To dispel the myth and mystery surrounding CBD, we’ve listed the answers to some frequently asked questions.
- What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of over 130 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD has been shown to have a number of therapeutic effects, from relieving anxiety to reducing inflammation, and without any of the psychoactive effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
- What is the endocannabinoid system?
The main function of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain bodily homeostasis. Endocannabinoid receptors and molecules occur throughout the body and play an important role in a number of bodily processes, including pain, stress, metabolic, and immune function. The cannabinoids found in cannabis are able to mimic these naturally occurring molecules in the body and have subsequently been praised for having similar impacts.
- Will CBD make me feel high?
No. CBD is not a psychoactive cannabinoid like THC. Studies show that CBD may be effective in treating inflammation, pain, anxiety and sleep disorders. Before using CBD, check with your health care professional.
- What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
They are both the same plant, cannabis. Marijuana contains more than .3% THC. A cannabis plant containing less than .3% THC by dry weight is a hemp plant.
- Is CBD safe?
Although CBD is considered extremely safe the process by which the hemp is grown and processed can impact its safety profile. This includes pesticide use and heavy metal residues. That is why an independent certificate of analysis is essential when purchasing a CBD product.
Although it is exceptionally well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications such as blood thinners. Before using CBD, check with your health care professional.
- Are CBD products legal in all fifty states?
CBD is federally legal as long as it is sourced from a legal hemp plant and contains less than 0.3% THC. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 established acceptable THC levels (.03% THC) for hemp and made the growing of hemp legal in all 50 states.
However, some states and communities have outlawed the sale and distribution of CBD.
- How long does it take for CBD to take effect?
This will vary from person to person and depending on the CBD quality, dosage, method of use, etc. Typically people see effects from CBD within a few minutes to an hour. Before using CBD, check with your health care professional.
- What is the difference between hemp seed oil, hemp oil, and CBD oil?
There is a great deal of confusion about the differences and some is deliberately disseminated by marketers of CBD.
Hemp Seed oil – Derived only from the seeds of the hemp plant, hemp seed oil does not contain relevant amounts of cannabinoids.
Hemp oil– Typically the term “Hemp oil” is used in online marketplaces where the term “CBD” is not permitted. These products may contain CBD, but do not disclose what type and often the amount.
CBD oil– Products marketed as CBD oil are typically reliable indicators of a whole-plant CBD extract, and will specify the concentration of CBD in the final product.
- What is the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate?
While there is not a universally accepted definition for any of these terms, as many states and regulatory bodies are still in the process of legally defining them, below is our explanation.
Full Spectrum CBD extract contains as many of the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and other botanical compounds found in the original plant as possible. These components work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid; this interaction is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect“. It was previously believed that CBD in its isolated from was more effective than Full Spectrum CBD; however, in 2005, this theory was debunked by a study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. In the study, researchers found that test subjects administered a full spectrum CBD experienced higher levels of relief, compared to subjects administered a CBD isolate.
Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD without any THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Broad spectrum CBD is made through different processes. One is by starting with CBD isolate and adding other beneficial cannabinoids (minus the THC), terpenes and flavonoids. Another is through a unique process that removes any THC. Broad spectrum CBD can offer some of the entourage benefits associated with full spectrum CBD, but it doesn’t have the same therapeutic potential of full spectrum. However, as it eliminates the chances of THC being introduced into the body, it can be a great choice for those who do not want any traces of THC in their system, whether for legal purposes, passing a drug test, etc.
CBD isolate is the most concentrated form of CBD, which is produced by removing all other compounds found in the plant including terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids. CBD Isolate is typically extracted from Hemp, due to its low to non-existent THC-content.
- Why is independent testing of CBD products important?
Independent testing of CBD is essential to validating claims that are made about quality and concentration of CBD in products. A 2019 CBS investigation of CBD products revealed that less than half of the products had accurate claims about self-advertised dosages. Additionally testing can help identify any unwanted substances such as pesticides and heavy metals.. When hemp-derived CBD first became available, the market was flooded with hemp from China. Testing revealed much of this material contained heavy metals and other toxic residues.
- What is the effective dose of CBD?
Appropriate dosage of CBD depends on a variety of factors, including body weight.
