Is Your CBD Spiked? Here’s What You Need To Know.
It’s hard to imagine how a simple vegetable oil that’s been sitting under our noses for millennia has suddenly become a supposed health panacea. Maybe that’s why some sceptics are finding all this CBD hype overblown. And as of right now, they have good reason to baulk.
That’s because there are no guidelines or official regulating bodies overseeing how CBD (the second most abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, aside from psychoactive THC) is produced, sold, or administered. The FDA, for now, has excluded hemp-derived CBD from its oversight, calling it a supplement. And, because the FDA doesn’t regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements, CBD is being put in the same quackery-prone realm as certain new age vitamins and herbs, homeopathics, and biohacking witchcraft (or at least, that could be the damaging public perception).
As a result, a wide range of CBD products of varying quality and strength are being sold on the open market today—including some that are probably pretty bunk. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School found that up to two-thirds of online vendors likely provide incorrect data regarding cannabinoid content on their product’s labels. Which means for every one person using CBD to treat their skin condition with great success—there are two more wondering why the cannabis-perfumed canola-oil they’ve been using hasn’t been living up to its reputation.
Look out for CBD Spiking
One method of CBD production that’s greatly contributing to this problem, is the practice of “spiking” products with CBD isolate and/or concentrate. CBD isolate is the extraction of the CBD compound from the cannabis plant and put into a concentrated form, or, stripped down to a white powder so that it no longer contains any of the other cannabinoids from its original composition.
Producers will do this to remove (most) of the psychoactive THC compound in the oil in order to sell their products legally in the U.S.—where restrictions prevent any more than .03% of THC to be present for the product to be sold over-the-counter. They do this, so they can call the product “full spectrum.”
What is full spectrum CBD?
True full spectrum CBD means the product contains all of its original cannabinoids, along with its own terpenes and flavonoids (flavours and medicinal qualities). Multiple studies seem to suggest when all or most cannabinoids are present, it can greatly amplify CBD’s therapeutic benefits, to great effect. This is because cannabinoids work in concert with your body’s own endocannabinoid system, controlling key functions such as your circulation, digestion, and respiratory system. The more interactions in your brain and body working to soothe these systems at once, the better the results.
CBD spiking - how to avoide it
Consumers who hear of the benefits of full spectrum CBD are willing to pay more for it—which means manufacturers will do almost anything to fetch that higher price. CBD isolates have left the door wide open for producers who take advantage of the public’s ignorance by playing with percentages, and/or using fillers or additives no one wants. Manufacturers can simply take a carrier oil (of any quality), drop CBD isolate crystals into it and sell it as is. Or, take CBD oil and spike it with more isolate to make the dosage appear more potent. And considering how little we know about the proper administration and dosage of CBD at this point, this could leave a ton of room for error (or, perhaps worse for CBD’s reputation: ineffectiveness).
In fact, the study above went on to find that as many as 43% of the products tested were under-labelled (containing more cannabidiol than the packaging said), 26% were over-labelled (having less cannabidiol) and only about 30% came within a 10% margin of error.
Quality CBD for vendors and consumers
At best, CBD devoid of all of its naturally-occurring plant power simply won’t work as well. And at worst? You might even need to worry about safety, too. For a “supplement” with properties far more like a ‘medicine”—that’s playing pretty fast and loose with consumers’ trust.
In short, consumers in search of quality CBD will need to be their own advocates—for now, at least. Crystalline isolate products are actually pretty easy to spot as fake under analysis (as the residual presence of solvents or synthetics can never be completely removed) so motivated vendors (or consumers) can have products tested at a lab for counterfeiting using a chromatography machine. If a CBD oil is spiked, the ratio of cannabidiol in the lab test will show percentages outside the range of normal.
For the average consumer, however, it’s best to source your CBD products from a reputable seller, such as a medical marijuana dispensary—where medical or recreational marijuana is legal. Look to see that the products you’re buying not only list the active ingredients and exact dosage of CBD but also list other cannabinoids and their quantities (percentages). Finally, buy CBD from certified sellers that oversee the entire process of harvest and manufacture of the hemp plant themselves. With these measures, you’re far more likely to get a pure, quality product, with more accurate dosing, and clearer labelling.
Eir is a company that prioritizes these qualities in a CBD product. We make 100% organic, hemp-derived cannabidiol with no chemicals, no isolates—just premium, full spectrum CBD oil, fairly priced and conveniently shipped all over the world. Have a look!