Known for its calming and rejuvenating properties on both the body and mind, CBD is becoming increasingly popular due to its many health benefits, minus the intoxicating side effects commonly associated with marijuana. Made by mixing extracted and diluted CBD with a carrier oil such as coconut, CBD oil is an effective remedy for many common health issues such as chronic pain and anxiety. It is an excellent option for those looking to turn towards alternative and natural medicines.
While the CBD industry continues to flourish and make controversial headlines, ever-increasing scientific studies are confirming its many surprising health benefits, thrusting it from a niche market into the mainstream consumer limelight. San Francisco Patient and Resource Center (SPARC) is one of the companies that have brought it mainstream.
What Are the Uses of CBD?
CBD is commonly used to treat and reduce anxiety and help those who have insomnia, with some studies suggesting that CBD helps with falling and staying asleep. CBD is also said to stimulate the appetite in the same way that marijuana does, which could help those who struggle with suppressed appetites. It is also increasingly used as a practical option for treating various types of chronic pain due to its influence on the receptors which regulate serotonin, the feel-good hormone. CBD has shown promising results when it comes to treating seizures and helping with a magnitude of other health problems such as depression, drug addiction, epilepsy, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, and even Parkinson’s disease.
CBD has also been known to help those who have cancer, and while the National Cancer Institute doesn’t fully endorse the use of CBD as a treatment, it does recognize its positive effect on patients. These include alleviation of cancer symptoms as well as the adverse side effects resulting from treatment. That is due to its ability to change cell production and decrease moderate inflammation shown in early studies investigating CBD’s role in preventing cancer cell growth.
Hemp-Derived Versus Marijuana-Derived
There are two variations for the cannabis plant, which produces CBD – hemp and marijuana. Although there are some notable differences, CBD extracted from either plant remains identical on both a molecular and pharmacological level. In other words, regardless of which plant it came from, CBD is CBD.
Hemp plants tend to differ from marijuana plants in both appearances, as well as their levels of THC. This cannabinoid possesses the intoxicating properties for which cannabis is so famous. Hemp plants are often scarce in foliage and skinny in appearance as opposed to their marijuana counterparts and are grown primarily for their fiber and seeds in industrial hemp plants. In contrast, marijuana plants have thick foliage and flowers, which contain intoxicating properties.
Marijuana-derived CBD oils, therefore, could be considered the stronger out of the two, often containing higher levels of the psychoactive THC compared to hemp products. While both can be easily found on the adult-use market and are legally available, those using marijuana-derived CBD oils should prepare themselves for the ‘high’ effect of THC.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or CBD Isolate?
Full Spectrum: This type of CBD oil hasn’t been filtered during the extraction process. A full spectrum oil contains all the cannabinoids and natural properties found in the cannabis plant. That includes cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), the all-important THC, and other types of cannabinoids.
Broad Spectrum: This type of CBD oil is like the full spectrum in that it still contains all the cannabidiols and other compounds found with the plant. However, there is a new extraction process that takes place which filters out and thoroughly removes all traces of THC. Consumers needn’t worry though, due to the remaining cannabinoids, the oil still produces the same effect only without the THC. The main benefit is greater control over specific cannabinoid ratios, leading to higher product consistency.
CBD Isolate: The most refined variation of all three, CBD isolate, can typically be found in two forms – large crystals or fine white powder, neither of which contain any specific odor or taste. The extraction process strips away all other active compounds and cannabinoids, leaving 99% pure CBD.
What Are the Different Ways You Can Take CBD?
Orally: CBD now comes in various edible forms, such as snacks and gummies, and is usually the easiest method for long-term use and supplementation. When ingested, the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream via the digestive tract, where it will then travel throughout the rest of your body. While oral consumption is generally the slowest route of absorption, it makes up for it by being active for a more extended period.
Tongue Tinctures: A popular way to take CBD is by placing the required dosage under the tongue, commonly done with products using oil tinctures. The CBD is then quickly and directly absorbed into the bloodstream thanks to the capillary-rich areas beneath the tongue, making it a faster route than swallowing.
Vaping: By being absorbed into the bloodstream directly through the lungs, inhalation is the quickest method to get CBD into your system, with bloodstream levels peaking within only 10 minutes. However, it also has the shortest activity period.
Topical: An excellent method for treating pain and skin conditions, CBD oil can now be found in a wide range of products, including soaps, oils, creams, and bathing products. When applied topically, the CBD diffuses and is quickly absorbed through the skin, providing immediate and effective relief, with very little entering the bloodstream.
How Will CBD Make Me Feel?
Most users report overall positive effects when taking CBD, claiming that it relieves and reduces anxiety, alleviates soreness, contributes to a better night’s sleep, and promotes general feelings of calmness. However, a consumer’s CBD experience is very individual, with the exact effect often depending on the dosage and type of product used, diet, weight, metabolism speeds, and medical conditions.
Some products and dosages may be more beneficial than others, depending on what you are aiming to treat, and a small dose may have little to no effect at all. It’s also good to remember that the way your body absorbs CBD depends on how it is administered, e.g., topically or orally. For example, CBD oils are generally better suited to help those with sleeping problems, whereas topical treatments have been reported to provide adequate pain relief.
Users shouldn’t be worried about any drowsy and sleepy side effects, either. Most people report that the CBD releases tension in the body, leaving users feeling more at ease. Users will most likely experience a drop in stress levels resulting in an overall feeling of relaxation. While some users will experience a more potent effect, they are generally slow and subtle, and the overall effect will leave you feeling calm and anxiety-free.
What Is the Difference Between CBD Products and THC Products?
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, both of which interact with cannabinoid receptors found within the body. While both have the same chemical formula, their atoms have a slightly different arrangement causing THC to be psychoactive, whereas the CBD is not. That means that CBD will not get you high, and when ingested for medical and calming purposes, you will experience the positive effects without compromising your cognitive abilities. CBD’s slightly differing chemical formula is the reason why it is used more frequently in medical and dietary supplements than THC, which will give you a high.
How Do You Properly Store Away Your CBD Products?
To ensure your CBD oil shelf life, always make sure to store it in an upright position in an airtight bottle away from any extremities such as light, heat, or moisture. Store in a cool, dry, and dark place to ensure product stability such as in the kitchen pantry. If kept in the fridge, please keep in mind that there is a chance that the oil could thicken due to the very low temperature and may require heating before use.
Where Can I Get CBD Products?
Online stores: Fast, secure, and hassle-free, the majority of CBD products are now sold online, meaning that you can get your order delivered straight to your front door. Buying online generally gives you more options to choose from and allows you to look at customer reviews either on the site or through social media to see if the provider and products are good quality. It’s also good to bear in mind that CBD products sold on Amazon and online stores are not the same.
Dispensaries: Physical dispensaries selling medical cannabis within the US continue to grow, offering CBD products that meet health and safety law regulations. Medical dispensaries adhere to strict protocols, and while you won’t need a card to purchase hemp-based CBD, you will need to provide a medical certificate for plant-based CBD oil purchases. Some dispensaries, such as SPARC, now also offer CBD products online with convenient pick-up and same-day delivery services.
Specialty retail stores: You can purchase CBD products over the counter at specialty retail stores, allowing consumers to see the product before purchasing.
With the industry rapidly growing in recent years, it’s only just now starting to reach its true potential, making its evolution hard to predict. While we are only just discovering the many possibilities of CBD, one thing is for sure – that CBD is quickly rising to the top of the health and wellness market and is set to stay for the foreseeable future.
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