Although there may be only 12 days until Christmas, approximately 12 million CBD products are out there trying to grab your attention. Most of these products you shouldn’t purchase.
It is difficult enough to understand what CBD can do for you (Opens in new tab) . The difficulty of choosing the right product from the many available options, which are often not subject to regulation, adds another layer. There’s also the added challenge of purchasing CBD products as gifts. You’re effectively acting as a guinea-pig when you use CBD products. You’re also treating your mom like a guinea pig when you purchase CBD for her Christmas.
Martin Lee, director of the CBD advocacy group Project CBD (Opens in new tab) states, “There are good-quality products and there’s lots of crap out there.”
What to know before buying your mom CBD for the holidays
- Think about what CBD should do for you
Consider why you believe your mom should buy CBD for a gift before buying it. Children with debilitating seizures (Opens in new tab) can get relief from CBD. But will CBD UK help mom with her insomnia or arthritis? It all depends on whom you ask.
Researchers found that CBD, a nontoxic compound in cannabis, has promise in treating inflammation. The same applies to anxiety and sleeplessness.
It was given to Colorado-based clinicians by a team of Brazilian researchers. They also tested it on people suffering from social anxiety (Opens in new tab) who were assigned with public speaking. Both found that it decreased anxiety. The majority of patients with mental disorders who used CBD reported sleeping better. The FDA published a new advisory (Opens in new tab) earlier this week about CBD. It lists drowsiness among side effects. However, CBD was found to have minimal behavioral and subjective effects when administered to healthy volunteers (Opens in new tab).
Although research has been done on CBD’s effectiveness in treating a wide range of symptoms, more research is needed. Most of the information you will hear about CBD’s effectiveness for various symptoms will be marketing hype or anecdotal.
- Pay close attention to the location of the plant.
However, if you want to purchase CBD for a loved one, you need to first determine where the CBD was grown.
CBD products can be made with hemp or marijuana. However, hemp seems to be the most popular because of federal regulations. ( Marijuana may be legal in certain states (Opens in new tab) but it is not legal federally. It’s confusing to say that hemp is legal in federal law. However, it’s not legal in all states (Opens in new tab). It is used often to clean soil. In fact, it was even used to remove contaminants from the ground at Chernobyl (Opens in new tab). CBD that you are giving as a gift should not be from hemp grown in low-quality soil. For the same reason, you should look for CBD that was grown organically without pesticides.
Ask a clerk at the store or email the website selling products for information if the product does not state where hemp was grown. You can shop elsewhere if they don’t have the answer or don’t give you a way to reach a person.
It is also recommended to search for CBD companies that source their hemp from states in which marijuana is legal (Opens in new tab). These states will likely have more regulation than countries like China (Opens in new tab). are moving quickly to export CBD. For example, Colorado’s agricultural officials test hemp farms (Opens in new tab) to reduce the use of illegal pesticides.
“Pesticides are to be avoided at all cost,” Dr. Mitch Earleywine (Understanding Marijuana) says. He is also a psychology professor at the University at Albany.
Companies who carefully choose where their hemp is grown often note in their marketing materials that the hemp was certified organic and that it was grown in that state. These are the ones to look for, but they won’t come cheap. CBD oil of high quality can easily run upwards to $100 per bottle.
- Ask for third-party testing results and inspect the label
Don’t buy a product whose label does not list ingredients. Don’t buy a product whose label doesn’t indicate how much CBD is contained in each serving.
Avoid products that make outrageous claims about health.
If third-party results are not readily available, ask to see them. You may find QR codes on products that will direct you to the tests. This is mandatory for Indiana (Opens in new tab). You should move on to another company if they won’t give you lab results. Check the lab results to make sure that the CBD content in each serving is consistent with the label. Also, be sure to check for any heavy metals, solvents or contaminants.
- CBD should not be purchased at a gas station
This is a great rule of thumb to follow for gifts for moms, and especially for CBD. If you live in a legal state, it’s safer to purchase CBD from a dispensary. You can also buy CBD online, or at CBD-specific shops. You should get a feel for where you are shopping. If it feels shady, move on. The packaging is the same. It should not look shabby. Avoid products that make outrageous health claims. According to the FDA, it is illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement or food additive.
Lee says, “One must be a discriminating shopper as one would in the supermarket, at the health food store, or at farmers’ markets.”
- Take into consideration dosage
You, or your mom will need to experiment with how much CBD you should take at one time. The majority of CBD advocates recommend starting low and gradually increasing the dosage. Some CBD tinctures recommend starting with 2.5 mg of CBD for the first dose.
