.
- Outlandish claims - Be wary of buzzwords like “miracle drug” or “cure-all.” While there is support for CBD, research is still needed. If a company claims otherwise, it is simply trying to make a quick buck.
Because the CBD oil industry remains largely unregulated, some companies are just looking to profit off your curiosity. For example, a 2017 study found that nearly two-thirds of products purchased from 31 different online CBD vendors contained a different amount of CBD than they claimed. Another 21% tested positive for THC content. To avoid being scammed, do your homework and find a brand worth investing.
Now you’ve read and discovered some of the concerns with the safety of CBD oil. But, is CBD oil effective?
Is CBD Oil Effective? The Truth Behind Mother Nature’s Marvel
As more information becomes available through research and clinical trials, more people continue to question the effectiveness of CBD oil. Critics may claim that CBD is just another fad or health gimmick—but studies may suggest otherwise.
Some people may see beneficial results in flexibility and pain reduction with CBD oil. One 2010 study seemed to suggest that CBD oil may be helpful in addressing overall pain and swelling.
Research has indicated that CBD may be useful for those that suffer from involuntary muscle movements. CBD works with the ECS ro release properties throughout the body to assist with a range of utilities. One 2017 study looks into the properties of CBD and movement.
That study writes:
In various studies, CBD has been reported to exhibit a range of other activities which suggest potential utility in many other [forms]...
So, is CBD oil effective? Short answer: science seems to like the idea.
What’s the Best Way to Take CBD Oil?
Now that we’ve cleared some of the smoke covering up the truth about CBD, we know you’re ready to try it. But before you make a purchase, you need to decide what’s the best way to take CBD oil for your needs.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to CBD oil relief. What may work for some may result in less than desirable results for others. While exact dosing will vary for each, there are several options to choose from:
Tinctures are probably the most commonly recognized form of CBD oil. It’s made by dissolving and mixing CBD with an edible oil. Users then administer CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue); this allows the beneficial attributes of CBD to enter the bloodstream through the capillaries located under the tongue. Most of our customers notice the effects within 30-90 minutes and relief tends to last anywhere from four to six hours. Tinctures are a popular method because:
- They’re easy to adjust the dosage
- You can add it to food or drink
- They work quickly, and relief tends to last longer
Capsules and Edibles
The plus of capsules and edibles is that you receive the same amount of CBD with each dose. If you are concerned about consistency or already take a daily vitamin/supplement, this method may work well for you. A lot of CBD companies are starting to offer gummies which are a tasty alternative to capsules. Ingesting CBD oil takes longer to break down in the body, but relief tends to last longer than other applications.
Vaping CBD oil is quickly becoming a popular choice to get CBD. An easy transition for former or current smokers, CBD oil may assist with a lifestyle change. Early studies have looked at CBD oil and cigarettes, but, more studies are needed.
The effects of vaping CBD are fast-acting but tend to wear off in a shorter time period.
CBD topicals are a great way to reap the rewards of CBD oil for sore muscles and joints. This method allows for fast, localized relief that is especially useful for athletes. You can use topicals in addition to any of the other previously mentioned CBD delivery methods. This combination can provide that extra boost of relief you need to get back on your feet.
Unlike many other substances, CBD oil is all-natural, non-toxic, and has virtually no side effects. Most modern prescriptions have a laundry list of side effects.
Be A Savvy Consumer
Think of the last time an ad for prescription medication came on: did the side effects sound horrific and take longer to list than the actual benefits?
It’s no wonder CBD oil is taking off like never before.
With so many outlandish claims for and against CBD oil, it can be tough to determine who has your best interests in mind. As always, do your research. Reputable companies will provide plenty of information about their products, like here.
The more information you have at your disposal, the better suited you are to decide if your CBD oil is safe and effective.
Being a savvy customer means arming yourself with information. If you do that, you don’t have much to worry about when it comes to CBD consumption. Do your research, talk to others, and get excited for a naturally new lease on health.