Top 5 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil

  1. What is it? Is Cannabidiol (CBD) oil medicine, a natural or dietary supplement, a cosmetic, a drug of abuse, or just another “snake oil”? It depends on who you ask and how it’s being manufactured, marketed, and sold. It’s exploded across the internet and is now being sold in drinks, potions, gummy worm candies, tinctures, and essential oils claiming medical remedies and is even in cosmetics. It’s being added to nearly everything including our beloved Seattle lattes. It’s clear enough if there is money to be made, everyone is trying to get on the CBD wagon right now. 
  1. Is CBD a drug or a drug of abuse? The DEA has the Cannabis Sativa plant classified as a Schedule 1 illegal drug of abuse primarily because it includes THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana along with CBD, and many other components. Some CBD oils intentionally include THC and are touted as having beneficial healing properties because of this mix. Strains of recreational and medicinal marijuana may also have both CBD and THC combined at various levels, so again this makes it a drug of abuse on the DEA’s schedule whether it is used as an oil, a butter in cooking, edible products or products that are smoked. Those kinds of products are sold primarily at locations where you can also buy recreational and medicinal marijuana. Recently, The Farm Act of 2018 was able to have a strain of the Cannabis Sativa Plant reclassified as the Hemp plant and as legal crop not under the DEA classification as long as it contains .3 percent or less THC in dry weight. This is the strain of plant which some CBD oil manufacturers are now using in order to cash in on Hemp products including soaps, shampoos, lotions, and health supplements. Internally, there are self-regulating Hemp Industry associations that offer a Hemp Certification standard to claim products sold are 100% CBD oil and THC free.  At the same time, there have also been counterfeit CBC oils over the internet that have gotten people sick and sent to the emergency room as well as CBD oils that include THC when they claimed they did not, so much still needs to be done. 
  1. Is CBD oil medicine? There was a strain of marijuana developed called Charlotte’s Web for a young girl who is afflicted with an especially virulent type of epilepsy. Because the use of the marijuana plant is so controversial, the idea was to make a product (CDB oil) from the Cannabis Sativa plant that was non-psychoactive (with very little or no THC) and could use the medicinal properties of CBD to combat this type of epilepsy. The product is so successful that it was recently approved by the FDA as a medicine under the name “Epidiolex”. What makes this product safe is that the manufacturer controlled all parts of the growing and manufacturing process and that the results are reproducible and reliable. This has created a very interesting dilemma however for other CBD oil manufacturers who tout the benefits CBD oil as a health supplement for insomnia, anxiety, pain relief, and all other maladies. Now that CBD oil is “officially” a medicine as “Epidiolex” for rare types of epilepsy under the FDA, any other claims made for medical relief have also fallen under the jurisdiction of the FDA who is now going after mostly on-line companies to quit making false, misleading or unproven medical claims, hence the recent FDA hearing on CBD oil in May 2019. 
  1. Is CBD oil safe? It depends again, on what exactly you mean and where you purchase it. As far as keeping your job if you use CBD oil, at this time, most likely not. Again, since there are no recognized universal manufacturing standards even some companies that “claimed” their CBD oil does not contain THC have been found to have enough measurable amounts it can trigger a positive result on an employment drug test. If you mean, safe for consumption, then again the answer would be “maybe” because again at this time it is sold like a health supplement, so it is possible to have pesticides in the product or counterfeits that produce ill side effects or other natural effects that may counteract legal prescriptions in the same way grapefruit juice does. The fact that some local drug and health food stores now carry CBD oil (hemp) products, is giving CBD products greater credibility but the jury is still out while the FDA is still in the gathering information and allowing clinical trials to create standards for this new burgeoning industry. Anecdotally, CBD oil supplement products are primarily being used for pain relief and as a sleep agent. While those who suffer from chronic pain or other ailments are not to be minimized or ignored if relief can be found, keep in mind there is a long history of many different products over the years that promised the moon, but failed to deliver. We need only think of the “snake oil” salesmen of the old west who offered their potions and panaceas to cure anything that ails you. 
  1. Will I pass my drug test if I use CBD oil instead of marijuana? Probably not, it’s definitely not a good idea. As explained above any product that possibly has both THC which is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana that gets you “high” and CBD as part of the plant or oil, may trigger a positive in a drug test result and that’s just not worth it. There are also some states which only allow CBD oil as medical marijuana but again claiming you use strictly CBD oil (Hemp oil) and not marijuana products that contain THC, the proof and whether or not you will keep your job, will fall on the user.