CBD, the type of cannabis that doesn’t get you high, is now being used by nearly 15 percent of Americans, as per a new poll released by Gallup. These remarkably popular hemp-based products are non-intoxicating, because cannabidiol (CBD) exerts different effects on the body to psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

So, you won’t get stoned from using CBD, and nor will you experience anxiety or paranoia – rather, CBD may actually help with both. But as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD, you still have to take some precautions when purchasing and consuming products to ensure you don’t get ripped off, stay safe and keep on the right side of the law. 

Buy third-party lab tested products

Because the FDA doesn’t involve itself with CBD product regulation, it is more difficult to tell whether CBD is legitimate or not, since there are no official standards for companies to maintain. But there are plenty of great, honest brands in the industry who don’t want to be associated with those selling 21st century snake oil.

Hence why the likes of Koi CBD submit all of their products to third-party lab testing. When an independent body analyses the product, you can be sure that their findings will be accurate and truthful. Such a report will detail the exact percentages of cannabinoids and terpenes, and if the product is free of harmful byproducts, like heavy metals. The best CBD companies submit their products for testing on a regular basis, so that prospective customers always get up-to-date information. 

The third-party testing approach works well, but some cowboy companies are still up to their dirty tricks. A few will claim to test their products “in-house” – but since those reports aren’t independent, why should anybody trust them? Then there are companies that claim to sell third-party lab-tested CBD products, without actually publishing any reports. There are several brands you can trust that have adopted a fully transparent approach. It’s better to go with one of those than a manufacturer that deliberately makes it tricky to verify product quality.

How to avoid failing a drug test 

CBD isn’t intoxicating so you won’t fail a drugs test for taking it, right? In nearly all cases, that’s absolutely true. The only cannabis-based substance that drug tests scan for is THC, since that’s the compound producing the psychoactive effect. Not even thousands of milligrams of CBD would lead to a fail.

Therefore, CBD-isolate products are 100 percent safe in regard to drug tests, and you can consume as much as you like, as often as you like. Full-spectrum CBD products are a little different. The main therapeutic ingredient in these is also the CBD, but also present are all the compounds that hemp creates, including a small quantity of THC. Federal law states that CBD products must have less than 0.3 percent THC

That’s a tiny concentration and most users will never take in enough THC from a CBD product for it to be a problem. However, heavy users could be at risk if the test has a low threshold for THC. Moreover, products that aren’t lab-tested could easily have more THC than the legal limit. Since it takes weeks for THC to completely flush out of the body, the cannabinoid can accumulate. If you want to be on the extra safe side with CBD and drugs tests, stick with products made from isolated CBD extracts.

Driving after CBD use

Driving after taking weed is a definite no-no; driving after taking CBD is more of a maybe. There’s nothing in the law against getting behind the wheel after a dose of CBD oil, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a wise thing to do.

Much comes down to how you personally react to CBD, and what product and dosage you have taken. A small dose can make you more alert, but larger doses are renowned for promoting relaxation and sleepiness – indeed, that’s a main selling point of CBD. Add a smattering of indica terpenes and you really will have a CBD product that makes you drowsy.

With no law in place to stop you driving following a dose of CBD, you’ll have to use your own judgements. If you have reservations about your ability to drive, then listen to your gut and give it a miss. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Final thought

As a drug, CBD is safe, and much more so than many prescription drugs. But it’s still important to question what you’re buying CBD, and sensible when you’re taking it. 

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