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."
McGuire doesn’t advise buying CBD products. You need to differentiate, he says, between the extremely high doses of pharmaceutical-grade pure CBD that participants in the handful of successful studies were given and the dietary supplements available over the counter or online. “These may contain quite small amounts of CBD that might not have large enough concentrations to have any effects,” he says. “It’s the difference between a nutraceutical and a pharmaceutical.” These supplements aren’t allowed to make claims of any effects. “If you’re making creams or sports drinks with CBD, you can say anything you like as long as you don’t say it will do such and such,” he says.
Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.