Charlotte Figi’s impact on the CBD movement

The CBD movement really gained traction because of a girl named Charlotte Figi. She had a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Charlotte first started having seizures when she was only three months old. By the time Charlotte reached five, she was experiencing 300 grand mal seizures a week.

Her parents had tried every therapy they could think of by then and nothing worked. Charlotte had lost the ability to walk, talk, and her heart had stopped a number of times and doctors had lost all hope of helping this child. As a last resort, her parents decided to try medical marijuana with a small amount of marijuana called R4. It was low in THC but high in CBD. 

The results were stunning. Charlotte started with a small dose of R4 and the seizures all but stopped. Then she started taking 3 to 4 milligrams of CBD oil per pound of her body weight with food.  Charlotte’s miraculous recovery from seizures using CBD oil inspired the creation of the CBD company called Charlotte’s Web

CBD studies have gained momentum

The last 5 years have shown a remarkable increase in publications on CBD mainly stimulated by the discovery of its anti-inflammatory antioxidant and neuroprotective effects.

These studies have highlighted a wide range of possible therapeutic effects of CBD oil with conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis,  and other inflammatory diseases including nausea and cancer. Much of the evidence that we have with CBD and its benefits come from everyday users. 

Some are backed by hard science and clinical trials, but it’s still early and CBD research and its effects on the body and the endocannabinoid system provide positive effects on just about everything including appetite anxiety and depression. Not to mention bone development, immune function, memory, pain perception, reproduction, and sleep.

CBD health benefits 

Many CBD users report that when using CBD oil for the first time in years that pent-up stress and anxiety begin to fade. Many find that CBD is effective in relieving the symptoms of depression.  You should also experience an improved quality of sleep along with an overall improvement in mood.

Users report relief from pain caused by fibromyalgia arthritis, lupus, migraines, and back surgery. Several user reviews reported remission from several various types of cancer.  Several animal studies back up this anticancer benefit of CBD oil. 

CBD seems to be effective in relieving the symptoms of bipolar manic depression. Others report the absence of seizures from epilepsy since starting CBD oil. Overall CBD oil offers a calming effect for those who tried it or use it consistently and many talk about their first good night’s sleep in years.  

Now if you have done any research or have practical experience using CBD oil you know that a recommended dosage can vary depending on several variables. The dosage of CBD oil depends on you– on the condition that you’re treating, your body weight, and how your body reacts to cannabidiol. Dosage differs from one person to the next. The Mayo Clinic has provided recommended CBD dosage based on scientific research that you can find here.

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The science behind why CBD works

What is CBD?

CBD is one of at least a hundred and twenty phyto-cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant constituting around 40 percent of the plant’s active compounds. 

Cannabidiol can be extracted from industrial hemp or synthesized in the lab.  Both hemp and marijuana are versions of the Cannabis Sativa plant.  Now the percentage of CBD in hemp plants by dry weight is lower than the percentage of CBD of some hybrids of medical marijuana plants. 

But once the oil is extracted, the molecular structure of CBD is the same regardless of the source. Now CBD does not have the same mind-altering effects as the main plant compound THC.  In fact, CBD is able to counter the mind-altering effects caused by THC. 

CBD extracts primarily come from the cannabis flower and leaves of the marijuana plant and from the flower leaves and stalks of hemp. Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant but cannot offer the same therapeutic benefits as CBD oil.  

This is important: CBD oil and hemp oil are NOT the same and should not be confused. You will not experience the same benefits as hemp oil as you will with CBD oil. 

Please note that depending on the hybrid cannabis provides anywhere from four to thirty five percent of THC while hemp is regulated to contain less than 0.3 percent THC.  

Cannabinoids as medicine

In 1999, the US Department of Health and Human Services obtained a patent for the neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia.

CBD is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and provides anti-tumor properties among others.

CBD has been shown to have potential in the treatment of depression, neuro inflammation, epilepsy, oxidative stress, vomiting in nausea, anxiety, and schizophrenia. 

CBD was first isolated in pure form in 1940 simultaneously from American hemp and Egyptian hashish. Since then much of the research has been conducted on THC compared to CBD likely because THC produces the mind altering effects and CBD does not alter your mind.

In fact, clinical studies and reports by ordinary neuro-hackers show that CBD can help prevent the psychotic-like effects induced by high doses of THC. Cannabis is native of Central and South southern Asia and has been used for millennia to produce hemp fiber for bowstrings, clothing, rope, livestock feed medicine, religious ceremonies, and recreation. 

