Unlike with cannabis, you won’t get “high” from taking cannabidiol (CBD) products, which are non-intoxicating and have immense therapeutic potential. Indeed, despite the lack of research, the CBD market has grown at an astonishing rate in the 2010s, with CBD vape juices, tincture oils, and flowers attracting positive attention. The concept of a marijuana-like product offering benefits without psychoactive effects has finally become reality.
What is CBD – Cannabidiol
As CBD is non-intoxicating, there are far fewer risks related to its use relative to cannabis. However, as with any substance, there are a couple matters to be aware of when taking CBD. The industry has lots of products made with different extracts, and it should be noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate CBD. In this guide, we’ll show you how to find a suitable and high-quality product, and how to stay safe with CBD.
Transparency is key
Finding an authentic CBD product can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Since there’s no FDA regulation, technically, companies aren’t forced to comply to any quality standards. But that doesn’t mean all CBD products are low quality, far from it. But it’s up to the cannabidiol manufacturers themselves to prove to the public that their products are what they say they are.
This is where independent, third-party lab testing comes in. Brands send products off for analysis, which confirms they are free from impurities, have the right quantity of CBD, and contain less than 0.3% THC. A really detailed analysis will include terpene levels, too. Ideally, CBD companies will regularly send products for testing, to ensure that customers can always access recent lab reports.
Independent lab reports do a solid job of quality control in the CBD market, although inevitably some companies still try to game the system. Avoid brands that claim to test products “in-house” – there’s nothing wrong with in-house testing if there’s an independent report, too, however. Another trick to watch for is brands that claim its products are third-party tested, but don’t actually provide any evidence. Companies that go through this process are typically more than happy to share their reports.
CBD products and drug tests
The CBD substance will never be the cause of a failed drugs test, and nor should any legal, hemp-based products flag up any problems – tests search for psychoactive THC. CBD doesn’t have any intoxicating effects, and no matter how much you take, there’s no way that you’ll fail a test from CBD alone.
However, there are two main types of hemp extract: CBD-isolate and full-spectrum. The former is THC-free, while the latter may have up to 0.3% THC and still be legal, as per federal regulations. Therefore, with CBD-isolate products, it’s impossible to fail, but with full-spectrum products, there is technically a small risk.
Because full-spectrum cannabidiol products have such a low amount of CBD, it’s very unlikely that anybody using them will fail. However, if you were to take several high full-spectrum dosages per day over a period of time, it’s inevitable that THC will accumulate in your blood, as the cannabinoid takes weeks to be fully removed from the body. It’s in this circumstance that you could experience drug test problems from legal CBD products. Popping a drug test would still be a rare outcome, but it’s worth being aware of this unusual situation.
Driving with CBD
Psychoactive cannabis is intoxication and driving while under the influence is against the law. But what about CBD? There’s nothing written specifically about CBD, and it doesn’t impair judgement or your motor control, so in theory you could be fine. But as with any drug, it’s not necessarily safe or sensible to drive.
With that in mind, use your discretion when deciding whether to drive after a dose of CBD. Much will depend on the size of your dose and the type of product. A very small dose shouldn’t be an issue, but higher quantities are associated with sedation, and physical and mental relaxation. This could make driving more difficult, and potentially dangerous.
If thinking about driving after taking cannabidiol, at least wait until the effects have fully kicked in to decide how you feel. CBD taken via inhalation or sublingual absorption activates in just a few minutes, but CBD from edibles and capsules responds more slowly – some don’t experience peak effects until at least two hours after consumption. If you have any doubts about driving, always err on the side of caution.