You know your vitamin ABCs but what about your CBDs? The newest “it” ingredient deserves the attention it is getting but only if you choose better – better quality, better dosage, and better for your body.
In this post, you’ll learn CBD basics plus how to choose a better CBD product, what’s an effective dose, and how to get the biggest health bang from CBD. So sit, relax, and read all about it!
Is CBD New?
No it’s not new. In fact, it has a longer history than tea with the earliest documented use of cannabis sativa about 2600 years ago.
More recently, research on cannabis occured in the 1960s by then student at Harvard now internationally renowned integrative medicine leader Dr Andrew Weil and separately by Dr Mechoulam, the first to isolate two of the several cannabinoids.
How Does CBD Work?
All human bodies (and most pets too) have a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) whose job is to help the body maintain balance or homeostasis.
It needs cannabinoids, like CBD to help do its job properly, especially in times of stress, illness or even life in general. That’s why CBD is beneficial for so many, it helps keep your body in its healthy balanced rhythm so it can keep up with you every day.
The endocannabinoid system interacts with the immune, nervous and digestive systems; has cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) throughout the body that help optimize outcomes in several ways.
Cannabinoids are different compounds in the cannabis plant that act as ligands by docking onto a protein; when they connect they have the ability to shift a receptor’s behavior.
Hemp – Derived Vs THC – Derived CBD
Certain cousins are bred to have higher amounts of THC whereas the cannabis plant for industrial and food hemp should not provide >0.3% THC. Depending on the plant providing the CBD you will get either a hemp-derived or THC-derived source.
Full spectrum extracts may contain trace amounts of THC (under 0.3%), while “hemp-derived full spectrum CBD” or “broad spectrum CBD” means that the THC is completely removed.
How To Choose Better CBD?
Start slowly when first starting on it. Typically, it’s recommended people start with a low dose product, see how they react, then increase the dosage gradually until the desired effect.
However, there’s so many choices out there it’s almost too overwhelming — what’s a girl to do? Drink it, pop it, vape it, apply it, bathe in it… your better choice will depend on your goal(s) and current health.
Edibles can be delicious, but they may also contribute to excess intake of this product along with calories, and calories from added sugar in the case of gummies, chocolates and sweet beverages.
Lotions, creams and other topicals may be wins to encourage routine use however, be careful — their other ingredients might negatively contribute to the absorption of the CBD or overall health.
Suppositories and patches could be a helpful tool for those with nausea, GI issues, or other oral feeding challenges.
“The delivery system will impact the effect tremendously. Vaping and sublingual consumption usually has a rapid onset, typically within a few minutes, but shorter duration. Ingesting in capsule or infused food products can take longer to reach GI system receptor sites, could take up to a hour for effect, and has a longer duration.” Doc Rob, The Cannabis Conundrum.
The 411 on Picking a Better CBD Product
With any product, you always want to choose one that reduces the likelihood the body gets anything that makes it work harder or irritates those efforts.
Since this plant – like most – accumulates what comes from its environment – soil, water, air – the goal is to remove or minimization pollutants in the growing location. Thus, there is benefit to choosing organic or biodynamically grown hemp as well as that grown in protected areas.
Look for a COA (certificate of analysis) as it tells the buyer (and ideally, should be made available to any buyer like a practitioner or consumer) that the product meets acceptable or optimal levels for ingredient quality.
CBD is extracted from the plant. Like coconut oil and other ingredients, it is better to avoid products extracted using harsh chemicals and instead look for food-grade alcohol or carbon dioxide for pressure.
Unfortunately all CBD is not created equally. It can be a bit like the Wild West out there. Because hemp is a bioremediator, it can absorb unwanted contaminants from the soil, including heavy metals.
Ask for a Certificate of Analysis, or C of A, from the manufacturer. It’s best that the testing is third-party verified. Look for cGMP, or certified Good Manufacturing Practices on the label.
The product should indicate the milligrams of cannabinoids plus the milligrams of CBD, extraction method used, source of the plant (organic or sustainable farm), other ingredients such as MCT or olive oil. And avoid any with artificial ingredients, sweeteners, and thinning agents like propylene glycol.
What Is The Entourage Effect?
The “entourage effect” for cannabis refers to the blend of cannabinoids (including CBD and THC) and terpenes versus just an isolate. Most experts believe the greater value comes with the full or broad spectrum versus the isolate.
Full spectrum plant nutrients blends vs an isolate will have different effect. One offers the combination of plant compounds which can deliver an “entourage effect,” whereas the other isolates just a singular compound.
In nature, communities work together within plants to help it grow, protect and prosper. We continue to see different effects from isolates versus entourages for example with d-alpha tocopherol versus mixed tocopherols, EPA or DHA versus an omega 3 blend, lycopene versus a tomato and so on.
“Science has shown that while CBD is beneficial, when THC is present the effectiveness of cannabis is improved. Challenges arise because THC is still a federally controlled substance, ”Doc Rob, The Cannabis Conundrum.