The mental health clinic gave patients 25mg of CBD daily, while the Brazilian researchers gave 600mg to participants an hour before the public speaking test. Chicago researchers used between 300mg and 900mg doses. This is a lot CBD. CBD oil can be found in capsules containing anywhere from 500 mg to 1500 mg. CBD gummies typically contain between 5 and 25 mg of CBD per serving. According to Dr. Esther Blessing of New York University School of Medicine (Opens in new tab) , 300mg is required for anxiety treatment. (Lee of Project CBD also wrote Smoke Signals. A Social History of Marijuana. discredits her assertion.
The FDA warns that CBD can cause liver damage or interact negatively with other medications.
- Vape Pens vs. Lotions vs. Tinctures vs.Edibles
The amount of CBD consumed may also affect the dosage.
Vaping 25mg of CBD might have a different effect than eating a 25mg gummy. CBD edibles go through your liver before reaching your bloodstream. They also lose some strength. It is difficult to estimate how much of the 25 mg that you have become active in your body over that time, according a review of studies (Opens in new tab).
Vaping is more direct to your bloodstream which can speed up the effects but also reduces returns. You should not vape products containing MCT oil, vitamin Acetate, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, or vitamin E acetate. Inhaling these oils can prove dangerous, especially when heated. Vitamin E Acetate has been particularly linked to the current lung crisis in the vape industry.
According to the University of Turin (Opens in new tab) in Italy, CBD is easier to consume when it’s consumed than when it’s smoked.
Tinctures can be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream if they are applied under the tongue. A few drops of a tincture in a smoothie will pass through your liver like an edible.
Lee recommends avoiding edibles containing high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. These are signs that a product is inferior to his view.
The Turin researchers suggested that topical products such as lotions, salves and transdermal patches could be beneficial for treating inflammation in specific areas. It’s possible for some products not to penetrate your skin(Opens new tab) and reach the aching muscle. You may also feel some relief from other ingredients, such as camphor or menthol. You may need a lot of CBD to make a topical product work. This can increase the price.
The buzzword in CBD is nanotechnology. It basically shrinks the molecules to absorb more efficiently. It is being used to create CBD water, which Lee calls bunk.
Lee states, “If it is water, don’t bother.” “Buy the water for the water’s sake, but not for the CBD.”
Earleywine says that at the end of it all, however, the choice of CBD form you purchase is personal preference.
- Avoid brands that cheat
Some CBD producers lie (Opens in new tab) regarding the amount of CBD in their products. They may also deliberately conceal what is inside.
Leafly a cannabis reviewer recently tested 47 products. Nearly half of them delivered CBD within 20 percent of their advertised amounts (getting within the industry average of 20 percent is somewhat common). The only exceptions were the Platinum X CBD Cherry Lollipops, and CBD Living Water.
Leafly states that if a company promises 300mg of CBD but delivers only 300m, it is probably not cutting corners elsewhere.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (Opens in new tab) discovered synthetic cannabis last year. This could cause anxiety, psychoactive effects, and confusion when CBD e-cigarettes are used by Diamond CBD. The researchers also found a cough suppressant that acts as a sedative. The Associated Press (Opens a new Tab) tested 30 vape products that were sold as CBD, and discovered one of them was synthetic cannabis. This is commonly called the dangerous street drug K2 or spice (Opens a new Tab).
Although CBD advocates have called for greater FDA regulation, the agency is slowly collecting data (Opens in new tab) about the subject. It maintains a repository of warning letters to CBD marketers for mislabeling products and testing results (Opens in new tab).
- Isolate or full-spectrum
Many CBD products use CBD isolate. This means that the compound has been taken out of the plant and is now flying solo. This is because many states have a minimum of 0.3 percent THC in CBD products. It’s much easier to comply with that rule if you don’t use THC at all (or simply use hemp).
Many cannabis advocates detest the use of isolate, and promote full-spectrum. Although there is no industry standard for full-spectrum, it may contain more than one cannabinoid. They claim that CBD is most effective when it interacts with other elements of the plant. The compounds found in cannabis, such as terpenes or flavonoids (the compounds that affect smell and taste) can also cause relaxation and tiredness. While more research is needed to clarify this, advocates of the entourage effect point out the 2011 study (Opens in new tab) to support their claims.
The bottom line
There are many things to know about buying CBD. None of this may work for you. It’s worthwhile to research before you spend $45 on CBD gummies.
Earleywine recommends looking into other products that can help with anxiety, sleeplessness, and arthritis before you go to CBD.
He recommends that you don’t look at screens before going to sleep or that you go to bed at the same time each night before “shelling for any alleged sleeping aid.” He jokes that 12 sessions of psychotherapy might be less expensive than a lifetime’s worth of CBD for anxiety.
However, a Christmas card to your mom that tells her to stop checking your phone before bed and schedules a psychotherapy appointment might not be a good idea.