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CBD Info

The Risks and Side Effects: What You Must Know Before Trying CBD

As the popularity and availability of CBD continue to grow, questions about possible side effects are growing as well. CBD is new to most consumers, so it’s understandable that questions will arise. However, the decision to use CBD is individual and only you can decide if CBD is right for you. 

Before deciding to use CBD, it’s important to understand what CBD is and what it isn’t. A thorough comprehension of its properties and origins will help you determine if CBD offers the benefits you seek in the face of any possible side effects.

What is CBD and Where Does it Come From?

The usual CBD formulation is oil, but this product is also sold as a tincture, a vaporized liquid, and an oil-based capsule. Among the many CBD-infused products available online are food, drinks, and beauty products. Cannabidiol, widely recognized as CBD, is one of 140 identified cannabinoids, or compounds, found in cannabis plant species, namely Cannabis sativa (hemp) and Cannabis indica (marijuana). 

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is also a naturally occurring cannabinoid in these plants. While THC is the major active ingredient in marijuana, hemp contains only very small amounts of THC.

A multitude of studies have shown that cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, provide a wide array of health benefits as they interact with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that help maintain the body’s internal environment. It’s important to know that CBD-based products are non-psychoactive, while products containing THC may induce psychotropic or euphoric effects on a user. 

What is CBD oil?

Although there is much to learn about the endocannabinoid system, this much is clear: CBD from hemp plants and THC from marijuana plants interact in some way with an individual’s ECS. 

Did you know that CBD offers therapeutic benefits that range from relieving the symptoms of arthritis and helping to manage chronic pain and even treating epilepsy in children? Studies suggest that CBD may also help with both falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as lowering the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. We know this is why CBD and THC are generally helpful in relieving pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other ailments. 

Recent studies indicate that a malfunctioning ECS could spark autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia as well as migraines. That is why the healing possibilities of CBD are so encouraging and its many benefits are still being explored. In some instances, CBD even appears to aid in the restoration of the body after injury.

As the term “CBD” becomes more widely known, people across the world are becoming more aware of this product’s therapeutic benefits, it’s important to understand that unlike its psychoactive counterpart, commonly known as cannabis, CBD will not cause someone to feel high. In fact, the World Health Organization has declared products like CBD oil to be safe and worth researching.

Studies on the Side Effects of CBD

The majority of studies done on the effect of CBD in humans have focused on the treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders. The reported side effects included tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight. According to the National Institutes of Health, CBD has a better side effect profile than other drugs used to treat those conditions. Other reported side effects of CBD include dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. Signs of liver injury have also been reported in some patients, less commonly. 

CBD is often used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer from insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study showed promise in the areas of neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In all instances, more studies on CBD’s therapeutic effect on humans are still warranted.

Other potential side effects?

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Interaction with blood thinner

At this time, CBD is primarily marketed as a supplement, and the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements. The FDA also does not allow CBD to be marketed as a wellness product the same way vitamins and minerals are. As a result, it can be difficult to know exactly what you are getting. That’s why it’s so important to use verified CBD products from companies that offer plenty of information about the growth and production of their product, and openly display their certificate of analysis (COA).

CBD’s Restorative Traits Are Under Review

Although research on cannabidiol continues to evolve, one thing is certain: CBD affects the brain. Why this occurs remains uncertain. However, studies indicate that cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function. Preventing the breakdown of this chemical and increasing its levels in the blood seems to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with conditions such as schizophrenia. Because research on cannabidiol is still in the early stages, its usage is limited. For example, CBD can’t be included in products marketed with therapeutic claims. It can also only be included in “cosmetic” products if the product contains less than 0.3% THC.

CBD's restorative traits

At this time, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex for treating two types of childhood epilepsy. However, research is underway to study CBD as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. Research supporting the drug’s benefits is still limited. 

While the benefits of CBD continue to be explored, this also opens up an unregulated market within the CBD industry, which offers a variety of products containing CBD for a variety of uses.

