Once you’ve selected a CBD brand to go with, you then have to figure out how to best take the CBD oil that you’ve purchased. But before you begin supplementing with CBD, take a few moments to read more about its benefits, and how it can enhance your health and wellness.
CBD vs THC
There are over 100 beneficial cannabinoids in the hemp and marijuana plants. CBD, or cannabidiol, and THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, are two of the main cannabinoids. Both CBD and THC have their own benefits. THC, however, is more commonly known for causing people to feel “high” when taken in large strengths and quantities.
CBD and THC work together in a synergistic way to uplift each other’s positive effects while lowering the negative ones. This is called the entourage effect. Products made expressly from marijuana naturally have a higher THC content, therefore the CBD in them works to lower the negative effects that THC can create, like nausea, while boosting positive effects like increasing appetite.
What Conditions Can CBD Help?
Scientists have spent a great deal of time studying the effects of CBD on certain health conditions. So far, they have found that CBD can help with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and many others. Scientists are also discovering that CBD has a variety of neuroprotective properties that could have great benefits for overall health and wellness.
Some of the conditions that CBD can help with are:
How CBD Functions
In full-spectrum CBD products, THC and CBD work together in different ways. In fact, they mimic the body’s endocannabinoid system that works to bring the body back into balance. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate mood, energy level, sleep, metabolism, pain, immune system function, stress, hunger, and more.
Some other functions the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate are:
- Motor Control
- Temperature Regulation
As CBD enters the body, it interacts with the brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors to help bring the body back into a state of balance, or homeostasis. Even though the body has an endocannabinoid system, it does not need CBD to help bring about homeostasis. CBD can help to boost or support the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is composed of endocannabinoids, specialized enzymes that break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids, and receptors located in the brain, nervous system, and body.
While CB1 receptors can be found in the central nervous system, CB2 receptors are primarily located in the peripheral nervous system that contains nerves in the digestive system, immune system, and extremities. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, functions in a very specific way. The body only calls upon the ECS when processes and systems are not functioning properly. Once those issues are taken care of, the ECS’s enzymes break down cannabinoids and endocannabinoids to stop them from overacting and causing an imbalance in the other direction.
When THC interacts with the CB1 receptor in the brain, it causes feelings of euphoria. While THC is a cannabinoid, the body’s own endocannabinoid that is similar to THC is anandamide. This endocannabinoid helps to bring about a calming effect in the body. Unlike the cannabinoid THC, anandamide will not cause you to feel “high.” The brain, cannabinoids, and endocannabinoids act like neurotransmitters to help relay important information between cells. The neurotransmitters then interact with a wide array of other receptors to help create different positive effects in the body.
The reason why THC creates feelings of euphoria and anandamide does not is because of the FAAH enzyme. This specialized enzyme breaks down endocannabinoids — including anandamide — and does not break down cannabinoids. This means that THC stays longer in the body to have a bigger impact, while anandamide does not.
Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. One of the many interesting ways that CBD works is to prevent the FAAH enzyme from breaking anandamide down so that, like THC, it can also have a large impact on the body. Scientists believe that this is one way in which CBD works to help calm individuals with anxiety disorders.
Can Endocannabinoid Deficiencies Happen?
The body can indeed have an endocannabinoid deficiency. While studying the ECS, scientists found that endocannabinoid deficiency is linked to a condition called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, which is a dysregulation of the ECS. Some conditions that are linked to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches. These functional conditions are usually resistant to common medical treatments. In light of this, medical researchers are looking into ways to have cannabis-based treatments become an alternative way of dealing with these conditions.
IBS, migraines, and fibromyalgia affect the immune system, endocrine system, digestive system, and both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Since these conditions affect multiple systems, many scientists believe that it could be due to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
Is CBD Legal?
The 2018 Farm Bill effectively removed hemp-derived CBD from the Controlled Substances Act. This action by the federal government made it possible for hemp to be legally grown, possessed, sold, and distributed throughout the US. Legally, all CBD products that are sold and bought in the United States must contain less than 0.3% THC. Most CBD products sold in the United States are created from the hemp plant, which naturally contains less than 0.3% THC. Conversely, the marijuana plant contains a large amount of THC.
