Can CBD Treat COVID-19? What’s Changed Since 2020

In March of 2020, we took a look at the novel coronavirus and CBD’s place in the pandemic – if any. To say a lot has changed would be an understatement. 

Although a lot of uncertainty remains, we’ve managed to unravel a lot of the mystery behind COVID-19. Unfortunately, the virus quickly skips ahead researchers, leaving the medical community spinning its wheels in the mud. 

Of course, the endless swarm of Google-educated doctors hasn’t helped, nor did the many unscrupulous CBD vendors pushing cannabidiol as a miracle cure for COVID. 

The irony, however, is that these malicious parties may have accidentally been right – albeit for the wrong reasons. New research into CBD found potential evidence that CBD could help treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Naturally, this is huge news for cannabis medicine and CBD proponents, but is it concrete enough to take seriously? How can CBD help with COVID, if at all? Before getting too excited, let’s dig deeper into the surprising discovery. 

Where We Are Now (January 14th, 2022)

It seems like forever ago that COVID-19 first made a name for itself. Initially discovered in Wuhan, China, experts believed the virus came from bat carcasses in so-called “wet markets.” 

Many argue that the virus resulted from an alleged lab leak and some wild conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates, 5G, the NWO, and more. 

But one thing we can’t deny is COVID’s impact on the world. Economies are in shambles, while healthcare workers quit in swarms, unable to handle the influx of patients. Debates rage on about vaccine mandates while caseloads and death tolls mount. 

And let’s not forget how much the virus itself changed. The Delta variant threw us for a loop, but our vaccines held their own. Now, the Omicron virus is in full swing. Unlike Delta, Omicron is more virulent and has an easier time evading the immunity provided by COVID-19 vaccines. 

When we looked at the situation in 2020, around 200,000 COVID-19 cases were reported across roughly 170 countries. Those numbers didn’t age well.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 315 million cases, with nearly three million in the last 24 hours – a far cry from the mere 200,000 in 2020. Despite COVID’s low mortality rate, the sheer volume of infections has so far led to over 5.5 million deaths worldwide.

But on a positive note, many countries boast high vaccination rates, and approvals for groundbreaking antiviral drugs could change the game. 

So while the number of cases (and deaths) has grown exponentially since our last check-in, recent discoveries provide renewed hope rather than a dark tunnel of uncertainty. 

And CBD may finally have a place among the latest COVID advances. 

Tincture bottle of CBD oil on hemp leaf on table. Does CBD need THC to work? does cbd need to be activated by hemp? broad spectrum CBD.

CBD and COVID: What Does the Research Say?

Before we dive in, there’s the obligatory disclaimer. Although the research we’ll look at is promising, it’s far from conclusive. This isn’t an open invitation to rely on CBD as your sole protection (or cure) against the novel coronavirus. 

However, the recent findings are huge eye-openers that help us further understand CBD’s impact on the immune system, along with its antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Additionally, some studies suggest a connection between the endocannabinoid system (ECS), immune system, and CBD. With those in mind, it’s not a massive leap to at least hope CBD could arm our bodies against a potential COVID invasion. 

The Study

Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, examined the effects of synthetic CBD on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study, available in BioRxiv, still hasn’t gone through peer review – so again, take it with a grain of salt.

According to the University of Waterloo’s news report, scientists examined the antiviral response in human kidney cells, specifically against three proteins from the novel coronavirus genome. 

Lead investigator Robin Duncan explains that they used kidney cells due to how they react to infection. According to Duncan, cells in areas like the lungs and digestive tract respond to infections before the immune system joins in. This acts as a sort of “first line of defense.” 

When working correctly, the antiviral reaction attacks and destroys the virus’ genome, triggering a sort of “controlled cell death” known as “apoptosis.” This helps reduce the viral load by killing off many infected cells before your immune system joins the fight.

The problem is that this initial reaction is weak with COVID-19, making it much easier for the virus to slip by virtually unchecked. But according to the study’s findings, CBD could be the solution.

Duncan and his team combined CBD with the viral proteins responsible for triggering apoptosis. He explains that adding cannabidiol substantially improved the healthy cells’ activation of apoptosis. 

This discovery could mean that, while CBD won’t cure COVID, it could strengthen us against it to reduce the severity of infection, lightening the load on hospitals and bringing down death rates. 

Fellow researcher Maria Fernandes reached a similar conclusion. “This suggests CBD at the right dose could help cells be in a better state of readiness to respond to a virus, but it doesn’t cause a response unless there is a need,” she says.

What Does This Mean?

The discovery – like all preliminary research – means we should perform more detailed, controlled experiments. The experts behind this study all emphasize that no supplement – CBD or otherwise – is a viable substitute for conventional health measures, such as masks, social distancing, approved antivirals, or vaccines. 

But as the reality of COVID’s permanency sinks in, the idea of synthesizing a CBD-derived antiviral drug seems increasingly appealing. Perhaps Epidiolex, a CBD-derived epilepsy drug, could find a new use to provide some relief in this pandemic. 

Or perhaps CBD holds more secrets in the fight against COVID-19. Wherever the truth lies, we can’t deny that cannabidiol’s skill set seems to grow by the day. 

Key Takeaways

  • The COVID-19 situation is undeniably worse.
  • New research suggests CBD could help the body respond more effectively to a COVID infection.
  • CBD may also prepare healthy cells to form a more robust defense against COVID.
  • Research is still preliminary and hasn’t been peer-reviewed.
  • CBD is not a substitute for conventional medical care.

Can CBD Help Treat Alcoholism?

Alcohol use disorder (a.k.a. “alcoholism”) is one of the most common – and notorious – addictions, affecting roughly 15 million people in the U.S. every year. What’s even more alarming is that just 10% of those with alcohol use disorder obtain treatment.

There are many reasons people don’t seek help, such as economic and environmental factors that limit access. Consequently, death rates from alcohol consumption continue to mount, costing about 88,000 American lives every year. 

Recent CBD research, however, has shown promising results for curbing addictive tendencies. While far from conclusive, some experts believe that CBD could help treat alcoholism.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder? 

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use disorder (AUD)  refers to “…a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.”

In other words, if your life revolves around consuming alcohol – regardless of how it affects you or others – there’s a good chance you have AUD and should seek help. 

Health Risks of Alcohol Use Disorder

It’s no secret that alcoholism carries a wide range of risks that take their toll on your physical and mental health. Some of these consequences range from minor to potentially life-threatening. 

A few dangers of alcoholism include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Liver damage
  • Cancer
  • Risky behavior
  • Accidents
  • Negative social and family consequences
  • Job loss

These are just a few of many possible problems that may permanently harm your life and potentially drag down those around you. 

If you think you have an alcohol abuse issue, it’s critical that you speak to a doctor. Meanwhile, however, let’s see what CBD can offer. 

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Alcohol and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors (CB1 and CB2) and internally-produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). The CB1 and CB2 varieties – located in the central and peripheral systems respectively – bind to cannabinoids, allowing our bodies to harness their benefits. 

While nature developed this system for endocannabinoids, it works the same way with external ones (phytocannabinoids) like CBD and THC. 

But what’s surprising is that alcohol can directly affect the ECS. Persistent, excessive drinking can throw off the delicate balance of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and compounds the ECS relies on to function properly. 

