CBD has quickly become a commonly discussed topic in wellness circles … and with good reason. In the next five years, the CBD industry is slated to become a $22 billion market. That’s because hemp-based products transcend one singular niche. Research indicates CBD can strengthen general health, improve mental well-being, aid your beauty regimen, regulate sleep patterns, and help us trim fat.
Hemp is a plant that is a member of the Cannabis sativa genus and has a multitude of purposes. Our ancestors used to rely on this plant for food, clothing, and health. In fact, ancient texts, The Vedas, dubbed hemp one of the world’s five essential plants. So, what makes hemp so essential? Here are the top things you need to know before buying CBD.
1. CBD Can’t Get You High
For the longest time, the notion of CBD as a therapeutic agent was almost scoffed at. After all, with the rise of pharmaceutical companies, plant-based medicine seemed like a thing of the past. Investing money and research into a member of the Cannabis sativa family wasn’t high on the list of priorities for scientists and doctors. Therefore, hemp remained prohibited across the country alongside its cousin, marijuana.
As science and technology have evolved, so has research surrounding alternative therapies. This pique in interest has reopened a closed case against hemp.
In the 1960s, scientists discovered the molecule tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is one of 113 known cannabinoids (molecules) present in Cannabis sativa plants. It is also the primary compound in marijuana that causes the plant’s infamous euphoric feeling. However, THC is also the reason all Cannabis sativa plants were prohibited for decades.
Through additional research, scientists realized that hemp has very low levels of THC. They determined that hemp plants are male members of the Cannabis sativa family and cannot get you high. Meanwhile, marijuana is the female member of the group and contains all the psychoactive properties. This distinction is why CBD products are becoming so prevalent in the wellness community.
2. While Hemp is Legal in all 50 States, Not ALL CBD Products Are
2018 was a big year for hemp-based products. In the closing moments of the calendar year, Congress signed off on a new Farm Bill. A new statute under this bill changed the regulation of hemp from a schedule 1 controlled substance to a schedule 5. With this change, hemp was no longer under the authority of the Justice Department. Instead, it’s now upheld to the standards of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This changing of the guard makes most CBD products legal in all 50 states. However, you need to check the labels of your CBD oil to make sure. If you purchase a CBD oil from a company that resides in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, there may be THC in your product.
Under the Farm Bill, hemp-based products can only have 0.3% THC or less. That’s why any hemp-derived CBD oil should be legal. However, recreational states may use marijuana during their process. By introducing marijuana to the mix, the CBD oil will have a THC level above the legal limit of some states.
In addition, medical cannabis companies may also use marijuana in their CBD oil. This practice also applies to states where medical marijuana is legal but recreational is not. That’s because of the next thing you need to know before buying CBD.
3. Cannabinoids Create an Entourage Effect
As we mentioned, there are 113 known cannabinoids. They live in the terpenes of the hemp plant seeds, leaves, and stems. Terpenes are the molecules that have shown to have therapeutic benefits in essential oil studies. Therefore, cannabinoids are aromatic compounds found in hemp.
The benefits of CBD itself are astounding. However, they are bumped up a notch in the presence of other cannabinoids in the hemp plant.
Research indicates that hemp molecules can actually complement the benefits of one another. Scientific fields call this phenomenon the entourage effect.
4. Not All CBD Products Are of The Same Quality
When you purchase CBD oil, you might not get what you’re hoping for if you don’t read the label. Look to see what type of CBD oil you are buying. If you see the words, “CBD isolate,” it means that there is just CBD in the oil. While CBD isolate does have its benefits, you may not reap the rewards of the entourage effect.
To get the maximum benefits, look for a full-spectrum CBD oil or whole plant CBD oil. That means the 113 cannabinoids are also included in the formula. The inclusion of additional cannabinoids will help with the absorption and bioavailability of the CBD.
Also, make sure you are buying organic. The use of pesticides or inorganic additives will cause a chemical reaction with the cannabinoids. In essence, this will alter their genetic profile, ultimately decreasing the formula’s potency.
5. Hemp Interacts With Our Body Unlike Any Other Plant
We discussed the 113 cannabinoids and how they all have unique properties. What makes them unique is how they interact with our body.
Our system is made up of trillions of cells. On these cells live little receptors called CB1 and CB2. These receptors live throughout the system and hold a lot of influence over how the body operates.
When antibodies like free radicals and inflammation spring in the system, it causes the receptors to become alert. As receptors become alert, the whole body becomes alert.
The brain picks up on the impulses released by these receptors. Upon receiving the message, our mind will manifest the symptoms we feel. Depending on what triggered this response, we may have symptoms such as:
- Flaky skin
- Trouble sleeping
- Anxious thoughts
- Weight gain
- Cortisol production
- Reproductive issues
- Pain perception
The list goes on and on. That’s how important these receptors are. Want to know how influential CBD is?
