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Is CBD Oil Safe? Ask a Pharmacist

Posted by Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD on Jun 30th 2020

Is CBD Oil Safe? Ask a Pharmacist

The parents of children with serious medical conditions created the CBD industry after learning about the benefits of CBD.1 The Drug Enforcement Administration once had the Cannabis sativa plant classified as an illegal substance, restricting cannabis access to those whose state laws allowed medical marijuana. But these parents were determined to get help for their sick children.

After succeeding in legalized cannabis plants at the state level, they finally convinced Congress in 2014 to legalize hemp through the Farm Bill.2 Then the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the controlled substance list,3 legalizing hemp containing no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and thereby creating the CBD supplement industry. While certain state laws may still prohibit any form of cannabis, CBD products with low levels of THC are currently legal at the federal level. CBD may now be found in health and beauty products all over! So is cannabidiol (CBD) considered to be safe? Not so fast.

For starters, 70 percent of all CBD products sold in the United States are made from hemp grown in China.4 That's a problem because of the lack of regulations about growing hemp in contaminated fields in China.

The hemp cannabis plant absorbs a great deal of the chemicals in the soil through a process known as bio-accumulation.5 That's great if the hemp is grown in organic soil, but potentially very bad if it's grown in soil contaminated with toxins.

But the bigger problem is America's current lack of regulation in the CBD industry. American farmers grow better hemp. But how much better? Even American-grown hemp plant products containing CBD may be contaminated. That's why it's important to know what you're looking for when buying any hemp-based products containing CBD.

Pesticides & CBD Oils

As the first Kentucky CBD company to offer USDA certified organic CBD oils, Cornbread Hemp takes pesticide contamination seriously. Most people recognize the importance and value of the the USDA organic seal. But for some, it’s less clear. More and more news reports suggest that CBD products out there may not contain what they claim on their labels. So now people realize that they need hemp CBD products with a seal of approval they can trust — the USDA organic seal.

Everyone who shops at a grocery store has seen the USDA organic seal on fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle. And every year, shoppers buy $50 billion worth of certified organic products, including organic CBD and hemp oil based wellness and beauty products.

Is Certified Organic CBD Oil Better?

There is one big difference between organic apples and organic CBD oil — the concentration. Because CBD manufacturers extract and refine hemp plants or hemp flowers into a concentrated cannabis extract or oil, any contaminants like pesticides that get through the extraction process also become concentrated in the final product. So, that’s not good, and neither are the side effects that come along with using it.

Late last year, the EPA approved 10 pesticides to use on hemp.6 So we knew that pesticide contamination in American hemp would become an issue at some point. We just didn’t know when. It turns out, the answer is now.

Hemp & Pesticides Lawsuits

Hemp Industry Daily reported in March that a Vermont hemp processor filed a lawsuit against a Maryland hemp farmer. In the suit, the processor claims that the grower misrepresented the hemp in question as pesticide-free. But tests came back positive for Azoxystrobin and Propiconazole, two types of fungicide. These pesticides, if left undiscovered, could have caused significant harm when ingested. Then the product containing CBD could potentially cause fatal side effects or health issues.7

“No one should ever take or be given a product contaminated with agricultural antifungals,” said Dr. Leslie Mudd, DPharm, Cornbread Hemp’s resident pharmacist. “It is not safe. To knowingly sell such a product puts the public at risk and might abrogate trust in the industry. Such a product would be considered adulterated by the FDA and would have to be removed from the public.”

Organic CBD Oil is Safer

Most people understand that products bearing the USDA organic seal are grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.8 But that’s not all. There is a rigorous process to verify every ingredient of a product to ensure no contamination along any point in the supply chain.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture certifies all organic products in the Bluegrass State. The KDA audits our entire supply chain and approves our labels for Cornbread Hemp products that bear the organic seal. Only then can we sell our certified organic CBD oil to the general public.

Third Party Lab Testing

In addition to USDA organic certification, we test every CBD product at a third-party laboratory. This way, we can assure our products are free from pesticides, heavy metals, microbials, mycotoxins, and much more.

Our third party lab tests prove that our products contain no more that 0.3% THC,9 while retaining a full spectrum of cannabinoids. That means our customers can enjoy the benefits of CBD without breaking any federal laws.10

The Food and Drug Administration

There is only one CBD product approved by the FDA.11 The dosage level for that drug is much higher than full spectrum CBD products for wellness.12

If you're wondering whether the use of CBD products is safe for you, make sure to speak with your healthcare provider for any medical advice.13 Especially if you are on any medications or have any health issues.14

CBD Dosage & Body Weight

The thing about CBD dosage is that everybody is different.15 From what we ate for breakfast, our body fat percentage, our genetics, metabolism, and weight. In the end, your weight is the deciding factor on what dose of CBD may be safe for you.