Special Precautions 

Because CBD is relatively new, studies are still being conducted on its overall uses. In certain circumstances, it is recommended that the use of CBD be avoided in an abundance of caution:

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: To date, it is unclear if using CBD while breast-feeding or pregnant can affect the infant or fetus. It is best to avoid using CBD in such circumstances until further research yields a definite answer.
  • Children: The FDA has approved the use of the drug Epidiolex, a prescriptive cannabidiol, in some children suffering from certain kinds of epilepsy. The effects of CBD on children for other uses remains unclear, per current research. It is best to avoid using it with children.
  • Liver disease: Research indicates that individuals with liver disease may need to use lower doses of CBD compared to healthy patients. Some studies have shown CBD to lower liver enzymes. Others have shown CBD to cause them to rise.
  • Parkinson’s disease: Early studies suggest that taking high doses of CBD might cause muscle movement and tremors to worsen if someone is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. It is best to avoid CBD until more definitive research is available.

According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

CBD and Allergies: Effective or Not?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies, which are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. 

If you suffer from allergies, CBD may offer a form of potential relief that you may have never before considered. Whether your allergies are seasonal reactions to environmental factors like pollen and mold or are affected by climate and humidity, animal hair or even food, CBD may provide therapeutic relief.

This potential treatment option can help reduce allergic reactions and overall inflammation. In some instances, CBD has been shown to help prevent the closing of airways, a common allergic symptom. It is considered a lower-risk treatment option than antihistamines, which are often associated with nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and blurred vision.

Allergy season is known for causing a spike in health concerns like throat and sinus inflammation, which can make it difficult to eat. CBD can reduce such symptoms making seasonal allergies easier to withstand. Medical sources indicate that high-strength CBD oil may relieve pressure in the sinus cavities and help ward off nasal congestion.

CBD allergies

However, individuals who suffer from allergies need to make sure they do not have an allergic reaction to CBD itself. CBD oil allergies can cause a range of symptoms:

  • Skin irritations: Topical creams or balms containing CBD could potentially cause a rash or hives if the user is allergic. Check the product’s contents carefully, because reactions could be caused by other ingredients as well.
  • Dry, itchy, red eyes: A minority of users may experience these symptoms after using CBD, although such symptoms are more commonly associated with marijuana, which contains THC.
  • Migraines: Some CBD users experience a slight headache for the first few uses, but migraines are sometimes a sign of something more serious.
  • Respiratory problems: Breathing issues are likely to be the result of poor-quality products that contain contaminants from the hemp plant, such as pollen or mold.

It is suggested that people with plant allergies avoid CBD products, particularly full-spectrum ones, which contain so many compounds that it can be hard to tell what caused the allergic reaction.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a list of precautions in regard to CBD and its possible side effects:

  • Use of CBD with alcohol or other drugs that slow brain activity, such as those used to treat anxiety, panic, stress, or sleep disorders, increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
  • Male reproductive toxicity, or damage to fertility in males or male offspring of women who have been exposed, has been reported in studies of animals exposed to CBD. However, other studies have shown that CBD may be beneficial especially for women who are trying to conceive.
  • Use of CBD can cause changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
  • Use of CBD can cause gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
  • Use of CBD can cause changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
  • CBD can cause liver injury.
  • CBD can affect how other drugs you are taking work, causing serious side effects.

The FDA also notes that there are many aspects about the use of CBD that are simply unknown at this time. Among those uncertainties?

  1. What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
  2. What level of intake triggers the known risks associated with CBD?
  3. How do different methods of consumption affect intake (e.g., oral consumption, topical,    smoking, or vaping)?
  4. What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as on children who take CBD)?
  5. What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
  6. How does CBD interact with herbs and other plant materials?
  7. Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals.

A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements, and not all states require manufacturers to properly label their products. Clearly, this can have significant repercussions. 

A 2017 study that reviewed the labels of CBD products found that nearly 70 percent of the CBD products they analyzed contained less CBD than labeled. Forty-percent of the 84 products examined were “under-labeled,” meaning they contained more CBD than their label indicated. In addition, approximately 25 percent were “over-labeled,” meaning they contained less than the label stated, potentially negating any therapeutic effect. That’s why it is especially important to use reliable brands, known for their quality control.

“The key message with all new drugs and technology is that there is an ongoing learning process that will continue through the lifetime of the drug,” lead author Dr. Nicholas S. Downing told CNN

Before you consume CBD products, it is wise to consult with a physician to make sure you are not putting your well-being or life at risk.

In Conclusion

It’s important to note that while side effects associated with CBD use have been documented, most are mild and more inconvenient than serious. 

Of course, it’s important to be aware of possible drug interactions and pay close attention to your doctor’s advice. However, most CBD-related side effects are minimal compared to those that are often associated with traditional pharmaceuticals. 