One 2007 study on rodents discovered a direct link between alcohol and endocannabinoids. Specifically, researchers noticed that long and short-term alcohol use affected the levels of anandamide and 2-AG – the two main endocannabinoids – in the brains of rats. 

The ECS is critical for maintaining a state of internal equilibrium called “homeostasis.” When thrown off by alcohol or any other substance, the resulting imbalance can lead to a host of mental and physical health issues.

Consequently, people may experience problems like depression and anxiety, which are contributing factors in the development of alcohol use disorder.  

What Happens When You Take CBD With Alcohol?

Nothing will happen if you take CBD with alcohol. While CBD is known to reduce cannabis intoxication by blocking the reuptake of THC, the same can’t be said about CBD.

For instance, a 2015 review of existing literature in Sage Journals discovered that CBD didn’t reduce or prevent alcohol intoxication.

CBD’s reported anti-nausea effects may help prevent vomiting from excessive alcohol consumption, but this is dangerous. While unpleasant, throwing up is your body’s way of purging harmful substances. Suppressing that reaction increases the risk of alcohol poisoning. 

CBD and Addiction

Over the past few years, preliminary research showed promising results for CBD as a treatment for drug addiction. The opioid epidemic is a huge concern for public health and law enforcement officials. This prompted the FDA to greenlight a human clinical trial to see whether CBD can help reduce or eliminate dependence on narcotics. 

Once complete, this will be the most in-depth, conclusive study of its kind, rivaling the groundbreaking CBD epilepsy studies that gave rise to Epidiolex. 

But could CBD be effective at curbing alcohol use as well? 

Can CBD Reduce Alcohol Consumption?

Evidence is slim, but it still shows that CBD could help reduce the desire to use alcohol. One 2018 rat study showed that cannabidiol provided impulse control that helped curb consumption among cocaine and alcohol addicted rats. Most notably, however, was that these effects lasted up to five months after the researchers stopped CBD treatment. 

A large 2019 review of existing literature covered a broad mix of human and animal research. Not only were there clues that CBD could reduce human alcohol intake, but it may also offer neuroprotective benefits to mitigate alcohol-related brain damage. 

CBD and Other Treatment Methods

While some researchers look for evidence that CBD alone can help treat alcohol use disorder, some experts explored it as a tool to boost existing conventional options. 

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved drug designed to help treat people with AUD. But in 2018, researchers wanted to see if CBD could help boost Nalterxone’s success rate. 

The study, which was performed exclusively on mice, showed that CBD and Naltrexone were more effective together than individually at lowering alcohol use. 

CBD for Harm Reduction

Unfortunately, substance abuse isn’t an easy thing to address. That’s why harm reduction should also be an important tool as patients continue their journey to recovery. 

It’s common knowledge that alcohol affects your liver. While drinking in moderation makes the organ work harder, continuous and excessive alcohol use significantly increases the chances of permanent liver damage. 

But a 2019 review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology noted that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent liver inflammation. Mitigating this response can help protect the liver from long-term damage. 

The Bottom Line: Can CBD Help Reduce Drinking?

Unfortunately, all the evidence we have is preliminary and mostly animal-based. While there’s plenty of hope, we don’t have nearly enough proof to conclusively say if CBD can curb drinking. 

But with the FDA already (finally) looking into CBD’s role in fighting drug addiction, there’s a chance they may expand to AUD research as well.

Meanwhile, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Until experts learn more about the link between CBD and alcohol use disorder (if any), it’s best to stick with conventional methods.

If you have a drinking problem, there are plenty of resources and options out there, so speak to a doctor or mental health professional to see what’s available. 

Key Takeaways

  • Alcohol use disorder affects about 15 million Americans
  • 88,000 people in the U.S. die every year as a direct result of alcohol consumption
  • CBD may help reduce the urge to drink
  • Cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties might protect the brain and liver from alcohol-related damage
  • Speak to your doctor immediately if you think you have alcohol use disorder

Is CBD Safe for Kids?

Whenever a new medication or supplement becomes popular, safety questions inevitably follow. But while adults happily use CBD, you may find some of those same people feeling reluctant to serve CBD to children.

This stance isn’t unreasonable. Children can’t consume every food, supplement, or medicine that we use. Consequently, concerns are bound to pop up from worried parents and pediatricians.

So should we hesitate when giving CBD to kids? Why would we do so in the first place? Let’s see what we know so far.

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Kids and the CBD Industry

Many of us may have forgotten, but for a while, the face of CBD was a child. Charlotte Figi suffered from Dravet Syndrome – a rare, severe, and virtually uncontrollable form of epilepsy. .

Children with this condition suffer multiple seizures per day, and Charlotte was no exception. But when introduced to CBD oil, her seizures reduced dramatically, allowing her to live a normal life with almost no seizures to stop her.

This in turn led to several studies into CBD and severe childhood epilepsy. The findings conclusively proved that CBD can have anti-convulsant effects. As a result, the first CBD epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, received FDA approval. 

Tragically, Charlotte died of health complications at 13, but her impact is still felt among the CBD community. Today, she’s a symbol of the discovery that sparked a health supplement revolution and put cannabis into a more favorable light. 

Since then, people from other states or even countries moved to locations in the U.S. where CBD was legal (prior to the 2018 Farm Bill), just to see if CBD could help their children with epilepsy. Many found success. 

Does CBD Work Differently for Kids?

So far, there’s no evidence suggesting CBD’s effects on children are any different than adults. The only arguable difference may be dosage needs. The smaller age, size, and weight will require less CBD for the desired effect.

The bigger question is what benefits – if any – does CBD have for children? 

ADHD

ADHD affects children and adults alike. A small 2020 study found that cannabinoid consumption, including CBD, may help reduce the need for prescription medication. However, this research was questionnaire-based, with the authors emphasizing a need for further investigation.  

Some terpenes, like beta caryophyllene are believed to help increase energy and focus. These compounds are likely present in broad or full-spectrum CBD products. 

Epilepsy

We briefly mentioned Charlotte Figi as the face of CBD’s efficacy against seizures. But it’s important to note (which we covered in an earlier blog) that our research revolves around Dravet Sydrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS).

Both occur in small children and involve a debilitating number of seizures, with conventional epilepsy medications being virtually useless. 

But while we have an FDA-approved CBD drug (for $35,000 per year without insurance), CBD’s accepted benefits only those specific forms of epilepsy.

Does this mean CBD can’t help with more common forms of epilepsy in children? That’s difficult to say, because epilepsy – despite being grouped into a single condition – is unique in every case. We need more research to discover if CBD has other anticonvulsant applications. 

Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects people of all ages. Some individuals barely show signs, while in other cases, individuals may require constant care.

Children with low-functioning autism may show aggressive behaviors and tantrums that make caregivers’ lives difficult. It’s therefore no surprise that parents want to find a natural way to help their children. 

Unfortunately, we have no research on CBD and autism in children. However, anecdotal evidence continues to mount, along with CBD’s popularity for ASD. 

But does it work? According to Autism Parenting Magazine, the answer is a resounding “yes”:

“Some parents report that their children who used to be unreachable during fits of rage are able to implement calming techniques; other parents report decreased instances of physical violence,” the magazine says. 

They also point out that 30% of children with ASD also have epilepsy. We already know how effective CBD can be against certain types of seizures. Some experts theorize that this unique mechanism may apply to autism, reducing things like fits, self-injury, and violence against others. 

