How can I ensure a CBD product is safe and effective?

How can I ensure a CBD product is safe and effective?

The landscape of alternative medicine has recently witnessed the meteoric rise of a single compound – Cannabidiol, better known as CBD. As CBD infused products find their way onto shelves worldwide, it's essential to dive into what it is, its rich history, its ever-evolving legal status, and how to determine the quality of a CBD product. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over a hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn't produce a "high" effect or any form of intoxication.

Head high

Instead, it's known for potential therapeutic effects, including pain relief, reducing anxiety, and aiding sleep, to name a few. 

CBD's history is intrinsically linked to the history of cannabis. The use of cannabis for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual purposes can be traced back thousands of years. However, CBD's identification as a distinct compound is relatively recent.

Weed mountains

Ancient Civilizations: The ancient Chinese and Egyptian texts have references to the use of cannabis for various ailments. They primarily utilized the whole plant rather than isolating specific compounds like CBD.

Modern Discovery: CBD was identified in the early 20th century, with Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois isolating CBD from cannabis in 1940. However, its chemical structure was only fully described in the 1960s.

 Roger Adams

Over recent years, the wellness industry has been buzzing about a singular compound: Cannabidiol, or CBD. Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD has piqued interest and cultivated a massive following. But what's behind the surge? Why are people so keen on integrating CBD into their routines?

Natural Alternative to Traditional Medications

For many, the allure of CBD lies in its natural origins. As the push towards organic and holistic remedies grows, CBD stands as an attractive option for those wary of synthetic drugs and their potential side effects.

Diverse Therapeutic Potentials

Multiple studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD can offer an array of therapeutic benefits: 

Woman headache

  • Pain Relief: CBD is believed to interact with receptors in the brain and immune system, potentially reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. Many individuals with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, have explored CBD as a complementary remedy.
  • Anxiety and Depression Management: Preliminary research indicates that CBD may have anxiolytic properties, making it a consideration for those seeking to manage anxiety and depression without resorting to traditional pharmaceuticals.
  • Sleep Aid: For those wrestling with insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns, CBD has emerged as a potential solution. By addressing issues like pain or anxiety, CBD may indirectly foster better sleep.

Neuroprotective Properties

Emerging research suggests that CBD may have neuroprotective properties, drawing interest from those with neurodegenerative disorders. While research is still in its infancy, the possibilities are intriguing.

Skincare and Acne

CBD's potential anti-inflammatory properties have found a place in the beauty industry. Some believe it can combat acne by reducing sebum production and alleviating skin inflammation.

Woman acne

General Well-being and Homeostasis

CBD is also taken as a general wellness supplement. The endocannabinoid system, with which CBD interacts, plays a role in maintaining the body's internal balance or homeostasis. By influencing this system, CBD may promote overall well-being.

Minimal Psychoactive Effects

Unlike THC, another prominent cannabinoid, CBD does not induce a "high." This allows users to potentially reap the benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects, making it a more palatable option for many.

The rise of CBD is a testament to the shifting paradigms in health and wellness. As research continues to unfold, the reasons for its popularity become increasingly evident. However, those interested in integrating CBD should consult with a healthcare professional and ensure they're sourcing high-quality products.

Legal Status and Battles 

The legal journey of CBD has been turbulent. This is primarily due to its association with the cannabis plant.

Law shopping

  • Initial Prohibition: In many countries, including the US, all forms of cannabis, including hemp, were criminalized in the early 20th century. This meant that CBD, irrespective of its non-psychoactive nature, was illegal.
  • Shift in Perspective: The 2018 US Farm Bill differentiated between hemp (cannabis with 0.3% THC or less) and other forms of cannabis. This legalization of hemp cultivation paved the way for the boom in CBD products.
  • Global Legal Landscape: The legal status of CBD varies globally. While some countries have embraced its potential therapeutic benefits, others remain cautious due to its association with cannabis.

Ensuring Safe and Effective CBD Products

Safety and authenticity are paramount. As Cannabidiol (CBD) continues to gain traction for its therapeutic potential, consumers must remain vigilant about the products they purchase. So, how can you ensure the CBD you buy is safe? Follow this comprehensive guide.

Check for Third-Party Lab Testing

Trustworthy CBD brands, such as CBDistillery, cbdMD, Lazarus Naturals, Nuleaf Naturals and others will always have their products tested by independent, third-party labs.

All of the Lab Results for products sold on The CBD Haven, can be found here: Certificates of Analysis.

Certificates of Analysis (COA) which indicate the levels of CBD, THC, and other compounds. This report should also confirm the absence of harmful levels of contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.

Lab testing

Red Flags: Absence of COAs or test results from in-house labs without third-party verification.

Source of CBD: Know Where It's Grown

Hemp, the primary source of CBD, is a hyperaccumulator, meaning it absorbs everything from the soil.

Brands that source their hemp from regulated farms in countries with strict agricultural regulations, such as the USA, Canada, or parts of Europe.

All products sold on The CBD Haven are made from US Grown Hemp.

Red Flags: Brands unclear about their hemp's origin.

Extraction Methods Matter

The process used to extract CBD from the hemp plant can influence product purity.

CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction methods are considered the industry gold standard, maintaining purity without leaving harmful residues.

Red Flags: Products derived using chemical solvents like butane.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or Isolate

Understanding the type of CBD in your product is crucial.

Full Spectrum CBD: This type contains all the phytochemicals that are naturally found in the cannabis plant, including CBD, trace cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils. It also includes a trace amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but usually below the legal limit of 0.3% (in countries or states where THC is legal).
Many users and researchers believe in the "entourage effect," a theory suggesting that the cannabis plant's various components work better together than in isolation. Full-spectrum CBD is thought to be beneficial due to this synergistic effect.

Broad Spectrum CBD: This type starts as full-spectrum CBD and undergoes a refinement process to remove the THC molecule entirely. It contains all the other cannabinoids and compounds found in the cannabis plant but without any THC.

This is ideal for individuals who want to avoid any amount of THC due to personal reasons or drug testing concerns but still want the benefits of the other cannabinoids.

CBD Isolate: As the name suggests, this is the purest form of CBD. All other cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds are removed, leaving only CBD. It's often found as a white powder or mixed with a carrier oil for consumption.

It's the right choice for those who only want to consume CBD without any other components of the cannabis plant.

Red Flags: Brands that don’t clearly label or disclose what kind of CBD is used.

Transparent Brands = Trustworthy Brands

Companies should be open about their practices, products, and sources.

Easy-to-find information on sourcing, extraction methods, and clear dosage guidelines. Brands that engage with their consumers through customer service or online platforms often signal trust.

Red Flags: Companies that make unrealistic claims about their products' capabilities or are elusive about providing product information.

Ensuring the CBD you buy is safe requires a blend of research, vigilance, and knowledge. By keeping the above checkpoints in mind, you can confidently navigate the bustling CBD market, ensuring your product is both safe and effective.

Shopping cart online

When looking to buy CBD online, avoid places like Amazon or Ebay, since both companies clearly prohibit the sale of these products. This means you will most likely get a counter fit or fake product, such as actual hemp oil versus true CBD. 

CBD's journey from ancient civilizations to the modern wellness industry has been marked by discovery, legal battles, and an ever-growing body of research into its potential benefits.

As with any wellness product, it's essential to do your due diligence, ensuring you're getting a safe and effective CBD product. As the world continues to embrace CBD, staying informed is the key to navigating this rapidly evolving landscape.