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Marijuana CBD Isn’t as Safe as It Seems

Marijuana CBD Isn’t as Safe as It Seems

The use of CBD oils and vaping products is on track to become one of the biggest industries in the world. According to a data report released earlier this year by the Brightfield Group, the CBD industry is expected to be valued at $22 billion by the end of 2022 and that’s a lot of 2’s. Whether they are interested in CBD oils for their purported health benefits or are simply interested in vaping as a recreational hobby, Americans are inhaling CBD oil vapor by the droves.

Unfortunately, the pseudo-scientific health craze may be exposing hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide to a long list of short- and long-term health complications. That’s why it’s so important that the truth about cannabis CBD risks is readily available.

It is alarming that CBD oil dangers have gone widely underreported, and not enough is being said about the need for accessible treatment for addiction. This overview of the risks associated with cannabis CBD emphasizes why patients should proceed with caution and offers tips for getting help if a loved one’s vaping is out of control.

Limited CBD Regulation Means High Risk for Users

One of the most urgent red flags regarding marijuana CBD safety is how little federal regulation exists to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals or uneven doses. In a recent post, Consumer Reports pointed out that a complicated web of inconsistent state and federal legal statuses has made it nearly impossible for the Food and Drug Administration to develop official standards for what can and can’t be in a CBD oil product.

Though it may not be what users of CBD oils would like to hear, the truth is that repeated use is not without legitimate risks to long-term health.

Thinning Agents Common in Oils

The most obvious danger to be aware of with regard to unsafe chemicals in CBD oils are the use of thinning agents. Because CBD oils are naturally unfit for vaping, chemical additives are used to change the composition of the product. Often the chemicals used to thin CBD oils contain dangerous quantities of polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol, which become extremely harmful when exposed to heat.

This danger was recently confirmed by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which concluded that long-term exposure to superheated thinning agents found in vaping oil can greatly increase an individual’s risk for cancer, 5 to 15 times more so than smoking cigarettes. Other studies have shown that short-term exposure to the same chemicals can contribute to or worsen respiratory problems.

Limited Data Undercuts Health Benefits

The legitimate concerns regarding CBD oil vaping may be offset to some degree by the substance’s widely touted health benefits. Unfortunately, the hard data suggests these claims are either an exaggeration or derived from findings that were far from conclusive.

An article published last year by pointed out that the vast majority of data pointing toward the claimed benefits of CBD oils have only be measured in animals. In fact, less than a handful of human testing has been performed to substantiate these claims. The one exception to this rule being epilepsy, a condition that CBD vaping actually has a strong clinical basis for treating with some success.

As stated previously, strong federal resistance to medical marijuana has made it extremely difficult for major scientific institutions to perform funded research on the health benefits of CBD products, let alone data that could be used to inform effective industry standards.

Marijuana Addiction Is Very Real

Proponents of CBD oils are quick to point to the lack of any known cases of marijuana or CBD oil overdoses to rank them as safer alternatives to traditional prescription medication. And while it is true that marijuana and by extension CBD oil is not chemically addictive, the accepted reality of marijuana addiction should make CBD oil users take pause.

The latest studies performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that among all users of marijuana, 9% become psychologically dependent on the substance and find themselves in need of treatment. While this study was not limited to CBD oil vaping products, it demonstrates that it is a very real possibility for an individual to become mentally dependent on CBD oil, prioritizing the substance over family, friends, and their careers.

Adolescents Are at Greater Risk

The same data collected by the NIH concluded that among those who began using marijuana products in their teens, the number who eventually went on to become addicted to the substance rose to a substantial 17%. This reflects the increased likelihood of an adolescent developing an immature and increasingly unhealthy relationship with CBD oil vaping or other marijuana products. Parents should carefully consider these risks before allowing their children to go on a marijuana or CBD oil based prescription.

Marijuana CBD Products Lack Safety Labels

Even if patients are willing to brave the many risks associated with CBD oil vaping, they should take extreme caution when evaluating which (if any) products to use. An article published in the medical journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids emphasized the need for swift reform at the federal level to at least demand consistent ingredient listings to be put onto CBD products.

The article noted that beyond the health risk associated with unregulated CBD oil products, the lack of labeling created the potential for many legal problems in the future. This amount of uncertainty surrounding CBD oil product speaks to just how little people know about how the chemicals affect users in the long term.

Recent Health Scares Raise New Concerns

The most recent health scares caused by CBD oil make the most persuasive argument about why CBD oil vaping products pose a real danger. The following instances illustrate how CBD vaping oil risks are turning into a dangerous reality on a daily basis:

  • In April 2018, the United States Army Public Health Center released a public health alert in response to five dozen cases of service members reporting health issues related to third party CBD vaping oil products. Many symptoms were quite severe and include heart palpitations, headaches, vomiting, disorientation, mood swings and seizures. The Army noted that the availability and popularity of CBD oil products has made the issue extremely pervasive and service members have since been prohibited from using the substances.
  • Public health authorities in North Carolina recorded 30 instances of health care problems related to vaping products between December of 2017 through March of 2018, double the number of cases over the previously reported period. Local military health experts in the area have taken note of the increase and have responded by labeling CBD vaping oil as an “emerging public health threat.”
  • As recently as November of 2018, a research study performed by Virginia Commonwealth University identified a toxic chemical in a popular brand of CBD vaping oil product, leading to new calls for government oversight of third party CBD oil products. Nine products under the Diamond CBD brand were tested, revealing that several contained the toxic synthetic cannabinoid 5F-ADB. In addition to its toxic qualities, 5F-ADB is known to cause unwanted psychoactive effects.

Dealing with CBD Vaping Oil Risks and Addiction

CBD Vaping Oil and Marijuana SafetyCBD vaping oil has been sold to most Americans as a wonder cure. Unfortunately, the science behind the products currently on the market suggest that patients are more likely to worsen their overall health with vaping than they are to improve it. That alone should give pause to those who are interested in seeking out the untested, unregulated drug as an alternative to traditional medication.

Even more so, the potential for psychological dependency should make one question the long-term benefits of using CBD vaping oil to treat their physical or mental health problems.

Do you or a loved one already seem to have a problem with CBD vaping products? Has a spouse or child grown uncomfortably attached to their vape pen or prefer sitting at home on the couch over spending time with friends and family? Marijuana addiction is real, but so is effective and sustainable treatment. We here at Maryland Recovery encourage you to reach out to us or visit our website if you have concerns about your loved one’s CBD or marijuana usage.

Reviewed by Christopher Schwartfigure MS, LGPC, CAC-AD

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