Sources: WebMD, mayoclinic.org; Harvard Health Publishing; FDA.Gov; National Institutes of Health; TriadHealthCareCenter.com; Washington Post

Categories
Top CBD Brands

Top 11 CBD Companies by Tincture Quality and Price

There are numerous CBD companies that offer tinctures, and picking the best CBD tincture based on quality and price can be overwhelming to both newcomers and veterans. 

Top 11 CBD Companies

Thousands of people are beginning to learn about the therapeutic benefits of using CBD, from how it can help manage chronic pain to relieving symptoms of arthritis. It’s important to know that unlike its psychoactive counterpart, commonly known as cannabis, CBD oil will not cause an individual to feel high. Now, the World Health Organization has declared CBD oil to be safe and worth researching. 

While the benefits of CBD oil continue to be explored, this also opens up an unregulated market within the CBD industry, which can make choosing the best CBD tincture difficult. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. In this article, we have identified the top CBD companies by tincture quality and price to help you determine which company may suit your lifestyle needs. 

How to Choose The Best CBD Tincture For Your Needs

Adult Woman Patient Using CBD Oil Drops at Home.

If you’re new to using CBD tinctures or are just interested in how to use CBD tinctures, we have some simple advice on how to pick the best CBD tincture for your needs.

  • Taste: If you’re comfortable with the natural flavor of hemp, then you don’t need to change anything. However, if you’re not a fan, consider looking into flavored CBD tinctures — some brands offer orange, berry, and mint among others. 
  • Strength & Cost: Newcomers should consider purchasing a lower-dose CBD tincture as it will be easier to control the dosage and typically are lower in cost. However, higher-dose CBD tinctures are the most cost-effective option as they typically offer more CBD oil and beneficial cannabinoids in each drop, but cost a lot more than it’s lower dose counterparts.

Overall, it is recommended that you do your research before purchasing a CBD tincture and familiarize yourself with the product. 

Joy Organics

Joy Organics is a CBD company and board member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, and work with the best growers, manufacturers, and distributors of the hemp-derived phytocannabinoids in the United States.

According to their website, their farming processes include using organic farming, innovative water-saving practices, and a “sea of green” approach, meaning that they grow hemp plants that mature quickly in higher density, as it helps to avoid using herbicides and pesticides. Joy Organics’ extraction facility is cGMP compliant. They use a proprietary hemp extraction and purification process that involves supercritical CO2, creating the highest quality of broad spectrum hemp oil available. They also perform third-party lab testing and offer certification of analysis available online to consumers. 

The mg of CBD they offer includes: 

  • 225 mg
  • 450 mg
  • 900 mg
  • 1,350 mg

CBD tincture products are only available in 1 oz, and prices range from $29.95 USD to $99.95 USD. Additionally, there are four flavors to choose from — natural, orange, lemon, and tranquil mint. Each 1 oz bottle offers 30 servings per bottle.

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is a hemp cultivar that was bred by the Stanley Brothers of Colorado, to have high levels of non-intoxicating CBD. The company’s hemp provides CBD, CBC, CBG, and other beneficial phytocompounds in their full-spectrum extract tinctures. 

Each of Charlotte’s Web’s products always include:

  • Amount of CBD per serving
  • Four different flavors: mint chocolate, olive oil, orange blossom, and lemon twist

Their most popular CBD oil product, available in 30mL and 100mL, offers 60 mg of CBD per 1mL serving. Also, the product contains at least 120 mg of full-spectrum hemp extract per mL. However, because it is a higher-dose CBD tincture, you should expect to pay more. For example, the 30mL costs $119.99 USD and the 100mL costs $274.99 USD.

According to the brand’s website, “over 50 percent of Charlotte’s Web cultivation fields are in process of being certified organic by USDA recognized agencies, and are expected to receive this designation for the 2019 harvest.” Also, their “remaining fields are transitioning to organic certification.” Charlotte’s Web doesn’t use chemical pesticides or herbicides on their plants and in accordance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), they perform a full battery of tests including microbiological contamination, heavy metals, potency, and residual solvents. They do not use GMOs in any of their ingredients or extraction processes. All of Charlotte’s Web’s manufacturing processes and facilities are third-party verified for compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices. 

The company also offers consumers a certificate of analysis (COA) for cannabinoid potency that supports their label information.

