Searching for CBD? Here’s all you need to know to make the right choice for your body.
Article Written by Leanne Vogel, owner of healthfulpursuit.com
We live in a world where we are always on and expected to be at the top of our game. Our current lifestyle in the concrete jungle we inhabit forces us into a state of constant alert and anxiety which, quite frankly, is exhausting!
This is especially true with today’s heightened fears and anxiety pertaining to our safety. Not only are our minds ravaged on a daily basis, but so are our bodies. When we experience constant fear and worry, this does a number on our body. Whether you’re a fitness junkie or a desk jockey, we’re all dealing with some form of pain, imbalance, and need for support. I feel this is why the CBD industry has reached the success that it has in such a short period.
Here’s the deal: just about everyone can benefit from supplementing with CBD in some capacity. There are oodles of different options available, and no one company is alike. So, understanding HOW to choose the right product for you, what to look for, what to avoid, and truly understanding how it all works, is pivotal if you want to experience the many benefits that CBD products can provide. Heads up though… there’s a lot of misinformation and confusing terms out there.
In today’s post, I hope to clarify some things and make choose the right CBD for you, a simple and easy process! I’ve wrangled up as much information as possible to provide you with the go-to source for all of your CBD education. OK, let’s get started!
Cannabis Medicine: The Basics
Right off the bat, I want to state that CBD is not going to cure you of all your problems BUT it will make them more manageable.
Let’s first focus on how CBD interacts with the body and (the cool part!) why the body is able to work the miracles it does with the help of CBD. When learning about CBD, a phrase you’re bound to hear A LOT is: the body has an Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS for short) that allows it to process cannabinoids efficiently.
The ECS is composed of CB1 and CBD2 receptors, located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system that work with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in plants (AKA phytocannabinoids) and in the body (AKA endocannabinoids). Phytocannabinoids include compounds like CBD and THC, and are derived from the cannabis plant.
I like to think of phytocannabinoids as being similar to the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals you’d find in a freshly picked apple, for example. Much like vitamins and minerals, cannabinoids come in over 100 different shapes and sizes, such as CBG, CBC, and CBN… the list goes on.
The beauty of cannabis medicine is that many brands offer a variety of options for you to choose from. Everyone has unique needs, and that goes for the needs of their ECS is as well. Think of your ECS as unique as your fingerprint. No two CBD regimens are going to be exactly the same, and your unique ECS requires something a little different than any one else’s, your CBD supplementation will look a little differently to mine.
Now the interesting thing that not many people know, is that your body is constantly producing endoCannabinoids in order to maintain homeostasis and overall wellbeing. These endocannabinoids work with the ECS in order to maintain vital systems such as temperature control, sleep patterns, hunger, mood, and many more vital functions.
The body is literally built to process cannabinoids! It works with both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids to keep you kicking.
How Cannabinoids Work
Now that you have a basic understanding of how the endocannabinoid system works, let’s take a deeper dive into how phytocannabinoids work within the body.
The two most common phytocannabinoids that I’m sure you’ve been hearing plenty about are cannabibidiol (CBD) and TetraHydroCannabinol (THC). It’s important to recognize the distinction between these two. So, let’s get the biggest one outta the way: CBD will not get you high. CBD is what’s known as a non-psychotropic, meaning that it will not affect your mental state.
CBD provides phenomenal benefits:
- vasodilatador (reduced blood pressure)
- appetite suppressor
- has been shown to support epilepsy
CBD has been a lifeline for many treating arthritis, diabetes, sleep apnea, insomnia, nausea, and has even seen great results for cancer patients and those with dementia and Alzheimers.
THC on the other hand is what produces many of the common effects you’d experience with getting high… specifically the altered mental state, increased appetite, lethargy, nausea, and “feeling heady”.
While THC has built a name for itself in the recreational market of cannabis, it still plays a vital role in boosting CBD’s effectiveness via the entourage effect. While large amounts of THC can have adverse effects, trace amounts can play a synergistic role with CBD and many other cannabinoids, boosting their effectiveness while also keeping adverse effects to a minimum.
