CBD is of 95+ cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant, which is also used to produce hemp and marijuana (an inappropriate and politically racist term). Hemp is extremely low in THC, the compound in marijuana that makes you feel high or intoxicated. The hemp strains used to create hemp oil extracts are typically grown and manufactured to be high in CBD. Cannabinoids are a special class of chemical compounds that show potential for treatment of a wide range of health conditions.
CBD’s Effect on the Body
CBD works by acting on the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a system involved in a host of homeostatic and physiologic functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation. This system’s main job is to maintain homeostasis and help the body adapt to outside stressors.
There are two main types of cannabinoids—endo (produced naturally within the body) and phyto (produced from a plant). CBD is a type of phytocannabinoid, allowing it to mimic the Endocannabinoids produced naturally within the body. As a result, CBD is able to act like a supplement and support the body in what it is lacking.
The human body has two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 is the most abundant in the brain, while CB2 is the most abundant in places like the immune system. Both are found throughout the body and serve as important receptors for the immune system, glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, and blood formation, as well as cognition, memory, mood, motor function, sensory, autonomic and neuroendocrine responses. Think of them as regulators of homeostasis and equilibrium.
In short, CBD stimulates your own Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to promote immune homeostasis, reduce the sensation of pain, decrease inflammation, and more.
CBD & the FDA
It’s important to note that federal laws prohibit any company from making health claims. Laws also prohibit doctors in the United States from prescribing cannabidiol (CBD) or hemp oil extracts as medication. However, there are numerous studies showing how CBD oil can have an extremely positive impact on pain management. More and more studies are being undertaken to explore the therapeutic benefits of CBD as an anti-inflammatory agent and for a variety of conditions including migraines, sleep problems, joint pain, anxiety, depression, ADHD, autoimmune diseases, and more.
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, my job is to expose the underlying cause of “dis-eases” that can be nutrition deficiency- and lifestyle based, such as autoimmune conditions, depression, infertility, cancer, and dementia. CBD oil will not help the underlying root cause—we must work to address that first! However, CBD can be an extra tool in the toolbox for promoting health and wellness. We are only now discovering the many capabilities of CBD.
Choosing the BEST CBD oil
Similar to supplements and personal care products, the FDA does not regulate the distribution of CBD, which is why choosing from a quality CBD company is important.
When choosing a CBD oil product, it can get confusing—so keep these tips in mind.
First, go organic. The hemp plant is what’s called a “bio-accumulator,” which means that it’s capable of absorbing substances from the water, air, and soil faster than the rate they’re lost. When the plants and soil are sprayed with pesticides and other substances, it will get into the product. Choosing an organic CBD oil will ensure that you aren’t also ingesting toxic chemicals.
Hemp should be sourced and grown from the organic farms in Colorado. Colorado’s legendary pure mountain water and unpolluted soil and air make it the best place to cultivate and grow hemp. A lot of companies are growing hemp out of Kentucky, which happens to be GMO hemp.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is arguably the finest way to obtain the CBD. it is able to extract more of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in hemp than any other extraction method. CO2 extraction labs are able to produce the most potent oils on the market. While the majority of companies use extraction CO2 methods; some will use a liquid solvent such as ethanol, alcohol, or isopropyl. These are less-expensive options that are fast and easy, but destroys many of the plant benefits.
ISOLATE VS. FULL-SPECTRUM
There are a couple of terms you will see on labels: Isolate and Full-Spectrum.
CBD isolate is a more concentrated form of cannabidiol, but this doesn’t mean that it has greater effects. In fact, recent studies suggest just the opposite.
Research shows that full-spectrum CBD, which is a combination of cannabinoids, plant compounds, and sometimes other herbs that alter receptors in the endocannabinoid system, has a synergistic effect. This is being called “the entourage effect” and researchers believe that when CBD is used with other cannabis compounds that have their own therapeutic potential, the effects are even more powerful.
