What you need to know about CBD products

March 4, 2020 by  
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As 2020 gets underway, the deluge of CBD products continues. Suddenly, CBD oil is everywhere: from CBD skincare to lattes to CBD-laced treats for Fido and Fluffy’s aging joints. But is the craze legitimate or is it all hype? We’ve delved into recent studies to get the facts on the current state of CBD products. What is CBD? Cannabis plants produce over 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), responsible for the high people get when smoking marijuana, is the most abundant and the most famous. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most abundant chemical in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, it doesn’t cause psychoactive intoxication. Most people won’t feel altered after ingesting CBD, but about 5% of people could be exceptions to this. Human bodies naturally produce cannabinoids that are involved in pain sensation, mood,  sleep , appetite and other bodily functions. CBD may interact with — and amplify — the effects of these cannabinoids already in the body. People ingest CBD products by smoking, vaping, eating gummies, taking pills, applying patches and creams, and placing tinctures under their tongues. Facts about CBD In 2018, Congress passed a law legalizing hemp in all 50 states and removing CBD from the controlled substance list. The idea was to allow manufacturers to use  hemp  to make textiles, concrete, paper and other products. The CBD boom was a side effect. But do CBD products work? While users provide anecdotal evidence, researchers aren’t so sure. “The main problem is that not enough medical studies have been done to offer any kind of clear guidance,” Dr. Jordan Tishler, instructor of medicine at  Harvard Medical School and president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, said on the Harvard Medical School website. He attributes some CBD success stories to a placebo effect. Along with the efficacy question, lack of oversight in CBD products is a problem. “Right now, there is no way to know for certain whether a product contains any CBD at all, or is safe from contamination ,” says Tishler. “Worse, we’ve found that some companies have even added other medications to CBD products, like opioids and benzodiazepines.” The Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) is still figuring out how to regulate CBD products. While CBD supplements can’t legally be marketed with specific therapeutic or medical claims, tricky manufacturers are using vague terms like “joint health” or “calm” or “relax” to suggest unproven product benefits. “Until the FDA finalizes how it will regulate CBD, it’s not cracking down on many false claims or overseeing how products are made,” says Tishler. “This means companies can put out all kinds of CBD products with zero accountability.” Some doctors are hopeful about proving the benefits of CBD products. As  Health   reports, “CBD might be worth trying to manage symptoms of anxiety.” Dr. Junella Chin, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD, added, “[CBD] tells your body to calm down and reminds you that you’re safe. It mellows out the nervous system so you’re not in a heightened ‘fight or flight’ response.” However, Chin emphasized that CBD isn’t a cure-all. So far, the FDA has only approved one CBD product, a prescription drug to treat certain types of epilepsy. The FDA warns consumers about the potential of harming themselves with CBD products, citing liver injury and  drug  interactions as top concerns. Consumers might not connect subtler side effects with CBD use, such as drowsiness, irritability and gastrointestinal distress. The FDA also emphasizes that the long-term effects of CBD products are unknown, as are the effects on developing teen brains, fetuses, breastfed infants and male reproduction. Most popular CBD products Some of the most popular CBD products include topical creams, CBD bath bombs, CBD skincare and CBD pet products, such as tinctures and calming chews. But how do you assess the onslaught of items made with CBD oil? None of these have so far been subject to FDA evaluation. And, despite what promises they make on their labels, CBD products are not a substitute for  medical  diagnosis and care. When you look at a CBD product, note the label. All dietary supplements should have back panels including an FDA disclaimer and a warning section. “Ideally, it would be preferable to have access to their third-party lab testing results too,” Brandon Beatty, an executive vice president of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, said in an interview with  Health.  Third-party testing confirms that the label is accurate. For example, a 2017 study by the  Journal of the American Medical Association  found that 26% of the 84 CBD products tested contained lower doses than the label stated. You can check the brand’s website if you don’t see that info on the label. You’ll also want to read the label carefully for dosing instructions and to determine whether the CBD is isolate or full-spectrum. The latter means the  product may contain additional cannabinoids, which are sometimes more effective — and consequently may require a smaller dose. Responsible manufacturers of CBD products should also include a batch number on the  packaging . “This is a huge indicator as to whether they are following good manufacturing practices,” said Beatty. “There should be a way to identify this product in case it was improperly made so the company can carry out a recall.” + Harvard Medical School Via FDA and Health Images via Shutterstock and Pixabay

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What you need to know about CBD products

Responsible sourcing: The key to a low carbon future

March 11, 2019 by  
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Sponsored: International Copper Association discusses responsible mineral sourcing to ensure a low carbon future.

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Responsible sourcing: The key to a low carbon future

How do we feed the future without eating the planet?

December 19, 2018 by  
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Sponsored: The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association discusses why they believe animal agriculture has a key role to play in feeding the world’s growing population.