How Do You Know It’s Working?
Our experts agree, give it time. There may be immediate impact but it could be subtle – a little less anxious or jittery from coffee, or a little better night’s sleep – until the body begins to respond fully to the support for its ECS.
Laura Lagano MS RDN CDN advises that divided dosing throughout the day could improve results (depending on format and dose).
What determines the time for seeing an effect and the desired full effect is multifactorial. The vehicle the CBD is in, the person’s receptors, what is also vying for the attention of those receptors, and even what food someone ate. Also, you need to take it consistently to see the best results.
Is More Better?
Unlikely. Too much could make you sleepy (a nod to its value as a sleep-aid) at the wrong times, and too much CBD could make it less effective.
In certain instances, too much may have the opposite effects on mood, digestion, and trigger more severe issues in conjunction with medications or with certain health issues like glaucoma.
Journaling will help you see advantages and health improvements but it is also an excellent way to identify items of concern: changes in thirst / hunger including dry mouth, unexplained fatigue or feeling faint/ dizzy, increased anxiety (especially physiologic manifestations).
Like anything that helps you get healthy, your CBD could shift how your medications work so pay attention to blood sugar and blood pressure levels and always be monitored by your practitioner when adding CBD if you take any medication or are embarking on medical weight loss efforts.
How To Get The Biggest Health Bang From CBD?
Popping a pill, applying a cream or vaping can’t make you healthy. But when you pair CBD with other better health choices like your better nutrition plan, getting better sleep, moving your body adequately, avoiding efforts to overly increase comfort in favor of those that challenge the body and mind, recovery and relaxation efforts, and connectedness (with people, nature, and furry friends ;).
Is CBD + Coffee A Good Combo?
Caffeine, which is found in coffee, is considered the most common psychoactive drug worldwide. Combining coffee and CBD is fast gaining popularity around the globe.
It’s well-known that caffeine can enhance clarity and alertness and can trigger anxiety or jitters at the same time. Because CBD is a well-known anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety compound, combining the two compounds appears to reduce anxiety in some individuals.
Talk about a match made in heaven! Keep in mind that because both CBD and caffeine are metabolized in the same detoxification system, caffeine metabolism will be prolonged.
Of course, that can be positive or negative, depending on the desired impact. As always, be mindful when combining these two psychoactive compounds.
Can CBD Interact With My Medications?
From antibiotics to Advil and Motrin, to cholesterol lowering, blood thinning, and even erectile dysfunction meds, CBD could prevent them from working effectively OR it could keep the drug lasting longer in the system.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN CBD IS A NO. This does mean it is up to every practitioner and patient to discuss CBD whether its consumed as a supplement, in a beverage, added to a food, or as a cream or oil. CBD could help your body run better so maybe you won’t need a medication or as much of that medication.
Here are some of the medication classes to pay attention to with CBD:
• Antibiotics: the “-mycins” not all of them though
• Beta blockers and Calcium channel blockers for high
blood pressure, chest pain, Reynauds: Norvasc, Cardizem,
• Benzodiazapenes for seizure, anxiety, panic, insomnia:
Xanax, Klonopin, Restoril, Valium
• Anti-depressant medications and supplements: Zoloft,
Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa, GABA, 5Htp
• Blood thinners: Warfarin/Coumadin, Jantoven, Advil,
• Cancer treatments
• Erectile Dysfunction (note these may be used for other
reasons): Viagra, generic
• If your medication comes with advice to avoid grapefruit
/ grapefruit juice
Will CBD Make Me High And Will I Test Positive On A Drug Test?
CBD is made from the hemp plant which contains less than 0.3% THC. While there are no intoxicating effects, the trace amounts of THC are why experts strongly recommend that anyone who is required to pass a drug test, avoid all hemp derived products, including CBD, hemp seeds, poppy seeds and certain cold medications.
“Both THC and CBD can be psychoactive – which is why CBD is so great for anxiety and other mood disorders – but only THC can be intoxicating (i.e., get you high)” – Laura Lagano MS RDN CDN. There are CBD isolates that can be tested to zero THC so always discuss options with your practioner.
Well, there you have it — we’ve peeled back the layers to learn how CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system, promoting balance and well-being. From its subtle influence on receptors to its impact on neurotransmitters, we’ve discovered the magic behind CBD’s therapeutic potential.
It’s so important to choose quality CBD products. Always look for organic sourcing, third-party lab testing, or transparent manufacturing processes and don’t settle for anything less than the best.
Remember, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional if you’re on prescription drugs, as they can provide personalized guidance to ensure CBD and your medication dance together safely.
As we conclude this marvelous CBD saga, let’s remember that knowledge is power, and with great power comes great well-being! Stay curious, stay informed, and embrace CBD’s potential as a trusted companion on your wellness journey.
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***Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice***