CBD seems to be available everywhere now, and this explosion in popularity has people asking questions about CBD oil, which is still relatively new to the general public. What exactly is CBD? Is CBD safe? Does it have any potentially harmful side effects? The answers to these questions vary based on who you ask and who you’re buying CBD from. Read on to learn more about CBD, its potential side effects and how to address them, and where you should look to purchase legitimate CBD products.
What Is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Because it comes from the same family of plants as THC, which is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive properties, many people assume that CBD can get you high—but it can’t. True CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, so it doesn’t elicit the euphoric “high” feeling marijuana does.
Instead, CBD interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system in ways that can provide helpful benefits, such as relief for anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, and more. A Consumer Reports survey of over 1,000 adults found that 13% had used CBD to treat a health issue, and 90% of them said it helped. Much is still unknown about CBD’s effects, which can vary by individual, but early anecdotal reports are promising.
CBD is currently legal in 47 states, and the Federal Drug Administration has acknowledged the potential positive impact of CBD and is very interested in conducting further research into potential uses and effects.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD is generally considered to be safe, and the World Health Organization considers CBD “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” As with most supplements and medications, CBD has some potential side effects, though studies haven’t found them to be particularly serious. While there hasn’t been substantive reports of serious issues arising from CBD use, there have been mentions of minor side effects.
Possible CBD Side Effects
- Changes in mood and/or appetite
- Dry mouth
- Increase in liver enzymes (a marker for liver inflammation)
It should also be noted that while there’s no comprehensive research on CBD’s effects on fetuses and nursing infants, the FDA recommends pregnant and nursing mothers abstain from CBD use.
CBD can affect the way the body metabolizes other medications, especially those with a “grapefruit warning,” increasing their toxicity or decreasing their effectiveness. It’s recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting a CBD regimen.
Consider Where You Buy CBD
Perhaps the most significant thing to keep in mind when considering whether or not to use CBD is who’s producing it. CBD products are primarily sold and marketed as a supplement and not a drug, so they’re not tested or regulated by the FDA. This causes a wide disparity in the purity and safety of CBD purchases because you don’t know:
- That the product you’re buying has the amount of active ingredients as the dose listed on the label.
- If the product contains unknown (and potentially harmful) elements. Studies have found that only 31% of CBD products are labeled correctly.
Before any purchase, visit the company’s website to determine if it’s reputable. Legitimate CBD producers are eager to prove their validity to potential customers. Look for certificates of analysis that prove the product was tested by a third-party lab. Focus on the CBD content and THC levels to ensure the product is useful and legal.
Following these guidelines essentially eliminates purchasing CBD from pop-up shops and gas stations from your consideration. While some of those products may be safe and viable, there’s no way to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
How to Safely Use CBD
Once you find a trustworthy product, consult with your doctor and make sure it won’t interact negatively with any medications you may currently be taking.
Start with small doses. CBD affects everyone differently depending on weight, metabolism, and body composition. Some people need to take CBD just once a day to experience its full effects, while others require multiple doses each day.
Consider experimenting with CBD through “microdosing,” which is finding your CBD sweet spot by taking different doses at varied times of the day and recording how your body responds.
CBD use can be a safe and effective way to treat ailments, manage conditions, and promote a healthy lifestyle if you use a reputable product. Companies like Frontier Jackson have science and data to back up their offerings. Shop our store of lab-tested products.
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