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Most human studies of CBD have been done on people who have seizures, and the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for rare forms of epilepsy. Clinical trials for other conditions are promising, but tiny. In one Brazilian study published in 2011 of people with generalized social anxiety disorder, for example, taking a 600-mg dose of CBD (higher than a typical dose from a tincture) lessened discomfort more than a placebo, but only a dozen people were given the pill.
Today, companies are extremely skillful at creating a “wow” looking product that will blow your mind. But before you rush out and purchase your first CBD oil on sale, check the seller’s website for their lab tests. Reputable companies use third-party labs to test their products, and have no problem sharing the results. This shows a lot about a company — if they are willing to share their results, then they truly believe in their product and are not hiding anything.
Scam CBD sellers tend to manufacture low-grade oils via ethanol (or other solvent-based) extraction, in what is little better than trying to do it yourself in your basement. The result is a liquid that contains a little CBD (along with some other cannabinoids and terpenes), but not in the quantities needed to be effective in terms of any legitimate medicinal function. Moreover, these solvent-based extracts can contain unnecessary and potentially harmful components — after all, scam artists are not going to reveal the REAL ingredients, are they?
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
Using rigorous review methodology, Gloss and Vickery conclude that based on the low quality of the reports available, there is insufficient data available to draw any conclusions regarding the efficacy and or long-term safety of CBD in treating epilepsy (11). From the data available, it does appear that daily doses of 200 to 300 mg were safe in this small group of patients for a short period of time (14).
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.