CBD Side Effects

The side effects of CBD in adults appear to be the same for younger individuals. CBD is demonstrably well-tolerated, with most side effects being mild and temporary. Some side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

One concern, however, is prescription medication. CBD relies on the liver to metabolize, along with many other drugs. This can counteract or increase the effectiveness of they CBD, the medicine, or both. 

Bottom Line: Is it Safe to Give CBD to Children?

None of the evidence presented indicates that CBD is any more dangerous to kids than it can be for adults. If anything, it’s been instrumental in documented and undocumented cases 

The only concern is lack of regulation surrounding hemp-derived CBD products. While reputable vendors do their best to stay vigilant with third-party tests and other safety measures, there are still many seemingly reliable brands who cut corners. 

This corner-cutting can lead to serious consequences, such as labeling mistakes that lead to accidental THC ingestion, as one Oregon vendor learned the hard way.

 But what if a child were to consume a mislabeled product and suddenly be hit with an adult-sized serving of THC? While there’s no risk of permanent damage, the symptoms can be frightening and intense. And the example above isn’t the first instance of accidental or deliberate mislabeling.

Contaminants, like heavy metals, microbes, fungi, and chemical solvents could also be present. Any of these toxins could caused long-term damage to your child. 

As for pure CBD, there’s no evidence that the cannabinoid itself is inherently harmful. With proper FDA standards and stronger oversight, CBD products could have enormous potential.

Hopefully, future legislation will federally regulate CBD. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD may benefit children in the same way as adults.
  • CBD likely no more dangerous to kids.
  • Research into CBD on children is virtually non-existent, with a lot anecdotal evidence.
  • CBD could offer a solution for children with ADHD, epilepsy, or ASD

Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking?

Cannabis was – and still is – a controversial product. Even today, CBD’s association with “marijuana” is an unnecessary blemish on its record. Ironically, this attitude is just as likely to exist among cigarette smokers. 

But thanks to rigorous public education, cigarette consumption is at an all-time low in the U.S., with the most recent CDC statistics showing a rate of just 14%. But despite this, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the united states, claiming almost 500,000 American lives every year.

The good news is that most smokers want to quit. But thanks to the efforts of tobacco companies, nicotine is designed to be as addictive as possible. At this point, forcing people to buy tobacco products is the only way to ignore the stigma, ostracization, and shame smokers face for their health choices.

That being said, should we look down on tobacco smokers? Absolutely not. What we need to do is make quitting as easy as possible. And while cessation aids like gums, lozenges, inhalers, patchers, and prescription drugs exist, they don’t always work.

So, could CBD be another option for smokers to try? Although the evidence is far from solid, cannabidiol could be what the doctor (hasn’t) ordered. 

CBD and Addiction

Early studies suggest CBD isn’t just helpful for smoking cessation, but it may also be a powerful tool against addiction to “hard” drugs, like heroin and other opioids.

A 2013 study by the University College London determined that people who used cannabis during cigarette cravings were less likely to smoke. 

The study gave inhalers to participants in two groups. The control group received CBD, while the placebo inhalers contained no cannabidiol.

After the experiment, researchers noticed a 40% decrease in cigarette smoking among CBD users, compared to no change in the placebo subjects.

However, this was a preliminary study, and it’ll take much longer for us to see if CBD is a viable smoking cessation aid. 

But there seems to be mounting proof that CBD can generally help with addiction by reducing drug cravings.

For example, a 2019 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry examined CBD’s ability to reduce opioid intake among addicts. The double-blind research observed CBD’s effects on opioid cravings. Subjects receive a “drug cue” to trigger their desire to consume the substance.

The groups were split into three. One received 400 mg of CBD, another took 800 mg, while the third received a placebo. Unsurprisingly, the CBD subjects showed a dramatically lower consumption rate following the cues, with 400 mg being the ideal dose. 

How Does CBD Help With Addiction?

The exact mechanism (if it even exists) isn’t well-known. But a 2016 study published in Psychopharmacology may explain. 

Dr. Celia Morgan, one of the study’s authors, later explained in an interview:

”We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues. It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction.” 

In other words, CBD provides relief by helping users forget the positive reinforcement caused by smoking at certain times, creating a barrier to this destructive reward system. At the same time, it helps prevent the nervousness that makes smokers feel they need cigarettes to handle.

Why Try CBD to Quit Smoking?

CBD is versatile in more ways than one. But what makes it so handy as a quit smoking aid is its flexibility. Unlike “marijuana” (cannabis containing over 0.3% THC by dry weight), hemp-derived CBD won’t cause intoxication. 

Since CBD won’t make you high, you can use it in regular doses or as-needed at the onset of cravings. 

No Tricks

If you ask a smoker why they smoke, one reason they give may be “relaxation.” In the minds of many smokers, tobacco calms them down, especially during stressful situations.

Although this feels true to someone who smokes, it’s a matter of false perception. Tobacco withdrawal causes several symptoms, anxiety being one of them. The “calming effect” comes from satisfying your nicotine craving when you smoke. 

In other words, calmness from nicotine is an illusion. Consciously, you feel satisfied. But below the surface, your body experiences things like high blood pressure and increased heart rate. 

CBD, however, isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Counterproductive or dangerous bodily effects don’t underscore its benefits. 

Tincture bottle of CBD oil on hemp leaf on table. Does CBD need THC to work? does cbd need to be activated by hemp? broad spectrum CBD.

Which CBD Products Can Help Me Quit Smoking?

Several CBD products are available, all of which may help you quit smoking. The only caveat is that CBD has to enter your bloodstream, so topicals aren’t an option in this case. 

CBD Oil

CBD oil is the OG CBD product. Taken sublingually (under the tongue) and then ingested. The sublingual step lets a portion of the CBD get straight to your bloodstream through the mouth and gums. The liver does the rest. 

However, oil takes an average of 45 minutes for full effect. This means it’s not the best choice for unexpected cravings.

Still, taking it regularly can maintain a steady stream of CBD in your body, potentially providing a consistent “shield” to help reduce your compulsion to smoke. 

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are softgels with a specific pre-measured dose of CBD oil. They’re mess-free and more discreet than their liquid counterpart but rely exclusively on the liver to metabolize CBD. 

As a result, capsules offer the lowest bioavailability and potentially longer delayed effects than CBD oils. 

CBD Edibles

Like capsules, CBD edibles fully metabolize in the liver, making them equally slow to take effect. The good news is that edibles come in various options, from candy to baked goods. 

Edible CBD products stand out because of how enjoyable they can consume. But as far as efficacy, they’re up there with capsules and oils. 

Smoking CBD

Initially, CBD smoking was limited to vape oils and e-liquids. Recently, some vendors have offered niche products, like hemp buds or joints. 

Inhaling CBD through a vape or dried flower provides virtually instant effects, as the cannabidiol goes straight to the bloodstream from your lungs. 

Smoked hemp CBD also provides a more authentic smoking experience, which helped make regular e-cigarettes popular. However, there are health concerns regarding the safety of e-cigarette devices. We also don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of smoking dried cannabis. 

How Do I Use CBD to Quit Smoking?

There’s no guarantee CBD will magically cure your addiction to nicotine. Some experts say it could be more addictive than heroin

Don’t worry, though; millions have still successfully kicked the habit. Success depends on choosing the right strategy.

