Notice on the Hemp Barn site 6/1/19. The site is back up and processing payments.
[Edit late 6/2/19: Many hemp and CBD websites lost their payment processors on 5/31/19. Early reports from some of the sites tied this to the 5/31 FDA public hearing on CBD. It seems that the problems were more specifically related to the payment processing company Elavon shutting down CBD processing. It is unclear at this time whether this really had anyting to do with the FDA hearing.]
The FDA held a public hearing on May 31st to get input on how to regulate the booming CBD industry. Published reports describe a very wide range of views expressed, ranging from CBD advocates and scientists to anti-marijuana spokespersons. One interesting fallout of the meeting is that credit card processors dropped many CBD companies overnight. A product that was easily ordered on May 30th with a credit card was now unavailable from many sites unless you mailed a paper check.
This sort of thing has happened before. At least one site reported that they are switching banks and expect to accept credit cards again within a few days (using a bank headquartered in Asia). Some sites had no information (as of June 1st) and the buyer simply got a cryptic error message after entering credit card information. This happened to me on one site.
CBD products are now available in many brick and mortar stores, so if you are running low try these sources. In addition to CBD shops I have seen it advertised in Bed, Bath and Beyond and in Earth Fare supermarkets, for example. You should expect that most online sources will have convenient ways to pay within a week or two.
How much CBD or hemp oil should you take? Nobody really knows. There are standard doses for people using the prescription form of CBD called Epidiolex to treat seizures, and these doses are very high. Most people taking CBD for anxiety and chronic pain take much lower doses. The video below by the “CBD Professor” is pretty good at laying this out. At least he doesn’t pretend to know what dose you should take.
He refers to an article by Christine Ruggeri, CHHC on the Dr. Axe site that is worth reading too. It does suggest a range of doses, but emphasized that dosing really is an individual process.
In nature CBD does not exist in isolation. It is found in cannabis, in both hemp and marijuana. There is evidence that it works better when accompanied by other constituents of cannabis, such as THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes.
Start by buying CBD from a reputable source that provides certificates of analysis (COAs). Read the dosing suggestions on the label and follow the principle of “start low and go slow.” Many experts suggest starting at the lowest dose suggested on the label and very gradually increasing if you don’t get the desired effect in a couple of weeks. Consider trying an even lower dose after a while. There are anecdotal reports of “reverse tolerance” where people can sometimes decrease the dose after they have been taking it for a while. Compare CBD isolate products with full spectrum and broad spectrum products. When you find something that works, stick with it.
You can buy CBD on Amazon. You just can’t sell CBD on Amazon. When you search for CBD on Amazon you get results. None of the results list CBD in their ingredients. You will usually see “hemp extract” or “full spectrum hemp extract.” Sometimes you see “hemp oil.” Stay far away from “hemp seed oil.” Hemp seeds contain almost no cannabinoids. (The exception is that hemp seed oil is sometimes used as a carrier oil, possibly along with the more common MCT oil).
I know of a few legitimate brands selling CBD-rich full spectrum hemp oil on Amazon. I will not reveal the names because I don’t want to contribute in any small way to their getting banned. There are also other brands that have been tested by a third-party and found to contain no CBD. What’s a buyer to do?
Amazon’s seller policy states:
- Drug listings must not be for controlled substances or products containing controlled substances, such as:
- Products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a Schedule I Controlled Substance, including but not limited to:
- Rich Hemp Oil containing cannabidiol (CBD)
- Products that have been identified as containing CBD by LegitScript
- Hemp products containing Resin or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Hemp (or any cannabis Sativa spp. strain) seeds capable of germination
- Anything listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV or V of the Controlled Substances Act
As CBD moves off Schedule I it may be accepted by Amazon. For now products containing CBD must be listed as “hemp oil,” which is an accurate description of what is contained in these oils/tinctures.
One company that I have bought from before recently began offering a few of their products on Amazon. In their email announcing this they said:
“they made us retouch the word CBD off and replace with “Hemp Oil”, but you will receive your normal CBD with 300, 900, 1800mg of actual CBD content.”
Does it really contain CBD?
One site claims to have tested some brands from Amazon and found no CBD in 6 out of 7 hemp oil products tested The site CBDlabresult.net appears to show thumbnails of COAs (certificates of analysis) from an independent lab. Unfortunately the COA pictures are heavily cropped. Interestingly, the only other article on their site is a positive review of a CBD oil that you can buy (from them?). I’d trust the site more if it had more content. The domain was registered 12/29/2018 and the post about Amazon CBD testing was dated the following day. They waited a month to write a positive review of the other site that sells CBD.
Since there are lots of places to buy CBD it is probably better to avoid Amazon unless you have other independent details about the brand. If you are not sure contact the company and ask them what is in the product they sell on Amazon. You won’t find COAs on Amazon since they don’t allow CBD to be sold there. Look for vetted sites that include independent certificates of analysis. Look online for sales and coupon codes. When you find a good brand, stick with them.
Spike Jonze has produced a two minute history of cannabis for MedMen. It puts things into perspective.