CBD science is catching up

People were using cannabis to get stoned thousands of years ago but it has only been in the last few years that scientists have begun to piece together how and what cannabis does to your brain.  Endocannabinoid is short for endogenous cannabinoid.

Endogenous means that it’s native to our bodies. The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a group of receptors located throughout your brain and body and consists of signaling molecules in their receptors.

The EECS is involved in various processes including appetite, mood, memory, pain sensation, stress response, energy balance, metabolism, and even female reproduction. 

The Endocannabinoid System

Now the two primary endocannabinoid receptors are cb1 and cb2. Cb1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system. It is the main molecular target of the endocannabinoid and anandamide which is produced in your body and the THC you get from cannabis. 

The other main endocannabinoid is 2 AG which is also produced in your body and CBD which you get from cannabis. Both 2 AG and CBD are active at both the CB1 and CB2 receptors but CBD cannot directly bind with the CB1 receptor like THC can.  CB2 receptors are mainly expressed in immune cells in your body.

The overall function of the ECS is to maintain balance of the nervous system. Normally we think of neurotransmitters as moving in the direction of synaptic firing. In other words it’s moving from the sending neuron to the receiving neuron to produce some action. 

Endocannabinoids, on the other hand, are unique because they act more like retrograde neurotransmitters. They act in the opposite direction of synaptic flow. Endocannabinoids and the synapse temporarily reduced the amount of neurotransmitter released from the sending neuron meaning the receiving neuron exerts control over the amount of neurotransmitter that it receives.

Now let’s circle back to cannabis. CBD and THC are collectively known as cannabinoids and both interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in your body and brain. THC can talk directly to the CB1 receptor but not see CBD. 

Instead, CBD increases the activity of the native endocannabinoid system by increasing cannabinoid receptor density and by inhibiting FAA which is our fatty acid amide hydrolase which increases levels of endocannabinoids like the Bliss molecule anandamide.

CBD is also an agonist of the 5HTA serotonin receptor. So the combination of increasing anandamide in serotonin activity likely provides the anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects of CBD.  

CBD can relieve anxiety

CBD oil is anti-anxiety. Human and animal studies show that CBD works as an anxiolytic. The first human study was published in 1982 on the interaction between CBD and THC. The study worked with eight healthy volunteers with a mean age of 27 years. 

The participants had not used cannabis in the previous 15 days. In this double-blind procedure, the volunteers received CBD, THC, CBD + C + THC, diazepam,  or a placebo in different sequences in days. 

The results show that the increased anxiety following the administration of THC was significantly reduced with the simultaneous administration of CBD. That is the combination of THC and CBD.

Several other studies with humans have since been conducted to determine how CBD produces this anti-anxiety effect.  The consensus appears to be that CBD alters blood flow in specific areas of the brain. One study had healthy volunteers using 400 milligrams of CBD or a placebo in a double-blind trial. 

The researchers concluded that CBD significantly reduced anxiety. The study found that CBD increases activity in the left parahippocampal gyrus and decreased activity in the left amygdala hippocampus complex including the fusiform gyrus.This pattern of spec results is what is normally associated with the anxiolytic action. 

CBD can help with depression

Second, CBD oil is antidepressant. Reviews of many who regularly use CBD oil report its antidepressant effects. Studies have shown that CBD inhibits 5h t18 serotonin receptor activity which would raise levels of serotonin and provide an improvement in mood.  But there is also speculation among the scientific community that CBD also provides its antidepressant effects by increasing levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide likely by inhibiting their breakdown.

Other studies have shown that CBD facilitates other actions in the brain both in humans and animals that could contribute to an improvement in mood including modifying the function of several receptors such as cb1 and cb2, GPR 55,  TRPV1 and 5h t1a receptors.

CBD also inhibits FAAH,  the enzyme which increases levels of the bliss molecule anandamide and inhibits the adenosine transporter which would increase levels of adenosine. This all possibly contributes to a better mood and a decrease in depression.

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Will CBD show up on a drug test?

Today I want to talk to you about one of the most common questions that we get. Will CBD trigger a positive drug test? The simple answer to that is yes. Yes, it is very possible and there’s a lot of misinformation out there telling you that you can take their CBD product and not fail the drug screening. The only way that is possible is if they are selling you a CBD isolate

When you take a drug test for marijuana, they’re looking for the compound THC. So even though CBD contains 0.3% THC or less, the chances of it showing up in a drug screening are very slim especially if you’re an athlete and a fit person with low body fat that’s working out a lot.  