Because hemp-derived CBD oils naturally contain less than 0.3% THC, they will not cause you to feel “high.” You can, however, feel high from any oils made from the marijuana plant.
The 2018 Farm Bill also relaxed regulations on hemp by making it legal to
- Transfer hemp-based products across state lines for commercial use
- Grow hemp
- Sell, transport, and possess hemp-derived products crafted according to government regulations
Even though the Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD products legal on the federal level, it’s important to note that each individual state has its own laws and regulations that apply to CBD products made from hemp. Therefore, it’s important to read through your state’s laws before buying any CBD products. Likewise, if you’ll be traveling across state lines with your CBD products, you should also research the laws of the states that you’ll be passing through and staying in before you travel.
What are the Potential Side Effects?
Even though there are very few side effects associated with CBD, there are a few mild ones that some users have noted. Some of these minor side effects include:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
People who wish to begin using CBD who are on medications need to pay particular attention to the type of prescription medications they are taking. If those medications have a grapefruit warning on them, then CBD can negatively impact how that medication is metabolized by the liver, just the same as grapefruit and other citrus fruit can.
Some medications that grapefruit and CBD can negatively mix with are:
- Statin drugs that help lower cholesterol
- Drugs that help treat high blood pressure
- Some organ transplant rejection medications
- Some corticosteroids used to help treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Some drugs used to help treat abnormal heart rhythms
- Some antihistamines
Both grapefruit/grapefruit juice and CBD cause more of the medication to enter into the bloodstream, thus causing more unwanted side effects. Medications are metabolized by an important enzyme called CYP3A4 in the small intestines. Grapefruit juice and CBD can block this enzyme from breaking down or metabolizing medications, so instead of being metabolized, a larger amount of the drug enters into the bloodstream and lingers longer in the body.
In order to find out if CBD will interfere with your prescription medication in the same way that grapefruit will, you should:
- Speak with your doctor or pharmacist
- Read up on the written material that comes with your medication
- If you are taking an over the counter drug, read the drug label carefully
- Avoid CBD or grapefruit juice with your medication
- Avoid Seville oranges, pomelos, and tangelos, as these have the same effects as CBD and grapefruit juice on medications
As with any new medication or supplement, you should always use care and caution. Always put in the time and do the research by reading up on your medicine and speaking with your doctor before starting on any type of CBD product if you are on prescription medications.
Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate: What’s the Difference?
CBD brands sell a variety of different products. What many of those who are new to CBD might not realize is that products can come in three different varieties: broad spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD isolate. If you aren’t that knowledgeable about CBD yet, then you might be confused as to what the difference is between the three.
Full-spectrum oils contain all of the cannabinoids, phytonutrients, and terpenes in the hemp plant. These oils also contain less than 0.3% THC. Broad spectrum oils are almost the same as full-spectrum oils, however, they do not contain any THC. Finally, CBD isolate products contain 99% pure CBD, as everything else has been filtered out.
If you are concerned about taking a product with THC in it, or if you are nervous that you could possibly fail a drug test, then you might want to consider purchasing broad spectrum or CBD isolate oils. While full-spectrum oils contain less than 0.3% THC, which is below the legal limit, there still is the likelihood that the THC can be detected on a drug test.
What Kinds of CBD Products Can You Purchase?
CBD oils are the most popular and most commonly purchased CBD product. However, there are a wide array of other products that are made with hemp extract.
CBD derived from hemp is also crafted into:
Each of these types of products has a specific set of benefits and is used to pinpoint various health issues in targeted ways. For example, CBD is taken under the tongue to best help with systemic bodily issues like insomnia, pain, anxiety, depression, and others. When you hold CBD oil under your tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing, you’re ensuring that the beneficial compound enters into your bloodstream, which means that it will be more effective in the long-run.
