FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

This is the place for all of your CBD questions. I get many questions each day and I’ll try to give simple and accurate answers here!

General Questions

This is answered in detail here: What is CBD?
There are many places to buy CBD. Click HERE for a list of vetted providers. You can also find CBD products in an ever-increasing number of stores. In our area four new stores selling only CBD products have opened in the last few months. More people are using CBD every day, so there will be more places to find it as new businesses open to satisfy the demand. If you choose to use a local provider, please make sure you ask them questions about the products they are selling so you can ensure that you get the best quality CBD for your money. There have already been reports of disreputable vendors selling products that contain synthetic and potentially dangerous cannabinoids.
Cannabis sativa is the name of the plant that most people know as marijuana. The natural cannabinoid makeup of each cannabis plant varies depending on the variety and strain of each particular plant. The most common cannabinoid in most strains of cannabis is THC. The second most common cannabinoid is CBD. The varieties of Cannabis that most people use for medicinal and recreational purposes generally contain higher levels of THC. Other varieties of Cannabis are generally used for industrial purposes in dietary supplements, clothing, and skin products. These varieties have a very low THC content. Low-THC content Cannabis is usually referred to as HEMP. Federally, hemp is classified as legal if it contains less than .3% THC content. Remember: THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis. Most CBD products for sale right now are made from hemp so that they contain less than .3% THC and contain higher levels of CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive and for many people, very therapeutic for a multitude of health problems.
This is a slightly complicated answer, because there are federal and state laws that pertain to CBD.

In 2014, President Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014. Section 7606 of the law defines low-THC industrial hemp as distinct from Cannabis that contains levels of THC above .3%. This act authorized higher education institutions and state agriculture departments to regulate and conduct research, growing, and processing programs. Essentially, the law gives the states the right to regulate the growth of hemp on a state-by state basis. That being said, there is still a bit of gray area about the federal laws regarding CBD legality.

Part two of this question: If CBD is possibly illegal from a federal standpoint, are you at risk of being prosecuted if you are in possession of CBD?

The most recently passed Federal Appropriations Bill (April 2017) specifically states that the Department of Justice is prevented from “implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” Most CBD products are sourced from hemp, and not considered medical marijuana. If the federal authorities are prevented from implementing laws about medical marijuana that is higher in THC, they probably won't be prosecuting for low-THC products, especially without the budget needed to proceed with those cases.
This is answered HERE.

Shortest answer: possibly.

Slightly more elaborate answer: it depends on whether you are using a CBD isolate product  or a full-spectrum product.

Remember: A true CBD isolate has only CBD and no THC. The typical drug screening test is looking for metabolized THC in your urine. If you are using a CBD product from a reputable company with lab testing that shows 0% THC, you will not test positive for marijuana on a typical urinalysis (UA) tests that most employers use.

Many researches and physicians feel that a full-spectrum product is far more beneficial than an isolate product. So if you are using a full-spectrum CBD product, the answer to the drug screening question gets a bit murky. Many CBD products from contain up to .3% THC.  I know a few people who have tested positive using as little as 15mg, three times a day. I've read posts of people claiming to have tested positive from an even a few milligrams a day. I've also known people who have tested negative while taking far more THC than contained in the average full spectrum CBD product. Everyone metabolizes THC differently. Things like activity level, body composition, general metabolism, and even how hydrated you are when you take the test can affect whether or not you test positive for THC metabolites.

If you need to be 100% certain that you will test negative for marijuana, purchase your CBD only from companies like those in my provider list who will show you third-party lab results showing the exact concentration of THC in each batch of their products, then choose one with 0% THC.

In addition, you may want to perform a self test at home. One of my patients tested positive for the full spectrum CBD she was taking for her chronic pain. She was able to use self tests to modify her CBD dosage and product selection so that she still had adequate pain control with no fear of failing her employer-mandated drug screen. In her case, she started using a much lower dose of full-spectrum CBD and increased her use of CBD isolate. You can find self-test strips ad drugstores like CVS and Walgreen's. I've heard people say they've seen them at the dollar stores. THESE were well-reviewed on Amazon and are less than 70 cents if you buy 16 pack. Click HERE for my direct affiliate link.

One additional note is that topical CBD products should never make you test positive for THC. The THC is not absorbed through the skin.

It can be confusing at times to understand what you are getting when you buy CBD products. Some companies list the amount of cannabinoids in their product, others list CBD content, and still others list hemp oil content. Hemp oil and CBD oil are two entirely different things. Hemp oil is produced from the seeds of the hemp plant. CBD comes from the leaves, flowers, and stalk of the cannabis plant. CBD can come from cannabis plants which are naturally very low in THC (like the hemp plant, cannabis ruderalis) or it can come from another strain of cannabis (cannabis sativa or cannabis indica) that may contain higher amounts of the other cannabinoids naturally present in all cannabis plants. Most of the CBD products for sale right now are from the hemp plant, but this is slowly changing for two reasons: 1. Cannabis growers are breeding cannabis plants for more specific cannabinoid profiles and flavors. 2. Marijuana laws are changing, allowing growers in many states to grow plants that contain THC levels that are higher than the .3% currently allowed under federal law. Make sure you know exactly how much CBD is present in any product you buy. If it says that it contains "X" mg of cannabinoids, that doesn't tell you anything about how much CBD you are getting. Remember: CBD is one of 113 known cannabinoids present in cannabis.

