If you’ve investigated natural pain treatments, you’ve likely seen articles and advertisements for hemp CBD oil, an extract of the cannabis plant that reportedly eases pain without causing euphoria like marijuana. As a chronic pain patient myself, I understand how tempting it is actually to hand over your credit card number in hopes of finding relief.

Just before you do that, realize that all hemp CBD oils usually are not created equal! Research conducted recently published in the Journal from the American Medical Association found nearly 70 percent of Hemp Derived Cannabidiol sold online was mislabeled. During the Penn Medicine study, researchers analyzed 84 products purchased from 31 companies. Around 42 percent of products were under-labeled, meaning the item contained more CBD than labeled. Twenty-six percent of items contained less CBD than indicated on packaging.

“Only 30 percent of CBD products purchased contained an actual CBD content which had been within 10 percent in the amount listed on the product label,” reads a press release about the JAMA study. “While studies have not shown this too much CBD could be harmful, products containing either inadequate or a lot of CBD than labeled could negate potential clinical help to patients. Further, the variability across products could make it troublesome for patients to acquire a reliable effect.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began testing hemp CBD products in 2015 and has reported similar findings. Hemp CBD oil will not be regulated, developing a situation of buyer beware. In spite of this, hemp CBD oil remains on the go as a growing number of chronic pain patients try to find alternatives to opioids and drugs with troubling unwanted effects. With so many companies pushing their goods, how can you ensure you’re buying a quality product that’s potent and safe for use?

I recently interviewed Martin A. Lee, director of Project CBD and author of “Smoke Signals,” and requested his advice on how to choose quality hemp CBD products, but first, let’s cover some basics. There are two kinds of CBD, or cannabidiol, oil: hemp-based CBD oil and marijuana-based CBD oil. Both are based on varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp-based CBD products can be bought online or at certain stores; marijuana-based CBD is generally sold by dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal.

In accordance with experts I’ve interviewed through the years, a marijuana-based CBD oil is usually better than hemp because it contains multiple cannabinoids and other compounds that work well synergistically to provide better pain relief and healing. Dispensary items are also gonna be safer as they are tested and grown in controlled environments.

“Essentially CBD is not any different whether extracted from industrial hemp or from marijuana,” Lee explained. “What’s different is exactly what else is at there. Once you extract from industrial hemp, you’re not receiving a lot of cannabinoids. You’re not receiving much CBD. You’re getting very, almost no THC. Because it’s a low-resin plant, you don’t have lots of cannabinoids that are inside the resin.”

Hemp CBD oil is essentially a stripped down version of what you’d buy with a dispensary. It likely won’t be as effective, however, many people do discover it helpful for pain along with other conditions. “The main overarching criticism we have with CBD hemp products – even the high quality ones – is that they’re very limited,” Lee said. “They’re just basically something: a lot of CBD and incredibly little of everything else. That will help some people sometimes but many people will find they want other choices. There’s other cannabinoids you require – sometimes THC, sometimes THCA.

“What we know is the fact THC and CBD combined has a greater therapeutic effect than either one given alone,” Lee continued. “The best medicines to make use of would be the medicines which have both THC and CBD. What we suggest rgptqz people – and I will emphasize we have been not doctors – is that people should use products that have as much THC as possible, with all the CBD, that doesn’t make sure they are feel dysphoric or stoned.”

Hemp CBD products will have limitations, but they’re still an option for individuals that aren’t able to access marijuana in a legal state. For those who are interested in trying hemp CBD oil, here are some characteristics to find when attempting to choose a quality product.

Many hemp CBD products are made from industrialized hemp grown overseas. These countries may or may not have strong environmental regulations governing how and where the plant is grown. That can generate problems since both hemp and marijuana are bio-accumulators, meaning they suck up chemical toxins from the soil in which they’re grown. For the way the oil is processed, consumers could end up in contact with toxins and/or chemical solvents used to purify the CBD after harvest. U.S.-produced hemp CBD products tend to be safer due to better growing and refining practices.

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