It’s worth noting that federal regulation requires under 0.3% THC for all CBD products outside of the medicinal market. In the medicinal cannabis market, you’ll see larger ratios of CBD to THC, with some even reaching 1:1 ratios. That is why I am a huge fan of Eaton Hemp’s CBD, rather than isolating the CBD and removing it from its natural state, they keep it unfiltered so it provides the full entourage effect and maximum benefits while sticking to the 03% THC level.
Terpenes can also play a huge role in boosting the entourage effect. We live with terpenes in our daily lives, if you’re familiar with the smell of pine or peppermint you’ve already had a first hand terpene experience!
Terpenes are essentially aromatic compounds that the cannabis plant produces in order to attract pollinators in their environment. One of the most common terpenes is Pinene, which has the benefit of reducing inflammation and aiding in sleep.
Terpenes are not just limited to CBD. Peppers, citrus fruits, and even beer have them! They are simply a compound the plant releases to stay healthy. The ones in full-spectrum CBD compounds happen to provide huge health benefits for inflammation, which is the root cause to most disease.
So Many Options!
The wonderful world of CBD is as vast as it is confusing… let’s see if I can provide a bit more clarity here… because there are so, so many options out there! Understanding what option will work best for you is vital to having a successful experience with CBD.
The first step is breaking down the three classifications of CBD: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
Full Spectrum these products contain the “full spectrum” of cannabinoids, often taking the whole plant approach when formulating. This means that all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids are present, including trace amounts of THC. Because of this, the entourage effect will be in full swing and will provide you with the most potent benefits after supplementing. I like to think of it as eating an orange vs taking a vitamin C pill. Supplementing with full spectrum CBD is like eating a whole orange. The other options, are like taking the vitamin C pill. With the orange, you’re getting the full benefit of all the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals as opposed to the concentrated vitamin C pill.
Broad Spectrum this type of product has all of the cannabinoids present minus THC. These products are your best bet for getting the most out of your CBD regimen without putting any THC in your system. The entourage effect is weak, so the benefits won’t be as substantial as a full spectrum product.
Isolate this is isolated CBD. Think back to the orange versus vitamin C pill above. This is the vitamin C pill. Isolates have no other cannabinoids or terpenes present other than clean, unadulterated CBD. Zero entourage effect.
A couple of other terms to look out for as it relates to quality and types of CBD (going another layer down from what we just explored…
Some brands produce what’s called raw, or unfiltered, CBD which generally have a darker color and have a more herbal taste to them. This is because unfiltered CBD contains more of the naturally occurring plant terpenes and cannabinoids that are naturally present in the cannabis plant.
On the flip side, some brands will have the words, pure, or filtered. These are CBD oils where much of the synergistic potential of the cannabis plant has been removed. Therefore, much of the terpenes and cannabinoids are no longer there. These CBD products are great options for those who have a sensitive palate and don’t enjoy the taste of CBD, but still want to supplement. Other than that, I don’t recommend filtered or pure options because they won’t give you the same results as the raw and unfiltered options. Basically, the more potent the entourage effect the more satisfied you’ll be with your purchase, and filtered products will leave you wanting more.
Delivery Methods Make a Huge Impact
So now that we’ve got categories out of the way, it’s time to get into the real nitty gritty to help you find which delivery method is best for you.
The one delivery method everyone knows, and almost every brand creates, is in tincture form. A good tincture should contain CBD and other cannabinoids along with a liquid carrier agent. The carrier agent is the oil that delivers the tincture. Oils like MCT oil and hemp seed oil are often used. Other products I’ve seen use liquid coconut oil and even olive oil. Your chosen career agent is completely based on preference and does not affect the potency of your product, just shelf life!
Tinctures are best taken under the tongue, leaving the oil in contact with your gums for at least 30 seconds before swallowing. This ensures the most of the product is absorbed by your gums. Between 30 to 90 minutes, you should begin to feel the effect of the CBD. CBD tinctures will last between 2 to 4 hours and are best started at low dosages, slowly working your way up to find a dose that works best for you, and your ECS.