Sedentary lifestyle can effect test results

The process of sweating is basically flushing that out of your system on a continual basis but at the same time if you’re taking it on a regular daily basis especially in high doses it can build up in your system over time. What this means is people who might be sedentary and slightly overweight have more body fat and those people are more likely to trigger a positive on a drug test.

But the reality is that it’s possible to test positive for THC regardless of your metabolism or activity level. Keep in mind that if you decide to take CBD oil and if you have to pass a drug screening on a regular basis or random testing for work, you could trigger a positive so be aware of that. 

I also encourage my readers to have conversations with their employers especially if you’re wanting to get off from super pharmaceutical medications or have been struggling with chronic pain.  Let them know what you want to do and maybe they’ll work with you depending on who your employer is. 

CBD isolate will minimize the risk

So now let’s talk about some of the solutions. If you’re wanting to take CBD but are so concerned with the drug screening and you don’t want to risk it you should look into a CBD isolate. Make sure you look at the lab reports and check to see if their cannabinoid profiles are actually present and it contains CBD. Secondly, make sure it’s clean and there’s no residual solvents, no pesticides, and make sure it’s grown organically.  

Read labels and verify test results

Do all the research you would normally do when buying a full spectrum CBD and do that with a CBD isolate as well. That being said, you can still fail a drug screening with the CBD isolate but it’s a very slim chance. I have to make that statement just in case one of you goes out there and gets a CBD to isolate and still triggers a positive. But the chances are extremely slim especially if you verify the lab results to prove that there is 0% THC detected.

I hope you found this information beneficial and I hope it shed a little bit of light on this industry as a whole. The CBD industry is still in its infancy and although there is some regulation, with time more extensive studies and regulations will be in place to further protect the public. Until then, please do your research by analyzing the labels and verifying the test results.

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Why you should never buy CBD from Amazon

Today we will be addressing the concept of buying CBD oil on Amazon and why it’s NOT a good idea. First and foremost, it’s against Amazon’s policy. Amazon doesn’t allow CBD oil products to be sold on their website. 

If you go to the Amazon Seller Support page you will see specifically in writing they do not allow the sale of CBD oil products. Yet sometimes sellers sneak through the cracks and that’s the reason you may see several products on Amazon being advertised as CBD oil, even though it may not actually be legitimate. 

How fake CBD appears on Amazon

These unscrupulous sellers are using key phrases like “CBD oil” to get their product to show up on Amazon and what they’re actually offering you is nothing more than hemp seed oil which is very misleading.

By reading the product descriptions, you will notice that it’s only extracted from the seeds of the plant, not the actual flower, which is where the cannabinoids in the CBD come from. What this means is that most of the “CBD products” you see on Amazon, are not CBD at all. 

On occasion, you might see sellers slip through the Amazon gatekeepers because they’re using terminology like “hemp extract.” They’re just using those phrases to get their product listed. A lot of the time what you will see is those products are being sold by third parties so they’re not even being sold by the CBD manufacturer themselves. 

In situations like this, you cannot guarantee the integrity of the product. You don’t know for sure if what you’re getting is the actual product. I have seen other brands having their products mimic basically the packaging design and things like that. 

And so there are fake products being sold on Amazon masquerading as real CBD oil, when most of the time, it’s not. So you really have to watch out when buying from these third-party sellers. But most importantly, you have to watch out for the CBD oils you see on Amazon because almost always it’s not real CBD but instead something called hemp seed oil. 

Hemp oil is different from CBD oil 

So let’s talk about the difference between CBD oil and Hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is only oil from the hemp seeds. They are devoid of all the therapeutic and medicinal benefits you get from CBD. When you have hemp extract, also known as CBD, you get the whole array of cannabinoids found in the plant including CBD, which is where you get all the medicinal and therapeutic benefits.

So if you’re shopping on Amazon for CBD, first and foremost just don’t do it. But if you do buy something on Amazon, make sure you do your due diligence and make sure you’re getting an actual CBD product. 

Three tips to ensure you’re getting real CBD

But to be safe the best thing you can do is go buy directly from one of the authorized CBD manufacturers listed here.  And when you’re shopping for CBD oil there’s a few things you need to look out for. 

First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re buying a full spectrum CBD product, which   contains trace amounts of THC and a whole array of cannabinoids. You’re gonna get more medicinal and therapeutic benefits from a full spectrum CBD versus a CBD isolate. 

