CBD, the non-intoxicating compound most often derived from industrial hemp plants, has quickly become one of the hottest items in the health and wellness community.  It has been medically approved as a prescription treatment for epileptic seizures, and is often used as a natural, over-the-counter sleep aid, pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety solution. The therapeutic effects of CBD have a lot to do with how it’s taken, and its medicinal properties can be enhanced by other measures.  Read further to learn how to maximize the benefits of your CBD products.

A woman rock climber applying trupura CBD Extra Strength Salve to her knee.  It's important to know how to maximize the benefits of your CBD products.

Greater Absorption Means More Potent Effects 

A trace amount of THC, 0.3%, is evident in broad spectrum, whole-plant hemp products, which are often preferred by consumers for a variety of reasons. These products contain not only a small quantity of THC, but also all other naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes.  This type of formula creates the “entourage effect” which, according to a 2015 study, provides greater medicinal benefit than any one plant part alone, and magnifies the effects of CBD without producing intoxication.  A more recent 2018 article further confirmed that the entourage effect can help with anxiety and mood disorders.  

Note that a recent investigation found that 70% of product labels list inaccurate amounts of CBD.  Because hemp products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), always check the THC content on the product label and more importantly, review the manufacturer’s lab testing. Less credible brands may contain quantities of THC that could cause intoxication or trigger a drug test.   Always purchase from a reputable, high quality brand, be wary of additives, and choose products made with wholesome ingredients.

Because cannabinoids like CBD are lipid-soluble compounds, they’re best absorbed by areas throughout the body when consumed with healthy fats like butter, soymilk, peanut butter, and olive oil.  For the greatest amount of absorption, choose edibles infused with these foods; and if cooking with hemp products, follow our tips to further maximize the health benefits of CBD.

Choose CBD Products Based On Your Needs 

There are many different kinds of CBD products: tinctures that are fast-acting and versatile; salves, bath salts, and various topicals that can help with psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions; as well as gummies and other edibles that taste as good as they make you feel.

Orally ingested, you can apply CBD oil directly under the tongue or in the mouth, but be sure to hold it there a minute or so before swallowing to allow it to be absorbed through the mucus membrane.  This delivery method will allow it to get into your system quickly.  You can also add it to smoothies, coffee, and other beverages including turmeric tea and other wellness favorites. For sore muscles and joints, try topical hemp products which are absorbed directly through the skin.  You can apply salve directly to sore spots, or you can soak in a warm CBD-infused bath that can relieve aches and pains and even help you get a good night’s sleep. Hemp chocolates, gummies, and other edibles are tasty, discrete methods of consuming CBD.  Due to processing via the digestive system, these products may take 1-2 hours for noticeable effects, but often last longer than other solutions.  

You can combine products in an all-body treatment, but be smart about it.  Take into account your body weight, the conditions you are treating, the amount of CBD in each formula, and your individual body chemistry.  This is especially important if you are taking a prescription CBD product.  While overconsumption of CBD does not cause any serious adverse effects, it may lead to fatigue or stomach upset.

Young brunette woman wearing sportswear is doing yoga on a pink carpet using a laptop.

Healthy Habits for A Holistic Experience

If you are using CBD for anxiety, combine it with other, holistic relieving practices – deep breathing exercises, yoga, t’ai chi, walking, and other physical exercise that you enjoy.  If you are plagued with insomnia, combine with melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid.

If ingesting CBD for anti-inflammatory effects, you should not only consume healthy fats as mentioned above, but choose other foods that encourage lowered inflammation, such as antioxidant-rich berries and cruciferous vegetables.  Though hemp is a powerful plant medicine, your lifestyle and everyday habits make a big impact on your overall wellness.

Final Tips for Maximizing The Effects of CBD

CBD, done right, is safe and effective, but it’s subtle and may take two or three weeks of steady application before effects are fully felt.  Be patient, be consistent, and as far as dosage, like we always say, start low and go slow, beginning with 20-30mg and gradually increasing. 

If you live in a state where recreational or medical marijuana consumption is legal, you might experiment with other CBD:THC ratios.  Though you may experience a psychoactive effect, the increased quantity of THC may improve products’ pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing qualities, and provide other medicinal benefits. But before you do anything, speak to your doctor as cannabis products may interact with certain medications including blood thinners.  If you want to speak directly to a licensed professional for a free consultation on the safe, effective use of CBD, contact our cannabis nurse partners at Leaf411.org to discuss your medical conditions.

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