CBD is a product that is taking off in popularity like a house on fire. This is wonderful for the people who can benefit from using CBD because it has become more widely accepted and available to everyone. This is fantastic on many fronts, but it also has created a scenario where, as the ocean has gotten larger, the number of sharks has also grown exponentially. Some sharks are worse than others, but the bottom line is that they are sharks who feed off your inexperience in this ocean.
There are many companies out there that are in the business of selling CBD simply because they are looking to make loads of money. It’s a great business model on paper. Jump in to the market quick, take advantage of the lack of knowledge or research about the product, and sell as much as you can. Deposit money, get rich, and disappear into a new product when it hits the market. That may sound extreme, but it does happen.
These types of companies do not care about you or about the quality of the products that they are pawning off on you and millions of other people. For those who use these products as their first introduction to CBD, they have no way of knowing that they are getting an inferior product or that what they are using could cause harm to the in the long run. These companies are attempting to ride this wave of popularity that is happening at such a rate that the average person doesn’t know much about CBD yet. It’s a new product to the market and people are rushing to get the miracle benefits that they keep hearing about.
When people are sick, and a lot of us are sick now, they will do most anything to feel better. When you live with a chronic condition, you are always looking for a way to feel better. You are constantly seeking for hope. Playing on your emotions and toying with the hope that you have is morally and ethically irresponsible, at best. Yet companies exist which will do just that. For some companies, your hope is their ticket to use you and milk you for every dollar that they can get. If you know little about the products, how they are made, and how they should be made, then you don’t know whether you are getting a quality CBD product or not.
Your best game plan is to educate yourself as much as possible. CBD is a great product and many people really do get a lot of relief from using it. There is a great deal of potential for use in the field of mental health, but more research is needed on that front. There is data that supports the use of CBD as an anti-inflammatory. This is easy to understand because much from nature has anti-inflammatory properties. Look at honey, for example. Using honey on a cut when you are in a pinch is a perfectly fine substitution.
The Science in Layman’s Terms
Natural remedies are popular because they are free of chemicals and additives that many people have come to understand are not only making their way into our environment, but they are making us sick as well. Man-made molecules, for example, don’t break down. A normal, naturally bonded molecule, say of carbon dioxide, will break apart and the parts will bond with other things to create water molecules or oxygen, etc. A man-made molecule doesn’t come apart. It will never become something else. It doesn’t biodegrade – in other words it never decomposes and returns to the soil. These molecules remain in the environment and eventually find their way in to the soil where are food grows, in our water supply, and ultimately in our bodies. Once in your body, they become part of your genetic make-up and you can pass them down to your children as well. There is a lot of research on this and you can study it for yourself.
No one knows exactly what the long-term effects of this issue with these molecules becoming a part of genetic make-up will be. For this very reason, the wellness and holistic medicine, clean-eating, and homeopathic remedy markets have exploded. People are trying to simplify and control more of what goes in their bodies. We may never be able to completely free ourselves of the molecules that are in our environment and our bodies now, but we can hope to minimize the negative impact they have on us and future generations.
Science is a great thing, it isn’t the enemy of the people by any stretch of the imagination. Science has sometimes created situations that weren’t foreseen though. Science is self-correcting. That means that as they experiment, they learn and then they modify. Science is constantly correcting itself by learning more and continuing to develop better ways of learning, better ways of creating things, better methods of testing those things and so on.
Regulations are also in place to help keep many chemicals out of the environment now. Unfortunately, recent deregulation is causing chemical dumping to happen again, in larger amounts that over the previous twenty years. Environmental regulations and regulations on products developed for human consumption are not a bad thing. Protecting people from consuming chemicals should be a priority and companies should be forced to label products in ways that clearly spell out what is in their products. Hemp and CBD oil are no exceptions to this rule.
Potential Chemicals in CBD Oils
By and large, CBD oils are wonderful for you and they work to help you, but inferior products do exist, and they are out there, right next to other products that are of much higher quality. So how do consumers learn to tell the difference? Aside from having a PhD in chemistry or bioengineering, most people know absolutely nothing about what to look for. You can arm yourself with some basic knowledge and you can learn about what to do to get more information. Knowledge is power.
Understand the Manufacturing Process
CBD was initially extracted from the hemp plant by using distillation. This method is the same one that extracts alcohol from corn. It is done the same way and it is not only antiquated, it isn’t efficient. Much CBD was left behind because distillation is a poor method that is also more time consuming.
For industrial manufacturers, this method wasn’t good enough because it slowed production down and it caused too much wasted plant material, which raised costs and lowered profits. They hired scientists and engineers to come up with a more efficient means of getting all the CBD extracted, in a way that didn’t cost them a small fortune.
A method was learned that was very efficient and only required some specialized equipment that was readily available. Solvent extraction was quickly introduced in the CBD extraction industry. It is faster, it is more profitable, and for companies who are trying to meet demand for a new ‘natural’ product that puts the most cash possible toward their bottom line, solvent extraction is the perfect answer – except the part about the solvent.
Solvents are chemicals, sometimes alcohol is used as the solvent. Propane, butane, or hexane are the solvents most often used as extraction methods for food grade products. In other words, many of the oils that you consume are also extracted by these means because it works efficiently and cheaply to pull out oils from plant matter.
