If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.
Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
Honestly, I began to wonder if I was just experiencing the placebo effect. But on the one day, I didn’t take my CBD oil, I ended up picking a fight with my boyfriend (totally my fault) and let a few off-color remarks by a family member mess with my mood. Truly, I feel like it was a bit less anxious, both of those incidents could have been diverted.
In 2018, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CBD-based medication after years of research suggesting that CBD is beneficial to treat two rare and severe forms of childhood epilepsy. The FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said the approval was “a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies.” He noted that the action was “not an approval of marijuana or all of its components” but rather of one specific CBD medication for a particular use. In April, an advisory committee unanimously recommended approval of the drug for the two types of epilepsy. FDA CBD rules approving hemp as medicine have helped spread awareness about CBD and acceptance regarding its use.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids. Until recently, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) was getting most of the attention because it’s the ingredient in cannabis that produces intoxicating effects in users. But CBD is also present in high concentrations — and the world is awakening to its possible benefits.
Transparency: cbdMD seems to be going through a transition with their third-party testing practices. Until recently, they only released a lab report for the CBD concentrate they use for all their products, but would not show potency testing for individual products. That seems to be changing. Currently, the only lab report on the website is for their concentrate (and it’s over a year old). But if you contact customer service, they’ll send you a lab report for any product.
Vaporizers – Many state-licensed cannabis dispensaries offer high CBD strains of cannabis flower. This allows for reduced risk of paranoia while allowing for a high medicinal dose of CBD. Vaporizers are used to heat up the flower and remove the properties or compounds of the plant that you are looking for without combustion or smoking. Vaporizers use convection much like a convection oven.