The vast majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 milliliters (mL), or 0.5 ounces; or 30 mL, or 1 ounce. However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in mL) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg). A 15-mL bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
Another interesting observation was the presence of high levels of non-decarboxylated cannabinoids in multiple samples. It is well known that CBD and THC are not produced as such by the metabolism of the cannabis plant. Instead, cannabinoids are excreted in the form of carboxylic acids such as CBD-acid and THC-acid . The physiological effects of these “acidic” cannabinoids have been studied only to a very limited extent. Only after proper heating (e.g., during smoking, vaporizing, or baking with cannabis) are these natural precursors rapidly converted into the more well-known CBD and THC, respectively. This process is called decarboxylation . Although decarboxylation also takes place during the production of cannabis oils (e.g., during the evaporation of solvents, or during a separate decarboxylation step as part of the production process), 7/46 samples (15%) contained > 25% of its cannabinoid content in the form of acidic cannabinoids, indicating poor control over the decarboxylation process. To address the issue, some producers simply add up the content of CBD and CBD-acid in order to boast a higher “total CBD” content on the label, while advertising this as “raw CBD.”
Carson, too, speculates that CBD might be able to reduce some of the jitteriness associated with caffeine intake, thus complementing it rather than canceling it out. “I can’t say I’ve spent much time in New York, but when I was thinking about talking to you, I got this vision in my head of a stereotypical taxi driver drinking a huge cup of coffee and being really alert but irritable,” he says. “And now if you add in a little CBD, they’re really alert but maybe a little more calm, and not as apt to honk the horn. I think that’s a potential area where there could be something good that comes from adding CBD to the coffee.”
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If CBD oil was used mainly by adult, well-informed, and reasonably healthy consumers, the impact of its widespread use would perhaps be quite acceptable and limited. However, this is not the case, as CBD is actively marketed for use by children (e.g., for Dravet syndrome, ADHD, autism), elderly people (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease), patients suffering from complex diseases (cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain), and even pets (anxiety, appetite, sleep). Indiscriminate use of CBD may lead to various issues among these consumers. For example, CBD shows an exciting potential for treating epilepsy in children, but the long-term effects of high-dose CBD on these children’s brain functions remain unclear, while there are strong clues that the endocannabinoid system is central in the proper neuronal development of the adolescent brain . In order to halt the unchecked advertising of CBD products, health authorities in various countries have begun sending official warning letters to stop producers and sellers from making unfounded health claims [24, 25].
In fact, the law is pretty unclear when it comes to CBD’s state-by-state legality and people (mostly people of color, because a hard-to-interpret law is ripe for racist mishandling) are occasionally charged with possession for carrying CBD. There is a bill in the works (spearheaded by Senator Mitch McConnell, no less) that seeks to get rid of hemp restrictions federally, which would make at least one facet of the law easier to interpret. But TBD on what that means for CBD. So unless you live in a state where marijuana is cleared for recreational use and you’re over the age of 21, the answer to whether or not CBD is legal where you live will vary. And avoid transferring even the most harmless of CBD over state lines. Per Quartz:
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Whether any of these CBD products will do anyone any good (or bad) is moot. “Cannabidiol is the hottest new medicine in mental health because the proper clinical trials do suggest it has clinical effects,” says Philip McGuire, professor of psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London. “It is the No 1 new treatment we’re interested in. But although there’s tons of stuff in the news about it, there’s still not that much evidence.” Large, long-term studies are needed; a 2017 review paper into the safety profile of CBD concluded that “important toxicological parameters are yet to be studied; for example, if CBD has an effect on hormones”.
An excellent example is the use of CBD (and also THC) products for the self-medicating of cancer, with the intention of fully curing it . This is based on an increasing body of preclinical evidence showing cannabinoids to be capable, under some conditions, of inhibiting the development of cancer cells in vitro or in vivo by various mechanisms of action, including induction of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, and arresting the cell cycle . This is certainly exciting news, and research is ongoing around the world, but there is no solid clinical evidence yet to support that cannabinoids – whether natural or synthetic – can effectively and safely treat cancer in actual humans . In fact, there are indications that certain types of cancer may even accelerate when exposed to cannabinoids . This becomes problematic when patients choose to refuse chemotherapy treatment because they firmly believe in the rumored curative properties of cannabinoids. As a result, recommendation of cannabinoids for treating cancer should be done with great care, and with distinction as to the type of cancer being treated .
