Probably the most frequently asked question for a person considering the usage of a CBD-based product is – is CBD safe to use?
Often the word Cannabis and its usage, conjures up the unwanted effects of visions of seeing dragons in your kitchen, paranoia and concerns of losing memory function, with extended use. Whilst this is certainly true, when individuals use the good old fashioned “Dagga”, this concern does not apply when one is using a pure CBD based product, in other words one that is THC-free (as THC is the molecule that is responsible for the euphoric high and virtual dragon in my kitchen hallucinations).
Let’s also bear in mind that Cannabis has been around for thousands of years. As far back as 500 BC ancient cultures realised that Cannabis had multiple herbal properties and, in the America’s, Hemp fibre was later used to make clothing, paper, sails, rope and the seeds were used as food. With the seeds being used as food, it wasn’t long before our ancestors realised that the plant had (good) medicinal properties and (bad) psychoactive effects. Over time, it was found that Cannabis helped with muscle cramps, migraines, sleep and pain, to name but a few.
Now, before you rush out to find your nearest Cannabis supplier, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. As a consumer, you obviously want all the potential benefits of CBD, but without negative psychoactive high.
When sourcing your CBD, it needs to come from a reputable source and unfortunately the friend of the guy who knows a guy, who knows a lady in his neighbourhood who makes it – is not one. A google search will also offer up an alarmingly impressive choice of options from various retailers, which is why, you the consumer, need to be consumer savvy.
The FDA and SAPRA have clear guidelines for the manufacture, production, labeling and selling of CBD based products. Many online retailers will have epic claims on the virtues of their product and often dupe the consumer into believing that their product is legal, regulated and has a certain amount of CBD/THC.
Any reputable online retailer worth its salt (or CBD in this case), will be able to supply you with a certificate of analysis from an independent lab, regarding the contents of their products. A “breakdown” of the products contents on the company letter head does not count. Ecstatic online reviews from “consumers’ also do not count. Research is necessary and important, especially if you want to know:
- What you are putting into your body, and
- What you are spending your hard earned Randela’s on.
As discussed in one of my earlier blog posts, our body has its own endocannabinoid system. Now, not everyone has the exact same system, which means not everyone will have the same result on the same dose as the next person. Let’s say you have the Rolls Royce of an endocannabinoid system (lucky you!) chances are, you will see results fairly quickly and at a lower dose, compared to someone with the Datsun endocannabinoid equivalent. It can take several days to weeks to see the effects of regular CBD use, as our ECS works on saturation.
One also has to (as you would when considering the addition of any new molecule into your existing drug arsenal) be aware of potential side effects and in fact there are certain drugs that cannot be taken together with CBD based products. Particular attention must be paid to those on blood thinning medication, certain types of anti-epileptic medication, antipsychotic medication and several antibiotics. It is imperative that you ask your GP or specialist if the use of CBD will interact with anything you are currently on.
Cannabis use in pregnancy and lactation is not recommended as it may potentially cause adverse effects on early neurodevelopment and decrements in executive functioning later in life. Note that the current studies on this centre more around THC exposure aspect, but the overall impression is that CBD in any form, even that which is THC free should still be avoided, as it both crosses the placenta and is excreted in breast milk.
CBD is otherwise a safe, well tolerated molecule. It has an extremely limited side effect profile, with side effects only being reported when taken in excess (in layman’s terms, which would equate to 5x 60ml bottles of CBD oil, all ingested at once). Excessive use of CBD oil and its side effects may result in diarrhoea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth and nausea. If you aren’t sure how to start taking your CBD oil, here is a link to a previous article I wrote, detailing the amounts and titrations to consider (https://bit.ly/2QVa8Mk).
To sum it all up – Cannabis is the single most versatile herbal remedy and one of the most useful plants on earth. No other single plant contains as wide a range of medically active herbal constituents. So now that you know a little more about the ABC’s of your CBD, you, as the consumer, can make an informed decision, about embarking on your CBD journey.