Cannabidiol (CBD) products are everywhere. Many of them are illegal. All of them have questionable effects on health and wellness. And to some in the cannabis industry, those facts come as somewhat of a surprise.
While actual cannabis is certainly a controversial topic, it seems that CBD oil is less of a debated subject, and more like something the general public is mildly confused about — is it weed, or is it not weed? Curious minds need to know, especially before you can decide to go ahead and rub CBD-infused products on your skin or add them into your diet.
The cannabis compound has been widely touted as a harmless way to treat a slew of ailments, such as anxiety, pain and possibly even cancer — without much evidence to back it up. CBD products flooded the market this year after Congress legalized hemp last December.
“We remain concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market, many of which are illegal, have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe, or that trying CBD ‘can’t hurt,’” FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy said in a statement
The long-term use of CBD is still unclear, as is using multiple forms of CBD at the same time, such as taking an edible while using salve or cream at the same time.
Perhaps even more alarming, CBD has been shown to affect male reproductive activity, such as testicular size, sperm growth and development, and decreased testosterone.
So all of those CBD products you see in your favorite shopping mall, in kiosks inside the mall, in Whole Foods, in Walgreen’s – which appear to legitimize the products just because they are in trusted stores – are still iffy at best. Labels don’t always tell the full story.
Already tests of some products reveal not only no CBD at all in the products, but CBD mixed with THC in other supposedly CBD-only products. A 2017 analysis of 84 CBD products sold online cited by the National Institutes of Health found that 26 percent contained substantially less CBD than the label indicated, and 43 percent contained substantially more. Tests by the FDA also found issues with levels of CBD content.
In addition to the health risks CBD itself may pose, the FDA cautioned consumers to be aware of product quality. The industry is largely unregulated. The FDA said it has tested the chemical content of CBD in some products and found “many” did not contain the amount of CBD they said they did. The agency is also investigating reports of CBD containing “unsafe” levels of contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals and THC.
The good news is that most contaminants are quite easy to detect, thanks to the existence of the many professional analytical labs that routinely screen for such contaminants in food crops, imported medicinal plants or edible oils. The same lab methods can be applied to test for contaminants in CBD oils.
In spite of its safety concerns, it is undeniable how a lot of people are increasingly choosing CBD products over pharmaceutical ones for treatment of different ailments – both physical and mental. This is mostly due to its fewer side-effects and next-to-nil chance of overdosing.Taking advantage of the rise in demand, a lot of unscrupulous manufacturers and cannabis growers have come into the industry with the sole intent of making money, without paying much thought to the welfare of the people to whom they sell their products.So, it is up to us as consumers to be careful and do our own research before we take a chance on CBD products available in the market, especially online ones.