the unknowns


Consumers should do their own research to find out if a product comes from a reliable source. Contaminan­ts, including heavy metals, pesticides, microbes, and other toxins could be lurking in CBD products. “It’s the wild West,” says Dr. Berkowitz. “There is no federal authority checking on it. I am not trying to imply CBD is unsafe or untrustwor­thy, but there’s just not a lot of regulation.” On the other hand, he adds, there are reputable companies selling products that are highly documented. That is, they can provide informatio­n from an approved source showing the CBD has been analyzed.

CBD research, though promising, is in its infancy. Even with two highly esteemed researcher­s deep in the weeds of cannabis research, opinions about CBD use differ. When asked if they would recommend it for inflammati­on and pain to a family member, Dr. Berkowitz said he had done just that for his daughter’s knee pain. But Dr. Vandrey, while not opposed to CBD use, recommends that consumers first talk to their physician.

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