So what’s the best way to avoid relapsing into tobacco mode? Ultimately, there are three ways you could try.

Ingestible CBD

Oils, capsules, and edibles take a while to kick in, but the effects can last up to eight hours once they do. Once you have the correct dose, regular CBD consumption may (theoretically) keep cravings at bay.  

A loose comparison might be the Nicotine patch since both are meant for controlled, sustained effects. 

Smoking

We already mentioned some of the benefits and health concerns of vaping or smoking CBD joints. But despite the pros and cons, smoking CBD is a perfect way to deliver a quick dose to crush cravings as they happen.

However, be prepared to “light up” frequently if cravings become the bane of your existence – and they will be in the first few days.

Mixed Approach

If you’re okay with both ingestible and smoked CBD, then using both is an ideal combination. Oils, edibles, and capsules provide a slow and sustained effect to reduce cravings, while smoked CBD helps get sudden, unexpected urges under control quickly. 

Will CBD Help Me Quit Smoking?

Although it seems plausible on paper, the instructions above are based on what little research we have. They operate under the assumption that CBD effectively controls addictive behavior – something promising, but not proven.

In other words, feel free to take our suggested approach, but this isn’t medical advice. Currently, the best way to become tobacco-free is to speak to a doctor about your options, including CBD. 

But if you want to get the best out of your smoke-free journey with CBD, Tessera Naturals offers a unique formula including nano-CBD. This form rapidly improves bioavailability, allowing you to do more with less. 

Key Takeaways

  • Tobacco is one of the most addictive (if not the most addictive) drugs
  • Cigarettes claim about 500,000 lives per year in the U.S.
  • Some evidence suggest CBD can curb smoking
  • CBD’s potential anti-addictive properties may help with other drug problems
  • Don’t use CBD for any reason until you speak with a doctor

CBD Scams Using “Shark Tank” Show’s Name to Sell Fake Products

It’s hard to imagine organized CBD scams. Usually, when we think of these operations, images of fake website links, Nigerian princes, or someone from “the IRS” and “Windows” come to mind. Although typical scams are very real (and annoying), CBD seems to have also taken a page from their book.

Of course, unscrupulous companies aren’t going to call you at all hours or try to hack your computer. But online, it’s not hard to pass something off as authentic. Surprisingly, there’s an old default that some vendors use to this day. 

Fake credibility is easy to accomplish, which is a skill some CBD companies like to pull off. The usual red flags are still worth mentioning, but there’s a new technique meant to take advantage of savvy shoppers.

The CBD Shark Tank Scam

Capitalizing on a popular show like “Shark Tank” is clever, given the show’s purpose.

For those who aren’t familiar, “Shark Tank” is a TV show airing on ABC. Aspiring business people pitch their products or services to a handful of millionaire investors referred to as “sharks.” 

The sharks consider each pitch and accept or reject it (sometimes with jaw-dropping brutality). One or more of the “sharks” can make offers, with a few rare instances of them bidding against each other for a share in the startup company. 

Getting a product or idea through that kind of gauntlet takes courage, dedication, and a solid business plan. Consequently, unsuspecting customers assume that if this popular show backs a brand, it must be legitimate. Right?

How the Scam Works

Currently, the Shark Tank CBD scam focuses on CBD gummies, likely due to their popularity and broad appeal. But this tactic can work with any CBD product. 

According to Kirkland Reporter, the scam has two stages. First, the “company” generates credibility using the “Shark Tank” show’s name. They may make claims like being the “only” CBD company to be featured on the program.

Next, the vendor claims its products are superior to any other premium brand and successfully charges well above even the most expensive legitimate CBD products. 

In some cases, the CBD website doesn’t honestly sell anything. Instead, it’s a front for phishing. Once you put in your name, address, and credit card information, the site records those keystrokes for scammers to collect. 

At that point, you could be in a world of trouble. The worst part is that this scam traps people who are doing their research on a company before buying. Any skeptic would feel at ease knowing the product their about to buy was allegedly on “Shark Tank.”

Have Any CBD Brands Been on “Shark Tank”?

No. As of the writing of this article, no CBD brand has even stepped in front of the infamous sharks. 

According to the Kirkland Reporter, “not a single CBD gummy business has been aired on the show. You are most likely being swindled if a CBD gummy company tells you they have been to the Shark Tank show.”

Risks of CBD Scams

Aside from the threat to your identity and finances, scam companies can also harm your health. For instance, these vendors have no reason to follow federal laws on THC limits, meaning you could easily consume well over 0.3% THC in each dose.

It’s equally possible that the product is hollow, with no CBD, THC, or anything else of value to your body. Traces of solvents and other contaminants could also be present. 

Remember that these operations are just looking to take your money. All they need to do is provide something that passes for CBD gummies or other cannabidiol products. 

Other Signs of a CBD Scam

 There are other ways you can spot a potential CBD scam. However, keep in mind that just because these red flags exist doesn’t mean deception. Some could be a result of carelessness or ignorance. 

But whether intentional or accidental, any of the following signs should make you second-guess purchasing from them. 

Unsupported Medical Claims

The Kirkland Reporter mentions the danger of inflated medical claims, something everyone should be aware of. It’s easy to sell a cure-all to a customer with no CBD experience.

Although CBD has success treating certain types of epilepsy, the FDA hasn’t approved it for anything else. This means it’s against the law to make any promises about treating or curing conditions. 

So if they make definitive statements about CBD’s medical properties, they’re ignoring regulations, deceiving their customers, and putting people’s health at risk. 

Poor Customer Reviews

Bad reviews happen. Even the best, most well-intentioned businesses can’t accommodate every request, leaving a handful of disgruntled customers. But a reputable CBD company should be able to overshadow the negative feedback with good or excellent reviews.

But if you see claims like ghosting after a purchase, missing packages, or non-existent customer service, don’t take the risk of being the next angry client. Be especially vigilant for contradictions. For instance, if the company makes promises that customers find untrue, that’s an immediate sign to shop somewhere else.

Lack of Real Third-Party Tests

Some legitimate CBD businesses don’t test their products, but CBD scams are guaranteed not to do so.

In some cases, vendors forge their third-party lab tests, where they control the testing process and, ultimately, what gets printed on the label. 

So what’s a sign that lab tests might be forged? Here are a few indicators:

  • No identifying information (names, lab, etc)
  • Redacted sections
  • Missing information (i.e. THC content)
  • Messy or inconsistent layout, like it was done in a photo editor
  • No details on which test was used
  • Missing dates

But a good forgery can look legitimate, so research is the most reliable way to cover yourself. Look up the lab name attached to the test results to determine its validity. If the name and services check out, then you’re in the clear. 

Poor Presentation

Scammers don’t care about the finer details, so it’s likely they’ll try to create a barebones functional website. They just need to get your information and make the sale (if they’re even selling anything at all).

If you land on a CBD company’s website and it looks like someone made with Geocities in 1998, then they either have the worst web design team, or they’re a scam.

Does Anyone on Shark Tank Endorse CBD?

Nobody has successfully pitched a CBD product on the show. But Kevin Harrington, one of the shows former “sharks,” has openly given support for one CBD brand. 

How to Protect Yourself from a CBD Scam

Fortunately, it’s easy to protect yourself from a CBD scam. The key is to fact-check. If a vendor says they were featured in a major media outlet, try to find the content, or ask them for a link. 

