Updated: May 29, 2020
BY: Carol Fisher
Many cannabidiol (CBD) users sing its praises a holistic alternative to conventional opioids and antipsychotic medications. Now that CBD is legal nearly everywhere, the market has exploded with brick-and-mortar businesses and online sellers. As a result, regulations and quality control have lagged behind the rapid growth of this young industry; thus, not all CBD products are created equal. Before you shop, understand what it is you're buying.
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is one of dozens of unique compounds produced by the plant genus Cannabis; varieties of which include marijuana and hemp. When obtained from hemp CBD contains no delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that induces euphoric sensations, or a "high".
What does CBD do?
Most notably, CBD is not psychoactive. It does not change the user's state of mind. When taken without the popular compound THC, the user does not experience the effects of getting stoned.
Some early scientific research suggests CBD has medical and therapeutic benefits. Users have found CBD useful in:
Smoking cessation and drug withdrawal
Treatment of mood disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
Treatment of some types of epilepsy as a result of its anti-seizure properties
Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that CBD might help people in the early stages of AD retain the ability to recognize the faces of people they know.
How does CBD work?
While extremely complex, in simple layperson's terms, it is thought that CBD acts upon our endocannabinoid system which has receptors throughout the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. This system appears to have an important modulatory role in brain function, endocrine, and immune tissues, regulating the secretion of hormones and response to stress.
Currently, the medical community knows very little about CBD. While the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in December 2017 that CBD does not appear to pose any harmful effects to users, there are no studies yet on its long-term effects. Nevertheless, should you have questions do not be discouraged from discussing CBD with your healthcare practitioner, especially if you are already on medication. If you decide to use CBD, be sure to include it as a supplement whenever asked to provide a list of your current medications.
Your dog and CBD
Similar to the benefits experienced by humans, early research is promising, and your beloved canine can be treated with CBD for:
Reduction of inflammation
Protection of the heart and the nervous system
Stimulation of appetite
While CBD is available in dog treats, consider purchasing the oil as a tincture. This will allow you to adjust the dosage drop by drop.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in Washington, as it is in all fifty states, and can be purchased locally or online. First-time buyers might do well to visit a local dispensary to browse their inventory and ask questions. It is imperative to find a trusted manufacturer as high-quality CBD oil should provide the full spectrum of its health benefits.
A trusted CBD oil manufacturer will:
Source their CBD oil from 100% organic, non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) certified hemp
Use CO2 extraction (SCFE) as their method of collecting the oil from the plant
Provide certification of licensed laboratory analysis for cannabinoid content and potency, potential contaminants, and mycotoxins
Use the full spectrum of cannabinoids in their extracts
Outline a clear shipping and return policy
Cannabidiol receptors are found throughout the entire body. Therefore, CBD is available in a mind-boggling array of products including oils, vaporizers, ointments, balms, moisturizers, shampoos, facial cleansers, edibles, capsules, protein powder, CBD-infused teas, tinctures, and bath bombs.
Be mindful of product labeling and note the dosage and actual active CBD in the product. CBD oil should contain no THC, or trace elements less than 0.3 percent. Remember, non-organic oil may contain solvents, pesticides, or fungicides.
When shopping for CBD oil locally or online, it would be wise to choose a company based in the United States with a solid reputation. Be diligent, request expert advice whenever possible, and thoroughly investigate consumer reviews. Look for high-quality CBD; be wary of bargain-priced products.