How much do you know about hemp oil and CBD products? The CBD market is worth billions, thanks to the versatility of hemp extract and growing consumer interest. More people are searching for CBD-infused products such as foods, drinks, lotions, ointments, among others;and so to help you get a sense of what CBD is for and learn how to buy the best products, we’ve created this guide for you.
Learn the Basics: What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in marijuana and hemp. It contains a range of essential nutrients that cause therapeutic effects in the body. CBD is not psychoactive, and CBD products don’t contain THC, the stimulating compound in cannabis that makes you high. CBD is extracted mainly in an oil form but it can be turned into capsule supplements, powders, or used to make edibles like chocolates, and candy.
The products marketed as CBD contain the active compound in varying amounts. Some products are made with dozens of cannabinoids and terpenes, while some contain CBD alone. This is important because (excluding THC), the body has a lot to gain from many of the cannabinoids.
Know the Main Benefits & Characteristics
CBD is a therapeutic herbal extract with a wide range of medical benefits. Though many of the people using CBD are already in good health, it’s important to know how this compound works in the body. Let’s go over the main benefits;
- Reduces stress and anxiety. There is plenty of research on CBD and its effects on anxiety and high stress levels. Cannabidiolworks through the endocannabinoid system (ECS)and brain receptors to reduce stress hormones and to release serotonin and anandamide to counteract the effect of cortisol. This is one of the ways CBD reduces stress and anxiety.
- CBD is used as a pain medication. A strong link exists between CBD and pain management, with much of the early studies focusing mainly on using cannabidiol to block pain and induce relaxation. By targeting CB2, a brain receptor associated with pain and inflammation, CBD is able to block transmission of pain signals and this makes it a great medication for chronic pain.
- CBD can be used to treat sleeping disorders. The cooling effect that CBD generates extends beyond stress reduction and calming the nerves. It also helps people with sleeping disorders by regulating sleep patterns and enhancing the quality of sleep. Better sleep leads to high energy, improved focus, a stronger immune system, better digestive process, etc.
- CBD is a great skin care product. It has strong antioxidant effects that encourage healthy skin through a normalization of sebaotic function, removing free radicals, moisturizing, and stimulating collagen function. Using CBD oil leads to softer, healthier skin and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Select Buying Criteria
What is it that you’re looking for in your CBD? Remember, you’re going to find all kinds of tinctures, oils, creams, concentrates, e-liquids, and dozens of edibles, so there’s a lot to consider. For most people the main buying criteria include things like
- Taste – this will vary widely because the products all have different flavors and/or additives that affect the taste.
- Concentration – again, there are many options here. CBD is safe and non-addictive, also, you can’t overdose. That being said, moderate doses are recommended.
- Absorption rate – vape products tend to be absorbed the fastest but the oil and food products give you the same effect, though it might take a little longer for the effects to kick in.
- Price – it ranges from a few dollars to hundreds. The extraction process impacts price to some degree, but things like strain quality are important too, and so are farming methods. In the end it’s about what you’re looking for.
Choose Product Type
You can get CBD in different forms, and based on what your reason for purchase, you will probably choose from the following:
- Tinctures – these are taken orally and great for consuming the compound in its pure form. Beginners and experts both use tinctures, so it is entirely a matter of preference.
- Pastes and concentrates – these will give you a higher amount of CBD than say, food edibles.
- Vape oil – it is specially made to be used in a vaping device, and heat turns the oil into a thin vapor that is inhaled. The vapor contains CBD.
- Topicals – these are applied to the skin to soothe pain and inflammation, or to treat the skin. CBD lotions and creams are effective at keeping skin moisturized and for preventing acne, wrinkles, and infections.
- CBD capsules – in pill form, CBD delivers more healing properties and lasts longer.
- CBD products for pets – they contain all the same nutrients but are formulated for pets.
Staying Safe & Avoid Scammers
There are hundreds of companies selling CBD in its many forms, but not all companies sell high-quality strains. Avoid cheap products and use these tips when purchasing from new stores:
- Ask friends for recommendations. This is probably the easiest way to get quality CBD.
- Ask the seller for verifiable lab results. If they make bold claims on the product, it’s probably a good idea to check if some of that information is backed up by research.
- Is it reasonably priced? The price can tell you a great deal about how the product was manufactured, and whether it safe to use. Don’t go for the cheapest product; try to find a good balance to avoid getting ripped off.
- Ask the company any questions you might have about how their product was farmed, and about using preservatives.
- Most products are labeled in milligrams (mg), but some products measure the percentage of CBD present. Learn more about labeling to avoid being misled.
The Strength of the CBD Product
If you’re using CBD for the first time, starting with a strong strain won’t translate into stronger effects. The body needs time to respond to CBD and if the endocannabinoid system has been inactive for long, using strong doses might throw you off a bit. Give the ESC time to get fully activated so you can gain more from using cannabidiol. There are many reasons to watch the strength of the CBD – consider these other factors:
- CBD tends to function in a bell curve, so the moment you reach optimal relief, using more won’t make it work better.
- Compounds such as cannabidiol have what are called biphasic properties, meaning, high and low doses of the same compound can give you completely different effects. For this reason, high doses can be sedating for others, and others might experience a worsening of anxiety.
- Though highly unlikely, some people have reported being allergic or intolerant to CBD, and so for this reason, starting with smaller doses reduces the chances of a serious reaction.
A starting dose of 2-3mg,two or three times per day, is safe. Conditions such as seizures, MS, and epilepsy, require specialized treatment. While CBD has been reported to help with symptoms, we recommend you speak to your doctor about supplementing with CBD and don’t stop taking medication unless upon further evaluation, your doctor finds it a healthy choice.