Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does.
CBD use is becoming more and more common all across Europe thanks to
advancing technology and lagging regulations.
Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, is a compound found in
cannabis. Unlike some other cannabinoids, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not offer a "high" like it's more famous brother, THC.
Instead, this compound can be utilized to interact with a network of receptors throughout the human body to help a number of ailments and conditions.
This network, called the endocannabinoid system, has been found to have an impact on a plethora of biological functions. Each different cannabinoid, there are 113, interacts with different kinds of receptors producing different effects both in mind and body.
In addition to not having the intoxicating effects of THC, CBD is metabolized differently in the body. This means that the use of only CBD does not prohibit daily usage and does not put individuals at risk of failing a drug test.
Since CBD has become more prominent, the data surrounding it has expanded too. Not only can you find individuals offering their own anecdotal evidence on how CBD has changed their lives, but there has also been an outpouring of scientific studies and research on the topic.
These studies showcase a variety of conditions and symptoms that can be treated with CBD. These can vary from aches and pains to treating migraines. Another predominant example has been how well CBD is as a treatment for neurological disorders such as epilepsy.
European CBD Market
While the benefits continue to be proven time and again, the regulations of monitoring CBD products has not been set. Global standards have not been put in place, which is having a marked effect on markets all over but especially in Europe.
Each country has been left to their own devices when it comes to figuring out regulation. As such, each one has seemed to pick a different stance with some letting the market open up untethered, and others advising that there could be severe legal repercussions to selling CBD.
In addition to a lack of standards, there has been a serious increase in demand. People all over are intrigued by CBD products and are trying to get their hands on them, to see if it will help their individual problems.
However, the popularity of this hot button topic has led to a mass of companies producing CBD, with not all of them are delivering quality products. Some contain trace amounts of pesticides, herbicides, molds, and toxins. Laboratories are not equipped to handle testing these products and have no guidelines or requirements to meet.
Current State Of Affairs
Currently in the EU, CBD products are being sold under the classification of "Novel Food
Products," meaning there is little to no regulation for quality, purity, or dosage. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been slow-moving to put guidelines in place, even as recently as January delaying any actions on the matter. As a result, many subpar products are being widely distributed, placing the reputation CBD, as a whole, on the line.
This has left companies, determined to produce a quality product to create their own standards and testing. For instance, Endoca, a CBD oil producer based in Europe, has turned to advertising their own standards and laboratory practices.
They've even gone so far as to reach out to other companies to help them raise market standards as well: "We hope to raise the bar for the quality of the hemp industry products by setting an example. We hope to encourage hemp producers to raise the standards of their products through analytics and quality assurance and raise the quality of the whole industry."
He also expressed a desire to work with other manufacturers to use the latest technology to build a hemp industry that can ensure quality and safety without needing excessive oversight.
Putting standards in place will not be easy for the CBD industry, and many producers believe it will take years yet for the EFSA to standardize regulations. Others are hopeful, as EU law says for a product to meet standards, the product must be proven as being safe or widely consumed. Both of these aspects apply to CBD, so it is only a matter of time before the EFSA will have to put standards in place.
Until the EFSA makes decisive moves to regulate CBD throughout Europe, products containing traces of pesticides, molds, and fungi will continue to be allowed on the unregulated "novel foods" market.
Ultimately this is a massive disservice to the people who could potentially benefit from CBD usage. These people are now left to sift through the low-quality products to find reputable ones without the help of government standards to test them against.
As more companies focus on testing their own products and elevating the market as a whole with quality CBD, people will hopefully become savvier to the true nature of cannabidiol.
Once it is accepted widely, and not just seen as an excuse to consume marijuana, CBD has the potential to be revolutionary for the treatment of a large variety of ailments. This possibility is sure to expand as research continues to be conducted on the endocannabinoid system.