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Is CBD legal? It works? Your questions answered

CBD (Cannabidiol) is basically the Meghan Markle of the Wellness World: Newly Picked Shelf License, which is now universally known for its all-weather appeal. (Insomnia? Spasms in the period? Inconvenient shoes? CBD said to help with all these things, and then some.)

But behind the cool girl facade, there is still a lot that most of us do not know about CBD – a key compound found in cannabis that gives many medicinal properties to the plant, minus the high. But once you decide to add it to your wellness routine and start exploring the various CBD products on offer, you are forced to answer many questions without obvious answers. Is there a difference between CBD from hemp and marijuana? Is it important to get it from a drink, a lotion or a gourmet meal? What's wrong if it does not work for you (is it just snake oil)? And is it legal where you live?

Head is already spinning? Think of this as your CBD Buyer's Guide, filled with expert advice on navigating some of the, uh, gloomy aspects of the most-stimulated 201

8 supplement.

Here are all your burning CBD questions that will be answered by experts. 19659005] All your CBD questions, answered "width =" 870 "height =" 573 "srcset =" https://www.wellandgood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Stocksy-woman-lounging-Lauren -Naefe.jpg 870w, https://www.wellandgood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Stocksy-woman-lounging-Lauren-Naefe-607×400.jpg 607w, https://www.wellandgood.com /wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Stocksy-woman-lounging-Lauren-Naefe-150×99.jpg 150w, https://www.wellandgood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Stocksy-woman- lounging-lauren-naefe-600×395.jpg 600w, https://www.wellandgood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Stocksy-woman-lounging-Lauren-Naefe-500×329.jpg 500w "sizes =" ( max-width: 870px) 100vw, 870px "/>
Photo: Stocksy / Lauren Naefe

How do I know if CBD is right for me?

A big part of CBD's appeal is that it works with Supplementing a broad range of wellness concerns, Hempia co-founder cannabis feminist Jessica Assaf has her multitasking skills The fact is that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid (ECS) system that occurs throughout the human nervous system, organs, connective tissue, glands, and immune system.

"When external forces disturb the body's homeostasis, the endocannabinoid system helps our body push back and restore balance," she says. It is believed that cannabis compounds such as CBD help with this balancing act, which can be disturbed by an unhealthy diet, stress or toxin exposure by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body.

"If you are perfectly healthy, you probably do not need cannabinoids ." – Jessica Assaf, cannabis feminist and co-founder of Hempia

This is a myth that everyone should supplement CBD. If you are generally healthy, says Assaf, you may find that it does not do much for you. "We do not always need cannabinoids," she emphasizes. "If you're perfectly healthy, you probably do not need cannabinoids because they're important only if you're out of whack." But if you have problems with any of the above systems – and, frankly, who does not? – It may be worthwhile asking your doctor if CBD could be of use to you.

  All your CBD questions answered
Photo: Stocksy / Victor Torres

Okay, that sounds promising. But what does science say?

Despite all the fanfares surrounding CBD, scientists are still at an early stage to examine them at the clinical level. "There is very little data from rigorous scientific research on the therapeutic effects of CBD," says J. H. Atkinson, MD, of the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego. This does not mean that does not live up to the hype – it just means that more clinical research needs to be done to get these arguments under control.

Part of it is how cannabis is regulated in the United States (or not …) says Assaf. "In the past, it has been very difficult to initiate and conduct clinical trials in this country because the regulatory landscape is volatile and cannabis is considered a" no-medical benefit "as a Plan 1 drug," she says. (This class of drugs also includes drugs like LSD, heroin and ecstasy.)

This is changing, however. "There have been hundreds of CBD-related studies in dozens of countries and institutions in recent years, many of which go unnoticed, but they do exist," Assaf points out. During Well + Good's latest TALKS panel on CBD, Chris Sayegh, owner and chef of The Herbal Chef, added that there are many more studies in the US than the public knows, but because they are private ones Businesses, the results are confidential.

