Have you noticed the new trend of hemp-based products to hit the market recently? Extracts from the cannabis plant can now be found in skin care products, make-up, medicinal products, drinks in cafes, infused flavored water, infused food products, and the list goes on and on. If you’ve been wondering exactly how cannabis extracts can be used in these applications, how it’s legal, and what the health benefits are, then keep reading as we explore it all.
To take it all back to where this new wave began, in 2018, President Donald Trump passed The Farm Bill, which has now allocated billions of dollars in subsidies to US farmers, including the legalization of the production of hemp, a form of cannabis with lower THC levels than marijuana.
The production of hemp will result in the making of cannabidiol (CBD) infused products to be used for medicinal and health and wellness benefits, with analysts predicting this could grow into a $20 billion industry by 2022. Not only will hemp farmers benefit, but it will also create jobs in all industries, creating a ripple effect.
Now that industries have clued onto what this magic oil can do, CBD infused products have popped up everywhere and we are now wondering how we can include it in our daily lives and how we can benefit. Since claiming CBD is the new ‘it’ remedy for health and wellness, CBD products have become increasingly popular, especially from those who suffer from chronic pain and anxiety and depression.
What is CBD?
What is CBD you ask? Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the flower of cannabis that contains therapeutic properties. CBD is a safe, non-addictive substance and is one of the more than a hundred ‘phytocannabinoids’ found in a cannabis plant.
Health Benefits of Using CBD
Scientific research is growing in favor of using CBD oil to treat a wide range of maladies including the following:
- Pain relief
- Stress and anxiety
- Supporting bone and heart health
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
- Gut disorders
- Metabolic syndrome
- Skin disease
CBD has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival”. This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance. Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells in adult mammals.
What is The Difference Between CBD & THC?
So now that you understand what CBD is, let's talk about THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is the magic compound that causes the high that cannabis is worldly famous for. THC can be used in smaller doses for medicinal purposes, but hemp only contains trace levels of THC - so you’re not going to get high from your new face cream!
Both CBD & THC carry significant therapeutic attributes, but they work in different ways, especially when sending different receptors to the brain and body. THC isn’t fully legalized everywhere, but thankfully CBD products are becoming more and more widely available.
Will CBD Oil Get You High?
The short answer is no but instead can provide relief for conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, inflammation, and depression and has even been found to carry anti-cancer properties.
Studies have also found that CBD products have been linked to effective treatment for seizures and are used by patients with epilepsy.
In December 2017, the World Health Organization declared in a report that cannabidiol (CBD) should not be internationally scheduled as a controlled substance and that in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to cause harm or cause abuse potential.
The Endocannabinoid System
Aside from the fact that CBD is becoming a popular additive to skin care and beauty products, there are massive health benefits associated with the use of Cannabinoids.
CBD can impact our bodies in many different ways, including regulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Research has found that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in regulating a range of physiological processes that affect our everyday life, including our mood, our energy levels, our intestinal fortitude, immune system, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, pain threshold, stress, hunger, and more.
So when the endocannabinoid system stops functioning properly, what happens next? Scientific research has found that the result of a chronically deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system can be linked to pathological conditions.
Including CBD as part of a treatment plan to monitor a deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system has been linked to regulating a poor endocannabinoid system and has been known to slow - or in some cases stop - disease progression.
How to Use CBD?
CBD products can come in many forms and make an easy transition into your current health routine. Once the CBD compound has been extracted from a cannabis plant, it is then packaged in the form of a concentrated oil or cream for a range of applications. CBD can be found in pharmaceutical products, beauty creams, shampoos, oils, make-up, candy, vaping products, flavored water, and can even be purchased as an all-purpose palliative for your furry four-legged friends who may suffer from anxiety. A bar in New York City has even introduced an entire menu of CBD-infused cocktails and food items.
How CBD should be used depends largely on what it’s being used for. We suggest talking with your health practitioner before using CBD oil.
Types of CBD Products
- Oils: CBD oils are the most potent and unprocessed form of cannabidiol. The oil is removed directly from the flowers, stalks, and seeds of the plant during the extraction process.
- Tinctures: A tincture is usually extracted with alcohol or another solvent.
- Concentrates: A stronger dosage of CBD.
- Capsules: Typically a capsule will contain 10-25 milligrams of CBD and can be taken with water.
- Topical: More and more topical products are popping up in the market in the form of lotions, salves, and balms. These can benefit the skin, joints, and muscles, working once absorbed by the skin.
- Edibles: Also becoming more popular, although difficult to measure exactly how much you are getting. Edibles come in the form of chocolate, coffee, baked goods, gummies, and more.
- Powders: Powders are another way to ingest internally and can be added to water, juice, teas, or smoothies. Be sure to do research on how to look for the highest quality powder.
- Vape Oils: A vape pen can be used though this requires heating which can have an effect on the CBD oil.
- Sprays: Sprays usually contain a lower dosage but can be another way to ingest internally.
Where Can I get CBD Oil?
For now, this will depend on where you are in the world and if you're in the United States, which state you are currently in. 29 states in the U.S. have legalized the medical use of Marijuana and 44 states legally allow usage of CBD Oil. The law differs from state to state and country to country so it’s best to do some research for your area.
Check Where You Source From
With the boom of CBD products, it’s no wonder that some are taking the chance to capitalize and get involved in this growing business so it is more important than ever to do your research on what you are buying and where it is coming from.
Don’t be confused by hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, it won’t have the same benefits of a CBD oil. Hemp oil has been available and legal for years, and although a great oil for cooking and your skin, the cannabinoids found in hemp oil are quite low - close to 0%.
Not always listed as hemp products, check for an ingredient called "cannabis seed oil" or "Cannabis sativa seed oil", which is the scientific name for hemp seed oil.
Be sure to read the labels and find out the total milligrams of CBD in the entire product vs. how many milligrams in a standard recommended dose of that product. All products will vary and it will also depend on what your individual goal is.
You will also want to check the CBD and THC ratio. Some products will have microdoses of THC but if you are looking for a product that is strictly CBD, you will want to look out for this when choosing a product.
Be a savvy buyer and ask questions! If you’re looking for a high-quality CBD oil, make sure you are buying full-spectrum hemp extract that contains the beneficial cannabinoids.
With America moving fast into the future of medicinal and wellbeing use of cannabis, we can’t wait to see other countries follow suit. We’ll continue to watch this trend unfold and share more information.
We would love to hear about your personal experiences with CBD and how you incorporate it into your daily health and wellbeing routines. Share in the comments below.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only, It is not intended to provide specific medical advice.