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CBD: Benefits, Risks, and More

What is CBD?

CBD is an abbreviation for the word cannabidiol. What is a cannabidiol? It is one of the many ingredients found in both hemp and marijuana.

CBD is NOT the same as:

  • Marijuana

  • Medical marijuana

  • Hemp oil

  • Hemp extract

Marijuana has over 100 ingredients, one of these many ingredients is CBD. Hemp, which is a cousin plant to marijuana, also has many ingredients, one which is CBD.

In order to be legal (according to the 2018 Farm Bill), CBD products must be derived from the hemp plant.

What makes CBD different from marijuana and hemp oil? One of the biggest differences is the amount of THC. THC is the abbreviation for Tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the main psychoactive active ingredient in marijuana (it's what makes you feel "high"). The average amount of THC in marijuana is 15%-30%. THC in full spectrum CBD is 0.3% or less (that is 1/3 of one percent). Hemp oil has little to no THC.

So marijuana has a lot of THC and gives you an altered mental status, hemp oil has no THC, and full spectrum CBD has just a tiny bit of THC. So why is having just a tiny bit of THC a good thing?

How Does CBD and THC Work in the Body?

Our body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is believed that our ECS's main purpose is to establish and maintain good health.

Our endocannabinoid system controls things like:

  • Sleep

  • Mood

  • Immune system response

  • Appetite

  • Pain

  • Memory

  • Reproduction/Fertility

  • Homeostasis

There are 3 main parts to the endocannabinoid system:

  • Endocannabinoids

  • Receptors

  • Enzymes

Our body actually produces endocannabinoids of it's own to keep things running smoothly. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters (chemical messengers between nerves). Tiny amounts of THC provides our endocannabinoid system with a boost of these neurotransmitters for our receptors.

Our known ECS receptors are CB1 and CB2. Research is currently investigating the possibility of a third cannabinoid receptor.

CB1 receptors are mostly found in our central nervous system (brain and spine), and CB2 receptors are mostly found in our peripheral nervous system and immune cells. It is these receptors that bind to the endocannabinoids produced by our bodies or to the small amounts of THC we receive via CBD. When bound with CB1 receptors we experience pain relief. When bound to CB2 receptors we experience a reduction in inflammation (which is the underlying cause for most diseases as well as pain).

Once the cannabinoid is bonded to the receptor and the needed process is completed (example: inflammation or pain is reduced) the enzymes then break down the components and eliminate them from our bodies.

Are all CBD Products the Same?

NO. Not all CBD products are the same. There are many factors to consider when selecting a CBD product. These factors will determine how effective the products is. Unfortunately, poorly processed CBD products can often produce little to no effect.

A quality CBD product should be effective at:

  • Reducing inflammation

  • Alleviating pain

  • Boosting immunity

  • Reducing anxiety

Things to consider when selecting your product should include:

  • Is the product full spectrum, broad spectrum, isolate, or pure

  • What parts of the plant are being processed

  • How many strains does the company use/rotate

  • What country is the plant grown in

  • Is it organic

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum:

When CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant, how the plant is processed makes a difference.

There are many compounds (or ingredients) in a hemp plant. CBD is just one of them. Some products contain the CBD compound only. This is known as a CBD isolate. It is often sold as crystals and ground into powder. CBD isolate contains no (or just trace amounts of) THC.

Broad spectrum CBD is produced by processing the hemp plant and using several of the plant's compounds (including CBD). However, broad spectrum CBD usually eliminates all THC.

Full spectrum CBD processes the hemp plant and uses several of the plant's compounds, including CBD and THC (0.3% or less).

Additional, important, compounds found in the hemp plant:

  • Terpenes

    • A compound responsible for giving a plant fragrance

    • Enhances the effect of THC and CBD in the body

  • Flavonoids

    • A compound responsible for giving a plant it's fragrance, flavor, and characteristics (such as color)

    • Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties

  • CBG (Cannabigerol)

    • A compound that all other cannabinoids are derived from

    • More concentrated in young plants

    • More effective than CBD at pain and inflammation reduction

The Entourage Effect:

The entourage effect is a theory that states "all hemp compounds work best when taken together".

