CBD oil and hemp – the new miracle cure?

CBD oil and chewing gums – some celebrities are currently hyping them. Why? These products contain a component of the hemp plant: cannabidiol (short: CBD). CBD should have multiple effects, say the manufacturers. For example, it should help with sleep disorders or depression. However, the consumer advice center warns that CBD can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Although there are indications that CBD has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect, these indications have not yet been sufficiently secured in clinical studies. Dosage, safety, side effects and interactions have not yet been clarified.

What exactly is CBD?

CBD is an active ingredient from the hemp plant, which is obtained from the flower or the leaves. Although it is made from hemp, CBD is not psychoactive (intoxicating) and is therefore considered legal. The active ingredient THC provides the intoxicating effect – however, it may not be more than 0.2% present in CBD-containing products. 

So is CBD oil safe?

So far, CBD-containing products have not been approved, so they shouldn’t actually be sold. The manufacturers should actually either apply for approval of a drug or a novel food (novel food), says the  Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). Since these approvals have not yet been obtained, the products may not be sold at all. 

Are hemp products generally critical?

No. Hemp seeds and products made from them are freely available for sale and do not require separate approval. The reason: hemp is a cultivated plant with a long tradition AND the seeds contain neither CBD nor THC – THC and CBD are only found in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. However, the Federal Center for Nutrition informs that the seeds can come into contact with flowers, leaves or stems during harvest, so that detectable amounts of THC can be found in hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds are reminiscent of nuts and are also used in this way: as a topping on salad or soup. When ground as flour, hemp is a bitter, tangy ingredient in bread. Pressed as oil you can serve salads with it.

Are Hemp Seeds Healthy?

It is not only the CBD-containing foods that are said to have health benefits. The permitted hemp products are also said to prevent cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure, lower cholesterol and protect against cancer. So far, however, there have been too few studies to confirm the effect. What is certain is that hemp contains some valuable ingredients, such as high-quality fatty acids, vitamins and easily digestible and easily usable protein, which is why it is particularly popular with vegetarians and vegans.   

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