Are you about to start using CBD products? In that case, you should be aware that CBD affects everyone differently and might have negative effects on certain individuals. This depends on a number of factors, including the user’s health, the amount of THC in the product, etc.
With the great number of CBD products and cannabis strains available, it is important to be well informed, especially if you don’t have previous experience or you’re starting to use a new cannabis product.
Here are 9 factors to consider when buying CBD products.
The Number One Factor is You
Due to the fact that the endocannabinoid system is different in each individual, the effects of CBD vary from person to person. How CBD affects you will depend on a number of individual factors including your gender, age, as well as your physical and mental health.
The Reason You Want to Use CBD
The reason why you’re buying CBD is also very important. Even though CBD has been known to help with a wide array of health conditions including anxiety, pain, MS, and cancer, for now, it has been only confirmed to help with two severe forms of epilepsy – the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and the Dravet syndrome.
Which Form of CBD is Appropriate
The next step to consider is the appropriate form of CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in a number of products including oil, tinctures, vapes, capsules, edibles, topicals, etc. For instance, if you’re suffering from muscle pain or anxiety and you’re looking for quick relief, inhaling CBD through a vape pen might be the best solution.
CBD oil also starts working within minutes, whereas topicals applied to the skin (patches, lotions, creams, salves, etc.) work differently depending on the person. Some individuals might feel the effects immediately, while others feel them after a few hours. CBD edibles (gummies, chocolates, cookies) usually take about half an hour to be absorbed into the system.
The Amount of THC
To avoid any unwanted side effects like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, knowing the level of THC is crucial. The amount of THC is also important in order to determine the effectiveness of a certain product, as well as where you can purchase it.
Studies have found that in some individuals, CBD may be more effective when combined with a bit of THC. If you are looking for a product that contains a low amount of THC and won’t make you high, opt for hemp-derived CBD products. The amount of THC in these products is less than 0.3%. Hemp-derived products also have one important upside – they’re legal and widely available in all 50 states.
However, finding CBD products which contain more than 0.3% THC might be tougher. First, you need to reside in one of the states where marijuana is legal. In addition, you’ll need a recommendation from a physician, and you’ll be able to get it only in state-licensed dispensaries. In the states where marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational use, you don’t need a recommendation from a physician, but you need to be 21 years and over.
Check the Label
Just like THC, CBD (Cannabidiol) is an active cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Consumed on its own, it has no mind-altering effects. However, when present in products that also contain THC, CBD can negate some of its intoxicating effects.
Make sure the product you’re buying shows exactly how much CBD it contains, not just in the whole bottle but also in each dose. Dosages can vary significantly depending on the product’s form, and experts recommend starting with CBD products that have low doses.
On the other hand, be extra careful with products that show only the amount of cannabinoids, without specifying the amount of CBD. The term ‘cannabinoids’ could refer to CBD, THC, as well as a number of other compounds. Some of the products that don’t include the amount of CBD on their label market themselves as “full spectrum” or “whole plant” hemp products, and/or claim to contain other beneficial compounds from the plant, like fatty acids. Although it is possible that these other compounds provide certain health benefits, that is still uncertain.
Terpenes are organic compounds produced by plants which influence their flavors and scents. Cannabis strains usually have one dominant terpene along with several others. Terpenes might affect your taste or aromatic experience with a certain cannabis strain. For instance, the Pineapple Express combines two cannabis strains, Hawaiian and Trainwreck, which smell like mango and apple, with a taste of cedar, pine, and pineapple.
Even though there is a theory that terpenes may contribute to the specific effects or health benefits of a strain, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim.
Before buying a CBD product, ask to see its certificate of analysis (COA). That certificate shows that the product is tested for THC and CBD levels, as well as the presence of contaminants. To be even more sure that the product is good quality, check whether its COA says that the test laboratory meets the “ISO 17025” standards. In addition, check if the lab uses test methods validated by at least one of these renown organizations: the USP (US Pharmacopeia), the AHP (American Herbal Pharmacopoeia), or the AOAC (Association of Official Agricultural Chemists).
If a retail store or online manufacturer doesn’t have this information or won’t share it with you, get your CBD products elsewhere.
Stay Away from Dramatic Claims
Only prescription drugs are legally allowed to make health claims. These drugs undergo extensive laboratory testing to prove their safety and effectiveness. If you find a CBD product which makes sweeping health claims, such as the ability to cure heart disease or anxiety, stay away from it.
The amount of CBD you consume has a direct effect on the experience you’ll have. Even if you’re using a low-potency CBD product, if you take too much, your experience is very likely to be unpleasant. That’s why it is recommended to begin with very small doses and increase gradually.