A survey of more than one thousand CBD users nationwide was performed to find out if and how it's changing their lives.
By James DiGeorgia
A mom uses CBD products for treating her son’s seizure problems. A veteran is hopeful that this will help her stay away from opioids. A renowned dietitian claims that this helps her sleep peacefully. Even a pet owner utilizes it for calming his anxious dogs. There are many more stories like this among the over 64M Americans who’ve used cannabidiol or CBD. A Consumer Reports survey that asked over 4,000 Americans if they had used CBD in the past 24 months unearthed numbers that surprised even the most CBD proponents.
This survey, conducted in January, discovered that over 25% of had tried cannabidiol – a component found in hemp and marijuana that does not make you high. Among the reasons, the two most prominent ones were to resolve their physical and mental issues. Over 14% of participants claimed that they had used CBD almost every single day.
Americans all over the age spectrum are using CBD. It is highly popular among those aged 20 and above, with over 40% claiming to have used CBD. But even among those aged 60+, a solid 15% said they have used it as well. Most survey respondents reported positive effects. Many reported CBD to be an effective measure even when taken by itself, especially when used for treating anxiety. That was one of the survey’s most startling revelations—22% of participants told Consumer Reports that using CBD had permitted them to stop taking prescription or OTC drugs and opioids.
Sold in topical lotions, tinctures, oils, pill form, and even used in cosmetics, beer, coffee, and bottled water, CBD is available in thousands of products. And this is only bound to increase, thanks to recent federal law changes, which allows U.S. farmers to grow hemp legally. Brightfield Group, a consulting firm that specializes in cannabis projects the hemp-based CBD market to have a valuation of around $22B before 2022, almost 67 times richer than its $327M valuation in 2017.
Simultaneously, more states have begun legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and recreational usage in adults. Over 25% of US citizens live in the 10 states that, along with Washington, DC, now allows recreational marijuana usage. Those states include Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. New York, New Jersey, and many others are lining up to join this list soon as well.
Over 75% of US adults support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, as per another CR survey, conducted in 2018 with over 1,000 participants. Over 50% support the legalization of recreational marijuana usage.
Although more and more U.S. citizens are now using marijuana and CBD, regulations and laws that govern their usage remain inconsistent and confusing.
For instance, while marijuana happens to be legal in over 33 states to varying degrees, on a federal level, it remains illegal. Despite the removal of several hemp agriculture restrictions, some states and cities have started cracking down on products containing CBD. Some of those cases are politics as usual, but the majority of them reflect state concerns about the integrity of the product. Numerous investigations have uncovered tainted and bogus formulations.
In the meantime, public health authorities, doctors, and scientists are beginning to be serious about assessing the risks and benefits of CBD and marijuana-based products. In particular, the current interest spurt in marijuana-based products has sparked concerns whether it is safe to use, ranging from mental health issues to impaired driving. Those concerns do not normally apply to CBD products from hemp because they have little to no psychoactive property. By law, these now-legal products cannot contain more than O.3% of THC, the chemical that causes highs in marijuana.
If you intend to use cannabis, here is a list of important potential health risks and benefits of using cannabis, along with instructions for safe usage and certain tips that will help avoid dangerous products.
Understanding Recent CBD Human Studies
Until recent years, CBD wasn’t considered to be a crucial element in cannabis. According to Martin Lee, a prominent cannabis historian, founder of Project CBD, and author of Smoke Signals—A Social History of Marijuana, cannabis growers in the past would try to reduce CBD levels in plants by selective breeding measures. That helped them grow strains with greater THC levels for recreational users. In 2009, growers started coming across strains that contained high CBD levels, and by then, CBD was identified as an effective compound in its own right
Research studies suggest that CBD compounds have a positive effect on the human body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a group of receptors present throughout the entire body but especially concentrated in the central nervous system and various organs. These receptors interact with cannabis compounds, including CBD. Some of them influence feelings of pain and anxiety or regulate the human body’s sleep cycles.