"There is very little data from rigorous scientific research on the therapeutic effects of CBD."
-J. H. Atkinson, MD

Some of these early research suggests that CBD can potentially treat diseases such as anxiety, high blood pressure, skin problems, and pain. However, many of these studies involve small sample sizes or animal instead of human subjects. Evidence is also contradictory in some cases, says dr. Atkinson. "One study suggested that CBD could be a useful adjunct when administered with conventional antipsychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia, another study found no benefit," he says as an example.

However, after the FDA has approved a CBD-based drug for the treatment of epilepsy in children, more detailed research into the health benefits of the drug is likely to be forthcoming. (For example: UCSD's CMCR was funded to conduct a pediatric autism study on CBD.) "In 2016, the US pharmacopoeia initiated a process that may return cannabis [official list of medicinal drugs]," says Assaf. "Now it's up to us to make research more accessible to the mainstream consumer." Conclusion: Watch this room.

  All your CBD questions answered
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Hemp vs. Cannabis – does it matter where my CBD came from?

Read the label of a CBD product and you will probably see that the active ingredient comes from one of two plants – hemp or marijuana. The difference between the two is simple, Dr. Atkinson.

"The federal government defines hemp as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3 percent by weight tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)," he says. (THC is the compound in cannabis that makes you high-and 0.3 percent THC is not enough to affect your mental state.) "A cannabis plant with a higher THC content is often referred to as marijuana." Hemp-derived CBD, which is grown according to the regulations of the industrial hemp industry, is generally known to be legal everywhere. (Although not always technically the case – more about that in a minute.)

"Pure CBD, whether derived from cannabis or hemp or made in a laboratory, is ultimately the same molecule and will have the same effect." – Jeff Chen, MD

Comparing CBD in hemp and marijuana, There is no difference, says Jeff Chen, MD, founder and director of UCLA's Cannabis Research Initiative. "Pure CBD, whether derived from cannabis or hemp or made in a laboratory, is ultimately the same molecule and will have the same effect," he says. Add Cannuga co-founder Michael Bumgarner, who has a background in agriculture (and was also a panelist at Well + Good TALK): "A molecule consists of a specific arrangement and configuration of atoms with a specific binding pattern. regardless of its share of CBD and THC, these fundamental truths do not change. "

But if you do not buy your CBD products from a pharmacy, you will never encounter CBD from marijuana. (The type you can buy online and in normal stores is always hemp.) "CBD from the cannabis plant can still have high levels of THC," explains Nick Danias, co-founder of The Pottery, a Los Angeles drugstore. Yes, some CBD products can still bring you up despite reports to the contrary.

  All your CBD questions answered
Photo: Stocksy / Alessio Bogani

What about CBD whole plants against CBD isolate?

Two other buzzer phrases that you will probably see in CBD shopping: Full Spectrum and Isolate, which essentially has to do with how the CBD product is formulated – CBD Isolate is an abbreviation for the CBD Molecule that stands alone, while CBD also contains other compounds from the cannabis plant throughout the plant.

There is a lot of debate in the industry today about whether one is better than the other, and there was not enough research to finally clarify the argument. "I hear from scientists on both sides," says Bumgarner. "Some say that there is no difference, because once you have extracted CBD, our bodies process it individually, the other side says that full spectrum is the only way."

He personally chose to use a CBD isolate for Cannuka skin care products, as this facilitates the control of the dose and purity of the molecule from a manufacturing point of view. "By bringing it to the isolate, we can make sure the CBD we use in batch one is the same as batch 101," he says. Studies have shown that CBD can actually help in isolation when applied to skin cells, for example, and reduces sebum production and inflammation. (Bumgarner admits, however, that he is not sure whether the CBD isolate would have the same effect on oral or non-skin-related ingestion.)

