CBD Snake Oil: Over The Counter CBD Supplements

By Ethan Bresner

I’m just going to say it outright: buying CBD from head shops, convenience stores, and other non-pot shop sources can be risky if you don’t go to reliable and trustworthy spots. Now obviously, I am writing for a weed blog on behalf of a pot shop that sells lots of CBD, so I might be a little biased. I’ve written about CBD on this blog at other points, and I feel strongly about the numerous and significant benefits of it. I use CBD products daily for pain relief and anxiety reduction. So that’s the disclaimer and disclosure of my bias.

That being said, the CBD that you might buy at some head shops might not be CBD at all. Because of the political machinations that we’re dealing with in this country right now, cannabis still is very lightly-studied. Because of its classification as a drug rather than a medicine, it’s honestly pretty hard to find solid science-based research on the subject.

CBD supplements


One fact remains, because of this classification (thanks to Jeff Sessions!) these over the counter products are mostly unregulated. It’s ultimately no different than what happens with dietary supplements. This means that when a product touts that they sell a certain amount of CBD per capsule or tincture or whatever, these are completely unverified claims. Now admittedly if you discover a product and research the production of that product, I suppose it would be possible to trust that particular product. But when a package of candy says it has 20 grams of sugar in it, you know that there was an independent review process that verified that to be fact. When an edible at a pot shop says it has 100mg of THC in it, you also know that it is true. When it comes to CBD products sold over the counter at some other shops, however, you have no such guarantee. These companies can virtually sell whatever they want, and say whatever they want about what they’re selling with no oversight. That’s a pretty big problem.

CBD Oils


I recently read an article about a family in England that was attempting to treat their child with CBD oil, but the supplement actually contained AB-Fubinaca (better known as ‘Spice’). Spice is for sure not weed, not CBD, and not something that you would want to give to a child.

The Mayo Clinic similarly reported that some over the counter CBD products evaluated, 84% contained less CBD than they were marketed as containing. That’s an incredible percentage.

CBD Lotions


Now, pot shops, on the other hand, are WILDLY regulated, as are the farms that grow their products. I spoke to a grower friend who was telling me that the list of prohibited products to treat his plants is so extensive that he just uses lemon juice mixed with water for anti-pest properties. Another friend told me that when he was inspected, they literally rifled through his trash. Despite the concept that weed is like the Wild West, there are A LOT of rules about growing and selling weed. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that when you buy your CBD products from a reputable source, you’re getting a reputable product. If that source is Kush21 and Kush & Glass, you know that what you are getting is an ethically and reputably grown and accurately labeled product.

Beyond all this, there is research that shows a little bit of THC creates what’s called the ‘entourage’ effect, and we aren’t talking about Marky Mark here. Essentially, this means that THC and CBD are bros (so maybe we are talking about Marky Mark). Again, we could really use a lot more scientific research on this, but ultimately it means that these compounds work better when they are used together. The whole plant-derived cannabinoids are where it’s at and have been proven more effective for both pain and anxiety relief. So, if you ARE looking to get high, CBD is notably going to reduce the anxiety-producing effects of THC when it is present in those strains.


But back to my original point, even if a product is labeled as ‘full spectrum’ CBD oil, ostensibly meaning that it was produced from whole plants, there is literally no way that you can verify that fact to be true if purchasing from an unreliable source. I mean, 84% is a pretty incredible percentage of mislabeled products. I do understand that if you live in a state without legal cannabis, you’re in a little bit of a tight spot. You might only have access to these over the counter and highly unregulated products. I suppose if that’s the case, your best bet is to try and do a little research on the producers of those products. 

Try and find out if lab tests have been conducted on those things and by whom. But if you live in a state with legal weed, go to a pot shop or a reliable headshop. Because even beyond the fact that you’ll know what you’re getting, if you buy from a pot shop, what you get will work better with just a smidge of THC in it. Now you may be someone who is extremely sensitive to THC, but there are lots of strains that have almost no THC in them, and those strains are really unlikely to have the sort of intensely euphoric and high energy terpenes in that are generally associated with anxiety and paranoia. 

CBD Vape


So on a day off, grab a vape pen with very low THC content and take just one small hit. I would be highly surprised if your eyes rolled back in your head, and you made a frantic trip to the store for gummy bears. And if that feels ok, try to introduce occasional light CBD use into your day.

Snake oil salesmen are already coopting CBD’s positive effects, and it’s dangerous and unfair. Don’t buy the hype, instead buy real, high-quality, and effective products. We’ve got you covered.

Stop into a Kush21 location for more details on options that might be right for you.

*All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

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January 23, 2020

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