CBD oil has been touted as a miracle cure for everything from arthritis to anxiety – but how much of it is true?
If it seems like just about everyone you know is trying CBD oil, you may be right. The CBD market has soared to a more than $2 billion industry and is expected to reach $3 billion by 2022. The explosive popularity of cannabis products of all types has led to 33 states legalizing medical marijuana and all 50 states legalizing CBD oil. But before we go any further, we need to distinguish between the different types of cannabis products, so we’re all clear on what CBD oil is exactly.
The Differences Between Hempseeds, CBD Oil, and Medical Marijuana
With all of the misinformation circulating around hemp and CBD oil, I think it’s important we clear the air. Just like wolves and dachshunds are different varieties of canines, marijuana and hemp are different varieties of cannabis. The type and processing of the cannabis used determines whether it will get you “high” or whether it has no psychoactive effect at all.
All cannabis plants contain both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). The THC component is what is psychoactive and gives you that feeling of euphoria. The CBD component that has its own health effects also blocks the psychoactive effects of the THC on the nervous system. So you cannot get “high” from cannabis varieties like hemp that have a less than 0.3 percent THC level and a high CBD content.
Let’s look at some important definitions:
Hempseed Oil: Made popular by my Radical Metabolism plan, this product is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, and has many wonderful health benefits but cannot get you high. This is NOT CBD Oil, but does share the same rich Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fat content.
CBD Oil: This is a concentrated extract of the stalks and stems of the hemp plant, and while it does interact with your nervous system, it does not produce a high and is legal in all 50 states. There are 2 main types of CBD oils – full spectrum and isolate – which we will address later in this article.
Medical Marijuana: The cannabis varieties used to make all of the medical marijuana products contain THC in sufficient amounts to affect the nervous system and produce varying levels of euphoria. The two main varieties are C. indica and C. sativa, with C. indica commonly having the higher THC level and producing more of a high. The aerial parts of the plant are used for this.
Your Body Makes Its Own CBD
According to a research survey of more than 2,400 cannabis product users, more than 90 percent report product effectiveness and plan to continue use. There’s an important biological reason behind this. Discovered in 1988, your body has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which produces and interacts with cannabinoid compounds.
It may surprise you that your body produces its own cannabinoid compounds, but I assure you it does. Just like your body produces its own endorphins – short for “endogenous morphines” – from exercising, it also makes its own cannabinoids, from everything including that same exercising that makes endorphins, to common herbs like rosemary – and cannabis.
The health of your ECS relies on the essential Omega 3 fats that we’ve all come to know and love. These fats are present in everything from CBD oil to grassfed meats and of course, fish (think fish oil). Your ECS makes endocannabinoids from the Omega 3 fatty acids in your body, and they are so good for you that even the process of converting them has anti-inflammatory benefits. And even though the research is still in its infancy, with only 200+ studies done on cannabis products, I predict we’ll find out that the anti-inflammatory powerhouse Omega 6 fats – that Radical Metabolism made us all fall in love with – play a role in the ECS as well.
What we’ve learned so far about the ECS is powerful and promising. Research shows that our ability to handle stress, our moods and mood disorders, IBS, migraines, and our pain tolerance and painful diseases like arthritis and fibromyalgia are all related to lower levels of endocannabinoids. Considering up to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related complaints, and the ECS is a major player in your body’s stress response, these recent discoveries point to the ECS being a master regulator in maintaining your overall health.
The ECS appears to play a big role, not only in your nervous system, but in the homeostasis – overall balance and stability – of your body as a whole. Every cell in your body contains neurotransmitters. These chemicals are the messengers from your brain to the rest of your body. Endocannabinoids send messages the opposite direction – from your body to your brain. When there’s a disruption in hormone balance, digestive enzymes, bone minerals, blood components, and other crucial biological materials, enzymes signal the endocannabinoids, which then send the message to the brain to fix the problem and restore balance and stability.
What CBD Oil Can Do For You
Just after adolescence, our cannabinoid levels start slowly declining, and continue on this downward path as we age. This makes your body less able to maintain balance and regulate itself. While exercise can temporarily raise levels, more help is needed.
The cannabinoids found in herbs like rosemary, hops, hemp, and marijuana are chemically close to the body’s own endocannabinoids, and can be used to compensate for declining levels in small daily doses. This explains why more than 80 percent of CBD and medical marijuana users report that the products they use are effective for the conditions they’re looking to improve. According to a 2014 review in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, CBD oil has been shown in studies to be effective for:
- High Blood Pressure
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Some Cancers
How to Choose the Right CBD Oil
Despite all of this good news about CBD Oil, it does have one skeleton in its closet – you don’t always get the purity and quality you pay for. CBD Oil is legal nationwide – but is not well regulated. CBD stores seem to be on every street corner now, with more than 1000 brands currently available.
According to the Brightfield study, nearly 70 percent of CBD products are mislabeled, with 43 percent containing less CBD than claimed, and 26 percent containing more CBD than claimed. This disparity is enough to explain why some users report better pain relief from pure dark chocolate (which contains some cannabinoids) than from their CBD Oil. This put me on the search for a reliable, laboratory-tested brand that I could trust enough to put my name behind.
What I looked for first in a brand I could trust was a good quality source of industrial hemp. Hemp is a bioaccumulator plant that can absorb radiation and a variety of toxins from its environment – concentrating those toxins into an oil is bad news for your health. This narrowed my search to companies with an established relationship with their growers.
Next, I looked for a variety of products. CBD Oil can either be full spectrum – often called Hemp CBD Oil – or an isolate – which some consider to be the purest form. Each form has unique health benefits:
- Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil is more than just CBD. CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids we’ve identified so far. The full spectrum oils not only contain a wider variety of cannabinoids, but also have the Omega 3 essential fats and chlorophyll preserved in them.
- Isolate CBD Oil is considered to be a purified concentrate of CBD. This form lends itself to more exact dosing. It is also the form I recommend for anyone with histamine intolerance or other food-related issues.
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