And again, there’s always plenty of information (or dirt) online for virtually any business imaginable. For instance, Tessera Naturals has a presence on independent sites like Leafly and has a history of glowing reviews

The opposite might be true for the “premium CBD” vendor you’re eyeing. 

Key Takeaways

  • Some CBD gummy scams claim to have been featured on “Shark Tank” 
  • CBD has never been pitched on “Shark Tank”
  • Watch out for CBD businesses that make medical claims, feature bad customer feedback, provide no (or questionable) test results, or simply look shady
  • Some CBD scams don’t sell anything, but use their online forms to take personal information
  • Identity theft is a serious concern with CBD scams

With Cannabis Legalization Spreading, What Does This Mean for CBD Supplements?

The 2018 Farm Bill was a groundbreaking moment for hemp CBD supplement industry. Federal legalization of industrial hemp took it out of the crossfire between law enforcement and hemp’s more sinister THC-laden counterpart. 

But now with states like Montana and New York moving on with full cannabis legalization, how does that impact hemp CBD? Will it be available in dispensaries or still remain largely unregulated as a health supplement?

Most importantly, which product is the best choice for your needs? Let’s take a look.

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Hemp vs. Marijuana

Before we dive in, it’s important to distinguish the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. And the difference is….that there is none. 

Contrary to many advertisements, government propaganda, and (consequently) popular belief, “hemp” and “marijuana” aren’t scientific terms. Instead, the former is used in the U.S. to describe a cannabis sativa L. plant with 0.3% THC or less, while the latter refers to anything above that arbitrary THC limit. 

In other words, despite sounding like simple plants, “hemp” and “marijuana” are just THC benchmarks to tell police if they can arrest you. 

But while cannabidol is the same compound regardles of where it comes from, its source plant can impact a CBD product’s legal status. However, as states legalize recreational cannabis, this difference may affect who can sell CBD. 

New York vs. Montana

New York and Montana are both full-speed ahead for recreational cannabis legalization. But one expemplifies what to do, while the other teaches us the opposite.

The good news is that, methods aside, both states offer something valuable to hard-working and diligent CBD supplement vendors.

New York

First, let’s give New York state a round of applause. In one fell swoop, they solved virtually every problem facing CBD supplement vendors (and consumers). 

But rather than merge hemp CBD with “marijuana”-derived products, New York created a separate regulatory framework, including licensing applications and consumer standards.

Most notably, the New York Department of Health says: 

…the Department of Health (DOH) is launching a new Cannabinoid Hemp Program to regulate the processing, manufacturing and sale of cannabinoid hemp products…the Program implements basic consumer protections to ensure cannabinoid hemp products are properly manufactured, laboratory tested and accurately labeled.

The Program requires anyone who is processing, manufacturing or selling cannabinoid hemp to first obtain a license from DOH. 

If you want to know the full  details (and don’t mind a bit of legalese), you can read more about it here.  

You might be thinking that this information is more relevant to vendors than anyone else. But it’s just as important to you – if not more. For many companies, the transition simply means some extra (but still annoying) paperwork. 

But if you’ve been unknowingly buying sub-par, untested CBD, the new rules are a stern warning to these vendors, saying “step up your game, or you’re out of the league.”

More importantly, having set rules in place makes it much easier to seek damages or force product recalls. If you lose your job because your “broad-spectrum” oil made you test positive for THC, the shady people who sell it won’t be able to hide behind a legal gray area. 

Montana

Now let’s cover our other example. It’s a lesson on what happens when legislators throw common sense out the window. Consequently, rather than New York’s clear framework, Montana essentially cut the CBD industry off at the knees.

We briefly tweeted about ths recently, but it’s a strict warning that lawmakers need to proceed with caution.  

Typically, people go over new, groundbreaking legislation with a fine-toothed comb (or at least we hope so). But even the best scrutiny may not catch small mistakes. But anyone familiar with the “butterfly effect” knows a small misstep could have massive consequences. Unfortunately, Montana’s legal slip-up is a perfect example, especially if you work in the hemp-derived CBD supplement industry. 

So what was Montana’s most embarrassing goof-up? It’s the “hemp vs. marijuana question” we covered. Again, “hemp” and “marijuana” are chemovars of the same plant, called cannabis sativa L. Yet according to the mistake in their new law, hemp farmers will no longer be able to provide dispensaries with CBD.

That’s rough for them. But how does it affect you? Recreational and medical extract manufactuers usually focus on THC products, relying on their counterparts to provide hemp-derived CBD. 

But thanks to poor planning, hemp manufacturers are cut out of the loop for the time being, which means licensed producers have to pick up the CBD demand, or you’ll end up buying cheap gas station products.

All of this happened because Montana couldn’t understand a simple fact about botany. 

Dispensary Extracts or Supplements. Which One is Best?

A regulated industry can provide quality CBD from hemp or “marijuana,” but it seems states like New York and Montana prefer (or should prefer) leaving CBD production to licensed hemp manufacturers.

But what if you live outside those areas? One strong example is, of course, Colorado. CBD oil is legal there, but thanks to recreational legalization, cannabidiol products can come from hemp or “marijuana.” 

So why not just buy from a dispensary? Because despite CBD being the same compound, extracting it from legal marijuana can come with consequences – specifically concerning THC.

The convenient thing about industrial hemp CBD is that the host plant only has 0.3% THC by dry weight. Marijuana plants – by law – contain over 0.3% THC. But the reality is even CBD-rich strains can’t cut THC down to such low levels.  

Legalization protects you against consequences (at the state level) for possessing CBD products with over 0.3% THC. 

However, if you need CBD with no THC, your best source is a hemp-derived broad-spectrum supplement. 

Do We Have to Legalize Marijuana to Keep CBD Safe?

No, lawmakers who are averse to legalization don’t have to pursue that. They can simply follow New York’s example and place the same regulations, standards, and consumer protections that you see anywhere else – from cannabis to canned food. 

At Tessera Naturals, we’d welcome that kind of regulation. We spent a lot of time building trust with reputable third-party lab tests and superior nano-CBD. If jumping through a few legal hoops will solidify that image, then we’re all for it.

Key Takeaways

  • “Marijuana” and “hemp” both refer to the cannabis sativa L. plant species
  • Montana lawmakers failed to understand this distinction
  • New York developed an excellent regulatory framework 
  • Regulation means protection for businesses and consumers
  • Hemp-derived CBD is the best choice for zero-THC products

Does CBD Make You Feel Sick? Why this Happens and How to Solve it

We all know at least one person with an “iron stomach.” No matter what they eat, their bodies carry on like they just had a salad. Or perhaps they’re able to drink everyone else under the table. 

Of course, these aren’t healthy habits – but they illustrate an important point. Body and brain chemistries vary. Consequently, so do people’s reactions to certain foods, medicines, or drugs. 

For a recent example, think about the COVID-19 vaccines currently in circulation. Some people experienced mild to severe side effects, while others had the jab and went on with their days. 

In short, our unique reactions to foods, medicine, supplements, and drugs showcase the unpredictability of human biology. 

Medication

Although many people try to supplement or substitute their medication with CBD, doing so without the guidance of a doctor is a huge “no-no.” 

With CBD, one universal concern is prescription medication. Researchers didn’t always know that CBD and medicine can interact if they metabolize using the same enzyme family. 

For a while, people believed CBD alone could cause liver damage. However, a 2021 report from Validcare revealed this isn’t true – at least not to the extent critics thought. 

