The safest way to take CBD is orally, as a tablet, chewable, or tincture (a concentrated liquid typically administered with a dropper). Steer clear of any illegally sold synthetic CBD products, sometimes called “spice” or “bath salts.” These products have induced psychotic reactions in some people and pose a major health risk.
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The answers to those questions aren’t necessarily straightforward. The only thing that is clear at this point: The marketing has gone way ahead of the science and the law when it comes to CBD products.
The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious
But for children under age 21 it’s a different story. It’s also not clear if any amount of CBD is appropriate for children.
Again, yes and no, depending on where you live. In some states marijuana is legal for both recreational use and medical use. In other states, it’s legal only for medical use. And in some areas, it’s not legal at all.
If you are interested in trying a CBD product, it’s best to seek one through a dispensary, which is an establishment legally licensed to sell marijuana, if they are available in your state. Dispensary products must be labeled so you can see exactly how much CBD is in the product and whether it also contains THC. A small amount of THC in a CBD product isn’t typically problematic. But larger amounts could cause a “high” and may present a risk if you are going to drive.
CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
But many people still don’t really know what CBD is. Is it marijuana? Is it legal? Does it actually work? Is it safe?
That said, CBD is thought to be a safe and effective option for certain conditions. Below, we sort through the confusion by answering some of the most common questions about CBD.
"CBD is actually hard to cook with. It has a disgusting taste", says Greg Hanger, head chef at Kalifornia Kitchen in London, who has created an entire CBD afternoon tea . Greg pays attention to the type of oil that the CBD is mixed with, saying "coconut oil CBD is great in Thai cooking balanced with coriander, ginger and lime. Olive oil CBD is great for Middle Eastern foods like hummus or you could even mask the flavour with rosemary and put it in cheesy sauce or mashed potatoes ."
CBD is normally sold in combination with a base oil, such as olive or coconut, as a supplement, vape, gel to be applied to the skin and more recently, in food and drink.
Is CBD a miracle cure?
“When you cook with CBD, you have to be careful not to heat the mixture at too high a temperature”, advises Meg. A search on CBD websites brings up details of CBD evaporating and losing its 'health' properties past 160–180C, though "there is also little understanding of what happens to CBD when you cook it or add it to a drink", says Professor Sumnall.
“The emerging UK CBD industry, inspired by the successes of the legal cannabis industry in the USA, has adopted a similar marketing strategy, and whilst the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency rules mean products can’t make direct health claims without going through formal licensing, the language of ‘wellbeing’ allows them to bypass regulation.
What is it doing in food?
Coffees and cakes may contain between 5–10mg of CBD. But clinical trials administer doses of around 100–1,500mg per day, with medical supervison.