I recall having an argument with my mother when she called to tell me CBD oil is illegal in Wisconsin. It took us awhile to figure out that she was talking about CBD oil with THC over the .3% limit for hemp. Once we figured that out, I could say, “yes, mother, THAT sort of CBD oil is illegal in Wisconsin, but the kind we make is quite legal.” She still didn’t believe me. She had Alzheimer’s already and the smallest divergence from ‘simple’ confused her.
On top of that, I didn’t think it was possible for mere mortals to confuse a subject so much, but that is what has happened to CBD and the magnificent cannabis plant. Which is precisely why I am writing this series of articles — hoping to untangle the confusion.
A September 2018 article from consumer reports has the definitive list of what you need to know to choose your CBD and I must say, I would amend by immediate dropping vaping off the list. Don’t vape. Don’t smoke. It’s not healthy for your lungs; there are better ways to take CBD and get immediate results. A large dose of tincture, for example, either a half or full dropperful, will go right to the system and one will experience the same quick relief as if that person took a hit of a joint or a vape pen. Sublingual drops also act fast, although we find the tincture, with its harsh bitter taste, to be the most fast-acting and we use it to stop seizures mid-seizure on farm animals (most of our experience with tincture as an anti-seizure agent is with rescue kittens, but we also know that it has the same effect on other animals and on people).
Here is the list from Consumer Reports:
- Decide Why You Want to Use CBD, and in What Form
- Consider How Much THC the Product Contains
- For Products from Hemp, Find Where It Was Grown (is there certification?)
- Look for Products That List the CBD Amount and
- Understand the other ingredients
- Avoid Products That Make Sweeping Health Claims
Watch Out for Vaping Products with Propylene Glycol
We agree with this list, more or less.
Answer Important Questions First
We agree with consumer reports that before you shop for your CBD product, make sure you have decided on a few things:
- What you are taking it for
- What form of it you are seeking
- What daily dose you are seeking
I turned sixty and decided to start taking gelcaps, the pure plant form, daily, for health maintenance, for example. The common answers to ‘what are you taking it for’ are these:
- Health maintenance
- Pain relief
- In search of healing
Decide the Format for Taking CBD
Decide on whether you want a tincture –a bitter alcohol tincture will absorb very quickly if squirted on the tongue, the infused oil — like coconut oil or olive oil infused with the CBD from the plant, or a pure plant oil — nothing infused, all the plant melted down to a pure oil.
Combining a topical salve with an ingested form of CBD is normal; people who are dealing with joint and muscle pain or bone pain find the rub-on topical and the ingested form to be a helpful combination. We don’t recommend taking pure plant oil and an infused oil. Don’t combine those. That’s like taking an aspirin and an oxycontin. The aspirin is a waste; the oxy trumps all.
Determine Your Dosage Requirements
If you need to take 200 mg a day and you buy a 500 mg bottle of CBD, you just got a weekend of medicine.
Consumer Reports has their second item as understanding THC content, because people should know that you can get CBD oil with more than the legal limit of THC for hemp (.3%), but you have to shop for that in dispensaries, in states where it is legal to buy and own THC products. Any ratio of CBD to THC can be made and when we are faced with loved ones with cancer, we make a pure plant oil for them that is generally a one to one ratio of CBD to THC. We couldn’t sell that to anyone because we are not licensed to sell products that are psychoactive. Our commerce is limited to hemp only so the THC content of our products is always under .3%. For ourselves, however, and our recommendation to others trying to reverse serious disease like cancer, is pure plant oil that has a more balanced ratio of CBD to THC than what our over-the-counter products have.
All our products are made naturally, with the plant, as our ancient mothers would have done, so there is trace amounts of THC in all we make and sell, but those amounts are generally .2% or less.
Examples of common regimes:25 mg at bed-time for health maintenance10 mg, three times a day for anxiety60 mg four times a day for extreme pain or illnessApplying the topical salve daily, an eight-ounce jar will last six months to a year
Seek Products that Plainly Display the Quantity of CBD
If you can’t figure out how many milligrams of CBD you are actually buying, you should probably hit the ‘next’ button and continue your search. We put the mg per unit (per container) in the title of our products on the store shelf: Approx. 500 mg CBD-infused oil (in a two-ounce bottle with liquid coconut oil as the base)Approx. 25 mg CBD per gelcap 900 mg of CBD in an 8-ounce jar of topical salve.
We say ‘approximately’ because there is some various from gelcap to gelcap, from infused-oil squirt to infused oil squirt, from tea sample to tea sample. The same batch has a plus or minus 10% variance. We try to get 1,000 mg of CBD into an 8-ounce jar of salve, but we test one jar from the batch and if we tested five jars, we would see that ten percent variance in potency.
Check Out Test Lab Used, Test Result Availability and Contents of Tests
When it comes to testing, there are three factors to look at:
- Are they using an independent lab or a lab who has holdings in the industry where conflicts of interest are possible?
- Many test labs of the early days were off-shoots to a cannabis business that didn’t want to pay the full expense of an external lab; many of these were shut down for corruption, for doctoring results, for making their own edibles be the only compliant ones — those sorts of shenanigans.
- Do they put the test results right out there for you or do you have to ask for them?
- Do they test for more than just potency?
Testing for potency with an independent lab is approximately $70 per test. We test every batch (our batches are made by the cycles of the moon and identified thusly). Sending a gelcap sample, a regular strength oil sample, a double strength oil sample, two samples of topical salve – mint and lavender, and a stick tincture sample to the lab every month costs us approximately $700 each time. Testing for a full range of pesticides costs about three times that. So we only do that full range of tests once a year or whenever we change vendors.
We use the same vendors for coconut oil every time and for a plant to ensure consistency best we can. We are all dealing with nature and our potency does vary slightly.
Avoid Products from Companies who Make Grandiose Claims
We agree completely with Consumer Reports that you should avoid any company that makes sweeping health claims. This plant medicine has been artificially, unethically, and immorally barred from society for a hundred years. Science and study were banned, so we have retarded our own growth and understanding. We have starved our endocannabinoid systems and we believe that has created a breeding ground for new and varied brain diseases. The plant medicine is highly experimental and it is far too early for us to be making specific claims for specific results. The plant is intelligent, collaborative, and cooperative, but that’s a very generic statement and it doesn’t mean it will necessarily cure your headaches or benefit all people. Stay away from companies who make claims. They aren’t following the law and they aren’t respecting our scientists and doctors.
How to Choose CDB Oil: Transparency, Availability, Service
Consumer Reports lists ‘know the other ingredients on the label’ and we agree with that, but we would put that under a whole category of ‘transparency’. Our salve, for example, contains coconut oil, hemp plant infused in the oil, then added are four essential oils: olive oil with calendula infused in it, vitamin E oil, lavender or mint oil (depending on the scent being made) and beeswax. What is in each of our products is listed both on the website description of the product and on the labels. Look for products that plainly give this information without making you search.
Also, make sure the company actually has people you can talk to if something goes wrong. If your salve or medicine gets exposed to extreme temperatures enroute, the user may want help and customer service availability is particularly important.
Our salve arrived frozen, once, sat on a door-step in the snow for weeks before the owner got back. The salve froze. We instructed her on how to re-melt it in a shallow pan of water with a very low flame and let it re-set and it recovered fabulously.
We know there is a direct correlation between us giving good service and our sales. We know that if we answer our phones and messages, people buy and when we don’t, they don’t. It’s a crazy scamming world out there right now and many people reach out first, just to make sure they get an answer – just to make sure we are ‘real’ before they buy. We understand. And we do, of course, keep it real.
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