Selecting a CBD Product
Are there different types of CBD?
CBD products are categorized as either: 1) Full spectrum; 2) Broad spectrum and 3) Isolate. For example, think of tea and as you know there are many different types of tea (black, green, jasmine, etc.) and yet they are all considered tea.
Full spectrum describes a product that contains a full range of products or the entire plant. If a product is labeled as Full spectrum CBD, it contains CBD as well as other chemicals contained in the cannabis plant. It also means most of the terpenes stay intact and this makes a difference on how your body received CBD. This is important since terpenes, when combined with Full Spectrum oils, multiply the benefits you might receive; this is known as the entourage effect. Most full spectrum products will contain less than 0.3% THC. Since Full spectrum CBD has some THC, you might test positive on a drug test.
Broad spectrum CBD contains everything Full spectrum does, except for the THC. Advance technologies allow the THC component to be filtered out of the end product. The benefit is, it contains the positive benefits of the cannabinoids without the concern of THC.
Isolate is the purest form of CBD. Isolate means the product is isolated down to that single item. These products contain only CBD and nothing else from the plant is used. This allows you to easily achieve an exact dosage without the worry of THC. If you have heard of a powered CBD, that refers to an isolate of CBD.
Product labels contain this information, as will the products’ laboratory result. The best CBD brands will provide their laboratory results not only by product level, but by batch level from a third-party lab. Look for these reports since they ensure what a CBD product contains. These items can be found via a QR code on a product label or the Certificate of Analysis (“COA”).
What are the different ways CBD is delivered?
CBD products are available in several different delivery systems, for example: 1) oil tinctures, taken under the tongue, 2) capsules, 3) gummies, 4) lotions or creams, 5) balms, and 6) beverages, and 7) skin care.
Individuals preferences and expectations are important in determining which delivery system fulfils your needs.
Make sure when purchasing a product that it has third-party testing and provides a certificate of analysis (“COA”). A COA breaks down the specific contents of the product. The COA is usually available on the manufacturer’s website or via a QR code on the product label.
What is the difference between CBD edibles, capsules and other oral items?
CBD edibles are similar to food. Edibles containing CBD will have the specific dosage on the packaging and are not meant to be eaten without consulting the packing. Gummies, chocolates, coffee, tea, honey and lollipops are all considered as edibles and are manufactured with CBD. Edibles may be snacks, yet they contain CBD so they are not intended for children.
Like any other products with CBD, edibles can be Full spectrum, Broad spectrum or Isolate. They are tasty, easy to consume, slow-acting and a snack (which is a temptation). The absorption of these items is the same as your digestive process. It might take up to an hour before you feel its effects; however, the effects may last from 4 to 6 hours. Generally speaking, these items provide a slower effect, thereby allowing you to slowly ramp-up your dosage. If you cannot stop snacking, this may not be the best choice for you.
Capsules have no taste and you do not chew them. They are faster acting than edibles and are more consistent in their dosing. These oral products are more discreet and very convenient. CBD capsules are absorbed in your body faster than edibles; however, this also depends on your own metabolism.
Capsules provide an exact dose of CBD, as found on the product label. Over time, you should know the specific dosage that works best for you. It is possible that taking these items with food will maximize absorption; however, this also depends on your specific metabolism.
Tincture drops are a faster acting form of CBD. Since these drops are applied under your tongue, your body responds quickly. Drops do have a different consistency and might have an oily taste.
All of these oral products are first metabolized in your liver. After proceeding through your digestive system, the remaining product circulates in your bloodstream, which is why it can take hours to feel any effects. Remember to start with a small dose and wait to see your reaction.
What about topicals?
Topicals are available in many forms:1) lotions, 2) creams, 3) balms and 4) pain patches. It has been suggested that these products can alleviate symptoms associated with chronic pain, overworked muscles and achy joints. CBD effects the production of anandamide, sending a chemical message between nerve cells, which can suppress pain through the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The delivery system to use is that one that works best for you. You need to test a small patch of your skin, for any reaction, in a place that is not noticeable and close to where you plan to use a topical. Remember to use these topicals as you would any new product.
In general, creams and lotions are easily absorbed. They may also contain other ingredients to assist in the healing process. Ointments sit on your skin and therefore, should last longer. Patches supply a continuous release of CBD in a specific area of your body and should last the longest.
How should I decide the amount of CBD to take?
CBD products comes in varying dosages. At this time, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has not provided guidance so there are no official recommendations. Most of the research done to date, suggests there is not one universal dosage; in fact, CBD might not work for you.
Some items to consider in making your decision: 1) your weight, 2) how your body has reacted to medicines in the past, 3) how severe the condition is you are treating, and 4) your metabolism. As with any other product, medicine, supplement or food, individuals will each respond differently to CBD.
CBD products do provide information on the product itself. For example, the product label may have 300 mg up to 1000 mg. This number is not the total amount of CBD you get in each individual dose. This number is the total amount of CBD contained within the CBD product. In summary, the actual CBD you receive is the total CBD number in milligrams listed on the product, divided by the number of servings. For example, if there are 10 servings and the bottle states 1000 mg, each dose is 10 mg of CBD.
This is a lot to consider; therefore, you might want to speak with your physician before starting CBD. If your doctor does not have a recommendation, the general rule of thumb is to start small and gradually increase your dosage until you feel the dosage is helping.
If you are currently taking medications, speak with your physician prior to taking any CBD products to avoid any possible interactions. Should you experience any adverse reaction, stop taking CBD and consult your physician.
Why use CBD?
CBD may be used for potential relief from: pain, anxiety and other symptoms without mind-altering effects. CBD is natural and non-intoxicating. By interacting with your endocannabinoid system (“ECS”), CBD may benefit your sleep, mood, stress, pain levels and appetite.
Recently, an unknown signaling system within our own bodies and receptors was found in Cannabis compounds and was named endocannabinoids. Humans and animals naturally synthesize endocannabinoids, a chemical compound which activates receptors within the body.
As the research continued, it was discovered that endocannabinoids assist the body in maintaining balance. For example, when we become stressed, our body produces Cortisol which helps us react quickly to danger. If too much Cortisol is released, it can disrupt the natural balance of our body and result in issues. When endocannabinoids are introduced, they might provide relief and allow us to calmly evaluate a situation.
CBD products are available in several different forms which allows you to select the delivery system that works best for you. Specific areas of pain might respond better to a lotion or patch for some, while others may prefer a capsule. That is why it is important, for you to do your research and determine what product and strength is best for you.