The role of CBD in wellness is still being defined as many different products such as CBD edibles, teas, balms and full-spectrum oils come onto the market. Many people are finding that CBD in one form or another is a valuable addition to their wellness routine. If you’re considering including it in yours, here are answers to some of the questions you may have.
Does CBD come from hemp or marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana both come from the Cannabis Sativa plant so they share certain traits but there are also distinct differences.
Hemp is harvested for its seeds, stalks and flowers. The seeds are often used in cosmetics or food, the stalks for building materials and clothing and the flowers for their cannabinoid content. The cannabinoid content is where the hemp plant differs most from the marijuana plant. Hemp contains high concentrations of CBD (cannabidiol) but almost no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Marijuana is cultivated for its resinous flowers and the THC content is much higher. The THC is the psychoactive compound that creates the euphoric high.
Many people opt to use CBD derived from hemp which has no mind-altering effects to include in their wellness routine.
How does CBD work in the body?
There is a great deal of interest in what CBD can or can’t do. However, scientific studies are still needed to back up the extensive anecdotal evidence. For example, there is anecdotal evidence that using CBD for various skin conditions is helpful and this is now being backed up by various scientific studies.
Many researchers are studying the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. This is the system that keeps various bodily functions in balance. CBD appears to naturally support the ECS and help it to work at its best. CBD helps to relieve anxiety and offer an overall sense of well-being. There is also evidence that CBD reduces inflammation and pain.
What kind of products can I include in a wellness routine?
CBD products are classified as dietary supplements and are available everywhere from airports to local drug stores and found in forms ranging from beauty creams to CBD-infused coffee. From CBD oils to gummies, there are CBD solutions that can complement every lifestyle.
You may find taking gummies before bedtime helps you to get to sleep or a few drops of a tincture under your tongue in the morning makes you feel alert and calm. A CBD topical may help you with sore muscles and joints.
Many people prefer using full-spectrum CBD products due to what is known as the ‘entourage’ effect. This is when all the constituents work together to produce effects that are stronger than when using each cannabinoid alone. Those who are particularly sensitive to the THC content in products may prefer using a CBD isolate which contains only CBD and no THC at all.
Oils and tinctures are easier to measure than edibles. Drops applied under the tongue go directly into the bloodstream so they work quickly, whereas edibles or capsules have to go through the digestive system first so they take longer to work. It is always important to start low and slowly increase the dosage of CBD over time.
How can I make sure the CBD products I buy are safe?
Where was the hemp grown? The growing of hemp is subject to various regulations in the U.S. which help to ensure that it is free from contaminants. This is important because hemp plants are very absorbent. Knowing where the hemp in your product was grown is important as you don’t want to include a product containing toxic chemicals, heavy metals or mold in your wellness routine.
What extraction methods were used? Extraction methods that use toxic solvents like propane or butane are cheap but toxic residues can remain in the products. Ethanol extraction is considered to be safer and so is CO2 extraction which uses carbon dioxide under high pressure with cold temperatures.
Can claims on the labels be substantiated? It is important to check whether claims made on labels can be substantiated. Labels that claim products contain a certain amount of CBD may contain none at all. The way to avoid buying low-quality products is to look for third party laboratory testing to back up the claims.
Reputable companies will have third party laboratory tests from accredited laboratories on their websites or be able to produce them on request. These tests will also reveal whether products contain pesticides, molds or heavy metals.
Are hemp-derived products legal?
Marijuana is federally illegal in the U.S. but states have their own laws and some have legalized recreational and medical use whereas others allow only medical use. This makes it illegal to transport CBD oil made from marijuana from a state where use is legal to one where it isn’t.
All hemp-derived products are legal. For many years it was illegal to grow hemp in the U.S. but the passing of the Farm Bill made it legal to grow and sell hemp as long as the hemp plants and hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3% of THC.
Hemp-derived CBD can be sold over-the-counter and is not difficult to obtain whereas CBD derived from marijuana containing more THC requires a doctor’s prescription in states that allow medical use and is sold at licensed dispensaries.
Will CBD interact with medications I take?
Research on CBD is promising but it may interact with medications and make their effects more powerful. This is why consulting with a medical professional is important before trying any form of cannabis, especially for those who take medications like SSRI antidepressants which can interact with cannabinoids.
A final word
Many people who have incorporated CBD into their wellness routine find that it enhances their well-being. Consistency is key and they report getting the most benefit out of taking CBD on a daily basis. They also stress the importance of using quality products from reputable suppliers in order to experience the most benefit.
The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids in Dermatology https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30517778/
Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A large case series