Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last several years, you have probably seen the CBD “craze” that seems to be sweeping the nation. Now available in the dispensary, at specialty stores and vape shops, gas stations, and now even at the grocery store – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the options available.
The first thing you want to know is that not all CBD is the same
It would be easy to assume that the wide variety of options means that everyone is just trying to get a piece of the “cannabis craze” – and to an extent, you could be right – but, that doesn’t mean that all of these products are equal. The products you find in the gas station and grocery stores aren’t going to be of the same quality or sourced the same as what you would find in a specialty store (such as the Toledo Hemp Center) – just as the CBD you’ll find in an actual cannabis dispensary is sourced differently than the products found in any of those places.
Over the Counter CBD Products May Overpromise and Underdeliver
Just like every other product on the market, CBD brands rely on effective marketing to help get their products into the hands of consumers. Unfortunately, the way most CBD brands market their products can lead to disappointment in regards to how effective they actually are.
My grandma purchased a bottle of CBD gummies off an advertisement she received and was eager to show me when she received them. I immediately read the label of the bottle and see that it contained 30 gummies, the recommended starting dose was 2 gummies once a day. Meaning that this bottle was a 15 day supply… When I asked her what she paid for it she said it was “on sale” for $60. When I read further into the label I see that there is no information showing what the actual dosage (mg), total or per gummy.
Most products sold “over the counter” are being sourced from hemp plants (containing less than 0.03% THC), instead of cannabis plants which often produce higher levels of the psychoactivity causing cannabinoid, THC. This does not mean that products sourced from hemp are not effective, however, I like to think of those products more as an anti-inflammatory supplement. Your body will reap the benefits of taking these products, but they are not likely to make a noticeable difference unless you are taking very large doses which would obviously be incredibly expensive.
CBD Products DO NOT Require FDA Approval
Scary isn’t it. All of those products you see popping up all over store shelves making all of these unrealistic claims about their products – it’s because there is no FDA approval process in place for CBD products. Without that FDA approval process, or an entity with the authority to oversee CBD manufacturers and enforce quality standards, there’s no way to ensure they consistently produce products that are providing consistent relief to consumers who bought into their claims.
Another downfall of CBD products not being regulated is that ingredients used aren’t always fully disclosed to consumers. This has actually become a widespread issue throughout the CBD industry. The FDA recently reported that more than half of the CBD products they tested were labeled inaccurately or contained amounts of CBD inconsistent with the labeling on the product. This meant that consumers who had purchased full spectrum CBD products (sourced from cannabis plants) could have ended up consuming higher levels of THC than they had anticipated, which could obviously be an issue for many reasons. I believe many of the products that were found during this study have since been pulled from most store shelves and the manufacturers were forced to address the mis-labeling issue.
Purchasing CBD products from a dispensary may give you peace of mind knowing that you’re getting exactly what they’re paying for.
There’s No Telling What’s in Over the Counter CBD Products
Again, since there are currently no regulations on CBD – it opened the door for manufacturers to add as many additives as they see fit, including some additives that are potentially dangerous regardless of what it does to consumers (frequent consumers reported side effects such as abnormal heartbeat and hallucinations).
Other reports have revealed microbial contaminants such as E-Coli and Salmonella found in some over the counter CBD products. Yuck! No thanks.
Even with all of this evidence calling for stricter regulations, there are no immediate plans for the FDA to provide such regulations in the near future. That means it is left to you, the consumer, to do your research, ask the questions, and seek out the specialty stores such as the Hemp Center who source only top quality products that have already been vetted for you.
CBD Products Sold at the Dispensaries are Tested for Quality and Safety Prior to Sale
Unfortunately, in Ohio, unless you’re a medical marijuana patient you’re limited to buying over the counter products (making it even more important to do the research and find the products for what you’re looking to treat). By getting your medical patient card, you gain access to a wide range of medical marijuana CBD products that have been tested, approved and certified for quality and purity.
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