CBD: The Gossip, the Caution, and the Superpowers

Over the last few years there has been much hype and talk about CBD or cannabidiol for many different ailments including but not limited to: alleviating cancer-related side effects like vomiting and pain, reducing Parkinson’s tremors, mitigating depression and anxiety, and even decreasing seizure intensity and frequency.


Does CBD make you high or have the potential for abuse like THC?

It is entirely reasonable for many people to be concerned about potential dependence or abuse with CBD, given that THC or tetrahydrocannabinol another compound found in cannabis may have those effects. However, WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence investigated CBD and after reviewing the evidence from animal and human studies, the committee concludes that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”


Where does CBD come from and how is it absorbed in the body?

CBD is made primarily from the flower buds of low-THC Cannabis and thus has a low risk of hallucinogenic effects. CBD is fat-soluble similar to other fat-soluble compounds like Vitamin D or fish oil it is best with a large meal rich with healthy fat and oils. “It’s not absorbed well if you take it on an empty stomach,” said Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com, who tested the most popular CBD products online for their quality and potency then ranked them by price per mg of CBD.


I have seen many CBD products advertised and many say they are good for every ailment. Is there any risk to taking one bought online or at the health food store?

Unfortunately, since there is no current federal regulation on the production and manufacturing of CBD products, many consumers are receiving products with contaminants like pesticides and herbicides or products containing mislabeled amounts of CBD. A new study by a Penn Medicine researcher, Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, published last year in JAMA, found that nearly 70% of all CBD products sold online are either over or under labeled, causing potential serious harm to its consumers. Dr. Bonn-Miller believes the mislabeling of cannabidiol products is a direct result of inadequate regulation and oversight. 


Look at the label to see from where the CBD product was sourced.

Many researchers advise against taking CBD from China; since the standards for purity don’t match those of American manufacturers, which typically grow cannabis in Europe, Colorado, Kentucky, or Oregon. Some Chinese CBD has been found to be contaminated with heavy metals and large amounts of pesticides. That is why we decided to start our own investigation and find out which brand is the safest and highest quality for our patients.


What are the differences between “Cannabinoids”, “Hemp oil”, “Hemp Seeds”, and “Hemp Extract”? Do they even have CBD?

Until the FDA reviews the CBD research and creates quality standards, it is advisable to be cautious with products that claim to contain CBD. Look for a product that lists the amount of CBD per serving. If it only lists “cannabinoids,” it may or may NOT contain CBD. If “hemp extract” is listed it likely contains CBD, but if “hemp oil” is listed as the only ingredient the product is made from hemp seeds. Hemp seeds, unfortunately, DO NOT contain CBD in any significant amount.


What are some good brands that would have high amounts of therapeutic CBD without all of the junk?

At Options Naturopathic, we researched different Hemp Extract oil brands tested by ConsumerLabs.com for content, quality, and price. Out of many brands, we saw that Charlotte’s Web (CW) and Plus+ Hemp Oil stood out for maintaining high quality Hemp Extract oil. For CW the cost per 10mg of CBD was higher than other competitors at $1.54 compared to $0.80 or $0.82, however, there was no information from those manufacturers regarding the soil or other materials used to grow hemp. This is in contrast to CW, where they are transparent about their process from seed to product and are working to achieve USDA Organic Certification. CW goes on to explain that they use soil that is cleared of heavy metals and other contaminants prior to planting with organic and sustainable cultivation techniques. Compared to other competitors who import their hemp plants, CW grows their hemp in the same region where they process their products. From this information we concluded that CW would be the best Hemp Extract for its potency, quality, and economic value. 


What dosages do CW and Plus+ have available?

The four most popular oils of CW are Full Strength, Extra Strength, Original Strength, and Max Strength. CW formulations contain CBD in combination with many other cannabinoids to create a synergistic effect rather than an isolated product. The approximated concentration of CBD in each formulation are as follows: Full Strength has approximately 6.66mg CBD per mL of Hemp Extract, Extra Strength contains approximately 16.66mg CBD per mL of Hemp Extract, Original Strength consists of approximately 50mg CBD per 1mL of Hemp Extract, Max Strength contains approximately 60mg CBD per 1mL of Hemp Extract.

Plus+ Hemp oil has numerous products in a dropper form like CW but they also have a unique applicator product that measures out a relatively accurate dose of CBD oil. The Plus+ Gold applicator, the product we carry at Options, contains approximately 17mg of CBD per application which is about 0.07mL of oil.

Between CW and Plus+, which Hemp extract should I use?

While CW and Plus+ Hemp extract are both wonderful Hemp brands in their own right, the choice to use one product over the other comes down to convenience, taste, cost, and added ingredients. We compared the two brands and their products and found that Plus+ Gold is best for people who have allergies to ingredients like cacao, coconut, or mint since it does not contain any carrier oils or flavors. We also found that Plus+ Gold is more convenient and accurate in its dosing since it comes in an applicator that consistently measures out the desired dosage whether you are at home, out running errands, or traveling.

Of note is the CW Max Strength formulation, one of the most potent hemp products available on the market. Although the Max Strength formula has more upfront cost, it is more concentrated than the CW Original, CW Extra Strength, or even Plus+Gold so less drops are needed to reach therapeutic dosage. Along with having a delicious mint chocolate taste it is an easy recommendation we make to our patients who would use these products more frequently and in higher dosages like in debilitating pain or cancer.

Here at Options Naturopathic we did the legwork to provide the highest quality products to address your needs so you don’t have to worry about buying a bad product. From our research we have found a wonderful set of products with the Plus+ Hemp and Charlotte’s Web, both of which are honest about how each product is made and strives to make the purest Hemp Extract. With these products available, we aim to help you be your best Self!

Come pick up Charlotte’s Web or Plus+ Hemp product for you and your family today!

(Note online sales are prohibited)

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