Shopping for CBD?  Before you buy…….

Have you noticed that CBD is everywhere? It seems that every street corner has a store selling CBD products. I receive at least four emails every day advertising the newest, most fabulous healing CBD product!  It is my humble opinion, CBD, safely manufactured, can be helpful for a variety of medical conditions. It should never be used as the first line of treatment, but as an adjunct to other medications and procedures. Based on the anecdotal therapeutic dose ranges, the use of CBD is expensive, especially for the larger patients. The amount suggested by most manufacturer's label is generally inadequate for the majority of medical conditions.
The information below is collected and collated from various sources, including lectures, articles from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Consumerreports.org, Consumerlab.com, and private websites.


What to know before you purchase CBD products

From JAMA, November 2017 (authored by Vandrey at Johns Hopkins) "…only 26 of 84 samples of CBD oils, tinctures, and vaporization liquids purchased online contained the amount of CBD claimed on their labels. Eighteen of them had THC levels* possibly high enough to result in intoxication or impairment, especially among children. And a quarter had less CBD than advertised. Similarly, FDA testing has found several "CBD" products with no CBD at all." *These products were being sold as CBD only Unsafe products place you, your child, or your pet at risk. Dogs and cats are very susceptible to the psychoactive effects of THC. In companion pets, the lethal dose of THC is very high, but the effect on their bodies are physically taxing, as well as expensive to treat.
Preclinical CBD trials appear to support potential therapeutic effects in chronic pain, inflammation, cancer, seizure disorders, anxiety disorders (psychosis, depression, PTSD), cardiovascular diseases and neurodegeneration, either CBD alone or with THC. The current use of CBD and THC products are based entirely on experimental and anecdotal reports. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (National Library of Medicine) lists 25,606 Cannabis-related papers and show 11,135 funded by National Institute of Health grants. There are three FDA approved drugs containing THC and one with CBD. The recently approved CBD medication, Epidiolex, is prescribed for refractory pediatric seizure disorders in humans. In dogs, a recent clinical trial appears to support the use of CBD for canine osteoarthritis. Further tests are necessary to determine medical indications, dosages, and safety.
CBD (Cannabidiol) CBD and THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of more than 120 phytocannabinoids found in Cannabis plants. Phytocannabinoids produce the same chemical responses in our body as our endocannabinoids. Scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system in the 1990s. The endocannabinoid system is part of a multitude of body functions involved in behavior, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, motor learning, immune responses, pain, cell repair, and healing. CBD and THC chemically produce similar actions as the endocannabinoids. So, in theory, they may potentially be able to mimic or augment the effects of our body's endocannabinoids.
There are two types of endocannabinoid receptors in the body: CB1 and CB2 receptors located in brain cells, bones, liver, endocrine glands, reproductive organs, fat cells, and immune blood cells, such as T-cells, B-cells, and macrophages. CB 1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, and CB 2 receptors are predominantly located in the immune cells, muscles, and organ tissues. THC has a high affinity for CB1 receptors, (located primarily in the brain) and a low affinity for CB2 receptors. CBD has a high affinity for the CB2 receptors (mainly in immune cells and peripheral aspects of the body) and a low affinity to the CB 1 receptors in the brain. Due to these dynamics, THC targets the brain, producing the psychoactive responses and CBD targets the immune cells and peripheral tissues of the body, providing more homeostatic and healing effects.
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants; the difference is the THC content. Hemp is any Cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana is any Cannabis plant containing more than 0.3% THC. Some taxonomists feel that there are three or four species of Cannabis; others argue that they are subspecies or strains of one Cannabis plant. No matter, the four species or subspecies listed are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Cannabis afghanica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Hemp is generally considered to be a strain of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana can be any of the four species.
If the CBD comes from Hemp, it is legal. Until the recent passage of the Farm Act of 2018, the production, sale, and use of ANY product derived from ANY Cannabis plant, including. hemp was illegal in the US, (except for research purposes.) Farm Act 2018 separated hemp from marijuana, established Hemp as a legal agricultural crop under specific guidelines and legalized the manufacture and sale of all CBD products derived from Hemp. The Farm Act does NOT legalize the use or sale of marijuana. Despite the District of Columbia and 31states passing laws legalizing the medicinal or the recreational use of marijuana, it is federally illegal.