Most of the published studies show that the effective therapeutic dose for CBD is 25 mg and above. CBD has an excellent safety profile. Doses as high as 1000 mg per day have been used without untoward side effects. Researchers suggest starting with a small dosage and incrementally scaling up until you see an effect. It is recommended to talk with your doctor or a medical professional to determine what might be best for you.
- What are terpenes?
Terpenes, found in cannabis and many other plants, are scented molecules responsible for flavor and aroma; these oils give cannabis its distinct aromas, like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. Additionally, terpenes have a range of pharmacological and psychological effects. Linalool, which is also found in lavender and citrus, has been noted for its ability to activate opioid and dopamine receptors to relieve pain. It simultaneously inhibits production of inflammatory cytokines to modulate inflammation. Psychologically, research has shown that emotional learning, beliefs, and suggestion all play a role in how terpenes work in the body.
- What are the differences between the various types of extraction?
The hemp industry utilizes a few main forms of extraction. Depending on the final application, both can be effective extraction methods.
Super- and sub-critical CO2 extraction both manipulate carbon dioxide with varying temperatures and pressures in order to extract compounds from the hemp plant.
CO2 extraction is noted for its ability to extract specific compounds by fine-tuning the temperature and pressure.
Ethanol extraction involves soaking plant material in ethanol for a given amount of time. The liquid is then filtered and the ethanol is distilled off, leaving just the CBD oil. Ethanol extraction is able to process much larger quantities of hemp in a shorter amount of time. However, it typically requires more post-processing time in order to clean up the final product and remove residual solvents and other unwanted compounds, such as chlorophyll.
Lipid extraction steeps hemp material in a fat source, such as coconut or olive oil. The fat is then heated in order to decarboxylate the material, as well as extract the beneficial compounds and terpenes. Lipid extraction is considered to be a very effective extraction method, however there are limitations around usability of the final product.
Other commonly used extraction methods include solvent extraction. These typically utilize butane, hexane, or propane, however these methods are being phased out, due to the potential toxicity of any residual solvent in the final products.
- What is CBD Validator?
CBD Validator is the first independent, unbiased and easy-to-use digital tool that rates CBD oils/ tinctures based on a proprietary system based on multiple parameters including manufacturing process, cost, growing conditions and the manufacturer’s transparency. The parent company, CBD Advanced Science was established to provide consumers with the resources to help them make informed decisions when purchasing CBD products. CBD Advanced Science is committed to providing consumers with unbiased information about the growing number of CBD products marketed today. CBD Validator is independent and does not accept advertising or payments from manufacturers and marketers of CBD products.
- How was the rating system developed?
The proprietary 50-point rating system was based on the science surrounding CBD. Dr. Robert Portman headed up a team that reviewed hundreds of published papers on CBD, many in peer-reviewed journals. These studies encompassed all aspects of CBD including clinical efficacy, safety, manufacturing and growing conditions. Based on this comprehensive review of the scientific data, a proprietary 50-point rating system was created that could be used to evaluate any CBD product. The rating system evaluates:
- Type of CBD used
- Extraction method
- Quality assurance
- Milligrams per dose
The scientific team then analyzed the published website or label information of any CBD product with their proprietary rating system. Every CBD product is given a numerical rating from 1-50.
- Why does CBD validator provide both the numeric and a product rating?
CBD Validator provides both to make it easier for a consumer to make a selection. There are four tiers of products based on the numeric rating as shown below:
- EXCELLENT 39 – 50 points
- GOOD 27 – 38 points
- AVERAGE 15 – 26 points
- POOR 0 – 14 points
- Where do you acquire your information?
Currently there are over 1,300 products in our database (and growing). CBD Validator is continuously conducting research, reviewing industry data and studies, monitoring the media and other networks and channels to identify new products to include on the site.
Additionally, we encourage users on the site to reach out directly and let us know about a new product that may not be in our database.
- How do you determine if the information on a specific manufacturer’s product is accurate?
We implement a rigorous research and evaluation process of the product data provided by each manufacturer, and reach out and follow up with manufacturers to verify that all of the published info about their company/products is most current and accurate, and update our site on an ongoing basis.
- Do you evaluate products that are sold globally, such as from Europe Asia and other regions?
We only include products on CBD Validator that are either sold or are available for distribution in the United States.
- Do you own or have financial interest in any CBD companies that are included in CBD Validator?
None of the principals of CBD Advanced Science or owners of CBD Validator have any financial interest in any CBD companies that market CBD products.