Consumable CBD products are now subject to regulation by the Food Standards Authority (FSA). Manufacturers must seek authorisation to market their products and will need to go through an FSA safety assessment.
This is due to a study by the governments Committee on Toxicity (COT), which found there are 'potential adverse health effects'.
Here, we answer some common questions to help you understand the facts behind the hype and headlines.
What CBD products are available?
However, this is commonly misunderstood as applying to CBD products. Technically, the legal limit of THC in finished CBD products is 0%.
CBD – short for cannabidiol – is a chemical compound extracted from the cannabis plant. It’s thought to affect our cell- signalling system (the endocannabinoid system), which helps to regulate functions such as sleep, immune response and pain. This explains CBD’s potentially wide-ranging application.
Does CBD have any interactions?
CBD does have plenty of potential. But existing clinical studies for conditions such as anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain have been on such a small scale – or not yet conducted in humans – that it’s impossible to draw firm conclusions. Larger-scale human trials are needed to investigate further.
The NHS has issued guidance over using medical-grade CBD if you have kidney or liver issues, or are on blood-thinning medication.
Tempted to give your pup one of those CBD dog biscuits? "Generally we expect CBD products to be safe, and they could show some benefit for anxiety in pets," says John Faught, DVM, a veterinarian based in Austin, Texas.
It really depends on what your goal is and why you're taking CBD in the first place.
The only CBD medication that is currently FDA-approved is Epidiolex, which the agency approved last year for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. But many people swear CBD has helped with a slew of other health conditions, including back pain, osteoarthritis, even cancer.
But even though it's infiltrating pretty much every corner of the wellness world (hi, vegan CBD brownies!) many people still find CBD a little confusing—especially when it comes to figuring out the right way to use it and how to make sure the stuff you're buying is, you know, actually legit. Below, we asked experts to answer the most pressing questions about CBD.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
The tricky part is that there's some evidence suggesting CBD works best for pain when combined with a little THC, says Dr. Danesh. "Depending on what type of pain you have, you might be able to do just CBD, but sometimes you need CBD and THC." This makes accessing a product that will actually help you more difficult due to different regulations in each state. In New York, where Dr. Danesh practices, for example, CBD is available over the counter. But as soon as you add THC, you need a prescription.
When people talk about hemp oil, they're referring to oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids—CBD or THC—in hemp oil. This ingredient is packed with healthy fats and often appears in beauty products for its moisturizing benefits.
It should not, as long as you're buying third-party tested CBD with no added THC, says Dr. Chin. But she does point out that athletes, who often are required to take drug tests that are more sensitive, "could potentially test positive" for trace amounts of THC if they've been using CBD products.
What does the label look like?
It's also crucial to buy third-party-tested CBD for quality assurance (more on this later). Because the FDA doesn't regulate CBD, it is possible to buy a product that is more or less potent than advertised, or even contains small amounts of THC.
That same 2018 Farm Bill means you can now travel between states with legit CBD products. "Flying with CBD should pose no issues now," Parrish says. However, if you're traveling with a tincture, be mindful of TSA limits on how much liquid you can carry on an airplane, she adds. (You can also mail CBD products, just like "companies that comply with the Bill can ship their hemp-derived CBD products anywhere in the U.S.," Parrish notes.)