CBD also can be delivered via capsules and edibles. These options are great for those that don’t enjoy the taste of CBD. Capsules are handy if you want to incorporate CBD into your supplement routine along with your other supplements. If you’re forgetful with these things, the capsules are handy!
Edibles on the other hand can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. My concern with edibles is that the ingredients of the edibles are usually less than great. Sugar, grains, all the things that lead to inflammation, in low CBD dosages… not my favorite.
With both capsules and edibles, it’ll generally take around 1 to 2 hours before you begin to feel an effect. Capsules and edibles are a great source for those looking to treat the same symptoms as a tincture but over the course of their day. With capsules there is one caveat, the body isn’t that great at digesting oils. Because of this you should only expect between 20 to 40% of the CBD per capsule to make its way into your bloodstream to start working its magic.
Last, but not least are CBD topicals, which include both lotions and salves… really anything that gets absorbed directly into the skin. Topicals are provided by many brands, but what you really want to look for is potency because not all formulations are created equal!
Many brands charge an arm and a leg for mid range lotions (200 to 400mg of CBD per bottle) whereas what you really want to be looking for is something around the 1000mg range. Topicals are a great way to treat chronic pain in localized areas where potency matters! A great example of uses for topicals include muscle soreness, arthritis, scarring, and even sunburns. After applying, you should begin to feel relief within 20 minutes and the affects should last for about 1 to 2 hours. Simply apply where needed and use as much as needed until you feel as if your symptoms are manageable.
What I Look for When Searching for CBD
Now that you’re a CBD pro, and you’ve successfully narrowed down your options when planning out your CBD regimen, your final and most important choice is to find a good brand that you can trust. And, I’d like to offer my personal recommendation.
One of the most important facets in producing CBD is having quality grow standards. That means not using pesticides or herbicides. An easy way to understand the quality of a brand without even looking at a lab report is to figure out if they’re USDA Certified Organic. If it’s not USDA certified, the “organic” label means nothing.
When shopping for a brand, you want to make sure they’re putting your health over profits and one of the best ways to check is by looking through the lab reports all brands should provide to their customers. In these reports, it’ll be clear what the amounts of CBD and THC are, and the amount should match what’s advertised.
The report should also read “ND” (AKA None Detected) for all herbicides and pesticides. Lab reports can be tricky at times and can take a professional eye to notice discrepancies. If you’re having trouble reading the lab report or just have questions, give the brand a call. A good brand should place customer service above all else to make sure you’re educated and taken care of. If they can’t answer your questions, or make you feel less-than for asking them, move on!
Finding a CBD company that provides lab reports, understands their product, happily provides a detailed breakdown of formulation step by step, creates a full spectrum, USDA certified organic and unfiltered product, all with a fair price, is the IDEAL setup.
I’d be lying if I said this process was easy or simple. There are a lot of garbage out there, and a lot of companies that trick you with wording, charge far too much for a subpar product, and trick you with marketing schemes to make you think you’re getting the best.
The best thing you can do? Try out a couple of brands until you settle on one that you love. Try different potencies, delivery systems, etc. Or, if that sounds like way too much work, and far too costly, you could just try Eaton Hemp. This is the brand that I landed on after trying about 7 other brands.
Eaton hemp checks all the boxes on the above – they do all the right things, have all the right features, and delivery a high quality product that every single member of my family (dogs included!) benefit from on a daily basis.
So Much Potential
Hopefully this breakdown has helped you on your CBD journey. While this is a newer industry, it’s proven its worth to myself, friends, and family (including my dogs!).
Accessibility for CBD products continue to grow. Please, please don’t waste your money on any ‘ol thing. I encourage you to try numerous brands and delivery methods until you’ve found something you agree with and that actually makes you feel great.
I like to call CBD a personalized medicine and it’s true, you have all the power here to take your wellness back in your hands. With that being said, I highly recommend you start here and I promise you’ll save time in the search to find a brand and product that WORKS!
This article is written by Leanne Vogel, owner of healthfulpursuit.com
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