The Dangers of Synthetic Cannabis
In a little under five years, CBD has catapulted into the mainstream. Yep, it would seem you can’t talk about health anymore without mentioning cannabis medicine. However, with such a startling increase in popularity, the rise of both manufacturers and retailers taking advantage of this mostly unregulated industry has allowed for mediocre and harmful CBD products to proliferate the market.
But when synthetic cannabis, which has been linked to a number of deaths worldwide, is found in many of the CBD products you can find online and in stores, it makes it that much more important to exercise a healthy amount of caution when it comes to bargain-basement CBD.
Samples of CBD oil from one particular manufacturer was found to contain potentially dangerous chemicals like Dextromethorphan (DXM) — a synthetic cannabinoid commonly found in cough syrup, and 5F-ADB, — a synthetic cannabinoid more commonly known as K2 or Spice.
While this may prove to be an isolated case, synthetic cannabis for many, has become synonymous with addiction and harmful if not fatal side-effects reminiscent of the crack epidemic; which is expounded on in the Vice Media documentary ‘The Hard Lives of Britain’s Synthetic Marijuana Addicts’.
What are Synthetic Cannabinoids?
Synthetic cannabinoids — sold legally as ‘Spice’, or ‘K2’ — are man made cannabinoids originally used for cannabinoid research that focused on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant.
After the publication of the production methods in their research, suspect drug manufacturers copied their formulas in order to manufacture synthetic cannabis which they could then market and sell. These synthetic cannabinoids are sprayed onto plant matter, which can then be used as you would utilise natural cannabis flowers.
Effects of Synthetic Cannabis
These lab-produced chemicals are designed to stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system. The very same system that responds to natural cannabis-derived cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
However, unlike natural cannabis derived cannabinoids, when consumed, synthetic cannabis can cause short-term effects such as, rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion and hallucinations.
Unfortunately, these chemicals are suspected to have been falsely marketed as CBD products in e-liquid or other forms. Some users have suffered dreadful reactions following the consumption of a product that they falsely believed to be safe.
Synthetic Cannabis is Cheap
When it comes down to it, companies that answer to shareholders and stakeholders, usually value profit over product, with their end goal of making larger profit margins at the forefront of their mission.
With synthetic cannabinoids such as Dextromethorphan (DXM) and 5F-ADB being much cheaper to manufacture, many companies are choosing to use these chemicals inside of their products, rather than cannabinoids that come from cannabis grown in nature.
We can all compare products and prices until the cows come home, but when it comes to your health, is being a little lighter on the hip pocket may be better than, risking the dangers of cheaper synthetic cannabis?
Todd Renje, a 37-year-old from the US, chose the latter. In 2018, The Observer newspaper shed light on the issue by commissioning laboratory tests on one particular brand of CBD e-liquid and found it to contain a strain of synthetic cannabis that was banned in the UK in 2016.
Todd purchased the product, believing it to be pure cannabis derived CBD and realised soon after that this just wasn’t the case.
Weaning himself off the product, he explained, “I went from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with no sleep, vomiting, shaking, sweating, just feeling absolutely miserable. Then I had a seizure. I couldn’t even tell you what happened, I just woke up at hospital.”
So How do you Know what to Choose when CBD is Often Mislabelled?
Research conducted at the end of 2017 indicated that CBD mislabelling is a problem that needs to be rectified. Following a study of 84 CBD products sold by 31 companies online, blind testing discovered that only 31% contained the amount of CBD listed on the label (within +/- 10 percent).
Even more worryingly, some of the products tested contained other components of cannabis that were not listed on the label, including THC, which for obvious reasons may be dangerous for some people to unknowingly consume.
So, in order to ensure that the CBD you are purchasing is safe and not contaminated by synthetic cannabis or any other toxic ingredients, it important to buy with caution.
What does the Best CBD Quality CBD come from?
So, how do you choose a high quality CBD oil? The best option is to select a CBD oil that has been produced from trusted manufacturer. But how do you know who to trust?
European regulations regarding hemp are very strict, which helps to ensure the highest-quality of harvest. Also selecting an organic provider will ensure the product doesn’t have any of the heavy metals and toxins from the soil. European CBD oil manufacturers that source their CBD from organic, non-psychoactive EU grown hemp, could help you eliminate some of the worst CBD offenders.
When combined with proper extraction and filtration methods like CO2 (which produces the cleanest oil you can get) and good quality, raw, organic material. Tend to end up resulting in the production of CBD oils of the highest quality.
Make Sure the Company does 3rd-party Lab Testing
Reputable CBD manufacturers will never hide or fail to disclose their production methods or where they source their hemp. Typically, the best CBD oils are tested by third-party professionals to ensure that their products are safe, and of the highest quality and actually contain the ingredients listed in the amounts stated; while also being free from pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants.
Top CBD manufacturers like European CBD brand Endoca, always include these types of quality reports (conducted by third party, independent labs) on their website. This is a solid and reliable indicator that a company like this can be trusted to produce exactly what it says it is producing, and always with the highest levels of quality and safety.
Ultimately though, it is always our own responsibility to ensure that what we put in our bodies is healthy and safe.
Always try to do your own research before trying anything. Don’t take chances with unknown manufacturers or vague labelling and always choose a CBD brand that produces their products under the highest standards in quality and safety.
Make sure you are supplied with the right knowledge to buy safe and healthy CBD oil from companies that use organic, full spectrum, hemp derived products that you can count on.