When the oil is extracted in this way, a part of the solvent will always remain in the final product. Therefore, CBD oil that comes from manufacturers who use this process is going to have propane, or one of the other solvents, possibly isopropyl alcohol, in it. If you are one of the people using CBD oil because it is a natural product, then this might be more than just a little off-putting to you.
The solvents are removed by heating the mixture of CBD and solvent at a low temperature until the solvents dissipate from the heat. Everyone knows that alcohol evaporates in the cooking process. Hydrocarbons do the same thing and that would include butane and propane. The process is a bit tricky and somewhat dangerous unless in a very controlled environment because it is flammable.
Is the process where alcohol is used to separate CBD and terpenes (the part of the plant that holds smell and flavor) and these require no heating. This method also allows for adding additional flavors, so for people who don’t really care for the smell or taste of CBD (which is incredibly like the taste and smell of marijuana), this is a better way to consume CBD perhaps?
Essentially, any chemicals that are left behind through extraction processes are very minimal and this is something that you need to look at, as a consumer, and decide if this is satisfactory to you. Only you can make that decision, but it is better to know what may be there than to have no idea at all. Labels will not explain extraction processes. Websites don’t go into great detail, though they may mention the type of process that is used for their oil. Don’t hesitate to send an email and ask a company what method they use. They should not have any hesitation in answering your questions and if they do, perhaps consider another brand.
Other Potential Contaminants or Points of Contamination
Legal growers have been checked by having plants tested. In one study, conducted by NBC reporters, 93% of cannabis plants utilized by a legal dispensary tested positive for pesticides. This is not supposed to be the norm, but it is happening.
University of California at Davis research teams conducted similar research of samples from dispensaries for marijuana in Northern California. This investigation came as a result of reports that a cancer patient may have died from inhaling contaminated medical marijuana, when that patient has an already compromised immune system.
Certain contaminants are worse, and far more dangerous, when they are inhaled. This may be of special interest to you if you are considering using the vaping versions of CBD oil.
It is important to recognize that the same plants are not used for marijuana production as for CBD. CBD comes from industrial hemp plants. Still, many of these issues could be the same because the plants are essentially grown in the same ways. Some of them are grown in the same places.
Mold and other soil contaminants have been found in the plants and in soil samples. In 2015, dispensaries in Denver, Colorado had to remove compromised cannabis products that contained traces of myclobutanil. It’s a chemical in fertilizers that is highly flammable and becomes cyanide gas when burned. Cyanide. That’s more than a problem, that is deadly. This wasn’t the dispensaries fault, it was the grower.
Not all growers are problems and there are many good places that are extremely cautious and grow their hemp plants organically. Hemp is a plant that readily absorbs anything in the soil that it is grown in. For this reason, knowing where the plants come from and how they are grown is essential to getting a great product. You can find a great product.
Industrial hemp is a product that has the potential to replace cotton and be the source of future medical applications. CBD oil extracted from hemp plants can help with insomnia, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even bipolar. Hemp as the potential to replace trees as a source of paper and to also create many things that have been considered paper goods, made from trees. Trees take years to grow, whereas hemp grows in a season. As a renewable source, hemp is by far superior and this may help save rainforests and other forests around the world.
Hemp is edible, a great source of protein (in the seeds) and full of omega oils that are essential to humans. A diet rich in omega oils will help ward-off free radicals that are known to cause cancer. For medicinal properties, hemp is also hard to beat. Consumers shouldn’t be scared away from using hemp products or taking CBD oil for arthritis pain or mood enhancement.
Consumers should simply become well-informed and know what they are purchasing. This means knowing where it comes from too. The food production chain is important, no matter what the food is. There are regulations in place on all consumable goods, but the hemp industry is new, and regulations are still being developed. Extraordinarily little regulation is in place, regarding CBD oil. Consumers must learn what they are doing when it comes to purchasing a quality product.
Most people would prefer not to see over regulation of the industry because people enjoy the ability of being able to purchase CBD products at will, without needing prescriptions or meeting any sort of qualifications. More regulation opens the door to government stepping in and controlling the industry in ways that may not make it as readily accessible to many who now rely on it to replace pain medications and enhance the way their body fights off chronic conditions.
This is a double-edged sword, as you can see. Some regulations are good. Some regulations are excessive. Finding a happy medium, where both manufacturers and consumers are happy is sometimes a sticky situation. The more you learn, as a consumer, the less you need the help of regulation.
Reputable marketers and manufacturers of CBD oil will not have an issue providing information on where their plants come from and many will perform independent tests to ensure that their products are free of any contaminants. There are government regulations on organic farming and any hemp growers who are organic will have to meet those requirements. The Department of Agriculture oversees these rules and they help to make it easier to choose who grows the food and consumable goods that you purchase.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to feel fearful of using CBD products. You don’t need to stop using a product that brings you relief. What you want to do is educate yourself and do some basic sleuthing to find out where the plants are grown that go into the brand that you purchase. If you can’t find that information, switch to products that will readily give you that information. Read third party test results when you find them and do all that you can to be an informed consumer. Being informed in your decisions makes you safer and keeps our planet healthier as well.
When consumers only purchase from responsible growers and manufacturers who use those growers, then it puts pressure on the market to be a responsible grower or go out of business. Supply and demand are wonderful things but only when those making the demands know what they want. Education is the answer and you want to help educate everyone that you can. Word of mouth is sometimes the only way that some people are going to ever learn. Let’s help each other be better wards of our planet and our future.