The second thing, make sure you’re buying from a supplier that uses organic hemp grown in the United States. Don’t buy anything unless you know for sure that the plant is organic. It doesn’t necessarily have to have the USDA Organic Certification but make sure that it is organically grown. 

The third thing you wanna look for is third party lab tests. So make sure that the supplier you’re buying from is providing you with these lab results that show the actual cannabinoid content in the product. 

And if they don’t provide this, run away because they’re trying to hide something. In some cases, the CBD brand may not publish it directly on their website but if you email them and reach out to them they will provide it, but if they don’t be very wary. 

And a lot of the time these third-party lab results will also show other things such as they’ll show pesticide if they have pesticides in them or not, heavy metals, and things like that. 

Summary

So those are all things you need to look out for when you’re buying a CBD product. Make sure it’s full-spectrum, make sure it comes from organic hemp grown in the United States, and also make sure that they provide third-party lab results because that’s how you can verify the integrity of the product.

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CBD Extraction: Everything You Need To Know

Hemp products are everywhere. CBD legalization in 2018 has sent the industry into hyperdrive with extracts showing up in oils, edibles, muscle rubs, face creams, transdermal patches. It sounds like magic, but it’s a safe manufacturing process that removes the potent plant compounds and infuses them into an organic oil for quick and easy use. 

What is CBD extraction?

CBD is one of 545 compounds in the hemp plant. You can smoke the flowers to take advantage of the undisturbed blend of terpenes, flavonoids, minerals, and fatty acids. However, many consumers prefer hemp extracts. These involve drying and using one of the methods below to separate the naturally occurring plant chemicals from the flowers, leaves, stems, and stalk. 

There are several CBD oil extraction methods. The hemp industry is following processing techniques used for other products for decades and even longer. For example, many beauty items are botanical extracts, and so are essential oils. 

C02 Extraction Method

The hemp industry sees C02 CBD extraction as the gold standard. The solventless removal uses carbon dioxide to safely extract the compounds and protect as many phytochemicals as possible during the process. There are three types of C02 CBD extraction. 

Supercritical:

A supercritical state is when the chemical is a gas and a liquid at the same time. Processors achieve this state with low temperatures and high pressure. The gas can penetrate organic matter, and the liquid portion allows it to remove the plant’s chemicals. It reaches supercritical at 1071 psi and 31.1 degrees Celsius. 

Subcritical: 

Subcritical is similar to supercritical but uses less pressure and lower temperatures. These reductions increase the processing time. But the advantage is the process does a better job of protecting the terpenes and other compounds that can get destroyed at the higher temperature and pressure. Subcritical methods produce a thicker, almost molasses-like consistency. 

Mid-critical:

As you may have guessed, mid-critical CO2 extraction is the sweet spot between supercritical and subcritical removal. It preserves more of the compounds than supercritical and doesn’t take as long as subcritical processing. 

CO2 is the ideal option. The lack of volatile chemicals makes the manufacturing process safer for technicians and the product safer for consumers. But it is the most expensive and requires a full, advanced lab.

It’s best used for larger manufacturers with large batches to process. CO2 extraction also produces a lower product yield than other methods. It’s also slower, averaging four to six hours to process 20lbs of plant material. 

Manufacturers use a closed-loop system that allows them to reuse the CO2. These differences reduce the impact on the environment. 

Alcohol CBD Removal

The solvent CBD extraction process uses ethanol, butane, or other low-grade alcohols to remove the plant chemicals. While this isn’t as expensive as CO2, the safety for this method depends on the solvent.  The preferred is ethanol, a highly purified alcohol. When completed properly, the technique is considered safe, affordable, and effective. It also produces a higher yield than any other method. 

However, it can leave more chlorophyll in the mix, producing a low-quality CBD oil with a strong plant taste. There is a way to fix this, but it requires a refining process, which can further reduce the final product’s additional compounds. Some brands make adjustments by adding a blend of phytochemicals, such as unique terpene profiles, back into the final product. 

This step improves the quality but also increases the manufacturing costs. Besides, many consumers consider these extra steps damaging to the organic nature of the hemp extracts. 

Ethanol doesn’t have the safe manufacturing levels you can find with other processes. If it’s not done correctly, it can be hazardous and even deadly. Another downside to solvent-based extraction is that it destroys the other phytochemicals, such as the terpenes, flavonoids, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

Unlike C02, which is considered a solventless process, ethanol, and other solvents will leave behind trace residue. Experts report that up .5% is safe for consumption, but there aren’t many studies to confirm. 

Carrier Oil Method 

The carrier oil is an excellent option for people with small-scale CBD businesses or personal use. It’s a highly safe process that’s effective, but it can take several hours to a few weeks to make a single batch depending on the used recipe. Using a carrier oil is the least expensive method and easy to do with a few tools. 

You can use any oil, but the most common are olive, hempseed, and coconut oil. The first step here is to decarboxylate the hemp by heating it at a low temperature for a few hours. This “activates” the CBD or changes it from CBDa to CBD. Following the decarboxylation, the process varies with the method you choose. 

Although the method is low cost and simple to complete, it won’t produce a high yield, and the potency won’t be as good as alcohol or C02 extraction. An advantage of using the carrier method for a DIY option is to make your CBD products. For example, blend any ingredients you want, such as essential oils and other natural additives, to create new, exotic beauty creams for personal use. 

Dry Ice CBD Extraction

Similar to the carrier oil method, dry ice is another option for low-scale manufacturing and home use. It does take more care and costs more than a simple oil extraction. Dry Ice removal is just as simple, if not a bit colder than the carrier oil option. 

It uses several dry ice pounds and plenty of safety equipment for handling the components, such as goggles, thick, heat-resistant gloves, and a water-resistant apron. Another con of this method is the quality.

Not only does it produce a lower yield than any other way, but unless you’ve completed the process several times, it’s easy to make a mistake, overshake, and reduce the quality significantly. 

Which is the Best Method for Consumption?

All the methods above have advantages and disadvantages. The two most common are CO2 and ethanol. Using a carrier oil is a There are a few things to consider when choosing. 

As a consumer, the method can increase the price or decrease safety and quality. Another consideration is how you are consuming the CBD. Vape products shouldn’t use alcohol because you’re heating the oil. For vaping, stick to products that use a CO2, carrier oil, or dry ice technique. 

Most brands use a safe and reliable CBD extraction method. But it’s not universal. Remember, there are no universal regulations or government oversight. Always review new companies for its cannabinoid removal process, the manufacturing location, and what type of oil they use. Also, check the certificate of analysis for residual solvents. 

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CBD Flower: What’s it all about?

You’ve heard of CBD oil, but what about the flowers? Hemp is a versatile plant with benefits from the leaves to the flowers, which contain the highest concentration of CBD and the other compounds. The 2018 Farm Bill made the whole plant legal, and now many consumers are skipping CBD oil and buying hemp flowers. 

Hemp flower Isn’t Marijuana

Many people confuse hemp with marijuana, and that’s understandable. Both plants share similar characteristics, including an intense aroma and appearance. They even have many of the same compounds. But they have one significant difference—Hemp contains a high percentage of CBD. The non-psychoactive phytochemical won’t get you high. 

Marijuana is the opposite. It has very little CBD. Instead, it has a ton of THC, which is psychotropic. Hemp does have a small amount of THC, but it’s less than 0.3%, which isn’t enough to get you high. Many consumers are referring to CBD as the anti-THC because it calms and relaxes you without increasing anxiety or paranoia. 

CBD flower is Rich in Natural Compounds

Hemp contains at least 545 unique, naturally occurring plant chemicals. CBD is a phytocannabinoid or cannabinoid for short. Scientists have identified nearly 150 cannabinoids with similar properties to CBD. 

All but one of the phytochemicals are cause a psychoactive response, and that’s THC. As mentioned, that’s THC, and the plant only contains a maximum of 0.3%. The other compounds include terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, fiber, minerals, and essential phytonutrients. 

Why Are Consumers Buying Hemp flower?

Hemp flowers are relatively new to the market. Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, which was signed into law in December of 2018, consumers could only extract the CBD from the stalk, stems, and leaves. This was labor-intensive and didn’t produce the highest quality of CBD. 

Many consumers buy CBD Hemp Flower as a starting point on their journey with the popular legal compound. It costs less than oils, gummies, and other CBD sales items. Plus, it’s closer to all-natural because it doesn’t go through an extraction process. You can put it in a pipe and smoke it, use it with a dry herb vaporizer, or roll it and use it as a hemp cigarette.

It’s also is the starting point for all CBD products. You can extract the compounds using a high-grade alcohol or carrier oil for homemade sublingual tinctures that absorb under the tongue. Additionally, you can add the oil to anything from your favorite facial creams and lotions to foods, candies, and drinks. 

CBD is also useful for pets. The oil provides the same benefits it does for people for their furry family members. Add a few drops of tincture to their dinner or snacks and help them have a calmer evening and to maintain healthy muscles and joints.  

