By Sarah E. Scott
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the cannabis plant and is the most well-known cannabinoid, second to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Both CBD and THC are two of the over 100 plus cannabinoids present in both marijuana and hemp-based products.
Legal, hemp-derived CBD products do not cause the euphoric high associated with marijuana because they are required to have less than 0.3 percent THC. Basically, CBD is weed’s sober cousin and looks different from its THC containing relative. As a matter of fact, CBD is the non-intoxicating alternative to marijuana with most of the same health benefits.
Most notably, it is said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and immunosuppressive properties, making it a viable, natural plant-based product for many human and pet medical and wellness issues. Hemp-derived CBD oil, which is legal in Texas, is readily available in salves, lotions, beauty supplies, pet treats and much more.
CBD products are being used for any number of ailments, including lessening everyday aches and pains, easing anxiety and depression, and reducing the severity of symptoms associated with osteopenia, osteoporosis, diabetes, epilepsy, insomnia, fibromyalgia, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease; and acting as an anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant agent to easing neuropathic pain and aiding in reducing symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
In a study from The European Journal of Pain, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin was shown to lower chronic pain and inflammation due to arthritis. CBD is not just good for those of us reading this article, it is also good for our dogs and cats, who also want to continue chasing the tennis ball or jumping on the bed. At this point in time, many of CBD’s claims are considered anecdotal. However, the consensus is that CBD is potentially better for our bodies than taking chemically designed pills or rubbing chemically designed lotions on the body.
In addition to 100 plus cannabinoids, the hemp plant’s resin glands produce important healing terpenes which give it its distinct smell and flavor, and also influence the plants cannabinoids and how they work in your brain and body. Most commonly, hemp-derived products can be used as oral tinctures for fast absorption, in capsule form for neat, accurate and easy dosage and in salves for topical application.
Currently, the CBD market is in the “wild, wild West” stage so know the five W’s when you purchase: Who grew it, Where was it grown, When was it grown, and finally Why and What am I using CBD for.
Where and how the product was grown and processed needs to be carefully considered. It is important to know your products were not grown in soils that have lead, arsenic, mercury and other environmental toxins. When evaluating a full-spectrum hemp-derived product, also make sure it is processed in an FDA-registered facility and utilizes third party-verified good manufacturing practices. This is because until recently, it has been illegal to grow it in the U.S. and a lot of hemp is still purchased from overseas, in China and Eastern Europe for example where environmental pollutants abound.
Look for American-grown, full-spectrum hemp-derived products that have a Certificate of Authenticity ( COA). Also make sure products are broad spectrum which means they encompass the whole plant and are capable of providing the “entourage effect,” which denotes the synergy between cannabis compounds and terpenes that magnifies the therapeutic benefits in our brain and body.
Many CBD-labeled products are not full/broad spectrum and therefore not whole-plant based. For example, commonly sold CBD “isolate” products are not full spectrum and do not provide whole-plant medicine. CBD full-spectrum cannabis extracts, capable of the entourage effect, are more effective for your wellness.
Regarding dosage, always consult with a healthcare professional who has knowledge and experience working with CBD, as well as the human endocannabinoid system, anatomy, physiology and human health applications.
Hemp-derived CBD responses in the body vary from person-to-person, age-to-age and animal-to-animal. Some may need a dose four times a day, once a day or every other day. Always start with a low dose and increase slowly until you identify the level that provides relief for you or your pet. Additionally, dosage levels vary greatly in children, adults, the elderly, from male to female and most definitely vary greatly among pets.
All in all, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so always seek an experienced health care professional’s guidance.
Sarah Elizabeth Scott, The Texas Hempress CBD Consultant, is a Medical Exercise & Fitness Coach who founded Hemp Doctors USA, one of the first, full spectrum hemp derived CBD companies selling American grown products, in 2014. Hemp Doctors USA is one of the first to incorporate in Austin and in Texas. Connect with Sarah on Instagram at HempDoctorsUSA, CBDAskTheExpert and TexasHempress. For more information, visit HempDoctorsUSA.com.