variety of purposes. If you have decided that using CBD is right for you, some of the challenges you face are assur- ing the product is safe; you are getting the amount of CBD you are paying for; and you are getting the most ben- efit from what you are taking.


Here are 8 things to consider, that can help inform your decision:

tain pesticides.

Confirm the product has been tested and doesn’t contain heavy metals. The hemp plant is very efficient at extracting heavy metals from the soil and concentrating them in the leaves, and to a lesser degree the flowers. Even soil containing minimal amounts of heavy metals can produce hemp CBD oil with significant levels of heavy metals.

Confirm the product has been tested and doesn’t contain dangerous mycotoxins. The hemp plant can be infected with cer- tain molds that can produce toxins (myco- toxins) that are harmful to people and other animals. Healthy hemp plants are less likely to be infected, so knowing the plants have been grown following organic or regenerative farming practices helps, but the hemp CBD oil still needs to be tested.

Confirm the product has been tested for CBD content and the results correlate with the label. Studies have shown a wide range in CBD potency relative to what is shown on the label. All CBD products should be clearly labeled with the amount of CBD contained, and the test result should correlate.

Confirm the product has been grown fol- lowing organic or regenerative farming practices. It is important to know where and how the hemp CBD used to make the product you are purchasing was grown. It is optimal, when possible, to use product made with hemp CBD that was grown locally following organic or regenerative practices. If you don’t know it was grown following these practices, confirm the product has been tested and doesn’t con-

MAY 2020 17

Confirm whether the product is made from Whole Plant Extract or Isolated CBD. The CBD oil used to make product can be extracted from the hemp flower using several methods that can result in a Whole Plant Extract which contains all of the bio- logically active compounds, or it can be processed to the point where it only con- tains isolated CBD. There is increasing evidence that, for most purposes, products made from a Whole Plant Extract contain- ing all of the flower’s cannabinoids, ter- penes, and flavonoids is more beneficial than product made from the isolated CBD molecule. This increased benefit is called the Entourage Effect, and should be con- sidered when purchasing product.

Consider using sublingual/oral solutions, not edibles, for systemic benefits. When ingested and absorbed through the GI tract, the blood containing CBD is ini- tially routed to the liver, where 90% of the CBD is metabolized (deactivated) before being returned to the heart and circulated to the body. Edibles are an expensive way

here is a rapidly in- creasing number of people using CBD for a

What You

Need to Know About the CBD Products You are


to consume CBD if you are look- ing for systemic benefits. Sub- lingual/oral solutions when taken properly are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body prior to being metabo- lized.

Consider using topical CBD that contains Argan Oil if you are using it for deeper tissue ben- efits; CBD is not water soluble. It cannot penetrate through the skin to the underlying structures, like joints and muscles. Argan

Oil is an absorption enhancer that appears to allow CBD to penetrate through the skin to the deeper structures. If you are using topical formulations with CBD for its effect on deeper tissues, consider using products that also contain Argan Oil.

Consider buying from manufacturers committed to transparency. Some manu- facturers understand the above challenges, and are committed to testing their products and making the test results readily, and easily accessible. Seek out manufacturers who follow those practices.

References furnished upon request.

Richard Wheeler MD is co-owner of RavenRidge Family Farm, LLC, with his wife Michele. He practiced Family Medicine at Kaiser and Duke, and is currently a Medi- cal Director with Cotiviti, a Healthcare Solutions and Analytics Company. After 28 years in clinical practice, he is committed to the idea that healthy soil is the founda- tion for healthy plants, healthy animals, healthy people, and a healthy planet. See ad below.

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