Hemp flower is a safe, all-natural solution to reduce stress and relax. As a primary ingredient in all CBD products, you can use the flower to create your own tinctures, topicals, and edibles. Buy CBD flower and take control of your all-natural wellness routine.

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The Future of CBD oil

What is CBD?

CBD or Cannabidiol has become a popular natural chemical compound to use for a variety of problems. If you don’t know that much about CBD, here’s the quick back story. The marijuana plant also called cannabis, is made up of over 100 chemical substances called cannabinoids. The most abundant cannabinoid is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. It has mind-altering properties. 

The second most abundant cannabinoid is cannabidiol, also known as CBD for short. It does not have the mind-altering properties. So, when people refer to marijuana, the plant, they’re usually referring to something that has a combination of THC and CBD. 

Marijuana is illegal in many states but more and more states are allowing for the recreational use of marijuana as well as medical use, called medical marijuana. With medical marijuana, the amount of THC you get can vary with some strains containing upwards of 20% THC. CBD on the other hand is legal because it does not have the mind-altering properties. So that’s the landscape of this situation. 

Limited CBD studies 

There’s only one FDA-approved CBD prescription medication, called Epidiolex. It’s approved for a specific kind of seizure disorder. But you can get CBD without a prescription and it’s being marketed for all kinds of problems. Pain, anxiety, PTSD, depression, and ADHD among other things. However, there really isn’t strong research evidence showing that CBD consistently and effectively treats these disorders. 

For example, the Veterans Administration did a big analysis of looking at several studies for the use of cannabis and pain and PTSD. Now, just to be clear, they looked at studies using cannabis which included THC and CBD. Nevertheless, in the VA analysis, they found what they call, low strength evidence that cannabis may eliminate neuropathic pain.

And this was using cannabis with a THC/CBD content of 1-1 or 2-1. The 2-1 means that it had twice as much THC as CBD. What’s low strength evidence? Low strength evidence means that the testing was not very rigorous or there may have been inconsistent results like one study was positive while the other one was negative. To really have strong evidence, you need to see results that can be replicated so each time you get the same kind of results. 

However, this drug contains a 1-1 ratio of THC to CBD just like the drugs in the Veterans Administration studies. So, does this mean we really do need THC to get the therapeutic effect of cannabis?

If so, that can mean taking CBD alone is a waste because it subjects you to side effects without giving you enough benefits. These are questions that still need to be answered. 

What’s next for CBD?

So hopefully in the near future, the science will catch up and we’ll have a better understanding of what CBD oil can actually do and how much of it you need to do what you want it to do. In the meantime, it’s experimental to use it for pain and other psychiatric disorders. Just investigate the source of it, look into the company that produces it, and be aware of the side effects.

There have been other organizations that have analyzed data and conducted their own research.   For example, The Arthritis Foundation recently released a survey asking over 2,000 long time arthritis patients their experience with CBD. Over 79% of respondents have used CBD in the past, and over 67% of patients report that CBD has been effective at improving their mental health. The Arthritis Foundation does support the use of CBD to manage arthritis and you can view a summary of their safe use practices here. 

Conclusion

We cannot deny the abundance of positive anecdotal evidence regarding the use of CBD. Although clinical study evidence about CBD is still emerging, the limited research thus far looks promising on the ability of CBD to improve a variety of medical conditions.

So why is the FDA saying it’s being sold illegally? Because if you make statements about a product healing or treating a disease, the FDA considers your product a drug. And if you’re marketing a drug, you have to follow very strict regulations around showing effectiveness and establishing safety. The FDA also has rules about marketing products as a dietary supplement. So why is the FDA being so hardcore about this?

As with any supplement, just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it will work or won’t cause problems for you. It’s still unknown what the long term effects will be for people who use it regularly. Does this mean you shouldn’t use CBD?

Not necessarily, but it does mean you need to be aware of the safety concerns and the fact that it may not work for you. And it seems to be pretty hit or miss. I think we need some more control over how you get the product. When it comes to using CBD, I think that we’re still at the beginning stages of exploring and recognizing what disorders it can help.

The good news is, the research on the medical use of cannabis has not stopped so just because we don’t have good evidence now, doesn’t mean it won’t come. The drug Sativex is approved to treat neuropathic pain and other types of pain, but it’s not available in the United States. It’s still in the clinical trials phase here in the U.S.

