To CBD or Not to CBD?

by | Apr 2020

Canviva CBD

Photo: Rachel Nadeau

With CBD oil popping up everywhere, and supposedly curing what ails us, is it safe?

Hemp and cannabinoid (CBD) oil have been described by some as the “wild west” of new products.

A federal bill passed in 2018 removed some hemp-derived CBD from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, though the FDA says it is still illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement or an ingredient in food and beverages.

“The key with CBD oil is, you’ve got to make sure you are dealing with a reputable supplier,” says Jim Zimmerman, co-founder of Minnetonka-based CBD oil company Canviva.

Rules about promoting and advertising CBD and marijuana vary from state to state and depend on what the products contain and how they are used. This makes it confusing and difficult to enforce the law. As a result, companies can receive warnings but few repercussions.

In October, the FDA came out with a warning to consumers saying CBD can potentially cause liver damage and contain harmful heavy metals. They say consumers should wait for the results of several ongoing clinical trials before diving in to CBD. That said, CBD still proliferates on the market. If you’re going to try some for yourself, check out this advice from local experts: Rachel Reeves from Zilis, a multi-level marketing company that sells Ultracell CBD oil; and Jim Zimmerman from Canviva, a Minnetonka-based CBD oil company.

  1. Make sure the CBD comes from organic hemp. Hemp is a bio-accumulator, meaning it is very absorbent and can suck up harmful toxins. “Make sure it’s U.S.-grown organic hemp,” Zimmerman says.
  2. Your CBD should come with brochures and an extensive website that tells you how to use it and has dosing information.
  3. A lot of CBD oils are delivered in fat-soluble agent. A water-soluble solution provides for faster absorption.
  4. The U.S. Hemp Authority is made up of several people with interests in the industry. One board member is from Zilis. Others are from other CBD oil companies. To get a certification from this group, companies must follow FDA food laws and use organic and non-GMO hemp, among other requirements.
  5. Look for “full spectrum.” “You want the entire plant. Using the whole plant gets you so much more benefit. Like eating an entire apple with the skin instead of just drinking the juice,” Reeves says.
  6. Let your doctor know. CBD is metabolized by cytochrome p450 enzymes. Those are the same pathways used to metabolize 40 to 50 percent of medications. CBD can act as an inhibitor. If you have enough CBD on board, it can slow the metabolization of the other drugs you may be taking and it can cause a toxic buildup.

Stay informed:
For up to date information on CBD from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, visit and search for “CBD.”


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