Of the 839 participants, only three individuals showed increased liver enzyme function. All three were on prescription medications.

However, the experts later realized that about 70% of the participants were using prescriptions, yet all but three were impacted.

These findings mean that CBD and several medicines can interact, but this doesn’t apply to every drug metabolized in the liver. According to the U.S. National Library of Medince, only those using the P450 family of liver enzymes will clash with any ingested CBD. 

We now have an extensive list of medications CBD users should be aware of, but it’s likely there are others we don’t know about. 

Fortunately, this only applies to oral CBD. Inhaled or topical varieties don’t rely on digestion to be effective. If CBD oil doesn’t work, consider other methods. 

Poor Quality CBD

Poor quality CBD used to the norm, rather than the exception. But thanks to pushback from the FDA and smarter shopping by consumers, the market is self-regulated and a lot safer. 

But sometimes, vendors cut corners. Dirty extraction methods and sloppy manufacturing can lead to residual contaminants such as  fungi, solvents, heavy metals, synthetic pesticides, microbes, or extra THC. 

It doesn’t take a doctor to know that those ingredients can make you sick. Consequently, you may think CBD is the issue, when in reality your body’s rejecting something else. 

A little due diligence is all you need to reduce your chances of a bad experience. Most CBD businesses post third-party lab tests in an easy-to-read format. If they don’t, then it’s likely they’re hiding something. 

Brand

Even a reputable CBD brand can still disagree with your body. Despite checking all the boxes with organic, CO2-extracted, lab-tested CBD, something about the formula might not work for you. 

Whether it’s the carrier oil, flavoring (if any), or other ingredients, the brand’s recipe might not be for you. Unfortunately, no amount of regulation can create a single formula for anything – let alone CBD extracts. 

So, if “Brand X” doesn’t work for you, try another one. Tessera Naturals, for instance, uses basic, natural ingredients and nanoemulsion to make its products safe, effective, and more bioavailable than standard CBD extract.  

Allergies

Quality CBD products contain no additional fillers or artificial flavors. The most basic formulas consist of CBD extract and a carrier oil. But despite the product’s simplicity, there’s still the risk of an allergic reaction. 

Specifically, the carrier oil can potentially trigger a severe reaction. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are typically derived from coconut oil. It’s possible to be allergic to the MCT itself, the coconut source, or both. The symptoms can range from rash to a life-threatening emergency.

Hempseed, grapeseed, and peanut oils are also just a few more carrier examples that can be dangerous to those with diagnosed or undiagnosed allergies. 

It’s also possible to be allergic to some of the terpenes in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oils. These compounds are found throughout the plant kingdom, which is why certain fruits or vegetables can cause allergies. 

On a brighter note, there’s some evidence suggesting CBD can help relieve symptoms associated with certain allergies. 2017 findings published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Thereapeutics indicate CBD’s reported anti-inflammatory effects may help with allergic reactions in the skin. 

Another piece of research from the European Journal of Pharmacology found a reduction in symptoms for mice with allergic asthma.

Regardless, it’s a bad idea to try CBD when you knowingly have allergies. Speak with a doctor to see if you need to use a different brand or formula. 

Overdose

The term “overdose” is something we use loosely with CBD. Despite popular belief, overdoses aren’t exclusively associated with illegal drugs, and don’t always involve painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Overdosing is simply the act of consuming more than your body can handle or process. 

CBD Overdose Symptoms

The symptoms of CBD overdose are mild and usually go away quickly. If you suspect that you overshot your ideal dosage, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue

Another consequence of CBD overdose is – ironically – lack of potency. CBD is biphasic, meaning there’s a certain peak amount or “sweet spot.” Once you exceed that, CBD loses its therapeutic effects. 

That being said, it’s theoretically possible to have a toxic overdose of CBD. But just like with THC, it’s an impossibly high amount. According to 2011 findings, it would take a single 20,000 mg dose for CBD to be lethal – but not fatal. 

Preventing CBD Overdose

Prevention is always the best approach. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest things to do with CBD. Just follow this simple rule: “start low and go slow.”

A lot of people immediately take the recommended dose, only to find it doesn’t work – or worse – makes them sick. 

Consume the lowest dose possible (2.5 to 5 mg) and gradually increase it until you notice results. This can take days or weeks, but you may find your required dose to be much lower that what’s recommended (again, it’s about individual biology).

What to Do if You Take Too Much CBD

If you take too much CBD, try not to worry. You won’t get high (unless the product is mislabeled) and the symptoms you experience are easy to manage.

Other than self-care, just wait until the symptoms stop. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD can make people ill
  • Body chemistry, food tolerance, and many other factors determine how you handle CBD
  • In rare instances, prescription medications can interact with CBD
  • Ingredient allergies, product quality, and formula can also affect your reaction to CBD
  • Slowly and carefully introduce CBD into your diet to reduce the chance of side effects
  • Always consult a doctor before starting a CBD regimen

Which CBD Option is the Best? A First-Timer’s Guide to CBD Products

We’ve come a long way since CBD’s early days. Initially, customers had a few suppliers to choose from. Now, vendors are endless, as are the product choices they offer.

Gone is the era of untested, crudely-made CBD oil. Although oil is still a staple – if not the backbone – of cannabidiol sales, customers now have a slew of innovative choices, along with a few novelties. 

But the differences between CBD products aren’t just geared for preference. Everyone’s symptoms are different. If you hope to add CBD to your life, the type you buy can make or break your experience. 

Recap

We covered a lot of this information before, so let’s quickly revisit that. For the full story – and more – check out our post of the top 10 CBD questions.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Contrary to popular belief, “hemp” and “marijuana” are words that have no basis in science. Both refer to the Cannabis sativa L. plant.

However, the terms are used to differentiate between federally legal “hemp” (under 0.3% THC) and illegal “marijuana” (over 0.3% THC). 

Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate

There are three categories of CBD to choose from, with some being more common than others. All have advantages and disadvantages, so keep those in mind to find the best fit. 

  • Full-spectrum retains all the whole-plant compounds, including up to 0.3% THC. Excellent potency but THC may be an issue. Strong “hempy” taste.
  • Broad-spectrum undergoes a similar extraction process to full-spectrum, but removes all traces of THC. 
  • CBD isolate is up to 99% pure CBD with no additional compounds. Least potent, but also flavorless and mixes well with food. 

Is CBD Legal?

Federally, CBD is legal – as long as it maintains no more than 0.3% from sourcing to extraction. However, some states enacted restrictions on CBD and hemp-derived products. If you’re unsure, check your state’s cannabis laws.

Is CBD Dangerous?

So far, there’s no evidence suggesting CBD is dangerous on its own. However, it can seriously interact with many medications. Don’t add CBD to your health routine without a green light from your doctor. 

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

CBD rarely has side effects. In those cases, they’re mild and short-lasting. Some include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite changes

CBD Products

Now that we covered the basics, let’s look at our options. If you’ve had a chance to shop around, you’ll find some products are pretty plain and health-focused, while others try to add a little recreational novelty.

Once we unpack these, you’ll have a firmer grasp on which cannabidiol you choose. 

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CBD Oil and Edibles

CBD oil consists of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate extract. Manufacturers then suspend the cannabidiol in a carrier oil, like MCT, coconut, grapeseed, or olive.

