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Does CBD toilet paper really work?!
CBD mattresses promise effortless snoozing. Serums infused with CBD offer natural anti-aging solutions. Flamin’ Hot Wheetohs let couch potatoes have their CBD and eat it too. No one is denying these products are innovative, but do they really work?
Nearly two years ago, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp and hemp-derived compounds like CBD (cannabidiol) from Schedule I classification. This made CBD legal to sell in most states, which opened the flood gates to rapid product development. Great news for an industry that barely existed five years ago. But as the pace of innovation surpasses the rate of regulations, how can consumers differentiate between effective products and marketing hype?
Here we review some of the weirdest CBD products to hit retail, and how the facts as we know them line up with the claims. Let’s get started.
Oral CBD products
CBD-infused food has been around for a while, but companies keep getting more creative. Earthshine Organics offers Jay’s CBD Potato Chips and Flamin’ Hot Weetohs. You can also find CBD in everything from tomatoes to cake pops to candybars. If you’re more of the active type, Just CBD offers protein bars for a pre or post workout snack. While many of these products make no specific claims, others imply that eating CBD can help with relaxation and pain relief due to its known therapeutic properties.
But do they work?
CBD can enter your system via oral consumption, however, this method is less effective because it gets diluted by the metabolism. The current bioavailability rate of CBD through edibles, such as chocolates and baked goods is between 6% and 20%. That’s because a portion of the CBD gets lost in the liver and digestive tract. So, the potential of getting a proper dose by eating a bag of chips would depend on the potency of CBD in each chip and how many chips you consume. In addition to being less effective than sublingual delivery, oral ingestion can take up to 2 hours to take effect.
While oral ingestion is generally viable and CBD is reportedly nontoxic, the FDA has issued several warning letters related to these products. In many of the letters, the FDA states that manufacturers are making false claims and producing products that have not been proven safe. In fact, the FDA recently revised its Consumer Update about health concerns in CBD products. The bottom line is the FDA says there is not enough clinical human testing to support claims in any CBD product.
8. CBD toothpaste
Can you really chew your way to dental health with CBD? CBD-infused chewing gum by Axim, claims to be a better method for consuming CBD than edibles because it bypasses the digestion process. Similar to CBD toothpicks, CBD chewing gum enters the body faster than ingestion methods via mucous delivery. Axim’s CEO, John W. Huemoeller II, told Forbes that “the inclusion of CBD for anti-inflammatory and antibiotic is intended to aid reduction in gum swelling while helping to eliminate infection-causing bacteria.”
But does it work?
Axim states that its chewing gum allows CBD to enter the body through the oral mucosa, or the mucous membrane lining the inside of the mouth. That means it bypasses the liver and works faster than edibles or vapes. To prove its claim, the company recently partnered with Impression Healthcare to supply its CBD toothpaste for a clinical periodontitis treatment trial. Stay tuned for the results.
7. CBD mouthwashes
Is CBD the future of mouthwash? The companies developing cannabis-based health products, like CannIBite, say CBD can prevent oral-health issues such as plaque and gingivitis.
But do they work?
On this one, our research shows these types of products can definitely be effective. In a study published this year by the Journal of Cannabis Research, scientists reported that CBD-infused mouthwash was just as effective at killing certain plaque-related oral bacteria as chlorhexidine, an active ingredient in prescription mouthwashes. That means you can swish without abrasive chemicals and still get a healthy fresh mouth.
6. CBD toothpicks
This sounds ridiculous at a glance, but assuming you suck on toothpicks rather than pick and toss immediately, there is a method to the madness. CBD toothpicks, such as Pure Picks by Purekana, contain a pre-measured dose of 10 to 25 mg of CBD, which are meant to replace sublingual droppers. That makes them easy to carry around and convenient to use.
But do they work?
There are no studies available for this product specifically. However, research shows sublingual delivery can double the bioavailability rate—or the portion of the drug that enters the body and takes effect—when compared to eating it. The manufacturers claim CBD toothpicks work because the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream almost immediately via the tissues in the sublingual cavity, or the glands beneath the tongue. That’s why manufacturers often infuse CBD toothpicks with spilanthes, an herb known for inducing saliva. The idea is that the more saliva you produce, the faster the CBD toothpicks will work because the saliva acts as a medium to get the CBD into your system without needing to digest it.
Transdermal CBD products
CBD is available in all kinds of beauty products, everywhere from Sephora to your local drug store. Whether you hope to reduce wrinkles with a CBD-infused anti-aging serum or get softer skin with a CBD body lotion, the options are limitless. You can even solve your hair problems by trying a nourishing CBD shampoo, and following up with an infused detangler. The claim is that you can get beautifying benefits from CBD through your daily regimen by allowing it to absorb through your skin and scalp.
But do they work?
When it comes to using CBD to improve your skin or hair, studies say that cannabinoid products have the potential to treat a variety of conditions. CBD possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. That means it can fight free radicals, which cause fine lines and wrinkles. Evidence also exists that CBD may regulate oil (sebum) production, and therefore potentially control breakouts and acne.
However, when it comes to the claim that CBD can “moisturize” the skin or hair, evidence does not suggest that CBD has nourishing properties. For that you would need ingredients like hemp seed oil, vitamin E or hyaluronic acid. So next time you see a “nourishing CBD lotion” for sale, remember that its effects have nothing to do with CBD itself.
According to the manufacturers of these products, CBD can be absorbed topically and interact with receptors on the skin’s surface to heal damage and improve appearance through its antioxidant properties. However, human skin generally has low permeability, which means it blocks most substances from entering. For beauty products to be truly effective in permeating the skin, they would need to contain a higher dosage of CBD and be more potent per application. With the current science we have, it’s hard to say if beauty products infused with CBD are working due to the CBD or because of the numerous additional botanicals, vitamins and chemicals they may contain.