Health Questions

It appears to be very safe, but there are no substances that are safe for every person. Our complicated human genetics can lead to sensitivities and allergies to just about anything. The World Health Organization recently released their report about CBD. They convened their Expert Committee on Drug Dependence in Geneva in November of 2017. They stated,
"In general, CBD has been found to have relatively low toxicity, although not all potential effects have been explored."

Additionally, they reported,
"Across a number of controlled and open label trials...of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD, it is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile."

As for the potential for CBD abuse, they found,
"While the number of studies is limited, the evidence from well controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential."

On the potential for public health risk they stated,
At present no public health problems (e.g. driving under the influence of drugs cases, comorbidities) have been associated with the use of pure CBD.
 

No. CBD is not a cure for anything. Anyone who claims that is cures any medical condition is either mistaken or misleading you.

With that being said, the reason that so many people are rushing to buy CBD is that there are many anecdotal reports and several published research studies about the benefits of CBD. People with many different medical conditions report that CBD has helped them, often eliminating their symptoms or reducing them enough to make them more manageable. Many people have seen such significant improvements that they have been able to reduce or eliminate their use of pharmaceutical medications.

Please note: I am not suggesting that you take any specific course of action. Whether you use CBD should be a decision best made by you and your health care professionals. I made this site in an effort to answer the questions I hear from my patients most often. It is up to you to do your research and to talk to your health providers about your specific needs. I always stress the following to my patients:

Educate yourself about your health. Question your sources and your physicians. Be your own best personal healthcare advocate.

Short answer: no.
Longer answer: In most cases the CBD products being sold online are derived from low-THC industrial hemp. If you are getting your CBD from a reputable company, the amount of THC in the product will be less than .3% and is often zero percent.
CBD is non-psychoactive. If you are using a CBD product that makes you feel high, there is a problem. You have most likely been sold a product that contains either synthetic cannabinoids or has other substances added to it. Do not use any CBD product that gives you psychoactive effects.

This is the reason I recommend that you use the vendors on our providers list or do your own homework about the CBD products you purchase.
There are so many medications that a definitive answer to this question is impossible.
The main potential for pharmaceutical interaction aware of relates to a protein in the liver called cytochrome P450. At a certain dosage point, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes. One clinical trial showed that 25 mg of oral CBD was enough to alter the body's CYP450 metabolism. There are many medications that are affected by changes in CYP450 metabolism. In some cases this means that the medications you take could be less effective if you are using CBD, In other cases taking CBD may actually increase a medication's effects.
Here is a partial list of medications that are affected by changes in CYP450 metabolism:
fluconazole (Diflucan), Prozac, Flagyl, ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Tagamet, Bactrim, Septra, Dilantin, Motrin, Celebrex, Coreg, Prilosec, Benedryl, Aricept, Haldol, metoprolol, phenobarbital, diltiazem (Cardizem), Alprazolam (Xanax), amlodipine (Norvasc), atorvastatin (Lipitor), cyclosporine (Sandimmune), diazepam (Valium), estradiol (Estrace), simvastatin (Zocor), sildenafil (Viagra), verapamil, and zolpidem (Ambien)
This is just a partial list. It does not mean that you can not take CBD if you are taking any of these medications. It simply means that their efficacy can be affected positively or negatively by taking CBD. For a more technical explanation about cytochrome P450, visit this page at Project CBD.

Definitions

CBD isolate is pure (or nearly pure) isolated CBD. Most companies offer either full spectrum products, products made from pure isolated CBD, or both. Full Spectrum products contain cannabinoids besides just CBD. There is abundant evidence that full spectrum products are more beneficial than CBD-only products, but both can be effective. Generally CBD isolate products add a pure CBD isolate to some sort of carrier oil. Many people use CBD isolate to make their own CBD products. CBD isolate can also be vaped.
Terpenes are organic compounds produced by plants and some insects. They have a strong odor. There have been over 100 terpenes identified in the cannabis plant. The number, type, and ratio of terpenes in the plant help give each strain its distinct flavor and aroma. The terpenes in cannabis seem to interact with the other compounds in the plant. Some of the terpenes bind with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and affect the chemical output, the amount of cannabinoids that may pass the blood-brain barrier of the brain, and even affect other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Due to this effect, terpenes can affect how a person experiences the effects of cannabis products.
MCT is an abbreviation for for “Medium Chain Triglycerides.” These are the main constituents of natural fats and oils that have an chain-like tail of 6–12 carbon atoms. MCT oil is often used as a carrier for full spectrum hemp oil.

 

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