Some vendors offer flavored oils. If you need something to mask the taste of your tincture, natural flavoring can provide a nice addition. 

If oil isn’t your thing, gel capsules also let you get your daily dose without potential spills, smells, or unpleasant taste. 

And of course, everyone loves gummies – including us. These products are the perfect solution. Gummies and similar CBD snacks offer the benefits of oil with mess-free, accurate dosing, and natural flavor. 

Pros

Edible CBD’s popularity is well-deserved. Companies have gone above and beyond to ensure quality and – in the case of Tessera Naturals – improve bioavailability. 

If oils and other edibles are on your radar, here are a few things that make them great: 

  • Easy, accurate dosing
  • Smokeless
  • Usable in some recipes
  • Lasts up to 8 hours

Cons 

Oil isn’t the perfect format for everyone. Before you consider this product, keep the following in mind:

  • Low bioavailability (unless it’s nano-CBD)
  • “Hempy” taste (except isolate) 
  • Can take at least 15 to 30 minutes before triggering effects

Who Should Use CBD Edibles?

Because of CBD oil’s delayed, generalized effects, the product is best as a daily health supplement or for non-focal symptoms. 

If you need quick relief, edibles aren’t your best choice. 

Smoking and Vaping

CBD vaping gained popularity as e-cigarettes also became mainstream. Now, many companies offer vape liquids and prepackaged oil cartridges.

However, some producers decided to take advantage of hemp legalization and offer dried hemp flower or pre-rolled joints. 

Although Tessera Naturals understands the appeal and value of such products, there are still too many unknowns about the long-term effects of vape oils or cannabis smoke. 

Pros

Inhalation offers a vastly different experience compared to its edible counterparts. That experience brings a unique set of benefits, these include:

  • Higher bioavailability than standard oil or edibles
  • Takes effect in minutes
  • Authentic smoking experience
  • Many formulas and flavor options

Cons

Vaping or smoking CBD has its advantages. For some, it’s the only option. However, this format has some issues:

  • Shortest duration of effect (2 to 3 hours on average)
  • Nearly impossible to dose 
  • Long term use could be harmful
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Topicals

When we imagine topicals, things like creams and balms come to mind. But this simple niche has since branched out substantially. Although some niche products aren’t available everywhere, 

Muscle rubs and moisturizing creams are two very common topical examples. But some businesses sell things like CBD bath bombs, shampoo, massage oil, and even timed-release patches. 

Pros

Although the effects of edibles and smoked CBD share some common ground, topicals are in a league of their own. Here are a few reasons to try them. 

  • Focal effect – rub directly onto the affected area
  • Nearly instant relief (in some cases)
  • No chance of THC ingestion
  • Many product options
  • Can be infused with other beneficial skincare ingredients

Cons

  • Messy
  • Can’t precisely dose
  • Won’t relieve generalized symptoms

Choose Wisely

Disappointment is something many new CBD users experience with their products. But sometimes, all you have to do is switch things up. 

Every option has advantages and disadvantages. You have to consider which advantages fit your needs, and decide which – if any – drawbacks are dealbreakers. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD products can be ingested, smoked, or applied topically.
  • Ingestion offers long-lasting, generalized effects, but they take time to materialize
  • Smoking is fast-acting, with a shorter duration and potential health risks
  • Topicals are meant for external use and offer focal relief
  • There’s no perfect choice, so choose options based on your needs.

Could CBD Help Fight Lung Cancer? The Remarkable Results of a Promising New Case Study

People have claimed (and continue to say) CBD helped slow down or even cure various forms of cancer. Unfortunately, the only sources they cite are their own experiences.

While we can’t ignore anecdotal evidence, a lofty claim like this needs further investigation. Unfortunately, studies on CBD for cancer barely scratch the surface – until now. 

But before you get too excited, the new evidence we have – while compelling – isn’t definitive. The case we’ll discuss, however, gives us a lot to think about.

Studies on CBD and Cancer

Over the years, certain limited studies on cannabis and tumor proliferation were chronically inconclusive.

For example, the National Cancer Institute offers an excellent overview of several animal and cell studies in different types of tumors, investigating things like colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer, to name a few. 

Unfortunately, CBD’s potential anti-tumor properties don’t always shine through. The study’s principal author, Dr. Kah Ling Liew, tells Medical News Today:

“Multiple studies so far in animal models have shown conflicting results, with some cases reducing cancer cell growth and others finding an accelerating growth in cancer cells.”

Also, keep in mind that the recent case study isn’t comparable to a clinical trial or preliminary research. 

Case reports like the one featured here are akin to a friend who says, “CBD helped my co-worker get rid of his cancer.” They may have observed the process and results, but there are many unknown variables. Until we can account for those, we should treat this as another reason to increase CBD research.

According to medical oncologist Dr. Jack Jacoub: “From the strength of scientific evidence standpoint, a case report is about the weakest strength, and so you have to consider what you’re reading in that context.”

Case Report

The October 2021 article published in BMJ Case Reports follows an 80 year-old British woman with lung cancer.

She also smokes one pack per week, and continues to do so. Additionally, the patient also has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and high blood pressure (possibly due to her habit), along with osteoarthritis. 

Doctors first noticed a tumor on the woman’s right lung in the summer of 2018. At the time, it measured 41 mm (1.6 in). Since the tumor hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes, doctors were confident they could fix the issue with surgery, chemotherapy, or other conventional treatment. 

Unknown to professionals at the time, the woman started taking 0.5 mg of CBD oil three times per day.

However, the woman refused surgery, and was also uncomfortable with radiation based on her husband’s bad experience. At that point, doctors decided to wait and watch.

By September, the growth reduced to 33 mm (1.3 in) and continued to do so for the 2.5 years of monitoring. In February 2021, the tumor was only 10 mm (0.4 in). 

During that final evaluation, the patient revealed her CBD intake to the doctors. It was a balanced oil containing 20.05% CBD and 19.5% THC. 

Variables

At this point, we need to look beyond the results and see if there’s anything between the lines. Were there changes that could’ve contributed to her health improving? Was CBD the reason or did it contain other minor compounds? What role did the THC play?

These are just a few questions – and problems – that arise with these case reports. But let’s remove some of these unknowns. 

One compelling fact is that, despite the gravity of her disease, she didn’t change her habits at all. In addition to cigarette use, the patient didn’t alter her medications, lifestyle or diet. 

Of all the key unknowns in the report, one of them is the role of THC. Assuming the oil was responsible for this woman’s incredible results, we still don’t know if the tumor regression was from CBD, THC, or both.

Product Factors

CBD and THC aren’t the only compounds believed to have medical applications. Terpenes and other cannabinoids can steer a product’s efficacy in any direction, including possible anti-tumor activity. 

The inclusion of THC and CBD indicates the woman used a full-spectrum oil that wasn’t derived from what we consider “industrial hemp” (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC). As a result, it’s likely that the product contained a diverse profile of cannabinoids and terpenes.

The problem is that any of the other substances (or a combination of several) could’ve played a crucial role in the cancer’s outcome. 

Risks

Before we go any further, let’s be clear that you should never forego conventional treatment for CBD, since doing so is – at best – an educated gamble. 

Pure CBD may be safe, but there’s no telling the impact – good or bad – of additional ingredients, such as the carrier oil and solvent traces.  

