CBD and its claims – which are true and which are false?

Jan 31, 2020

CBD oil in hand

The rapid growth of CBD and the recent legalisation of its use within the NHS has placed the spotlight on the cannabinoid and the health benefits many companies seem to claim it has. It can often be hard to know who to believe when it comes to this “somewhat controversial” substance and whether labels are over-selling a product that has no real benefit to our health at all, especially for those who have never tried it before. Many CBD products claim a few drops could relieve pain, anxiety, could help you quit smoking or could get rid of acne, but how do we know if the product we are using could actually offer these benefits?

In this article, I have made it my mission to uncover which of the rumours are true and which of claims don’t ring correct or are simply wrong.

The claims

All CBD products contain what is on the label

The strength of CBD often varies from what is on the label and can be hard to measure. A recent study by Which? details how percentages and milligrams in different CBD substances vary drastically and companies often overcompensate:

“As there’s no standard for labelling or testing the contents of CBD products, there’s no way to know if the CBD you buy contains what it claims to. There’s also no uniform way of describing the concentration or strength of CBD in each product: some give it as a percentage, others use milligrams (mg) per bottle – or per dose. This can make it hard to know how much you’re taking, or to compare between products.”

This discrimination in CBD levels means that there really is no clear way of knowing how much CBD you are actually taking. Which goes on to explain that “A brand told us it has found there is a margin of error with testing, so it deliberately adds more CBD than the label says.”

The level of THC (the illegal substance that can get you high) in CBD products can also vary greatly, so it is important to make sure you are buying from a reputable buyer that states clearly the ingredients within the product.

CBD has great health benefits

CBD, in many cases, is classed as a food substance, which in the case of the producer and buyer means it doesn’t undergo as many strict clinical trials (like a CBD medicine would) and can’t claim that it has any health benefits. Instead, it can suggest the possible effects it may have on your body without stating that it definitely will. So, if you do see products claiming unequivocal health benefits, they are breaking regulations which, for me at least, is a red flag.

Some CBD products have been legalised and are regulated closely, but these are generally only prescribed to those with medical conditions.

woman dripping CBD oil in mouth

The potential health benefits

As I mentioned previously, CBD sellers can’t claim their products definitely will have health benefits, but, can suggest that they may have significant effects on the health and wellbeing of those who ingest it.

Pain relief

One of the main potential benefits of taking CBD is for its pain-relieving properties. Many product reviews and recommendations I have read say claim this is a benefit they have experienced and why they take CBD. Ailments like inflammation, joint pain and chronic pain are thought to be eased with a few drops daily. “Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.” Says Healthline.

Reduction in anxiety and depression

Mild anxiety, depression and other mental health issues are another popular reason many take CBD. And, many who take CBD often claim to see a relief in their symptoms, like with pain relief.

Healthline also reported on the effects CBD has on anxiety and depression: “CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.”

May reduce acne

There have been a number of instances where CBD has had positive effects on acne and other skin conditions. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce redness and stress on the skin, which in turn can reduce the effects of acne.

“CBD may have beneficial effects on acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities and its ability to control the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands.” Says Healthline.

CBD is a product and a trend that I am extremely interested in and something that has become more visible to me since starting my Kolibri CBD drink company. I’m excited to see how CBD progresses and how its potential health and wellbeing benefits drive its influence on society.

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