In the other camp, Assaf believes that full-spectrum CBD products are probably more beneficial from a health point of view. "While CBD can have some light benefits as a single molecule, it needs the other active ingredients of the plant for optimal results," she argues, noting that they include other cannabinoids and terpenes that give cannabis its distinctive flavor. "These active compounds modulate the effects of each other, reduce the side effects of one ingredient and, at the same time, enhance the effects of another, so choosing an all-plant hemp extract is so important."

An animal study from 2015 showed that CBD full-spectrum extracts are significantly more effective in treating inflammatory conditions than "pure" CBD molecules.

An oft-cited animal study from 2015 supports this theory and shows CBD full spectrum extract to be significantly more effective in the treatment of inflammatory conditions than "pure" CBD molecules when taken internally. That is, the effects of a particular CBD product will vary, depending on which other cannabinoids (THC and CBD are not the only ones – there are at least 113 known cannabinoids) and terpenes are present in the formulation, says dr. Chen. "There are differences in the other compounds that exist alongside the CBD, so there may be a difference in the effect between the cannabis extract or the hemp extract," he emphasizes. The best option for you to find out is a matter of trial and error.

However, a high THC content does not necessarily have to be part of the mix, says Assaf. "There are certain medical conditions and cases that require THC for optimal results," she says, noting that pain and nausea are two examples. "But in general we believe the cannabis has all the benefits of cannabis and more." (Dr. Chen adds that this has not been clinically researched, so there is no way to confirm or deny this theory).

  All your CBD questions answered
Photo: Twenty20 / mppllc

So CBD products without THC are legal everywhere, right?

When it comes to the legality of CBD products, things are much darker The media make them audible. "It's complicated, there's no way around it," says Daniel Shortt, a Seattle lawyer who works with companies in the cannabis industry. "The idea that CBD is legal in all 50 states is, at best, too much simplification of the current legal status."

This is how it works: All products made from the stems and seeds of the hemp plant are legal everywhere and have been around for a long time – think of the hemp seeds and the culinary hemp oil you put on your salads. "The problem with that is that the ripe stems and seeds do not have a ton of CBD or any other cannabinoid in them," says Shortt, adding that the plant's flowers are the most good things depend.

The adoption of the Agriculture Act in 2014 allowed farmers to grow high CBD hemp varieties, which are often used to make the CBD products that are so popular today. "The Farm Bill allows states to conduct pilot research programs and allows the cultivation of industrial hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC," says Shortt. "The protection is not limited to the [stalks and seeds] plant with industrial hemp. Now you have industrial hemp that can be bred for high CBD strains – and because of this trend every hemp farmer is going as much CBD as possible."

But there are still a lot of contradictions in the law between government agencies, because states have their own rules on what is legal and what is not, when it comes to CBD. "They have a number of different regulatory approaches, and each state has a different nuance," says Shortt. Many of them are surprisingly strict. "Although Washington was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, it does not actually allow the processing of industrial hemp for human consumption," he says.

"The idea that CBD is legal in all 50 states is, at best, too much simplification of the present status of the law." – Daniel Shortt, attorney

California could go in the same direction. Just this month, the state health department said cannabis CBD can not be added to "food, drink, sweets, seasonings or chewing gum." (However, marijuana-derived CBD is legal if sold by the FDA.) "Until the FDA determines that CBD oil and CBD industrial hemp products can be used as food or California states that it is safe for human and animal consumption CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement, "the agency said in a statement, but it still remains to be seen whether the state will actually devote resources to enforcing it, especially because it is language-based Literature of the industrial hemp program in California, which states that "every preparation" of the plant is legal, directly contradicts.

But while California can be surprisingly harsh in its CBD regulation, other states you may not expect will be taking CBD, Shortt says. "They have a state like Indiana who is not marijuana-friendly, who is actually actively involved in regulating CBD," he says. "They have this fully robust regulatory framework on how to label CBD products – lot number, date of manufacture, and CBD level."