According to West, who says her team is “drawing on a wealth of anecdotal evidence,” CBD in your java can really take the edge off. “My colleagues, friends, and I have found that CBD-infused coffee largely does away with the anxiety and acid belly typically associated with coffee,” she says. “That makes sense, because research suggests CBD has anti-anxiety and [anti-nausea] effects. We’ve also found that compared to the coffee we reach for regularly, testers experience a less jittery, elevated burst of energy after drinking CBD-infused coffee.”
One of the earliest success stories involves a young girl named Charlotte who was given an ingestible oil derived from Charlotte’s Web, a CBD strain that was specifically developed to provide her with all the benefits of the drug without the high. In less than two years, Charlotte went from a monthly seizure count of 1,200 to about three. Other success stories followed and more parents have begun to speak out, particularly parents who are desperate for access to this life-saving treatment.
One study found that placebos sometimes work even when the subject knows it’s a placebo. Another, using that same public speaking setup that CBD studies have used, found that anxiety treatments are particularly susceptible to the placebo effect, with 40 percent of placebo-treated patients showing a decrease in anxiety symptoms while tasked with speaking to a crowd.
I suppose you could say that up until roughly a month ago, I hadn't given the CBD movement, as it pertains to the beauty and wellness industry, a fair shot. I had experimented here and there with balms, lotions, sprays, and under-the-tongue strips, but nothing stuck. I was intrigued, but I didn't experience anything miraculous. Therefore, I let my CBD product stash slip to the wayside. The one product I had strangely neglected? Cannabis oil. Which is weird considering oil-filled tinctures are one of the most popular ways to imbibe right now. Leave it to me to miss the train entirely only to arrive late to the party months later. Alas, I'm here now and ready to share my newest morning ritual: a CBD-infused elixir of happiness that irons out my nerves while allowing my much-needed coffee high to do its thing. Yep, squeezing CBD oil into my morning coffee has changed my life for the better. It's not surprising considering the plethora of research correlating the compound with decreased anxiety. Let me explain.
The next morning, I blended the contents of the bottle up with collagen (because I add Vital Proteins to pretty much everything I drink) and took my first sip. I was immediately impressed with the taste—so creamy, dreamy, delicious, and not at all skunky. Settling into my couch with my laptop (lazy Sunday mornings are when I like to get myself organized for the upcoming work week), I continued to sip. Normally, and as it would for anyone, diving into my inbox, scanning the upcoming week's calendar, and plotting out all my upcoming to-dos sends shivers of nerves and anxiety down my spine. I love my job, but it comes with its fair share of stress. Miraculously, however, I felt calm, cool, and collected. As my fingers skipped away at lightning speed on my keyboard courtesy of that 80 milligrams of caffeine, I didn't have the usual side effect of nerves, jumps, or jitters. I felt good, and on my way home from the gym later that day, I picked up a couple more bottles of Kickback. What can I say? I was high for it. Of course, "high" not to be taken literally, as CBD—aka cannabidiol—is a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis.
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In any case, California’s decision to ban CBD oil from hemp seems like it may be informed more by legalistic hair-splitting. And to illustrate how finely that hair is split, recall that CBD is a controlled substance under federal law, regardless of what it is derived from. Yet federal policy is also contradictory. The FDA’s recent approval of the CBD medicine Epidiolex comes despite the fact that the DEA considers CBD a Schedule I substance, with no medical applications. A DEA rescheduling or de-scheduling of CBD would go a long way toward resolving these questions — and is coming in the next three months.
My coffee shop is not unusual in selling CBD products. In New York, and all over the country, you can find CBD oil in convenience stores, CBD vapes in smoke shops, and CBD tinctures and topical creams in beauty stores. You can buy CBD dog treats in Chicago, a $700 CBD couples massage in Philadelphia, and CBD chocolate chip cookies in Miami. CBD is also being combined with ice cream, savory snacks, and cocktails. Even Coca-Cola is reportedly working on a CBD-infused beverage.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil has recently become a wellness-world darling, popping up in everything from mascara to bath bombs. But the science hasn’t caught up to the supply. A 2017 University of Pennsylvania study found “a lack of regulation and oversight” on cannabidiol extracts, and that 70 percent of CBD products sold online were mislabeled. So like many other products we consume or put on our skin daily (makeup, lotions, supplements, vitamins) none of it is regulated. If you live in a state where marijuana is not recreationally legal, your CBD will most likely be derived from hemp. And that’s okay, says Leivent. “Hemp-based CBD still works on the same issues like anxiety and anti-inflammatory conditions, there are just fewer amounts of the other chemicals that could enhance the effect of the CBD."