For those experiencing chronic conditions that have become difficult to treat, start with a dose closer to the 2mg per 10 pounds of body weight.16 However, if you are suffering from milder symptoms, starting with a dose of 1mg per 10 pounds should be fine.

For example, someone weighing 200 pounds who suffers from a chronic condition should start with a dose of 40 mg of CBD per day. On the other hand, another 200-pound person suffering from milder symptoms could start at 20 mg of CBD per day.

Both of these dosages are completely safe levels of CBD for humans. Remember, you can't overdose with the use of CBD!17

Side Effects of CBD

Clinical trials suggest that CBD isn't necessarily a "cure all", but that it can have significant effects. Researchers found that CBD could help the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors overlaying the nervous system and found throughout the body, to manage and balance and homeostasis within the body.18

As a natural plant-based supplement, it's no surprise that using CBD doesn't have many adverse effects, if any at all. CBD is generally well tolerated and we rarely hear reports about side effects from our customers.

However, negative effects do happen from time to time. For example, our CBD capsules may cause a bit of stomach discomfort when beginning to use them.19

So what are some of the potential side effects CBD might cause? Very rarely, and more so in pet CBD use, there can be a mild case of diarrhea.20 This is because the full spectrum CBD oil may have a relaxing effect on our bowels, which can cause things to become a bit too relaxed, (Pet owners, we warned you!)

Another side effect CBD may have is change in appetite.21 Because CBD is found in cannabis hemp plants, products containing CBD may cause some users to feel the sense of hunger, otherwise known as the "munchies." Sometimes, we even hear feedback of dry mouth.22

Use of CBD could also have an effect on liver enzymes akin to the "grapefruit juice effect", which could be a factor for liver damage. It can also have other drug interactions, so it is imperative to consult your doctor before trying to use CBD if you are on any prescription medications.

Bottom Line: Is CBD Safe?

Scientific evidence from clinical trials of numerous animal studies and human studies suggest that CBD might have significant benefits for the body and overall quality of life.

Since there is no risk of overdose with cannabidiol (CBD), it is generally regarded as well tolerated and safe to use for potential health benefits. Side effects may occur if there is a cannabis allergy, or if the dosage is too high. CBD dosage is based on a lot of personal factors, so the best way to start taking CBD is to start at a low dose and work your way up to avoid any potential side effects while monitoring noticeable benefits.

However you must be sure to pay attention to the CBD products you buy. Due to lack of regulation, there are dangerous fake CBD products on the shelves that may be unsafe. Research CBD brands before buying from them. Look for the USDA certified organic seal, and check lab reports before using any CBD products.

Cornbread Hemp makes it easy by having a scannable QR code on all their CBD products that lead directly to third party lab reports. And our CBD oils are the first in the region to carry the USDA certified organic seal. When you shop Cornbread, you can be assured that your CBD is safe.

All rights reserved. The statements made regarding cannabidiol (CBD) products have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The efficacy of CBD products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as an alternative to information or medical advice from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

Cornbread Hemp works with suppliers who guarantee a less than or equal to 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol THC content. With these trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol THC, it is possible that users may fail a drug test. Cornbread Hemp does not take any responsibility in the instance a customer fails a drug test while using these products.

References

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Campbell CT, Phillips MS, Manasco K. Cannabinoids in Pediatrics. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2017;22(3):176-185. doi:10.5863/1551-6776-22.3.176. Under ‘clinical data’ section and ‘epilepsy’ subsection, 4th paragraph, 5th sentence

2.

Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 31, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/. Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘cannabidiol CBD is made legal—under specific circumstances’ section, 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Industrial Hemp Production. https://extension.psu.edu/industrial-hemp-production. Accessed July 31, 2020. Under ‘industrial hemp uses and products’ section, 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence

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Jaeger K. EPA Approves Pesticides For Hemp In Time For 2020 Growing Season. Marijuana Moment. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/epa-approves-pesticides-for-hemp-in-time-for-2020-growing-season/. Published December 19, 2019. Accessed July 31, 2020. 1st paragraph, 1st sentence

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Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means | USDA. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/03/22/organic-101-what-usda-organic-label-means. Accessed July 31, 2020. 3rd paragraph, 1st and 2nd sentence

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 31, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Hudak, J., 2018. The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization And The Status Of CBD: An Explainer. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/ Accessed July 31, 2020. 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence

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Commissioner of the. FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms. Accessed July 31, 2020. 1st paragraph, 1st sentence

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Commissioner of the. FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms. Accessed July 31, 2020. 1st paragraph, 1st sentence

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