CBD, for the uninitiated, is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in hemp plants that plugs into animals’ and humans’ endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system has receptors tied into your body’s organs and systems and can help adjust your “biological harmony” in response to problems.
In plain language, that means CBD products can help people dealing with a wide variety of ailments from anxiety to joint pain.
It isn’t marijuana; it won’t get you “high.” It was made legal by the 2018 federal farm bill, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not test CBD products or approve their use to treat any ailments, other than one prescription drug for a rare, severe form of epilepsy.
This collision of circumstances — little federal guidance, broad palliative potential, wide range of CBD-infused products and broad consumer interest — has produced a booming market locally and nationally.
A Forbes report projected CBD sales could grow to $16 billion by 2025.
The industry has no shortage of potential, but it does have a shortage of information for consumers, many of whom hear the too-good-to-be-true claims and wonder what’s true.
“People need a trusted source of information on CBD,” said Stacy Deprey-Purper, a partner in The Greenery. “We want to be a true resource to the community.”
We took advantage of advice from several CBD vendors to find a few tips to help guide your search for the right product.
Always ask for a third-party certificate of analysis
Often shortened to ‘CoA,’ a certificate of analysis is a third-party lab report detailing the concentration of CBD in the product you want to buy. It will also verify that the CBD comes from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content. Any more THC and it’s marijuana.
Mark Becker, who partnered with Deprey-Purper to open the Greenery, said the shop will include QR codes on their products that link to CoAs. YourCBD provides a link to lab reports on its website.
Is it isolate? Distillate? Full-spectrum?
Now, we’re getting more specific.
Isolate is pure, refined cannabidiol, which is just one of the many helpful cannabioids and other compounds found in hemp plants.
Distillate is, as it sounds, distilled from the plant and contains CBD, other cannabinoids and some plant matter.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids, essential oils and other compounds found in hemp. If you want to try the wonder-twin-powers-activate approach, the CBD product is for you.
Look to the label
Just because the FDA doesn’t regulate it doesn’t mean producers and retailers aren’t taking transparency seriously.
They’re putting as much information as they can on the label.
At Jacobs Ladder, owners Seth Hollman and Jacob Trone include the active and inactive ingredients, batch number, storage temperatures and a “best-by” date.
Deprey-Purper said the fewer the ingredients, the better, and chemicals aren’t always good to find in your CBD.