If muscle and joint aches are a constant issue for you, then CBD salve or topical cream should be your go-to products. When salve or cream is massaged into your skin, the CBD absorbs into the muscles and joints where it helps to relax the tissue and lower areas of stiffness, pain, and tension.
Finally, if you’re simply seeking to support your overall health and wellness, or if you need a little help achieving restful, restorative sleep, then you might want to go with a daytime CBD chew or a nighttime CBD chew. Once taken, the CBD in the chews enters into the stomach where it travels through the digestive system. It’s then slowly broken down by the body. Both daytime and nighttime chews are a wonderful way to help you relax during the day and/or help you have a restful and restorative sleep at night.
Remember, the product you decide to purchase will largely depend on what your health needs and goals are. Therefore, you should take as much time as you need to consider what your health issues and goals are before buying any CBD products.
How to Purchase the Best Product Possible
Before going online to purchase the first product that jumps out at you, it’s best to take a few minutes and research both the brand as well as the product. You can find an abundance of information online that will help you deeply research CBD, CBD brands, and CBD products. Just like with anything else, not all CBD brands are created equal. Even though it might feel like you’re getting a great deal in purchasing cheap CBD products, keep in mind that these products are often laden with harmful solvents, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that can be dangerous to your health.
Cheaply priced brands will oftentimes use hemp that’s been grown using pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. Additionally, they most likely will use cheap extraction methods that leave harmful solvents and other impurities in CBD oil. In looking for brands, you should always seek out reputable brands that use the industry-preferred Co2 extraction process. Brands that use this clean method of extraction have oils that are pure, potent, and that are highly effective.
Reputable brands also use an independent third-party lab to routinely test all of their products for potency and quality. Brands that use third-party labs relay a message to customers and potential customers that they care about transparency and the quality of their products. Most often, you will be able to find these results easily on a brand’s website. Lastly, take some time to thoroughly read through those lab reports, as well as verified customer reviews, and write-ups from industry experts.
How to Take CBD Oil
As we stated earlier, CBD oil is best taken under the tongue (sublingually) and held there for 30-60 seconds so that it can thoroughly enter into the bloodstream. As far as finding the best CBD dose, it needs to be stated that there is not one perfect dose that works best for everyone. Everyone’s body is different, therefore, what works well for one person, might not be the best dose for someone else. Also, your body needs time to get used to both the CBD and the dose.
When it comes to taking CBD, the best way to go about it is to start at a low dose and increase slowly. Higher is also not always better when it comes to CBD strengths. Higher potencies tend to work better on more difficult health conditions, while lower strengths are great for general health and wellness. If you are a beginner when it comes to taking CBD, then you should try to start at a 600mg or 1200mg strength.
When it comes to dosing, begin by taking 5mg, or half a dropper full, once a day for about a week. Stay at this dose and then after the week has passed, check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. If you need to increase, then go up to 10mg of CBD per day. This roughly equals 5mg of CBD, or half a dropper full, twice a day. Stay at this new dose for a week, and then check in with yourself again. If you need to increase, then do so by following this method. If you feel good, then stay where you are. Remember, you can also go to a higher or a lower strength of CBD oil if you feel you need to. The dosing for these new strengths would be the same as the oil you are currently taking.
CBD is a phenomenal natural cannabinoid compound that has many scientifically proven benefits. Since the 2018 Farm Bill made selling and buying hemp-derived CBD products legal, more people have been trying CBD as a natural alternative treatment for their sleep issues, anxiety, depression, stress, chronic pain, and general health and wellness.
When you’re ready to purchase a CBD product, what you buy will depend highly on what health issues you’re having as well as what you intend to use the product for. Since not all CBD brands are created equal, you should take the time to research both the brand and the product before hopping online to make a purchase.
Your body needs time to adjust to the CBD as well as the dose. Don’t be afraid to spend some time adjusting to both. Finally, if you have any questions or concerns, then reaching out to your primary care physician or specialist is a great idea. They will be able to help guide you through the best ways to incorporate CBD into your existing health care regimen.