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The National Park System just got its first Dark Sky Sanctuary

April 24, 2018 by  
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While there are numerous Dark Sky-certified National Parks across the US, the stunning Rainbow Bridge National Monument just received the world’s fourth official Dark Sky Sanctuary designation – the first ever for a National Park System site. Rainbow Bridge already boasted one of the darkest skies on Earth, but with its new status, you can continue to see Rainbow Bridge’s night sky as it’s meant to be seen, free from the light pollution that has become a mainstay of modern life. The International Dark Sky Association is a non-profit organization working to stop light pollution and mitigate its harmful effects on our health. The organization also helps identify places where you can see the night sky with reduced or no light pollution. On April 16, the association awarded its “sanctuary” designation to Utah’s Rainbow Bridge National Monument, ushering it into an exclusive list of the most light pollution-free places in the world. Related: Switching to outdoor LEDs has made light pollution worse — without saving energy Rainbow Bridge provides a particularly stunning natural environment. Dark Sky designated parks, reserves and sanctuaries must be remote enough that they aren’t impacted by light pollution nearby, and they must also adhere to strict lighting standards, such as shielding fixtures so light doesn’t escape upward and using warmer bulbs. But even amidst all the Dark Sky designations, sanctuaries are exceptional, with their status meant to increase awareness of the sites in order to preserve them for future generations. “We’re thrilled to be the first National Park Service unit to receive this specific designation, as this will only fuel our night sky preservation efforts,” Rainbow Bridge National Monument superintendent William Shott said. If you want to visit this special place, you will need to have a boat to cross Lake Powell in Southern Utah, or get permission from the Navajo Nation to cross the tribe’s land. Via Earther Images via NPS and Unsplash

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Maryland just banned the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores

April 24, 2018 by  
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Maryland just became the second state in America to ban pet stores from selling puppies and kittens. Animal rights advocates say the move will help cut demand for animals from puppy mills . The bill, HB 1662 , also encourages pet stores to work with rescue groups and animal shelters to promote the adoption of homeless animals, according to The Humane Society . Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan signed the legislation into law with bipartisan support. The state already has regulations in place requiring stores to reveal breeder information, and stores cannot use breeders that the United States Department of Agriculture has cited in the last two years. But delegate Benjamin Kramer, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation, told The Washington Post the regulations aren’t enough to protect animals. Related: California bans puppy mills and requires all pet stores to sell rescue animals Pet store owners fought against the law, hoping Hogan would veto it. Just Puppies co-owner Jeanea Thomson said her store doesn’t want animals from puppy mills, and that she and her husband visit their breeders, most in Iowa and Missouri, to vouch for conditions. But Kramer said the farms that store owners describe are abominations, telling The Washington Post, “There is not a single one that is this righteous, beautiful, loving, caring facility where there is room for puppies to roam and for breeding dogs to play.” Humane Society Maryland state director Emily Hovermale described the ban as a lifesaving measure that would close the state’s pet store market to puppy mills. She said, “Maryland has set an important precedent with this rejection of animal abuse that other states will surely follow.” Emily McCobb, a professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, said a ban could result in a dog shortage, and people might not be sure where to go to get a pet. “There’s a lot of messaging around ‘adopt, don’t shop,’” she said. “But we haven’t done a good job of messaging about how to find responsible breeders.” The law will fully go into effect in 2020. It follows a bill passed in California last year that requires all pet stores to sell rescue animals. + The Humane Society Via The Washington Post Images via Depositphotos and Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

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Maryland just banned the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores

How the U.S. Open aced a sustainable transformation

September 29, 2017 by  
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Efforts involved the U.S. Tennis Association, Billie Jean King and Venus Williams.

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How the U.S. Open aced a sustainable transformation

To chart the course of sustainability, grab the right map

September 29, 2017 by  
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What are the best assessment tools for your team? Here’s a review of some of the best.

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7 eco-friendly fabrics that dont sacrifice quality

January 22, 2017 by  
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Sustainability gets a bad rap in the fashion world according to Giusy Bettoni, CEO of the eco-textile consultancy C.L.A.S.S. She attributes this to the association the term has with “smelling like patchouli” and other less stylish treehugger-like activities. Fortunately, however, advancements in technology have brought big improvements to eco-friendly fabrics that could change the way designers approach sustainable fashion. Ecouterre rounded up seven eco-friendly fabrics that are luxurious and sustainable without sacrificing quality.

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LEED for vertical farms? Defining high-tech sustainable food

August 15, 2016 by  
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The Association for Vertical Farming aims to create the first sustainability standard for towering indoor food systems.

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LEED for vertical farms? Defining high-tech sustainable food

LEED for vertical farms? Defining high-tech sustainable food

August 15, 2016 by  
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The Association for Vertical Farming aims to create the first sustainability standard for towering indoor food systems.

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LEED for vertical farms? Defining high-tech sustainable food

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