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By: Molly Muhs
Hello there! My name is Molly and I wanted to share a little about myself and my background before sharing my next blog as I’ve written a few here and have yet to do so. I recently graduated from WMU in 2020 with a degree in Biology, and am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutics through the University of Maryland. I’ve been with CCBD for a little over 2 years and have worked as a patient advisor, delivery driver, and shift lead.
Through my experiences both as a patient advisor and in my own personal research, it has become clear that there is a wealth of misinformation surrounding this extraordinary plant and I would like to help you sort through it. In my upcoming blog articles, I will choose a topic and identify common misinterpretations that I’ve encountered as well as provide additional information I find credible and relevant. If you have a suggestion for a topic to cover, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming up is a string of blogs focused on the things we do know about CBD and CBD products. As laws change and regulations struggle to catch up, CBD is in a legal gray area and thus, as the consumer, it’s up to you to stay informed. Stay tuned as I discuss the regulatory history and current legal status of CBD, provide an overview of credible research, and sort through some common product misconceptions.
A Little Bit About CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been a relevant topic of scientific research since Dr. Raphael Mechoulam isolated and structurally defined the molecule in 1964. Despite this, many Americans only first heard of CBD a few years ago as products containing the non-psychoactive cannabinoid began to appear on the shelves of health food stores and outdated video franchises alike.The legality of these products would rely on the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which fully legalized hemp, and therefore hemp-derived CBD. Unfortunately, the bill failed to regulate hemp-derived CBD which means there are currently little to no safety or production standards in place. A 2017 study analyzed CBD oils bought online and compared the actual concentration of CBD to the concentration listed on the label and found that around 30% of the products were mislabeled by more than 10%.
Along with mislabeling came misinformation as exaggerated anecdotal reports and results from preliminary studies were called upon to convince consumers of the myriad of health benefits that CBD may provide. According to the World Health Organization’s Critical Review Report, CBD has no abuse potential and is generally well tolerated if it is a high-quality product. Unfortunately, there are no regulations in place at this time to ensure consumers are receiving a high-quality product when they purchase CBD. Because of this, the responsibility falls on you, the consumer, to ensure the product you will be consuming is safe and legitimate. In the next section, I will discuss my standards for a quality product and share some tips you can follow next time you are thinking about buying CBD.
Finding a Quality CBD Product…They Do Exist!
- Ensure the product has been USDA certified organic and was produced following cGMP.
While the criteria for USDA certified organic products is not as stringent as you may hope, it is, in my opinion, better than nothing at all. The cGMP label, or current good manufacturing practice, states that the product was created up to the standard of other currently approved products. Since CBD is unregulated, companies are not really bound by any theses manufacturing regulations but quality brands will absolutely hold up to these standards, if not exceed them.
- Only purchase lab-tested products that include a batch specific CoA.
A CoA, or Certificate of Analysis, is a lab-issued document that contains the actual results from product testing. CoAs will contain different information based upon what the manufacturer requests the lab test for their product. Additional testing is always great but the CoA for CBD oil should contain at least cannabinoid levels, pesticide content, heavy metals content, and microbial contaminants. If LOQ (limit of quantification) appears in test results, that means the amount of whatever was being tested for is so low that it cannot be accurately measured or quantified under the specified experimental conditions. ND (none detected) may be used instead of LOQ but they mean the same thing.
- Avoid companies making specific health claims.
Be wary of companies making claims that their CBD product will cure your anxiety, resolve your insomnia, or eradicate all pain and inflammation from your body. Companies making absolute health claims are going against FDA guidelines and are likely out for a quick buck. A legitimate company may use customer reviews and anecdotal reports to promote their product but will never make unsupported claims that their product will cure or treat anything.