Since the legalization of hemp plantation and its use for medicinal purposes, the cannabidiol (CBD) industry has seen phenomenal growth, and there are no signs of slowing down any time soon.
CBD-infused products, such as those produced (oils, tinctures, topical creams), beverages (coffee and green tea), and edibles (gummies, brownies and cookies) are rapidly gaining popularity both in the U.S. and the world. These products are widely used for chronic pain, stress and anxiety, andinsomnia.
However, the CBD products are not scientifically proven to work. Little or no research has been conducted to prove their efficacy. Moreover, their sale and use are not governed by the federal laws. Thislack of clear guidelines has raised consumer safety concerns.
But before we look into why official agencies are creating objections, let’s understand what CBD is and how popular it’s become over the last few years.
CBD – The ‘Hot’ Trend in the Market
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a naturally-occurring chemical substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana or hemp.
It’s commonly used in oils and edibles to inculcate feelings of relaxation and to alleviate pain, and manage mood disorders.
Unlike the most abundant and active substance found in hemp, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, which means it won’t get you ‘high’.
CBD is added in many products, as mentioned above, to help with multiple conditions such as back pain, insomnia, osteoarthritis, depression, and even some types of cancer.
It’s been estimated that therising sales of CBD-containing foods and beverages will see an increase in revenuesup to $10 billion by 2024!
Tycoons such as PepsiCo, Starbucks and Kellogg’s are even contemplating to add CBD-infused drinks and snacks on their rosters.
Moreover, consumers, particularly millennials, report that these products help them unwind and focus without the need or urge to consume alcohol.
However, despite the lengthy list of positive reviews, the only CBD medication currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Epidiolex, which is used for the treatment of two types of epilepsy.
So Why Are Health Officials Concerned?
The main struggle when considering using CBD products is the lack of research and scientific authentication about its claimed benefits. And this is precisely why officials and agencies are concerned about the safety and efficacy of CBD products.
Here are a few issues that have been raised:
- The FDA has issued warnings to vendors of CBD-infused products regarding the lack of authentic data and information about CBD toxicity and potential side effects.
- The FDA has also warned consumers of possible liver damage. This has motivated CBD manufacturers to come forward and contribute to research that proves the safety of CBD for human consumption.
- Federal class-action lawsuits and private party litigations have surrounded CBD products due to the uncertainty of applicable rules regarding CBD-containing foods and beverages.
- A lack of clear federal guidelines has resulted in individual states developing their own regulations, which often differ drastically from other states, making it harder for agencies to monitor and regularize.
Using CBD Safely – Tips for Choosing the Right Product
Despite the concerns of health officials, the use of CBD continues to grow, and the number of satisfied consumers keeps on increasing.
So no matter how you consume CBD, here are a few important tips you should consider when choosing a product.
Full or Broad-spectrum
For starters, make sure to pick products made using full- or broad-spectrum hemp oil instead of distillates or isolates. The latter doesn’t deliver the full extent of the health benefits of CBD.
Full-spectrum oils contain all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and also include a small percentage of THC. However, broad-spectrum oils contain most cannabinoids and usually undetectable to no THC.
According to research, THC and CBD might work better together to produce something called the entourage effect.
Moreover, full- and broad-spectrum CBD products are also less-processed, which preserves some of its volatile organic compoundspossessing medical health benefits, such as terpenes.
As CBD products are not currently controlled by the FDA, it is extremely important to ensure that what you’re going for has been lab-tested by a third party.
The publically published result of these tests ensures the transparency and safety of the product, and also helps verify that it contains exactly what the packaging says.
Naturally Grown, Organic Cannabis
Lastly, always look for products made using‘organic, US-grown cannabis’. The latter is subject to agricultural regulations, so you can be sure that your productwill not contain more than 0.3% THC.
Also, organic natural ingredients meansthe hemp used to prepare the product didn’t contain any pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
Despite limited research regarding the potential health benefits of CBD products, efforts to validate and regularize its use are ongoing, and established therapeutic uses are sure to be discovered soon.
If want to try out CBD for yourself, you can purchase from a trustworthy supplement companies like Gold Bee where they feature a variety of gummies, tinctures, oils, and lotions.