The findings of a 2017 study of cannabidiol users by the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence found neither abuse nor dependence of CBD. In humans, the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite/weight. When compared to other drugs used for the same medical condition, CBD has a better side effect profile. In a small study of 30 dogs, all 30 dogs showed mild to moderate signs of diarrhea and salivation. To avoid these side effects, I advise owners to increase the dosage to the therapeutic level gradually.
Dogs and cats are sensitive to the psychoactive THC effects. It is not that they cannot imbibe THC, but we do not know the dose. Dogs and cats are sensitive to the psychoactive THC effects. It is not that they cannot imbibe THC, but we do not know the dose. A few veterinarians practicing in states where the use of both recreational and medicinal is legal, are prescribing THC to their patients at very low doses. DO NOT attempt to do this on your own. DO NOT share your marijuana.
What is the source of your HEMP? What part of the plant is used in your product? Is your product Full Spectrum? How is the CBD extracted? Does this specific product have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from an outside laboratory?
A Consumer Reports article advises buyers to purchase CBD products from states that authorize the sale of both recreational and medicinal marijuana. Why? These states have stricter product guidelines for both marijuana and CBD products. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan are among the states that have legalized medicinal and recreational use.
Extracts from the whole plant, flowers, and leaves are ideal. Why? The combination of all the different phytocannabinoids and terpenes within the entire plant increases the medicinal effects. Look for products that are labeled "Full Spectrum." The highest concentration of THC and CBD is in the flowers and the leaves. There is virtually NO CBD in hemp seed. Let me state that again. THERE IS NO CBD IN HEMP SEED !!!!! And stalks? They have very little CBD; you need a lot of stalks to produce the same amount found within the flowers and leaves.
The safety of the product is also influenced by the extraction process to remove the CBD from the plant. Because there is no oversight of the manufacture of CBD products, the extraction methods between companies are not uniform or standardized. CO2 extraction is the safest method. Ethanol extraction is "Generally regarded as safe" by the FDA. Avoid the use of extraction processes that use harsh solvents.
There is NO oversight of the CBD manufacturing process. Buy ONLY from companies that provide a certificate of analysis for each of their products. An outside laboratory must do the analysis. The report should include the amount of CBD and the amount of THC to assure that there is NO THC within the product. It should also indicate the presence or absence of benzenes, pesticides, and heavy metals. The certificate must be for the specific product you are purchasing, dated no more than a year, preferably less. If the company cannot provide this document, they cannot guarantee the product's safety or the amount of CBD.
It is better to give CBD with food. The absorption of CBD increases when given WITH food, especially foods with high-fat contents. If you absorb more of the chemical, you will have a better response.
I prefer liquids, it makes it easier to be accurate on the dosage. Edibles are another option but the label should state how many mg is in each edible. Look carefully at the ingredient list, especially if you are giving a human edible to your pet. Human CBD products frequently contain xylitol, chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, and other foods toxic to dogs and cats, some of which are lethal.
As I stated earlier, we do not know the actual treatment dosages for humans, let alone our companion pets. The experimental and anecdotal doses are different for different medical conditions. One dose does not fit all. Some studies indicate age also affects the treatment response by the patient. Aging decreases the number of receptors, so in theory, older patients need more than younger patients. In most situations, purchase the more concentrated bottle. Bulk volume is financially prudent, especially for the larger patients. I cannot give any specific recommendation without seeing your pet.
Yes, I can if your pet is my patient. Despite being sold as a dietary supplement, CBD is legally not a dietary supplement; it is a drug. Therefore, the law dictates I have a client-patient relationship. CBD and THC are already in FDA approved medications. It precludes the inclusion of CBD and THC in dietary supplements. You will say, "But, they are selling it as a dietary supplement." Yes, they are -- the "cat is out of the bag." The FDA does not have the funds nor the human resources to shut companies down. So, unless a product causes harm, they choose not to enforce the regulations.

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