What this means is that CBD products work best in the body when you have all the compounds together, specifically CBD, CBG, Flavinoids, and Terpenes. While research is ongoing, it is believed that the most effective and therapeutic CBD products are full spectrum.

This is why whole plant CBD products are considered superior to CBD isolate or CBD distillate products.

When looking for a full spectrum product, make sure it contains all of the following:

  • CBG

  • CBC

  • CBDV

  • Phytonutrients

  • Flavinoids

  • Terpenes

  • Plant Pigments

Some manufacturers only utilize the hemp leaves, or just a single part of the hemp plant. Whole plant products are the best though.

Hemp Strains

Another thing to consider when selecting your CBD product in the hemp strains being used. Every hemp strain is different. It may have a different scent, flavor, but most importantly, it's compounds will be different. Every strain has a different combination of compounds. One strain may have more flavinoids and less terpenes, another strain may have an extremely potent CBG compound while another strain's CBG is weak. Each strain and it's unique combination will determine how effective it's products are.

Some manufacturers may only utilize a single expertly crafted strain, another may mix several strains together and yet another might have several strains that they continually rotate through their products.

While most manufactures will be tight lipped about their specific strains and what compound ratios they contain, they should be able to prove that they are knowledgeable about hemp strains and the important role they play in the effectiveness of a CBD product.

Plant Origins?

Just like people, plants vary depending on their environment. A plant that is given plenty of sunlight, water, and that has rich nutrient soil to grow in, is going to flourish and eventually produce a better product.

It's important to trust the soil your product is being grown in, because what is in that soil will eventually be inside of you. This is why it is also important to know what types of chemicals are being put on the plants, and if they are genetically modified.

Our bodies are greatly effected by such things. When selecting a CBD product for therapeutic purposes, selecting one that is growing plants organically and responsibly is important.

What is CBD Used for?

CBD products produced from hemp were very recently de-coupled from marijuana and made legal through the 2018 farm bill. As a result, research is just really getting started. There are many fantastic claims being made regarding CBD, but the evidence on many of these claims is still pending. What we do know is that full spectrum CBD seems to be more therapeutic than broad spectrum CBD, CBD isolates, or 'pure' CBD.

Early research also indicates that CBD effectively:

  • Reduces anxiety and depression

  • Improves sleep

  • Relieves pain

  • Decreases inflammation

  • May reduce nausea and vomiting

  • Helps manage some forms of epilepsy

What are the Risks and Side Effects of CBD?

According to the FDA potential side effects may include:

  • Gastrointestinal distress

  • Decreased appetite

  • Mood changes

  • Dry mouth

Other risks may include testing positive for a drug test. Most drug tests (such as a urinalysis) only test qualitatively. This means the test simply gives a positive or negative result, but does not indicate a quantity. If you are drug tested for work you will need to request a qualitative test. This will require a blood draw in order to show the specific level of THC in your system. CBD products have 0.3% or less THC in comparison with marijuana which contains 15%-30% THC. A qualitative blood test will be able to show the levels of THC being only trace amounts. CBD products are legal nation wide in the USA, however, it is important to check with your HR department regarding CBD use policies prior to using it to ensure you will not jeopardize your employment.

What CBD Product do we Recommend?

We see patients in our clinic everyday, many who have tried CBD products in the past. They are always pleasantly surprised when we use our products on them, or send them home with a sample bag. We have heard over and over again how effective these products are at reducing their pain, inflammation, anxiety, and helping with their sleep.

At Therapy Pros we only use Clear Remedies products. This is a local (Ohio) company who is extremely knowledgeable about their hemp strains and plant compounds. They are cruelty free and organically grow their plant in the united states. They use the entire plant when processing their products and have a large variety of items available, including THC free, CBD full spectrum, Delta-8 and Delta-9 products.

Our staff personally uses these products at home, in our clinic, and sell them to patients for home use as well. Click here for more information about clean remedies.

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