Royal CBD

Royal CBD’s hemp-derived CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC, which allows consumers to experience the full spectrum of CBD benefits without the psychoactive effect. Their full-spectrum CBD oil is always sourced from American farmers. Additionally, their oil is derived from organic, non-GMO, and certified hemp and grown using sustainable farming methods. 

Once the hemp is harvested, their facility uses CO2 extraction, meaning their full-spectrum extracts contain over 80 different phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, CBN, CBG, CBG-A, CBC, and CBC-A among others. Also, their full-Spectrum CBD Oil comes with other types of natural ingredients, including amino acids, terpenes, vitamins, omega fatty acids, and trace minerals.

They have four mg of CBD options:

  • 250 mg
  • 500 mg
  • 1,000 mg
  • 2.500 mg

Each bottle offers 30 servings per container. Depending on the mg of CBD you purchased, 1 mL can provide between 8 mg to 83 mg of CBD. 

The company also publishes its third-party lab tests confirming the advertised cannabinoid content, potency levels, and CBD purity, and provide a certificate of analysis upon request.

Bespoke Extracts

Bespoke Extracts products are available as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates, all with unique properties. All of their hemp is grown responsibly in Kentucky and Colorado. Bespoke Extracts chooses to operate from an FDA registered cGMP manufacturing center that’s also a licensed USDA organic facility. This ensures their products are manufactured to specific requirements including identity, strength, quality, and purity. 

After the plant has been harvested, Bespoke Extracts uses CO2 extraction technology to pull CBD from the hemp. This is an environmentally friendly process that ensures consumers will receive the best purity and potency on the market. 

Lastly, Bespoke’s hemp extractions are safe, allergen-free, organic, and vegan. They are also ethically sourced, responsibly manufactured, and tested for unsurpassed purity and potency.

Bespoke Extracts offers two flavors of tinctures with two different strengths:

  • Manuka Honey – 1,000 mg – 16.6 mg/1 mL
  • Lemon Lime – 1,500 mg – 25 mg/1 mL

Both products come in 2 oz. bottles. 

As for price, Bespoke Extracts’ CBD Manuka Honey Tincture costs $149.00 USD, while its CBD Isolate Tincture Lemon Lime flavor is listed at $169.00 USD. 

The company also uses an independent third-party to double test their oils so consumers know that they are buying the purest, most effective as well as premium CBD oil on the market. 

PureKana

PureKana’s hemp is grown and harvested organically in Kentucky. Once the hemp is harvested, it is carefully processed and undergoes extraction and quality testing, creating CBD-rich hemp oil which PureKana infuses with the highest quality MCT oil. Each and every one of the company’s products are made from non-GMO, organic, USA-grown hemp.

PureKana’s CBD tinctures offer several mg of CBD options:

  • 300 mg
  • 600 mg
  • 1000 mg
  • 2500 mg
  • 5000 mg

They also offer four different flavors: natural, vanilla, mint, and citrus. 

PureKana’s 1 oz bottles offer 40 servings per container, as well as 7.5 mg of CBD to 83.3 mg per 0.5 mL serving. Prices may range from $70 USD to $390 USD. 

Lastly, they test samples of their products with independent, highly regarded US analytical laboratories.

Medterra

Medterra’s CBD Tinctures are made with their 99%+ CBD and MCT Oil (organic, coconut derived), and come in three different strengths. 

The company’s hemp is grown and extracted in the USA, and their CBD is fully compliant under the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and they are also certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority. Medterra’s CBD products are third-party tested and contain 0% THC.

Medterra’s CBD tincture contains 30 servings, and comes in a 1 oz. bottle. According to Medterra, the mg per dropper are:

  • 500 mg = 16 mg of CBD per 1ml dropper
  • 1,000 mg = 33 mg of CBD per 1ml dropper
  • 3,000 mg = 10 0mg of CBD per 1ml dropper

Prices vary between strength, from $34.99 USD to $132.99 USD. 

They also offer certificates of analysis on their website for consumers to review. 