When we allow CBD and other cannabinoids into our bloodstream, they also pick up on the stressed-out receptors. What’s unique about cannabinoids is that some (like THC), bind onto the receptors. While these cannabinoids do their thing, CBD stimulates the tissues on the outside of the receptors.
As cannabinoids interact with the receptors, it creates a sedative-like effect on the system. The ever-knowing brain also gets this newfound signal. With this change of tune, the mind has a change of heart. That is why CBD products have provided relief for millions of people with a wide range of ailments. This complex workflow is known as the endocannabinoid system.
6. There Are Many Ways to Use CBD
You’ve noticed CBD oil has many uses. The same goes for how to use CBD. What’s so amazing about CBD is that the ways we consume the products dictate the experience.
We’ll break down the ways to use CBD into three distinct categories:
- Sublingually – Under Tongue (Vape, Beverages, Tinctures)
- Digestive – In Digestive System (Supplement Capsules, Edibles)
- Topically – Through Skin (Balms, Lotions, Salves)
Poke your tongue underneath itself. That sensitive area is full of capillaries. These blood vessels will link to the CBD found in a vape or tincture. From there, they transport the cannabinoids into the system via the thin layer of skin just under the tongue.
Sublingual CBD is a great way to get your CBD serving quickly. With that being said, you will also burn through the CBD at a faster rate because it was so readily available.
Consuming CBD allows for longer effects. That’s because your body must break down the solid matter surrounding the CBD. Therefore, your CBD will enter in the system in spurts, all depending on the serving and other foods you’ve consumed. While the effects may last longer than sublingually, they also take longer to kick in.
Topicals are growing in popularity. You just rub the CBD products into your skin. From there, your pores do the rest. We’ll get to this a bit more in the next thing you need to know before buying CBD.
7. CBD Beauty Care is a Thing
Remember the endocannabinoid system? It comes into play here. Our skin is the largest organ on our body. It has a lot of responsibilities such as keeping the inside safe. So, it needs a first line of defense for any bacteria or virus entering through the pores. Enter the cannabinoid receptors!
These receptors are directly under your epidermis and are waiting for any signs of intrusion. When that happens, the receptors send those negative impulses out into the endocannabinoid system. This response may result in blotchiness, reddening, or itchy skin areas.
Seeing as the skin has an endocannabinoid system, it’s a no-brainer to add CBD to your beauty regimen. However, CBD also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative-like effects. Therefore, it can also help rejuvenate dying cells and flush out the dead ones. These benefits result in clearing clutter from your epidermis, causing your skin to glow on the outside.
8. Using CBD Can Help You Lose Weight
While many equate cannabis with eating a lot of food, CBD actually does the opposite. When CB1 gets stimulated, it tends to cause hunger pains. That is why chemo patients or those with anorexia are given CBD products with high levels of THC. THC will bind to the CB1 receptors and promote the growth of ghrelin, our hunger hormone.
CBD interacts predominantly with the CB2 receptor. Research indicates the CB2 receptor increases production of peptide YY, a protein that makes us feel full. Therefore, we don’t binge eat for no reason.
Also, CBD stimulates our fat cells. The cotton candy-like lining around our gut is full of adipose tissue. This white tissue is sticky and attracts more fat cells. When it turns white, it becomes harder for our body to draw on the tissue for energy.
When CBD enters the system, it stimulates the tissue. Stimulated tissue turns a beige color. This process is known as fat-browning. Fat-browning makes fat cells easier for your body to draw upon. In turn, you will have more energy and less tissue clogging up your waistline.
9. CBD Products Are Unregulated
While hemp products are legal in all 50 states, they are not under the eye of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The USDA is only concerned with making sure the hemp used to create the product is in adherence to federal regulations. No one is looking at the CBD companies that make the oils.
Therefore, you want to choose a transparent company. Many CBD companies follow the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for a laboratory. Before purchasing a product, check to see if they have a cGMP certificate on their page.
Even better, see if they welcome third-party laboratory testing. That means the CBD company allows an unbiased party to come in and assess their formula purity. Regular inspections should be updated on their website. If a company has this much transparency, you can feel more confident you are getting a quality product.
10. There Are No Known Harmful Side Effects of Using CBD
Do you want to know why millions are turning to CBD products? There are no known harmful side effects. To this day, there has been no recorded history of someone dying from too much CBD.
With that being said, too much CBD can cause you to feel a bit tired or nauseous. So, if you are using CBD for the first time, start slow. Also, make sure you aren’t driving. You want to see how your body reacts to this new product.
However, millions use CBD during work, prior to working out, and just before bedtime. The beauty of CBD is that you can tailor it to meet your needs.
Harvard does suggest, however, “CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.”
Anytime you change up your routine, like taking on a new exercise or supplement, consult your physician. They should be aware of these changes so they can warn you of any risks. We are all different. While the majority are safe, you don’t want to take the risk when it comes to your individual health.
Have you experienced the benefits of CBD? What are your favorite ways to use CBD? Let us know in the comments below!