However, CBD’s most important effect is its potent anti-inflammatory qualities. And these effects can be observed everywhere, including hip and knee joints, the brain and the central nervous system, according to Joseph Maroon, a neurological surgery clinical professor at Pittsburgh University Medical Center. In 2018, he, along with his colleagues wrote a review that stated that these effects could minimize PTSD, seizures, depression, anxiety, and concussion-related issues.
To date, however, CBD has been most studied for its abilities to treat seizures. Last year, their results were so compelling that the FDA decided to approve Epidioloex, a prescription variant of CBD.
Americans are discovering the benefits of CBD for themselves. Over 75% of all people in the 2018 Consumer Reports survey who had taken CBD stated that it was reasonably effective in solving the issue they were taking it for. Over 48% deemed it highly effective.
CBD products are also highly effective for some common problems like joint pains, sleep issues, and stress. Side effects were mostly unheard of, among participants in the survey, with almost 75% stating they hadn’t experienced any side effects.As mentioned earlier, over 22% of all people taking CBD to resolve their health issues stated that it was an effective replacement for OTC or prescription drugs, and over 33% of them said that it was an effective opioid replacement as well. A few US researchers are now conducting studies on whether CBD compounds could be helpful in fighting the current opioid crisis in America. Studies already completed at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York show promise for that use.
How and Where is CBD Sold?
You may discover CBD products either at your local health food store, CBD product retailers or at online websites. Edibles like drinks, foods and gummies infused with CBD are highly popular. Rubs, oils, drops, and vape pens are common as well. Quality varies greatly, but there are some things you can look for.
Search for products that disclose the CBD content in a single serving, and not simply the entire bottle or bag of the product.
Further, most experts will agree that the various studies analyzing CBD for medicinal purposes have shown the products containing CBD oil that was not Full Spectrum CBD is likely to be a waste of your money.
In addition, there is no industry standard as yet, and the suggested dosages that are as expressed in mg or milligrams may vary, based on the product form.
In fact, the right amount can vary from person to person. That’s why most experts recommend starting out Full Spectrum CBD products with lower doses. For instance, when it comes to an oral dose such as a capsule, Renown Health Products recommends picking a product, which contains just 25mg per serving of Full Spectrum CBD, as in the soft gel caps they call Chill Gels…
Many research studies have used that amount and found participants benefited. Many people prefer to take two 25 mg servings per day.
As a further precaution, stay away from CBD products that announce sweeping health statements, as they’re often illegal and inaccurate. CBD is excellent for stress, aiding sleep, and occasional pain. Reputable makers do not recommend their product s for serious medical conditions like cancer that should be addressed only with a doctor.
You may also find a choice between a tincture or a pill/capsule form. In the case of Full Spectrum CBD, they are the same. The only difference is that a tincture held under the tongue goes straight into the bloodstream, so it gets into the system faster and none is lost to the digestive system. Thus, most people take slightly lower amounts of tincture than they would in a soft gel.
And finally, if you engage in vaping, please know that concentrated oils, which are used in them, may contain propylene glycol, a solvent. When it burns at very high temperatures, this solvent can start degrading into formaldehyde that can lead to eye and nose irritation and may increase the risks of contracting cancer and asthma. The rash of deaths in the United States from a condition known as popcorn tongue may be the result of the solvents in most CBD vaping pen cartridges. Stick with gel caps or tinctures. Renown Health Products offer a special report ‘Everything You Should Be Asking About CBD’ for free.
Not many states demand comprehensive testing of all CBD products that are sold in stores or online. To know whether a CBD product does what the advertising or product label claims, simply ask for a product’s certificate of analysis or COA.
This document will show how the product stood up in certified tests, usually commissioned by manufacturers that check for THC and CBD levels, and see whether it contains any contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. If retail stores or online manufacturers refuse to share this vital information or don’t have it, start searching for other products.