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD products:
No THC or other cannabinoids
Typically, doesn’t include plant compounds, such as terpenes
Processed further than full spectrum CBD
Delivers all CBD benefits (if using a high-quality product)
Generally considered safe
No risk of tolerance
Contains CBD and other naturally occurring plant compounds
Contains less than 0.3 percent THC (when derived from hemp)
Undergoes fewer processes than CBD isolate
Delivers greater benefits because of the “entourage effect”
Works synergistically with THC and other plant compounds
Considered safe and legal (when THC levels are below 0.3 percent)
No risk of tolerance
CARRIER OIL & OTHER INGREDIENTS
Cannabinoids are hydrophobic, meaning they hate water. This is why water soluble is not better. A quality hemp oil will be infused with organic coconut oil, a medium chain triglyceride. MCTs deliver the benefits of cannabidiol faster than other oils because of its ability to pass the brain barrier.
In terms of added ingredients, it should be completely free of fillers, such as xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, glycerin, etc. and only contain the cannabinoid, MCT, therapeutic grade essential oil, and stevia if it is flavored.
OTHER CRITERIA WORTH MENTIONING
Also, choose a product that is lab tested and has received a certificate of analysis, or COA. This means that the product is regulated, meets lab standards, and has been tested for contaminants. And make sure the serving or dosage guidelines are clearly stated on the product label and that it’s not made with any fillers
NOTE: The public is going to see a lot of the MLM companies getting into this space. While I have nothing against MLMs, this is not a product that fits that category. I don’t recommend vitamins, supplements or food products from MLMs, because I don’t think one company will have all the bio-individual options for my clients. I personally love my skincare and essential oil companies, but if you know me, they are a compliment to my practice, not my sole business.
CBD Oil Dosage Guidelines
There is no official serving size for CBD. Everyone reacts differently to cannabinoids, so you need to determine what dose works best for you.
Less is more. Taking more CBD than you need may actually be less effective. This is why starting with a lower dose and working your way up slowly is the best method.
Determine the dosage for you. To do that, follow these steps:
Know your goals: Establish what you are trying to achieve with CBD oil. What symptoms do you want to improve?
Pinpoint your symptom severity: Would you describe your symptom severity as low, medium, high, or very high?
Give it time. Start with the lowest recommended dosage for your symptoms and weight. If you don’t notice positive effects within 3–7 days, increase your dose by 1–5 milligrams. Repeat this step until you find your personal optimal dose.
Use it daily. To fully experience the positive effects of CBD, it’s best to use it consistently. You can take your determined standard dose 1-3 times daily.
Ways to Take CBD Oil
As the CBD oil market continues to grow, you have more and more product options. There are a number of ways to take CBD oil, so you can choose the method that works best for you and your desired effect.
The best ways to take CBD oil include:
Tinctures: Tinctures are CBD oils that come with a dropper. This is one of the easiest ways to take CBD because you are in control of the exact dosage. Typically, one dropper is a serving, so make sure to read the label carefully to determine your CBD dosage.
Capsules: This is another easy way to take CBD orally. You’ll find capsules available in several different doses.
Topical solutions: CBD lotions, balms, and salves can be used topically for skin conditions or muscle and joint pain.
Edibles: Another popular type of CBD is edibles, which are preferred by people who enjoy the ease and pleasant taste.
CBD can potentially help a number of symptoms and health conditions. Though research is promising, CBD is not intended to treat or cure disease. If CBD oil is something you are interested in taking, I highly recommend choosing an oil that fits all of the criteria listed above.
The goal of this post is not to get you to purchase, but I am more than happy to provide you with the company I personally use, that fulfills all of the criteria listed in this post when you are ready to order CBD oil. Simply reach out below.
If you’d like to purchase CBD products, please click here.
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Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joe Mercola, Live Well, nih.gov pubmed.gov
The products discussed and statements made in this blog post have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.