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CBD vs. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that our body naturally produces at night. When bedtime gets closer, your melatonin levels should start going up and remain at those levels all night. In the morning, your melatonin levels will then start decreasing and your cortisol levels will start increasing. I know a lot of people say that cortisol is a stress hormone, but in reality it can also be considered your energy hormone. Cortisol is what keeps you awake, alert, and active throughout the day. 

So what is CBD? CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in either the marijuana or hemp plant. CBD is non-psychoactive so it won’t get you high regardless of how much you consume. Many people use CBD for stress relief, pain management, and to combat anxiety. 

When CBD is absorbed into our body, it attaches to receptors in our endocannabinoid system which initiates balance to our immune, nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. When all of our internal systems are in balance, this is called homeostasis. Maintaining homeostasis is crucial for overall health and CBD plays a major role in helping to optimize and regulate this important component. 

So now let’s go over the three reasons why I think CBD oil is better than melatonin for your sleep.

CBD vs Melatonin: Which is better for sleep?

1. CBD is non addictive and non-habit-forming

Although melatonin is said to be non-addictive, if you’ve ever taken melatonin for a long time, you know that you cannot sleep without melatonin. That’s why on the bottle you will always see “do not take longer than 60 days,” because your body will get addicted to that quick sleep fix. CBD oil is non-addictive and non-habit-forming. If you take CBD oil for a couple of months and then you stop taking it, your body will naturally fall asleep anyways. Your body doesn’t need extra CBD oil to fall asleep. You can safely take CBD oil for a long period of time while with melatonin that is not the case. 

2. CBD brings your body into balance 

While CBD brings your body into balance, using melatonin can actually bring your body out of balance. That’s why in the morning if you take CBD it gives you energy, but if you take it at night it helps you sleep. The reason is that CBD helps keep hormones doing whatever they are naturally designed to do. On the other hand, melatonin is just one hormone that you take to perform one specific function. So if your body doesn’t want to fall asleep, forcing your body to take melatonin for a long period of time can cause certain imbalances.

3. CBD addresses the root cause 

The reason CBD is better for sleep is that it targets the root cause of the problem instead of masking it. Let me give you an example compared to coffee. If you’re always super tired in the morning and keep drinking coffee throughout the day, that means that there is some sort of root cause for why you are so tired. Coffee is simply masking the real issue by giving you a quick jolt of energy, only to come crashing down hours later. The cycle continues every morning while no attention is being focused on the reason why you have no energy. CBD vs melatonin is the same idea. CBD targets the root cause of the problem, while melatonin is only addressing the symptom in the form of a quick fix.

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Can CBD oil be used to lose weight?

Obesity is an epidemic in North America. Even though we know it’s due to a lack of movement and junk food, the root causes in each person are very different. This could be anything from leptin resistance and metabolic syndrome, psychological addiction, to a combination of all three. When we heal, we want to target the root cause of the problem and not generalize. So let’s talk about how CBD oil can help you target the root cause of obesity or being overweight.

1. Appetite 

CBD oil helps you regulate appetite. Even though we know that THC causes the munchies, CBD has the opposite effect. If somebody has an excessive appetite, it should balance it out and if somebody has no appetite, it will increase it. There are two main hormones that control your appetite, Ghrelin, and Leptin.

Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, and Leptin is the satiety hormone. There are some studies that show that CBD oil can help you increase the levels of leptin so you will feel fuller for longer. CBD oil can potentially help you manage appetite and that’s the first step towards healthier eating.

2. Metabolism

In our body, we have fat cells and fat cells don’t just hang out doing nothing.  Fat cells are metabolically active so they produce hormones, they burn energy, and they have different functions. There are two different types of fat. There are the brown adipose tissues and then there’s the white adipose tissue.

Brown adipose is that color because there is a lot of mitochondria in it. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cells so it burns a ton of energy.  CBD oil actually helps you convert the white fat cells into more metabolically active brown fat cells thus increasing your metabolism. More studies will need to be done but that is the hypotheses that have been formulated so far. 

3. Management of Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone and as we all know stress is bad for us but actually stress makes us gain weight.  Cortisol hormones will actually lower your levels of testosterone. Testosterone is crucially important in weight loss as it’s the muscle building and fat burning hormone. So when we lower testosterone and increase estrogen, you will store more fat and actually burn muscles for energy. Therefore, lowering cortisol and lowering your stress levels helps manage the muscle-building fat storage process. 

