Since Congress assented to the Agricultural Improvement Act (Farm Bill) in 2018, there has been a steady growth in the number of states that have legalized the cultivation, use, sale, and distribution of cannabis. This move contributed to the explosive popularity of the marijuana market, whose value is projected to grow to $15 million by the end of 2030. The law expressly allows the cultivation and sale of hemp, a cannabis cultivar that contains less than 0.3% of THC in dry weight.
As of 2020, approximately 30% of American adults were reported to be using (or have used) CBD products for various purposes. Thus, as the popularity of cannabis grows, obtaining more factual information about these products is essential to avoid being on the wrong side of the law or experiencing adverse effects of CBD products.
What Is CBD?
The cannabis plant comprises over 500 chemical compounds. Approximately 130 of those compounds are cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds producing a range of physical and mental effects on the users. CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) are the two most common cannabinoids, with the latter having a high potential for misuse because of their psychoactive effects. CBD and delta-9 THC bind to receptors in the brain and body but produce different effects.
THC disrupts many mental and physical functions and produces psychoactive effects, while CBD does not produce that intoxication. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most common active compound in cannabis. While CBD is a critical component of medicinal marijuana, it is either extracted directly from the hemp plant, a close relative of marijuana, or produced in a laboratory (in a synthetic form). According to a World Health Organization assessment, CBD demonstrates no effects suggestive of abuse or dependence potential in humans. However, there is still no consistent clinical evidence of CBD’s ability to cure medical issues exists so far.
CBD Product Types
CBD is derived from the hemp variety of cannabis plants because they contain lower THC concentrations than the marijuana type. After that, the CBD extract is used in different forms to create a variety of products ranging from edibles like CBD-infused teas, candies, gummies, cookies or chocolates, orally administered CBD-infused tinctures and supplements, topically applied products, and CBD options for recreational use, such as vapes and pre-rolls. Any of these products can be manufactured in controlled environments for mass manufacturing or locally produced, like weed cookies and other edible products for personal use. It is important to note that the only FDA-approved CBD product is Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oral liquid recommended for treating severe seizure disorders.
CBD Extract Typology
Before picking the product you want to consume for pain, stress, or nausea, select the CBD type optimal for your use. CBD can be one of three recognized categories:
This mixture contains CBD and other naturally occurring components in hemp plants, such as cannabinoids (including trace amounts of THC), terpenes, and flavonoids. Terpenes are responsible for the cannabis plant’s characteristic odor. The components of this variation work together to produce more potent medicinal effects on the users.
This CBD extract is similar to the full-spectrum extract in terms of composition, with the only difference – it is further processed to remove all THC. Thus, it is a THC-free product that contains all other naturally present hemp components.
This is the purest form of CBD, as it contains no THC or anything else. In other words, it’s 100% CBD in composition, with no extra components that may interfere with the user’s medications or cause allergies. Thus, it’s the safest variant for drivers, medical workers, athletes, and other people who need to pass drug tests.
Availability of CBD Products
Apart from the prescription-based Epidiolex, whose availability varies by state depending on the legalization status, most CBD products are available over the counter throughout the United States from online distributors to brick-and-mortar retailers such as drug stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and grocery stores.
Remember that most CBD products sold online and over the counter, even from reputable distributors, are not FDA-approved, meaning CBD products may contain more than the recommended 0.3% THC levels. Thus, it is vital to check the label and the certificate of analysis (CoA) to ensure the content is safe. Most items have been tested by third-party labs for CBD and THC amounts, terpene profile, mycotoxin levels, microbial, foreign matter, pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
Marketing of CBD Products
Most CBD products are marketed as recreational, skin care, medical alternatives, or dietary supplements for humans and their pets. As mentioned above, these products are neither fully regulated nor FDA-approved; therefore, their efficacy and safety are not guaranteed. Additionally, there needs to be solid evidence of the therapeutic properties of CBD, though anecdotal reports and clinical trials already prove its health advantages. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine continues to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CBD for different medical conditions and as a dietary supplement. Either way, the popularity of CBD products is steadily rising, with the market reporting approximately $10 million in sales last year and expected growth soon.
The Legality of CBD Products
Although its legal status is still debated, CBD is widely available in most of the United States, with different degrees of regulation. In December 2015, the FDA relaxed regulatory criteria to allow scientists to conduct CBD research. The Farm Bill of 2018 amended the Controlled Substances Act, which used to consider cannabis illegal.
As the present review showed, CBD is a beneficial, non-toxic choice for medicinal and recreational use and dietary supplements, though more research is still needed to evaluate all risks and benefits more systematically. Thus, it’s hard to estimate proper CBD amounts without enough high-quality information from human research, and the absence of labeling regulation makes it hard to establish the real concentration and contents of CBD-infused consumer products. If you decide to include CBD in your health and wellness regimen, purchase it from a reliable supplier. Also, see your doctor to ensure it will not interfere with other medications.