CBD was recently found by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to have “no public health risks, or abuse potential” and rather a number of promising medical applications and benefits, in a recent study.
This event truly marked the eclipse of cannabis moving past its hundred-year stigma and negative reputation, into a more acceptable household topic, and for good reason. Many of the medical uses of CBD or Cannabidiol have been proven to be very effective, although studies are still ongoing.
People around the world are using both prescribed and self-medicated CBD to combat a number of health issues that usually call for intense medications that we don’t really understand the working mechanisms of.
It is, however, somewhat of a goldmine for businesses, what with CBD now being a legal extract to cultivate and sell. This means that there are far, far too many companies and organisations trying to sell CBD who either aren’t researched and educated enough to produce quality CBD products, or are just plain-and-simple misleading customers.
We’ve written this guide to help you find real, pure CBD Oil that’s lab-tested, safe and reliably CBD-rich. Here to help you is information on what to look for, and what not to look for; and how to discern whether you’re getting quality products or, for a lack of a name with less of a pun, snake oil.
Cannabis produces an array of hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids all have their own effects, and CBD is best known for having both one of the widest range of effects of any cannabinoid, as well as no intoxicating properties.
It’s used as a tincture for a number of ailments and illnesses, treating things like:
- Sleep loss
- Cancer-related issues
It’s a fantastic compound with many medical benefits, many of which are starting to gain scientific standing after the doors opened wider to the research the compound.
CBD Oil is currently legal in South Africa, thanks to the somewhat-worldwide legalization of the substance after the World Health Organisation published their report. This is a fantastic development in the right direction as it allows those seeking treatment from cannabis to legally access it, in a non-intoxicating manner and without the fear of being arrested or charged for using or possessing the substance.
There is, however, a great lack of regulation around CBD. Because it’s regarded more along the grounds of a supplement than a medicine (for example, Vitamin C versus cough syrup), there is very little control over what can and can’t be listed as CBD.
For example, if we started a company juicing hemp plants, and bottling it labelled “CBD Oil”, it’s very likely no regulatory or government board would have anything to say about it, despite the product possibly being very misleading in terms of how much CBD is in it, or if there is any at all. When this phenomenon is combined with a high price tag on CBD and cannabis products, a big grey area opens up where companies can quite easily swindle consumers and pull the wool (or hemp fibre) over their eyes.
When looking for CBD oil to buy, and trying to ascertain how legitimate or trustworthy it is, there are a number of indicators one can examine to make sure no one’s being ripped off.
Firstly, making sure that the product is CBD oil and not hemp oil is a first indicator, since hemp oil often gets grouped together with CBD despite it being something more along the lines of something like almond oil or olive oil.
It can contain trace amounts of CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids, though due to the nature of hemp oil, it’s not really a CBD extract and as such isn’t the ideal way to look for medical treatment from CBD.
The next reliable way to make sure you’re getting legitimate CBD oil is to look at the reviews. More often than not, any product which doesn’t appear to be a legitimate CBD extract, or anything along the lines of ‘false advertising’, will usually have a spread of reviews online saying so.
In the CBD industry, a lot of the security and safety measures in terms of regulation come from the communities consuming and cultivating it, therefore more often than not, we have to look at reviews to see the information the seller or manufacturer isn’t comfortable telling or showing us first-hand. We hope this is something that will change when smart, efficient regulation comes into play in South Africa.
Lab testing and batch reports are the most safe and reliable way of finding quality CBD products, in lieu of regulations stating what may and may not be labelled CBD. This is also the most reliable way to make sure your CBD doesn’t contain any intoxicants like THC or any of its other variants.
Many high-end manufacturers will do third-party testing and analysis, and provide batch reports for each range of products, meaning you can check which batch your specific bottle was from, and see the individual reports for that batch. The addition of third-party lab testing versus internal lab testing means that you’re a lot more likely to gain fully accurate information on the content of the substance, since the numbers can’t be changed or altered by the manufacturer.
Faithful to Nature is one of the most reliable stockists of CBD in South Africa. They stock a brand called Cibdol, which is a Swiss, lab-manufactured range of CBD products that are made under intense government regulation, and come with lab tested batch reports from a third party.
They also state all the ingredients and percentages in their products, something we’d never seen buying CBD oil from our local holistic shops. This makes us feel a lot more comfortable treating illnesses with these products, since you can’t really be sure of what you’re putting in your body otherwise.
The only other really trustworthy way to find pure CBD Oil would be to make it yourself and get it tested, however this can be difficult due to the lack of CBD bud available in South Africa (weed that has a high CBD content, and very little or no THC content. It’s essentially pedigree hemp).
We’re sure that this current state of the market will all change in the coming years. With the increase in regulation of CBD under government or medical control councils on the rise in countries where legalization of the substance has been in place for a longer time, we’re sure South Africa will soon follow suit.
We can only hope that we regulate in a manner that doesn’t take money out of anyone’s hands or hurt small businesses, doesn’t only favour corporations and is fair and just. Only time will tell.