Cannabidiol (widely known as CBD) is the second most abundant constituent (after tetrahydrocannabinol) of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical constituents produced in the cannabis plant. According to Herbies, over 100 compounds make up these cannabinoids.
However, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most popular due to their effects on the body.
While THC is more popular for its “high” effect, CBD is currently generating a lot of rave reviews because of its controversially claimed health benefits as well as its inability to cause the “high” feeling commonly associated with THC.
This popularity is evident in the different variety of CBD products available presently. This ranges from oils to edibles. There are even CBD-infused sports bras!
However, CBD is currently regarded as a medical supplement in the United States. This means the FDA does not conduct any regulated tests on CBD products if the producers do not claim any health benefits.
With the absence of the FDA strict surveillance on CBD manufacturers, the wide occurrence of CBD products moving through consumer channels is quite considerable.
With this sheer quantity of products available, consumers might have some headache knowing if CBD is worth all the hype or not. If you’re in this category, this article will do justice to explaining the legality, safety, and efficacy of CBD products.
Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Legal?
The issue of cannabidiol’s legality has been a dicey topic for many people. However, to adequately explain it, one has to understand the following terms first:
Cannabis: Cannabis is the general family name of plants that produce cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (the constituent which causes the “high” feeling). The plants could either be of the species Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or a hybrid of both.
Hemp: Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis plant, which only contains 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol. This amount of THC is considered unable to cause the “high” feeling, hence making hemp products useful for medicinal use.
Marijuana: Marijuana is a variety of the Cannabis plant containing more than 0.3% of dry weight cannabidiol. This is the variety that most people smoke to get high.
This is illegal in about 19 states of the U.S. It is worthy to note that both hemp and marijuana contain CBD. The differing factor between both is the amount of THC. It also determines which is legal among both.
Now, let’s delve a little bit into history.
The use of CBD for research purposes started in 2015 when the FDA softened the rules regarding its use. Also, a law known as the Farm Bill, which was enacted in 2018, legalized the use of hemp and took all products gotten from hemp off the Controlled Substances Act.
This means that all products obtained from hemp are now legal. As hemp is also a source of CBD, it makes CBD a legal product in the U.S.
However, it is worth noting that marijuana plants are another source of CBD. This type of CBD is illegal as the amount of THC it contains will produce intoxicating effects to the users. Hence, it is essential to get this clarification before purchasing any CBD product.
Also, these laws are basically federal laws, and each state has its law regarding the use of CBD. Hence, before purchasing CBD seeds or products, it is advisable to check the laws of the state you reside in regarding CBD use.
Is Cannabidiol Safe?
When considering the safety of any product, we have to weigh its uses against its side effects to see if it’s worth the risk of usage. For cannabidiol, it has links as a curing aid to various ailments.
Examples of such ailments include chronic pain management, opioid withdrawal, and many more, with multiple studies corroborating these links. However, it is worthy to note that the FDA has only certified the use of only one CBD-containing drug (known as Epidiolex) to treat anxiety.
This last statement shows that cannabidiol remains broadly unapproved by the appropriate authorities despite the numerous health benefit claims. Hence, there’s no sure way to confirm if the product contains the constituent it claims to contain and/or if it contains them in the claimed quantities.
This means buying a CBD product could have some side effects if not purchased from a reliable source.
To counter the above, you could grow your hemp plant to produce your CBD yourself. While this could be more difficult, you’re assured of getting quality CBD extracts for yourself. The best way to start this up is by getting good CBD seeds.
However, it is also a good point to state that purchasing quality CBD does not mean you’re absolved of some of its side effects. For example, it could cause nausea, fatigue, or irritability. It could also cause an interaction when taken with some drugs.
In the overall sense, CBD has no life-threatening side effects. However, you should consult your health practitioner before using it for any ailment.
Is CBD Effective?
In medicine, the effectiveness of a drug is related to its efficacy. Efficacy simply means the dose of a drug that will cause the desired therapeutic income to occur.
However, due to the lack of extensive and regulated tests on cannabidiol, its effective dose cannot be determined. Hence, its efficacy would vary depending on the manufacturer.
Therefore, the effectiveness of CBD products is a question that does not have a definite answer as of now.
However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before using any CBD product. This way, you can get professional advice on which product will be more effective for whatever ailment you plan to use it for.
With the FDA not putting a tight leash around CBD product manufacturers, some of them might go overboard with their health benefit claims (which, in most cases, leads to an examination of such products).
Hence, to determine the safety or effectiveness of any CBD product, it is advisable to consult a health professional before purchase. This will provide the information above and prepare you for any possible side effects you might experience.