A lot of people are increasingly concerned about what commercial CBD products contain. Does the label match the true content? This is an important question to answer, considering that CBD products are everywhere, in all sorts of mediums and marketed for both humans and animals. CBD manufacturers make many health claims, although most of those claims aren’t verified with randomized controlled trials. Many of the health benefits of CBD products are anecdotal, though there are studies showing that it’s beneficial in treating seizures in people over the age of 2. Epidiolex, or prescription CBD, is used for that.
Though CBD products aren’t classified as supplements, the manufacturing, marketing and loose regulations are similar. If you browse through my blog or podcast, you’ll see that I’ve been featuring researchers who study whether or not the labels of supplements match the contents. Many do not, and worse yet, some even contain contaminants, as we learned from Dr. Ryzmski in his interview about micro algal “superfood” supplements, Spirulina and Chlorella. Dr. Ramasamy talked about how the top commercial supplements for male infertility and erectile dysfunction often contain ingredients that aren’t effective for either. Given the unfortunate fact that supplements are often synonymous with wellness, I hope you guys listen to both of those interviews, and this one on CBD. People spend millions of dollars on supplements and natural products like CBD, but what are they really getting? What commercial CBD products contain and what is advertised that they contain often don’t match.
Recently on my Causes or Cures podcast, I chatted with Dr. Bill Gurley, the principal scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Gurley has studied commercial supplements for over 25 years and recently did a study analyzing the content in a sample of commercial CBD Products vs the claims made on the label. He talks about his findings, CBD products in general, the supplement industry and things to watch for, and tips for distinguishing “good” CBD products and supplements from “not so good” ones. His study showed that what CBD products contain often doesn’t match the labels. Yet these are popular commercial products, which means many companies are making a lot of money by selling lies. Pay close attention to the portion of the interview ( towards the end) where he talks about synthetic chemicals being used in CBD products, and why they are exceptionally harmful to your health. He also offers helps tips for identifying quality supplements and natural products, as well as name-drops a few companies. Don’t worry, I checked: He doesn’t have a financial interest in any of the recommended companies, but they are all companies that have gone through extensive quality checks. Click here to listen to the CBD podcast with Dr. Bill Gurley. Let me give you guys a fair warning before you listen, though: He sounds fine. I had to change my recording software at the last minute, and for some reason, I sound like I’m inhaling helium through the whole interview. Oh well. Perfect is the enemy of good, and you can hear, loud and clear, all of the great points he makes.
Someone asked me personally what CBD products I take. I don’t. It has nothing to do with what CBD products contain and what they don’t contain, but I tried it a few times, most notably when I had severe PMS cramps and insomnia, and it didn’t do anything for me. In fact, I felt nauseous afterwards. I’m not against trying a reputable brand’s product in the future, but I would like to see the industry a bit more regulated and more studies conducted before I commit to putting something in my body. More studies would help me ( you, us), get a clearer picture about its health benefits too. Sometimes, and I write about this in my parody on the Wellness Industry, (Yours in Wellness, Krystal Heeling: Letters from the Wellness Industry), a hot, new wellness product or supplement is presented as a panacea. A cure-all for everything! I see a lot of that panacea-type marketing when it comes to CBD. ( Speaking of my book, hope you guys read or listen to it. It’s short and timely, and hopefully will give you a chuckle. There’s even a song about Apple Cider Vinegar in it.)
Finally, I have two places where I want to invite you guys to join me and engage in discussions about health and wellness: My Blooming Wellness Facebook group, where I’m happy to answer specific questions about products, supplements and evidence, and also my Instagram page, Dr. Erin Stair. If you tag me in the comments, I’ll see it and answer you if you have a question. And if I can’t answer you, I’ll tell you.