Is CBD Safe? Here’s what you need to know.

By Harris Wheless
Jordan Nix, Unsplash

CBD is a popular wellness trend that many consumers are interested in using for its potential therapeutic benefits, like pain relief, anxiety reduction, sleep improvements, and more. However, many people have expressed a growing concern for the safety of these products.

In the current CBD market, there are no regulations or safety standards. The FDA is scrambling to learn more about this compound and hemp-derived products in an effort to eventually make a decision regarding the sale and use of CBD as a dietary supplement.

The lack of oversight in the hemp industry has led to a “buyer beware” mindset when it comes to purchasing CBD. We’ve seen some companies pop up overnight selling low quality or potentially dangerous products in an effort to make a quick buck off of the CBD craze. Because of this, we urge consumers to do their research before buying anything labeled with “CBD.” We aim to be a measured voice in this confusing space by connecting customers with the most trusted brands on the market.

Things to Watch Out For

If you’re considering taking CBD, you should first look for a reputable brand that sells the kind of products you’re comfortable taking, whether that be oil, cream, edibles, or capsules. When buying CBD products, pay close attention to the label and any information on the brand’s website concerning dosage and potency. There is usually a concentration, or amount of CBD, listed for each product, which will affect the serving size and how often you should take it.

Be careful with products that have higher concentrations; they are often intended to be taken just once a day. Depending on your symptoms, you may want something fairly potent, or you might prefer taking multiple doses of a low-concentration product. With dosage, it’s best to start small and work your way up in small increments until you settle on something that feels right to you.

It’s also important to pay mind to what other compounds are being included in a CBD product and the effects they may have on you. Products can be divided into three categories based on content: isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD. Isolate CBD contains only CBD and no other compounds. Full-spectrum products include any of the other compounds present in hemp, like CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum products can have all of the compounds that full-spectrum products have, but without any traces of THC. If you’re concerned about passing a drug screening while taking CBD products, consider choosing something without THC.

What to Look For in a CBD Brand

  • Third party lab testing—The most trusted CBD brands are proud of their rigorous commitment to quality and safety, and are transparent about what goes into their products. Many of them post third party test results on their website or make them available upon request. These tests check the concentrations of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, and ensure that the product is free of any harmful pesticides, heavy metals, and chemical solvents.
  • Hemp source—Hemp is a unique plant that soaks up anything in the surrounding soil, so the growing conditions are very important when it comes to producing a high quality CBD extract. We recommend brands that use American-grown hemp because it’s easier to trace the origin of the plants and the conditions under which they were grown.
  • Extraction process—There are several different methods used for hemp extraction, and there’s currently a hot debate being held over which is the best. We don’t necessarily have a preference when it comes to the extraction process, but looking for a brand that’s knowledgeable about their chosen method can be a valuable trust signal for shoppers.

In Conclusion

Be sure to exercise caution when choosing a CBD product and selecting a dosage. It’s okay to use trial and error to determine what is the best fit for you, so long as you do your research and take a measured approach. CBD has minimal side effects, the most common being a feeling of drowsiness from a dosage that’s too high. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.”

So, in cases where the person uses an existing medication or has a fairly serious health condition, we recommend talking to a medical professional about CBD’s potential effects. It never hurts to go the extra mile to ensure your health and safety. Seek out expert advice and be open to careful experimentation in order to land on what will work best for you.

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