Buying online is less reliable still because there’s no regulation or standardization. What you see on the label may not be what you are getting. A 2017 study in JAMA found that of the 84 CBD products researchers bought online, 43 percent had more CBD than indicated, while 26 percent had less, and some had unexpected THC.“There’s a 75 percent chance of getting a product where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Marcu, one of the study’s coauthors.
But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
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You’ve most likely heard of CBD. It is becoming an increasingly popular choice for an array of health complaints and conditions. It is one of 104 cannabinoids, which are specific chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its sister cannabinoid, THC, CBD provides all the benefits of Cannabis without the psychoactive effects. In other words, it won’t make you high. While many full-spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, the amount is negligible and has no noticeable effects.
Several weeks after a hysterectomy last spring, Bo Roth was suffering from exhaustion and pain that kept her on the couch much of the day. The 58-year-old Seattle speech coach didn’t want to take opioid pain-killers, but Tylenol wasn’t helping enough. Roth was intrigued when women in her online chat group enthused about a cannabis-derived oil called cannabidiol (CBD) that they said relieved pain without making them high. So Roth, who hadn’t smoked weed since college but lived in a state where cannabis was legal, walked into a dispensary and bought a CBD tincture.
All in all, current research shows us that we will experience the most significant degree of therapeutic relief when all the cannabinoids and the terpenes — essential oils that produce the plant’s aromas — are in the oil. Even adding just a little THC in CBD oil can greatly improve the medical properties because of the phenomenon known as the entourage effect.