In dozens of states, health food stores, pharmacies, and even supermarkets and restaurants are carrying CBD products. That includes pills, oils. Thousands of the cannabis products line store shelves, but determining .. On the other hand, CBD in food products is likely to take longer— Hemp-Derived CBD in Food Products, A Legal Rabbit Hole as well as whether the use of CBD otherwise violates food and drug laws. .. Police to begin spot- checking CBD oil products on store shelves for any level of THC.
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THC tetrahydrocannabinol , which gets users high, and CBD cannabidiol , which is gaining increasing attention for its potential health benefits. As it turns out, those are also two of the most important factors that consumers should consider when choosing among the thousands of CBD products now being sold across the country. And those choices are soon likely to become even more confusing: Such demand keeps Meyer—vice president for operations at Veritas Farms pictured above as well as a retired fire captain and an Air Force veteran—on alert.
When a plant contains 0. But if a plant has THC levels above 0. To protect against that risk, cannabis plants should be tested frequently while they are growing, and finished products should be tested, using validated methods, too, Boyar says.
And among those that do, the details vary considerably. As a result, consumers need to take matters into their own hands and often have to rely on CBD manufacturers to self-police. Meyer, at Veritas Farms, says consumers should learn as much as they can about CBD products they buy, including where they are grown and whether they were tested for both CBD and THC levels, as well as contaminants. Of course, the first thing to consider is why you want to take CBD.
Read more about the safe use of CBD. And even less is known about which forms of CBD—pill, topical, or drop, for example—might be appropriate. Still, experts do have some advice. For very quick relief of, say, muscle cramps or anxiety, inhaling CBD may be most effective, via either a vape pen think e-cigarette or cigarette-style.
For effects within a few minutes, oil drops under the tongue may be useful. Topical lotions, rubbed onto the skin, vary from person to person—some may feel it right away, others not for several hours. On the other hand, CBD in food products is likely to take longer—30 minutes or more—to be absorbed into your system. Read more about the pros and cons of each form. This is important mainly if you want to avoid the head-high that comes with THC, something that is important to many people who are considering CBD.
But knowing the THC level can be important for other reasons, too, including how effective a product might be, as well as where you can buy it. To be sure, that notion is more theoretical than proven. And only a small amount of THC—as low as the 0. So if you want a product that probably has a little THC but not so much to get you high, look for one made from hemp.
Such products have the added benefit of being widely available, including online and in retail stores.
Maine and Vermont have legalized marijuana for recreational use but have yet to open recreational dispensaries. They may even sell buds or flower from marijuana strains that have been bred to have very low levels of THC, says Michael Backes, author of "Cannabis Pharmacy: Still, Lee cautions that some people are much more sensitive to the psychoactive effects of THC than others.
So if you want to avoid the head-high, it's better to stick with CBD from hemp. Many CBD products sold online and in retail stores come from hemp, not marijuana.
And the source of that hemp can be important. Most hemp used in CBD products sold in the U. Among those sources, Lanier considers Colorado to have the most robust hemp program. Note that the Farm Bill, now in Congress, may make it easier for farmers to grow hemp and expand the number of states where it is grown and tested.
Products made with hemp grown overseas can be even more problematic, because they are not subject to any state or federal testing, say both Lanier and Boyar. So for CBD products from hemp, check labels to see whether they say where it was grown, and look especially for those from Colorado.
Not all products, however, include that information. So in a dispensary or a retail store, ask the staff whether they know where the hemp was grown.
And for products purchased online, check the companies' website to see whether it has that information, or contact the seller to ask the same question. That document shows how a product performed on tests checking for CBD and THC levels, and the presence of contaminants. So any COA for those final products comes from testing the company arranged on its own.
Though not all manufacturers take that step, many do, Lanier says. The quick action could make it especially useful in treating pain or anxiety. If needed, ask a retail salesperson for help or get out your calculator to calculate the amount of CBD per dose.
The price per bottle could be more for a product with a higher CBD content per dose. Earleywine suggests you drop a dose of tincture under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds before swallowing, or apply a single spray of the tincture on the inside of your cheeks. Doing so speeds up the effects of the CBD. If you add a CBD tincture to foods or drinks, it could take up to 30 minutes for it to enter your bloodstream. And ongoing conditions such as chronic pain are likely to better respond with daily doses, he says.
Shake the bottle well before using, Backes says, because CBD often gets stuck on the side of the bottle. Topicals are rubbed directly onto sore muscles or joints, where they may ease pain by reducing inflammation, Earleywine says. CBD balms typically include extracts mixed into a fat, such as beeswax or coconut oil. That recipe not only makes it easier to spread the product on your skin but also allows the CBD to penetrate. That could make them safer—which could be important if you use CBD on a regular basis—considering how little is known about the long-term safety of CBD and other cannabis products.
To be effective, products probably need to have a lot of CBD—which can make them expensive, Backes says. In a retail store, ask whether you can sample the product first, says Tagliaferro of Hemp Garden.
She says some people start feeling effects almost immediately after rubbing it on. Others say they notice relief later in the day, and return to buy the products.
At Inday, an East Indian-inspired restaurant in Manhattan, as a promotion, customers could order CBD-infused ghee clarified butter to be added to any dish.
Other baked foods, such as brownies and cookies, may have a shorter shelf life and need to be placed in a refrigerator to keep the CBD oil fresh, says Backes, an expert in cannabis science and policy. You can also consume CBD in pill form. Similar to ingesting CBD in an edible, pills can take upward of 30 minutes or more to digest before you experience an effect, Earleywine says.
One benefit though is that the per-pill CBD dose should be clearer on packaging than for other forms. And for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, where you might be trying to maintain consistent CBD levels in your body, pills may be an easier solution. As a dorky kid, I spent many a Saturday at the Bloomington, Ind. Now, as a much bigger kid, that's still my job! Identifying products and services, especially in healthcare, that are safe, effective, and affordable—and highlighting those that aren't—is my top concern.
Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed. How to Use CBD: Cannabidiol, touted for its many possible health benefits, is in pills, creams, and even salad dressings and honey.
Sharing is Nice Yes, send me a copy of this email. Send We respect your privacy. Oops, we messed up. More on Alternative Treatments. Alternative Treatments for Arthritis: What Works, What Doesn't. Vape Pens Some people get CBD by smoking the flowering parts of the hemp plant, similar to the way people may smoke marijuana in rolled cigarettes. Tinctures Drops or Sprays Tinctures usually in oil form are taken by dropper or spray, straight into your mouth.
Topical Rubs and Balms Topicals are rubbed directly onto sore muscles or joints, where they may ease pain by reducing inflammation, Earleywine says. Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers. We make it easy to buy the right product from a variety of retailers.
How to Shop for CBD
ABC talked with several local health food stores who says CBD oil is very popular. Many people are using it to treat pain with good results. By , those stores are projected to account for 28 percent of the $ says Marieke Cormier, owner of Roots Natural Foods in Leominster, Massachusetts. “It's something people use every day, so they come back in.”. Hemp CBD oil might be different from cannabis CBD oil, but it's because of the by a variety of different laws based on the way people use them. can actually buy at the health food store and sprinkle on your cereal, salad.