Despite a dedicated quality initiative by CBD vendors across the U.S.A., some companies still cut corners and sell substandard products. Such uncertainty leads to a variety of problems that, when left unchecked, can lead to serious consequences for consumers. 

Although this shouldn’t be the case, the FDA caught vendors doing things like mislabeling products or faking third-party tests. 

Until we have an established regulatory framework for the production, inspection, and sale of hemp-derived CBD products, it’s up to us – and our customers – to know what makes quality CBD oil. 

In case you’re trying to navigate the CBD landscape, keep a lookout for the following must-haves:

  • Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD for additional cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Third-party lab tests from a verified, reputable lab
  • Organic, organically-grown, or Certified Organic hemp ensures no traces of chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
  • CO2 extraction for a solventless, clean, robust product
  • Nano CBD is preferable to conventional CBD due to its superior bioavailability

To be fair, a CBD company doesn’t have to offer all of these benchmarks. For instance, nano CBD isn’t a common product. Tessera Naturals uses it because it’s more versatile and effective than the average CBD oil formula. 

Key Takeaways

  • There’s some preliminary evidence suggesting CBD may fight tumor growth
  • Some studies observed cancer regression from CBD, while others noticed acceleration
  • An 80 year-old CBD-user’s lung cancer decreased substantially over the course of 2.5 years
  • Case reports aren’t unreliable, since they don’t account for a lot of unknowns
  • We don’t what – if anything – CBD does for cancer, but we should be cautiously optimistic

Traveling With CBD: Know the Risks Before You Leave

To most people, COVID-19 is the biggest travel concern. But depending on where you go, another term that starts with “C” can land you in worse trouble – much worse, as one U.K. man recently learned. 

There’s no denying that CBD oil and other cannabinoid products increasingly find acceptance throughout the industrialized world. But not every country is friendly-or even tolerant – to cannabis.

Considering the risk, it’s important to educate yourself about CBD and travel.

Traveling With CBD in the U.S. 

Let’s start with the easiest one. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is legal in all 50 states. However, some states may restrict or ban certain hemp-derived CBD products. 

How to Fly With CBD in the U.S. 

You can fly with CBD in the U.S., but there are a few minor rules to keep in mind, according to the TSA

Obviously the product has to contain less than 0.3% THC. The TSA allows exceptions for FDA-approved versions of an otherwise restricted substance, like the CBD Epilepsy drug called Epidiolex, or synthetic THC medication, like Sativex.

Assuming you meet all the requirements, you can bring the CBD product in your carry-on or checked baggage. Try to keep the product in its own packaging to prevent damage or spills. If you have oil, put its container in a small plastic bag to catch any potential leaks. 

The TSA also advises that they’re focused on security, so they won’t waste time checking for “marijuana” unless they suspect something. 

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Is it Risky to Travel With CBD to Another Country?

Yes, it is risky to travel with CBD to another country if you don’t fully research your destination’s laws. While we can’t cover every nation, we’ll address one particular incident and see what you can do to avoid being in a similar boat. 

Even in cannabis-tolerant countries, crossing the border with CBD could complicate things. A prime example is Canada, which we’ll address soon. 

Trapped in the U.A.E.

According to The Guardian, Billy Hood – a U.K. football coach living in Dubai – was “caught” in the United Arab Emirates with CBD vape juice in his car’s trunk – a car he sometimes shared. 

Making matters worse, he had no idea how the juice got there, theorizing that it belonged to a friend of his who had recently visited. 

Regardless of who the CBD belonged to, it didn’t stop the Dubai police from torturing Hood to sign a confession in Arabic, which he doesn’t speak. Dubai sentenced the 24 year-old to 25 years in prison. Currently, his family and the government are both working to bring him back to the U.K. 

But it could be a tough fight. Billy Hood didn’t just get caught for possession in a cannabis-hostile country. According to High Times, U.A.E. is the most cannabis-hostile location. It doesn’t take much for drug offences to earn you the death penalty. 

High Times also explains that the U.A.E. goes to enormous lengths to detect marijuana traces. Even having THC in your bloodstream will likely get you arrested. 

Although Billy Hood’s ordeal is an extreme case, other countries could issue jail sentences, fines, and even executions for unsuspecting travelers. 

Remember that “due process” isn’t a term many countries are familiar with. 

Countries With the Strictest Cannabis Laws

Sneaking CBD internationally is a bad idea. But in some countries, it could be the worst idea you ever have. Always do your research, especially if you plan to visit any of the following seven places:

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. Indonesia
  3. Japan
  4. France
  5. Singapore
  6. Turkey
  7. Saudi Arabia

Penalties range from huge fines or disproportionately long jail time, to corporal punishment and execution. 

What About Canada?

Many of us are eager to visit our neighbors to the north. It’s a lot closer, cheaper, and apparently safer in some respects, than a trip to Dubai. 

Marijuana has been legal in Canada since October 2018, so it’s safe to assume you can bring your CBD products with you, right? 

Nope. 

You’re likely wondering how recreational and medical cannabis can be federally legal in Canada, yet CBD extracts aren’t. 

Canadian cannabinoid products – including CBD – can only be grown, extracted, distributed, and sold by licensed producers; and government or private dispensaries. Consequently, many U.S. – based hemp CBD producers often are unable to send their items to Canada. 

The critical factor in this legal head-scratcher comes down to one thing: the source. All CBD in Canada is from what the U.S. would consider “marijuana.”

Furthermore, the lack of regulation for American hemp CBD products doesn’t sit well with Canada’s arguably over-regulated cannabis market. 

Fortunately, you won’t be thrown in jail for decades. At worst, Canadian border officials will confiscate the product and let you move on. 

Can I Bring CBD from Canada to the U.S.?

No, you can’t bring CBD from Canada to the U.S. Don’t even try it. If you think Canada’s cannabis regulations are intense for consumers, wait until you see the border’s take on marijuana.

Since these crossings are under federal jurisdiction, carrying cannabis from Canada to the U.S. – regardless of THC content – can complicate things. 

Will I be Arrested for Bringing CBD from Canada? 

A small amount of CBD or any other cannabis extract for personal use will likely be confiscated by U.S. customs agents. But if you happen to be a Canadian citizen, you’re far from off the hook.

Early after legalization, the U.S. made it very clear that no Canadian cannabis may enter the country, even if the state across the border also embraced marijuana reform. They took it so seriously that admitting cannabis use as a Canadian citizen can lead to a permanent ban from the U.S.

One Canadian man found himself on the wrong end of that policy. 61 year-old Barry Rough told officials that he hadn’t smoked marijuana in 18 years. This admission earned him a lifetime ban. 

That being said, we’re not suggesting that you lie to the border officials.Honesty is important when dealing with authorities. Simply be aware that you may be asked about cannabis consumption, and the consequences that could bring.

Should I Travel With CBD?

You can travel in the U.S. with CBD. However, other countries are a different story. Even if you do your research, laws are complicated and you could miss something. 

If possible, your safest bet is to simply leave the CBD at home. 

Key Takeaways

  • CBD is legal for domestic travel in the U.S., with some minor rules
  • It’s illegal to bring CBD products across the border to Canada 
  • Bringing CBD from Canada or admitting cannabis use can lead to a lifetime ban for non-U.S. citizens.
  • Some countries issue severe punishments for “drug possession,” which includes CBD
  • The only safe way to avoid a legal ordeal is to not bring cannabis when you travel internationally