4. Sleep

CBD oil helps you sleep through the night and helps you fall asleep faster. Surprisingly, one of the biggest reasons a lot of people gain weight is in the lack of sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can cause more leptin resistance. As we know leptin is the satiety hormone so basically when you’re not sleeping, you’re not feeling full. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced jet lag, or when you haven’t slept the night before and then you wake up in the morning and no matter how much food you eat you just don’t feel full. I experience that all the time personally so for me it’s very obvious when you don’t sleep you’re just hungry all the time.  So if a person doesn’t sleep well, or even if they can’t fall asleep, that will really negatively affect their weight.

5. Homeostasis 

CBD helps bring your body into balance or homeostasis. Homeostasis is which is when all your internal systems are working synergistically and in optimum balance. So whatever root cause there is for your weight gain, CBD oil will help you manage that. Again, whether it’s hormonal imbalances, appetite, or psychological addictions, CBD oil helps your body achieve a state of homeostasis.

Conclusion

Those are the five main reasons why CBD oil can help you manage your weight. That being said, as a holistic nutritionist, I do believe that weight loss should come from a place of self-love and trying to take care of yourself and making yourself a priority. More satisfaction instead of deprivation. A lot of times the idea of losing weight comes from a place of not liking your body, or not being happy at where you are, or trying to punish yourself. That’s a non-sustainable negative approach to weight loss.

I believe more in the long term approach of taking care of your body and nourishing yourself.  Again with CBD, it’s more of the nourishing approach. How can I help my body be in balance and actually come to the perfect weight that my body’s supposed to be at?  What that perfect weight is it’s really up to you, we are all very different especially as women.  At the end of the day, we all need to accept our body for what it is and come from a place of acceptance and self-love and that’s how your body will come in balance.

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What to consider before trying CBD

What dose should I take? 

This is probably one of the most common questions we get and the truth is it’s a great one. It’s important to know, but anybody that tells you exactly what dose to take is going to be leading you astray. The right dose of CBD is different for everybody.  Instead, I’m going to discuss four important considerations to help you figure out what dose is perfect for you.

1. What are you trying to achieve

The first big consideration is what are you trying to achieve? People take CBD for a lot of different reasons.  For example, if you want to relieve some stress and anxiety you’re gonna need a very different dose than somebody who’s trying to address a chronic pain condition. Having a clearly defined goal or reason for using CBD is a very important first step.

2. What is your starting point or baseline

The second big consideration is what’s your starting point? CBD has a very complex web of interactions and we all have very different internal chemistry. A healthy individual that’s exercising all the time and is super hydrated might respond differently to someone else who has a nervous system condition or is very unhealthy.

There are many complex mechanisms at work and we all have a unique metabolism so it’s important to have a detailed understanding of our own starting point.  It is always recommended to have a discussion with your doctor before introducing CBD into your daily health regimen.  

3. Know your product 

The third big consideration is what type of products are you using. That directly leads to something called bioavailability. Bioavailability is how much of any compound that you’re introducing to the body that you actually end up fully absorbing. The bioavailability of CBD oil varies greatly depending on how you are taking it. For example, if you just swallow an oil-based tincture you might only be getting 10 to 20% of the dose. 

But if you smoke CBD flower then you might be getting 60% to 70% absorption.  If you use a water-soluble CBD made for mixing into drinks, you’re getting 90% absorption.  That’s gonna play a huge factor in what dose you’re actually absorbing versus how much you’re taking. You might think you’re taking a 20-milligram dose but maybe you’re only absorbing 10 milligrams. It’s hard to say without knowing exactly what product you’re choosing to use.

4. What type of extract are you using

The final consideration for figuring out what dose of CBD is right for you is to know the type of extract that you’re using. Here’s why: full and broad-spectrum extracts have something going on called the entourage effect. The entourage effect says that CBD and the other cannabinoids mixed with terpenes and the huge array of compounds have a greater effect than an isolate which is just CBD stripped out away from everything else. 

There have been scientific studies that have shown isolates to be less effective over time than full or broad-spectrum extracts with the entourage effect. So if you want the most bang for your buck and the most quality extract almost every time it’s better to choose a full or broad-spectrum product. 

Conclusion

Those are the four big considerations to keep in mind when figuring out what the right dose is for you.  As the saying goes,  it’s always good practice to start low and go slow.  Build it up to figure out what works for you. One thing’s for sure though you don’t have to worry about a bunch of negative side effects.  Some people take 5 milligrams a day and that’s plenty while other people might be taking hundreds of milligrams of CBD everyday for a more serious condition. Just listen to your body to figure out what works best for you and  I’m sure you’ll have a great experience.

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