This obviously creates a lot of confusion for manufacturers and sellers of CBD products, but a breakthrough might be in sight when the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 is passed this year. "It would still allow states to pursue different approaches, but we would have a clearer base for what is legal, and it would allow for an expansion of the already expanding CBD market," says Shortt. "It's a really important moment because the government recognizes that the cannabis plant has medicinal value." Until then, refer to the laws of your country to find out what is allowed where you live.

  All your CBD questions answered
Photo: Twenty20 / Olga.Koko

Good news! I can freely buy CBD products in my state. But do some formulations – oils vs. topicals vs tinctures – better than others?

Finding your perfect CBD match is just a matter of trying different formulations and finding what works best for you, say our experts. "You can experiment with low doses of CBD oil or cream to understand how your body reacts and, if necessary, adjusts itself," says Danias. (There are very few side effects associated with CBD, but you should still talk to your doctor before using it to make sure it does not interact with the medications you are taking.)

In general, says Assaf, there are a few guidelines that you can follow. "If you have bowel problems or a generalized inflammation, a tincture will address the problem more effectively than a topical one," she says. "If you're having muscle aches, sore muscles, or skin irritation, a topic would be best, and if you want to fight stress or anxiety, a vape may be easier for you."

In the future, even more advanced and effective CBD options are expected to hit the market. For example, Kush Queen founder Olivia Alexander recently launched the Defynt Anti-Serum, a CBD facial serum made using nanotechnology that allows the product to penetrate deeper into the skin. Hempia also relies on innovation, says Assaf. "We are discovering the importance of extraction method, consistency, dose and, in some cases, nanotechnology to ensure that cannabinoids break the skin barrier in topical applications," she says.

  All of your CBD questions answered
Photo: Stocksy / Guille Faingold

I tried CBD, but it just did not work for me. What is there?

One of the hardest things about using CBD is that its effects are very individual. "I do not think we know if CBD works, whether it works for some people or not for others or for certain conditions, but not for others," Dr. Atkinson. And until more research on CBD is done, we can not definitely answer these questions.

It also does not help that, from a therapeutic point of view, there is no nationwide consensus on which dose or concentration is most helpful. "There is not enough scientific evidence backed by the federal government to accurately record dosing procedures," explains Danias of The Pottery. Alexander adds: "It's all about the ingredients, dosage and concentration of CBD – and many CBD products do not even indicate how much CBD is included in the product – customers should expect brands to characterize the amount of CBD and consumers should not invest in products that do not. "

That may not be enough to make sure you get a real product. A study by Penn Medicine researchers in 2017 found that up to 70 percent of CBD products may be mislabeled. The team analyzed 84 different CBD products from unknown brands and found that 42 percent of them contained more CBD than announced; 26 percent contained less; and some also contained a "significant" amount of THC, although they were not labeled as such. "The biggest consequence is that many of these patients may not get the right dosage," said Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, lead author of the study. "They either do not get enough to be effective or they become too much." (Excess CBD can also cause the product to be ineffective, the study says.)

A study by Penn Medicine researchers in 2017 found that up to 70 percent of CBD products could be mislabeled.

Governments are beginning to crack down on it. "California is launching a program to test products sold by licensed pharmacies to ensure that the label describes what is actually in the product," says Dr. Atkinson. However, it is up to you to research the products you buy and make sure they come from reputable manufacturers. And since there is not a single third-party resource available to compile this information, it means fulfilling your due diligence by reading the fine print and googling the founders of the brand.

"I use the same values ​​and practices for buying CBD as food and personal care products: Ingredients are important, know your founders, buy from companies with a mission beyond profit, and demand transparency from seed to the ground," says Assaf. "Choose a plant full spectrum product that has been extracted without harmful solvents such as butane using the cleanest methods Demand the full cannabinoid profile Many companies sell snake oil, so it's important that we set higher standards in the industry. "No pun intended.

Another reason to research your CBD products: Counterfeits make people sick. Plus, here's a little more guidance on how to find the right dose for you.

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