Discover how hemp products could benefit your daily wellness
While CBD is just about everywhere these days and seemingly everyone is using it including your 65-year-old neighbor, you may still be wondering, “What is CBD? And if everyone is using it, is it right for me?” Well, you’re not alone in that curiosity.
Let’s start with getting a basic understanding of what these three letters mean. CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is one of the many naturally-occurring chemical compounds (cannabinoids) in the Cannabis sativa plant. It does not have a psychoactive effect on the mind like THC is known for; rather, it actively blocks THC activation, which means you won’t get high from using it. The World Health Organization has even reported that CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential, which means you need not be afraid of trying it. What you need to be aware of is how it affects you. More on that later.
Now that you know what CBD is, it’s interesting to know that the US Government has patents for cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Here’s one that pertains to CBD: US6630507B1. It states, “…The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention…”.
It’s also helpful to know that throughout the human body is a system that produces and assimilates cannabinoids, called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and this means the human body is designed to utilize cannabinoids. The ECS touches all functions of the body and its main job is to maintain homeostasis. According to Scientific American, homeostasis refers to any process that living things use to actively maintain fairly stable conditions necessary for survival. A CBD product is not intended to heal, but rather, to support the body’s own healing abilities. It does this by stimulating the ECS, which in turn may slow down, reverse, or prevent unpreferable issues to arise in the body.
Think about when you cut your finger, and how you can watch the skin regenerate over time. Let’s remember that your body innately knows how to heal itself! It just needs optimal conditions to do it well. Now let’s take stress. Researchers across the globe have found stress as being at the root of most diseases. So if we attempt to heal the body without addressing the underlying stress, the issue may keep returning. Many have reported a reduction of stress resulting from supplementing with CBD, and this helps the body move toward a state of homeostasis, the ideal condition for healing.
So is CBD right for you? Ultimately it’s up to you to determine, but here are a couple considerations that can help you decide:
1) Are you experiencing chronic pain, anxiety, digestive system issues, skin conditions, migraines, muscular pain, neuropathy, or sleep disorders? If so, there’s a good chance you’ll find benefit from using CBD oils.
2) Do you have a medical condition that requires you to use medications? CBD oil products are known to interact with some prescription medications such as blood thinners. If this pertains to you, do some further research and consult with your doctor.
Now this is not the norm, but it’s helpful to be aware that there are some people who feel heightened anxiety when they consume CBD. Let’s say this is you and you’re experiencing chronic pain, hoping for relief from CBD. This could be a gift in disguise. The feeling of anxiety may be arising for you to address first in order for the pain to improve. So give it a chance – breathe, stretch, and inquire within by asking, what is the real reason you’re feeling anxious? You may not want to admit it, but you know. It’s usually the first thing that comes to mind.
Many products found on the market are made with hemp-derived CBD rather than from marijuana-derived CBD. They are often labeled as hemp oil, not to be confused with hempseed oil which is rich in essential fatty acids, but does not contain CBD. The terms “hemp” and “marijuana” are not plant names, they are used to differentiate between varieties of cannabis that have less or more than 0.3% THC respectively, typically for regulatory purposes.
A CBD formula labeled “full spectrum” contains the full range of cannabinoids including THC, so if getting drug-tested is a concern of yours, this could potentially generate a false-positive. One way to avoid this is to use only 100% pure CBD products. A great middle ground is using a “broad spectrum” CBD formula, which has trace amounts of other cannabinoids. Many say that it’s helpful to include other cannabinoids as there is a synergistic effect which enhances results. Also, depending upon your condition, it may be more effective to use a formula that contains a greater amount of THC than 0.3%.
There are a variety of ways to administer CBD, both internally and topically, such as CBD tinctures, vape pens, topicals, and candies. Sad but true, there are many products on the market that do not contain the amount of CBD promised or contain poor quality ingredients, so be sure you purchase from a reputable source. Also, be mindful of the dosage, frequency, and the form of CBD you’re using, as all these factors will affect your results. Keeping a notebook with this information can help you track what’s working best.
There’s a lot of research out there, yet there is still more that needs to be done to answer all the questions being asked about CBD and its effects. At this point in time, everyone ultimately needs to be their own scientist and decide what’s best for themselves.