Celebrating Hemp Products To Support Your Health
Each January, we celebrate National CBD Month! This month-long recognition was founded to raise awareness and dispel myths about the natural hemp product, cannabidiol (CBD).
What is hemp?
Hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis sativa plant, has been grown for thousands of years for use in oils, foods and textiles.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production at the federal level and paved the way for more farmers to grow hemp. With this legalization, Americans gained easier access to CBD, which is found in hemp. Many people view this as a significant wellness breakthrough.
There are a range of products available, including hemp oils, topicals, edibles, tinctures, capsules and more.
Read on to learn more about this non-intoxicating cannabinoid and discover how it can help support health in humans and even pets.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of a class of compounds called cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants including hemp. Current research indicates it can activate the serotonin receptor related to neurological and biological processes such as pain, anxiety, sleep, appetite, nausea and more.
It has powerful anti-oxidant properties that may be useful in managing a variety of issues. It is known to bind with a vanilloid receptor known to influence pain, inflammation and body temperature.
The oil is made by cold pressing or extracting cannabidiol from the cannabis plant and diluting it with hemp seed oil or another carrier oil.
If you’ve heard of “super foods” famous for their protein-rich properties, CBD oil is similar in nature. The hemp plant produces proteins that, when absorbed by the body, may help with a range of issues including inflammation, anxiety, sleep problems, chronic pain and digestive problems.
Interest in cannabis continues to grow in the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), CBD ranked #4 in Google searches for wellness-related topics as of April 2019. That means it beat out searches for health topics like exercise, veganism and meditation, and came close to topping searches for yoga, which ranked #3.
How are CBD and THC different?
Cannabidiol products are naturally derived from hemp, which is non-psychoactive. Hemp must contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana that produces a high. Unlike THC, CBD provides the benefits of hemp without the “high” typically associated with cannabis use.
For this reason, it is a great option for people of all ages who want to enjoy the positives of cannabis use without the mind-altering effects or who want to avoid pharmaceutical drug side effects.
Is CBD legal?
Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill legalization of hemp products, cannabis was clouded by the stigma associated with the federal prohibition of marijuana. Since the bill became law, CBD is now legal at the federal level. It is readily available in most parts of the United States, but check your local and state laws, and laws anywhere you travel, to make sure.
How is CBD used?
It is most commonly formulated as an oil, but is also sold as oil-based capsules, vaporized liquids and extracts. Products include supplements, foods, drinks and beauty products such as creams and rubs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the only cannabis product currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidolex that is effective in treating epilepsy. Cannabidiol is being studied as a possible treatment for many different conditions, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and more, but research is limited and so far there is not FDA approval.
While there are many positive and encouraging studies about the use of cannabis, it’s not a magic bullet cure or a known treatment for most diseases at this time. Think of it as a way to give your body extra support.
Does CBD have side effects?
Cannabidiol is usually well-tolerated, but like any substance it can have effects on the body. Some people have reported dry mouth, digestive upset and tiredness. Starting with too high a dose of CBD can magnify these side effects.
Cannabis can interact with certain medications (as does grapefruit juice), so be sure to check with your doctor first—especially if you take blood thinners.
How to judge CBD quality?
Not all cannabis products are made with the same attention to quality. High-quality products are made with premium ingredients and precise manufacturing processes while inferior products may use cheap ingredients and process shortcuts.
Reputable products undergo third-party safety testing for purity, so you can be sure what you’re getting. Only buy from trusted sellers who are transparent about safety testing.
CBD for dogs and cats
While research on cannabis for pets is still in its early stages, the endocannabinoid system plays a role in bodily systems in animals, as it does in humans. Anecdotal evidence from pet owners suggests cannabis may help with pain, especially neuropathic pain, and help control seizures. Although conclusive research on its benefits hasn’t been conducted yet, CBD is popular with pet owners for its reported anti-inflammatory properties, anti-anxiety impact, cardiac support and anti-nausea effects. Talk to your veterinarian for medical advice specific to your pet.
Read more about CBD and pets in our previous blog post.
If you haven’t tried CBD yet, this month is the perfect time to start! Some of our third-party tested favorites include:
CBD—What You Need to Know https://nativeremedies.blog/2020/01/01/cbd-what-you-need-to-know/
CBD for Pets https://petalive.blog/2019/02/01/cbd-for-pets/
- “What is National CBD Month All About?” cbdMD. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://www.cbdmd.com/media/wysiwyg/cbdmonth/what-is-national-cbd_month.pdf
- “Trends in Internet Searches for Cannabidiol in United States.” JAMA Network. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2753393
- Bauer, B. “What are the benefits of CBD—and is it safe to use?” Mayo Clinic. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700
- Grinspoon, P. “Cannabidiol (CBD) – what we know and what we don’t.” Harvard Medical School. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
- “CBD Oil for Dogs – What You Need to Know.” American Kennel Club. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/