If the ECS is affected, or the body is not producing enough endocannabinoids, these functions in the body may become unbalanced. And when the body is not producing or regulating endocannabinoids properly, ingesting natural cannabinoids or applying them topically can restore this balance. CBD differs from THC in the sense that THC mimics the natural cannabinoids in the body and binds with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are found in abundance within the immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, and in the central and peripheral nervous systems. While THC binds to these receptors, CBD interacts with an enzyme called FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase).4
Hemp produced in Europe is generally of good quality, according to Evan Kopelson, who has been a medical cannabis industry consultant for the past eight years. He notes in an article on Linkedin that until recently, when the USDA began allowing hemp to be certified organic, buying from Europe was the only way to be sure that CBD oil was pesticide-free. While laws have since allowed American companies to certify their hemp organic, some great CBD oil companies still source from Europe, so don't count them out of your search.
To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases. 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.”
Yes, there's a new type of topical ointment on the market, and it's infused with the cannabidiol (CBD) from marijuana. Manufacturers claim it can help alleviate acute pain and muscle soreness. CBD is similar to THC, except it's non-psychoactive, meaning some researchers view it as the golden child of medicinal use. (See also: Personal Trainers Reveal the Products They Use to Relieve Muscle Soreness)
We gave the highest points to companies that use a CBD distillate for their tinctures. The process of distillation creates an extract that is pure on a molecular level. There are people who think distillate is too pure, and that a full spectrum decarb produces a more effective tincture. But in light of the inconclusive evidence, we prefer a distillate. The process allows for a high degree of control as to the finished product. It’s also odorless and tasteless, so those tinctures tend to taste better.
Let's start with the most officially proven medical use of CBD. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first-ever drug containing CBD, Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. To get to that point, the drug's manufacturers had to do a whole lot of randomized, placebo-controlled trials on humans. They had to study how much children could take, what would happen in case of overdose, and any possible side effects that would occur.
Dosage is important, because CBD can have side effects—the most common are tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite and weight—so it’s best not to take more than you need. As CBD becomes more prevalent, says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, “I’m reasonably certain new kinds of side effects will emerge.”
"Right now, any claims and dosing recommendations by any company making a CBD product for the medical marijuana market is purely anecdotal," he says. "Asking 100 people who use your product whether they feel better isn't real science. The products on the market are also different from what was used in the scientific studies that they are basing their claims upon. If a study found an anti-anxiety effect when dosing humans with synthetic CBD, that doesn't mean that your CBD oil that contains 18 percent CBD is going to reduce anxiety. It might even have the opposite effect."
Some companies will hide under a cloak of darkness that the Internet can provide, but it’s a pretty good sign if the company lists an honest-to-goodness phone number you can use to reach real people. The companies with inferior products will often be very difficult to reach. Before ordering, try to reach out to the company. If someone picks up the phone or gets back to you in a timely manner, you’ve probably found a company that not only takes accountability seriously, but cares about their customers and the quality of their products.
I think being safe to eat is a moot point. These are topical products. I don’t think anybody is buying to eat them. It’s just a marketing tactic. In regards to the chapsticks, unless you were trying to literally eat the chapstick I think whatever negligible amount may make it past your lips and into your mouth, would certainly not be a health concern from any of these products. What concerns me more is there is zero efficacy with all of these products. Do they just decide over breakfast how much CBD needs to be added for the dosage to work? It’s ridiculous that they are marketing it as safe to eat, and people are buying into that bs and providing no clinical studies or research at all. Just my 2 cents