CBDMD

Like many premium CBD brands, cbdMD tincture formula is a special blend of cannabinoids and terpenes drawn strictly from non-GMO hemp grown in Kentucky. The brand received special permission from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture as a member of their Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

Each CBD tincture batch includes precisely measured amounts of CBD, cannabigerol, cannabinol, and all the other benefits of hemp, while still staying THC-free. Additionally, the base of all their CBD oil tinctures is Superior Broad Spectrum CBD extract and pure MCT oil. The only other ingredient in their product is flavoring (e.g., mint, orange, berry, and natural), which many of their tinctures have. Some of their products are also vegan, gluten-free and organic.

cbdMD’s CBD tinctures are available in two sizes, 30 mL and 60 mL. They also offer a wide variety of CBD mg, including:

  • 300 mg
  • 750 mg
  • 1500 mg
  • 3000 mg
  • 5000 mg
  • 7500 mg

According to their website, a person can receive anywhere between 10 mg to 250 mg of CBD per 1 mL. 

Depending on which mg of CBD bottle you purchase, prices range from $29.99 USD to $339.99 USD.

The company also does third-party lab testing.

JustCBD

JustCBD is a relatively new CBD company that was founded in 2017. Despite being new to the CBD industry, each and every one of their products is sourced from 100% U.S. grown industrial hemp and well as 100% organic. 

CBD tinctures are available in: 

  • 50 mg
  • 100 mg
  • 250 mg
  • 550 mg 
  • 1000 mg
  • 1500 mg

According to JustCBD, “each dropper supplies roughly 10 mg of CBD,” meaning you get about ten drops per 100mg bottle. They also offer two flavors: liquid honey, coconut oil, and hemp. Prices vary from $9.99 USD to $98.99 USD. 

Greenroads

Green Roads’ CBD oil is made by their team of pharmacists, which is led by their co-founder, a licensed compounding pharmacist. CBD oils are available in broad-spectrum or full-spectrum. 

They grow and harvest their hemp in America. Once the plants are harvested, they are sent to facilities that use CO2 extraction methods to distill their CBD. They conduct testing for heavy metals, pesticides, microbials, and more to make sure they’re using the best possible ingredients. 

Green Roads products undergo multistage testing through Evio Labs, the results of which are available online for consumers to see. Formulations are tested, as well as separate batches of each product.

In addition to using American-farmed hemp, some of their products are broad-spectrum (less than 0.0 mg of THC), vegan-friendly, gluten-free, no animal testing, no artificial coloring, and no artificial flavoring.

Green Roads’ CBD oil may range from 10 mg/mL to 50 mg/mL of CBD, and come in 1 oz bottles.

CBDfx

CBDfx’s CBD tinctures are 100% vegan, non-GMO, cGMP-certified, and are made with full-spectrum CBD and organic MCT oil. The company source plants, which are grown organically, at their partner farms in Kentucky, and uses CO2 extraction. CBDfx offers the original CBD Tincture Oil in other flavors like lychee lemon kiwi, lemon lime mint, and blueberry pineapple lemon.

Their CBD tinctures are available in:

  • 500 mg
  • 1,000 mg
  • 1,500 mg 

CBDfx’s CBD tinctures vary in price; a tincture can be between $59.99 USD to $119.99 USD.

Diamond CBD

Diamond CBD uses non-GMO organically-grown plants for it’s CBD products. Unlike most other companies on this list, the company sources their hemp from Kentucky and Scandinavia. 

Once the hemp is harvested and dried under the most optimal conditions, it uses a supercritical CO2 extraction to acquire the highest quality of CBD. According to their website, their CBD products contain no psychoactive-inducing THC, are independent, third-party lab tested to ensure the highest level of quality extraction, and to test products and verify their ingredients.

CBD tincture strength options from Diamond CBD include:

  • 25 mg
  • 50 mg
  • 100 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 250 mg
  • 350 mg
  • 450 mg
  • 500 mg
  • 550 mg
  • 1,000 mg
  • 1,500 mg
  • 2,500 mg
  • 3,500 mg

Diamond CBD’s tinctures are available in isolates, full-spectrum, MCT oil, and more. Also, the brand offers a large variety of flavors. Prices may vary depending on both the size of the bottle (1 oz. or 2 oz.) to CBD strength, the lowest being $19.99 USD, and the highest set at $419.99 USD. 

Do Your Research Before You Buy

If you are planning to purchase a product from any of these CBD companies or one that wasn’t included in this list, it’s important to educate yourself first on CBD tincture strength is suited for your needs, how to use CBD tinctures safely, and if it will interact negatively with any prescriptions you are taking. Remember, while one CBD tincture may work for someone else, it may not work for you. So, talk to your physician or healthcare team if CBD tinctures are right for you.