4. CBD mattresses and pillows
A variety of CBD products exist that promise to give you a calming, restful sleep. Therapedic, one of the country’s top 10 mattress producers, introduced a new line called b-calm, which features mattresses with two CBD-infused top layers. Paramount Sleep also added a CBD-infused mattress to its all-natural Nature’s Spa line. Malouf offers three pillows featuring a CBD oil infusion and refreshing spritzer.
The idea is that if CBD has the potential to manage restlessness, pain and stress, then it can help you sleep better by absorbing into the skin via the pillows or mattress.
But do they work?
Studies have shown that CBD can reduce anxiety and improve sleep scores, but no studies have proven that pillows can effectively deliver the compound through the skin. The manufacturers of these products say the CBD is released from the fabric slowly by friction, so your body absorbs it as you sleep.
While there are studies in animals that show CBD can be absorbed via transdermal methods with the use of permeation enhancers, CBD absorption through fabric or linen has not been yet tested. So the efficacy of these products would depend on how much CBD can truly absorb. More clinical studies are needed on this one. But perhaps a new mattress is all you need for a little more shuteye.
3. CBD socks and clothing
In the clothing department, Nufabrx introduced a line of medicated compression knee sleeves suggested to help you with “temporary relief of minor aches and pains, or muscles and joints associated with simple backache, arthritis, strains, bruises and sprains.”
For the feet, Our CBD Collection offers a line of comfortable socks infused with CBD oil “to continually nourish your skin while providing soothing relief.” For a full ensemble, Acabada launched an CBD-infused activewear line. According to these brands, feeling better is all about wearing the right outfit.
But do they work?
Research studies performed on animals has shown that CBD can relieve pain and inflammation, however no studies exist about the ability of CBD-infused clothing to provide the same relief. Acabada says its activewear products, which have CBD infused into fabric panels, contain between 10 to 30 grams of CBD. The benefits reportedly last between 10 and 40 wash cycles.
Nufabrx, on the other hand, says it adds CBD during production of the yarn, rather than directly to the finished fabric like Acabada does. This method reportedly allows Nufrabrx to better control the dosage and prevent the CBD from washing out. The manufacturer claims that the fabric responds to your body’s temperature and moisture, releasing CBD and capsaicin medicine while you wear it.
Capsaicin is the main ingredient in many pain-relief medications, not to mention the compound in chili peppers that sets your mouth of fire. While capsaicin and CBD are undoubtedly therapeutic compounds, it is unclear how well they absorb into the skin and if the dosage is enough to make a difference.
2. CBD suppositories
Sometimes it’s better to get in through the back door, so to speak. Relief CBD suppositories, such as those offered by Fiora Wellness and Endoca are formulated to relieve inflammation and pain, such as period cramps or muscle soreness. According to the brands, vaginal and rectal delivery methods work best because they bypass the digestive process and act fast. These methods are also ideal for people who are unable to swallow capsules or take CBD orally.
But do they work?
In 2018, research revealed the concentration of THC in blood plasma after rectal administration of a suppository was almost 2.5 times higher than after oral ingestion of a THC capsule. This study was based on a 10 mg sample.
While it’s important to note that THC and CBD are not the same compounds, such research implies CBD suppositories could work better than oral ingestion. Moreover most suppositories contain high concentrations of CBD between 10 and 100 mg, which makes them more effective.
1. CBD toilet paper
Yes, that’s right—CBD in your TP. In fact, British company Nordic Botanics claims you can “wipe away your worries” with its CBD-infused rolls. Nordic’s infused rolls contain 5 mg CBD per five-ply sheet. That means you are getting a dose of about 30 mg per bathroom session. They claim the toilet paper sheets are infused via the Cannabidiol Rectal Absorption Protocol (CRAP—see what they did there?), and the CBD enters your system transdermally via your backside.
But does it work?
Some anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can help with constipation and digestive problems, citing its calming effect on muscles from tension. But no studies indicate if toilet paper can transfer compounds like CBD into the skin via a wiping motion. CBD has also been shown to moderate pain and inflammation in damaged tissue. But can you get these calming effects via a quick tushy rub? It’s unclear to say the least.
CBD is one of the most well known acronyms since THC. Plus, CBD is backed by some serious research to indicate its therapeutic powers. That all translates to a major incentive for manufacturers to devise weird products across categories you never could have imagined just a few years ago. Overall, we think this weird new development is great because it’s a sign of cannabis industry growth and mainstream acceptance. That said, some of these products deserve a little harmless scrutiny. In our opinion, CBD toilet paper might be the oddest of them all.
So before you buy a product with “CBD” plastered over the label, consider whether you would want it with or without the compound first. Then make your choice. Either way, CBD is generally harmless and at worst, there’s nothing like a good placebo effect to brighten your day.
About ACS Laboratory
ACS Laboratory is The Most Trusted Cannabis and Hemp Laboratory in the USA™. Founded in 2008, ACS Laboratory is DEA licensed, AHCA licensed, an ISO17025 accredited and CLIA accredited laboratory with the largest state-of-the-art testing facility in the eastern USA. USDA compliant and officially a “Designated Compliance Laboratory” by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS/DPI), as well as a “CMTL” (Certified Marijuana Testing Lab) by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). The laboratory uses state-of-the-art, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/MSMS, GC/MS and ICP/MS) technology and has developed proprietary testing methodologies which created enhanced detection ability and improved accuracy.
ACS Laboratory’s 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is located outside of Tampa, at 721 Cortaro Dr., Sun City Center, FL 33573. For more information, visit acslabcannabis.com or call (813) 670-9157.