Suddenly it’s everywhere! This is good and not so good at the same time. Because with CBD, you really need to know what you are getting into, as you might not get what you thought you were getting. What makes one brand or variety effective and another a complete waste of your money? Which ones may cause you to fail a drug test? How much do you take? What the heck is CBD anyway?
Many people are seeking natural and effective alternatives to pharmaceuticals. CBD can provide relief for pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression, sleep, and many other issues. There has also been evidence that it can help with inflammatory autoimmune diseases, bone marrow growth, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, glaucoma, antifungal & antibacterial treatment, bladder control, MS, epilepsy, Huntington’s, cancer, metabolic syndrome, autism, ADHD, PTSD, gut disorders, and skin issues, among others.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis. CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which gives the plant its therapeutic profile. CBD is closely related to another medicinally active phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, the compound that causes the “high” that cannabis is famous for.
Both CBD and THC have therapeutic qualities. But unlike THC, CBD does not make a person “high”. That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.
CBD and THC interact with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways they impact us is by augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids”, which are part of a regulatory system called the “endocannabinoid system.” This endocannabinoid system is the body’s largest receptor system and maintains homeostasis. There are two main types; CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly in the brain and organs. CB2 receptors live on cells. When you get enough proper nutrients, endocannabinoids are produced by your body, and things generally run fairly smooth. When you don’t, things can go wrong.
The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating many physiological processes that affect our everyday experience. Science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in many pathological conditions. By modulating the endocannabinoid system and enhancing endocannabinoid tone, CBD and THC can slow or even stop disease progression.
CBD OIL PRODUCTS
In response to consumer demand, a huge, unregulated market in CBD oil products has appeared. But along with a growing awareness of CBD as a potential health aide, there has also been a proliferation of misconceptions and poor quality products.
While the CBD market has seen a rise in the popularity of CBD oil, not all CBD oils are created equally. Certain factors separate bad CBD oil from the good. Besides the legalities, it’s quickly become a roll of the dice to find quality CBD oil products, since they are manufactured with little regulatory oversight. There’s easy access to CBD oil now, but there is also inconsistent quality.
Not all products have the same concentration of CBD in their oil. Some companies use filler oils, or use varying concentrations of MCT or propylene glycol. Poorly processed CBD oil may be tainted with toxic solvent residues, pesticides, corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and other contaminants. Avoid products where the label doesn’t explicitly tell you exactly what ingredients the product contains.
In some cases, the oil may have additives that can be helpful, such as turmeric for inflammation. The most important thing is to understand the ingredients, the strength, and the processing so that you get what you intended to get.
KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE CHOOSING
CBD is a molecule, not a miracle, so limitations do exist in spite of the plethora of claims. Many people could benefit from legal access to a wide range of cannabis remedies, rather than just low-THC or no-THC products. CBD alone may not always do the trick. In some circumstances, CBD works best in combination with THC, but your state laws may not allow for that.
The main difference between hemp plants and drug plants is resin content. Industrial hemp plants are low-resin plants. Drug plants are high-resin plants. U.S. federal law originally defined marijuana in terms of resin content. Resin content is the key factor that distinguishes marijuana from industrial hemp. Currently, federal law includes a qualification that officially characterizes industrial hemp as having no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. Products containing such a small amount of THC should not have a psychotropic effect, but federal law is different from state law, so you should know your state’s position.
The best source of CBD oil is organically grown, high-resin, CBD-rich cannabis, not low-resin industrial hemp. The more resin in the plant, the more CBD there is to extract. Low-resin industrial hemp grown for fiber or seed oil is not the most favorable source of CBD for several reasons. Because industrial hemp typically contains far less cannabidiol, a large amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD. This raises the risk of contaminants. Oil extracted from hemp and cannabis will concentrate the toxins as well as the good properties.
CBD oil is often a byproduct of industrial hemp grown primarily for another purpose. Farmers can make more money if they sell their unused hemp to a business that wants to extract CBD from the leftovers. This dual-use practice is widespread. This means that the hemp biomass is often tainted with pesticides and toxic solvents.
CBG or CBD?
Deciding which product will work best for you depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for short-term calm-energy and focus, CBG is a good choice. If you’re addressing specific issues, you’ll want to determine which combination works best for you. Full spectrum CBD oil helps with sleep, depression, anxiety, and pain. However, the benefits of each cannabinoid and how people react is based in part on body chemistry, so what works for one person, might not on another.
CBG is like the parent of all cannabinoids. As the parent, CBG works with its offspring to enhance performance. When CBG is present and combined with CBD, it increases the effectiveness.
Full Spectrum CBD products contain CBG, CBN, CBC, and less than .3% THC. Full Spectrum products work together to go deeper and last longer with less needed, however THC can be present. Made from the whole hemp plant, full spectrum CBD gives your body the benefit of endocannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils that work together to provide a more well-rounded effect than CBD alone. Full spectrum is the right choice if you’re not concerned about ingesting THC. Full spectrum CBD is a good choice for pain, inflammation, headaches, anxiety, and more.
Broad Spectrum CBD is the name for CBD products that have all the cannabinoids except THC. Broad spectrum works well for people who are regularly drug-tested for their jobs or are uncomfortable ingesting any amount of THC but still want to receive the other cannabinoids. Choose Broad Spectrum CBD when you want close to full spectrum benefits, but without the THC. However, studies are showing that having THC in the mix increases the efficacy of the CBD molecule.
Hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD-rich oil extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant. Oil pressed from hemp seed contains no CBD, no THC, no plant cannabinoids. Hemp Oil made from hemp seeds and stems is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin E, and omegas 3 and 6. It can be used in cooking, in beauty products, clothing, soap, paint, varnish, paper and building products, but it doesn’t assist your endocannabinoid system or bring balance to your body. In other words, the differences between CBD, hemp, and THC from marijuana are vast. Hemp seed oil from only the seeds and stems don’t have the same homeostasis inducing qualities as the CBD made from whole plant material.
If you’re looking for the relief CBD offers, hemp seed oil alone won’t work. Seed is the keyword to look for to determine if you’re getting oil with or without CBD in it. Hemp oil made from seeds and stems does not contain CBD, therefore it cannot provide the same relief. Check the ingredients on the bottle. If the product doesn’t list CBD or cannabidiol as an ingredient, it isn’t CBD oil. Another thing to look for is the price. Hemp Seed oil is made from crushed seeds and stems. It’s cheaper to produce and therefore much less expensive in the marketplace.
WHICH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Choosing the CBD product that’s right for you depends on what you’re looking for and why you’re taking it. No matter which type or types of CBD you choose, experimenting with dosages will be the next step to determine what works best for your body.
Look for independent third-party testing, especially if you are concerned about THC. The lab should test for everything from the presence of THC to ensuring no toxic byproducts are present.
Look for purity with “supercritical CO2 extraction”. Even companies who grow their crops organically can skimp on the process of manufacturing CBD oil by using toxic solvents to extract the cannabinoids. CBD can be hazardous to your health if made using these types of materials.
Companies that use synthetics to process their CBD oil may not only jeopardize your health, but they may also be selling an illegal substance. Before you use any CBD oil, it is important to verify it is THC-free, if that is your intent. Also take note, that “less than 0.03% THC” is not the same as THC free, which may make a difference between being legal in your state or whether or not you pass a drug test. Products are allowed to put “THC-free” on the label as long as they contain less than 0.03% THC, so labels can be misleading. Many hemp-derived CBD oil products are mislabeled as to cannabidiol and THC content.
Buy from American and reputable manufacturers. Do your homework before choosing the right one for you. Buying randomly online is probably not the smartest way to go. Not all CBD oils are the same, nor are they the same quality. Naturally, everyone is going to tell you that their product is safe, pure, and effective, even if it’s not, so you need to look at the company and the product very closely.
WHAT ABOUT PASSING A DRUG TEST?
Neither hemp seed oil nor CBD oil has psychoactive properties and they will not get you high. Hemp Seed Oil made from seeds and stems contains no THC or CBD.
Full spectrum CBD oil from industrial hemp contains .3% THC or less, a negligible amount, but can still register on drug tests. Broad Spectrum products are THC-free, however you might still fail a drug test depending on the test. Many drug tests will say they are testing for THC, but are actually testing for cannaboids. If that’s the case, then even 100% THC free products will cause you to fail a drug test, even though there is no THC in your system! Technically, this shouldn’t happen but it can. Proceed with caution if your employment could be on the line. Perhaps talk to your employer about it or ask for a blood test instead of a urine test.
Remember, unreliable products that claim no THC can contain it, and the higher the milligrams, the more likely it contains it. Therefore, make sure you have chosen wisely to begin with.
HOW MUCH CBD SHOULD I TAKE?
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer. It depends on the person, the issue being treated, body weight, severity, oil strength, and the type of oil used. It also matters if you’re treating acute or chronic symptoms. Chronic issues have been reported to need higher doses for more extended periods of time, while acute problems can be relieved with smaller amounts and less frequency.
A good place to begin for adults would be with 10 mg., twice a day. Increase slowly, by 5 – 10 mg. every 3 – 7 days. How many drops that translates to is based on the strength of oil.
Keep a Journal
Tracking your intake and results in a journal helps give insight. You can check-in with yourself at 30 minute intervals, and slowly increase until you find relief. This may take a bit of trial and error, but most people figure out their needs pretty fast.
CBD Interacting with your body can be beneficial or not. Drug interactions can be both useful and dangerous. There is a shift in your body when you introduce medications and cannabinoids like CBD. For example, one of CBD’s properties is inflammation reduction as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectant. If you are taking an anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical and you also take CBD, you will most likely rid your inflammation faster than just taking the prescription. But this could cause an issue if you are taking blood thinners and you start taking CBD which is known to reduce blood thickness.
Obviously, it’s important that you talk to your doctor before trying CBD if you are on any amount of medications. The CBD could potentially change something that is being altered by your medication and make it stop working. CBD is a powerful extract and people have successfully slowly stopped taking their medications by adding of CBD into their daily regimen, however this needs to be done intelligently and in conjunction with your doctor’s advice.
You may discover some doctors are very “anti-CBD”, and often confuse CBD with medical marijuana. You might want to consider switching to a more informed doctor, if that’s the case.
The right CBD oil can make a positive impact on quality of life, but as you see, it isn’t as simple as buying a random bottle and crossing your fingers. It’s a very informed choice and process to get the results that you might seek, but likely worth the effort.