Is CBD Right for Me?
If you are like most people, you noticed an increase in available CBD products over the past several years. The claims surrounding most of these newer products suggest CBD can help with mood swings or anxiety*. You can often find a CBD product that claims to take care of whatever ails you suffer from but beware of snake oil sales.
While CBD is effective in some chronic pain and seizure disorders*, much research is still needed to determine its overall efficacy. That said, many medical professionals advocate using CBD products for specific uses, and industry professionals suggest the products are more valuable than the medical industry and government claims.
Regardless of who you believe, there are many products legally attainable in the market. Whether you want to try them is up to you, but you should know what you are buying and speak to a medical professional.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a chemical found in the Cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, it doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high.
There are many CBD wellness products on the market. Each product uses one of three CBD formulas:
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- CBD isolate
CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant.
Because CBD is a derivative of hemp and marijuana, cannabis cousins, there are some concerns about the product’s safety. However, the consensus is that CBD is a safe product when purchased from legitimate distributors.
To ensure legitimacy, purchase only domestically grown products. CBD products produced in the U.S. must abide by FDA regulations. By opting for FDA-certified organic products, you ensure they are free of potential farming toxins found in fertilizers and pesticides.
Also, only purchase products with a corresponding Certificate of Analysis. A CoA guarantees they have correct labels and products are safe. If a company obtains a CoA, it is likely reputable.
Advantages of Using CBD Products
CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, meaning it is non-psychoactive and will not create the high associated with cannabis.
The lack of a high makes CBD appealing. Many studies support CBD as helping in various conditions and symptoms*, but more research is necessary. Currently, researchers agree CBD shows promise in several areas.
1. Pain Relief
While the use of cannabis dates back to 2900 B.C., only recently have scientists identified the primary components of the plant’s pain-relieving effects, including CBD. Cannabidiol’s effectiveness may vary depending on the type of pain*.
CBD works by affecting endocannabinoid receptors and interacting with neurotransmitters. The chemical can reduce inflammation and improve pain regulation in the body*.
2. Mental Health
Some studies suggest evidence for CBD mood support*. People with anxiety disorders can struggle to maintain healthy relationships without pharmaceutical drugs, which can produce adverse side effects, such as insomnia, agitation, or drowsiness.
CBD offers a potentially safe and non-addictive solution for people with mental health issues*, predominantly anxiety disorders. However, research into the efficacy of CBD in supporting the therapy of anxiety and other mental health conditions is still ongoing.
3. Neuroprotective Properties
CBD’s ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system and neurotransmitters suggests it as possible support for neurological disorders*, such as M.S. and epilepsy.
In fact, the FDA recently approved Epidolex, a cannabidiol product, for treating two forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Also, some studies show that CBD can improve sleep quality for Parkinson’s patients*.
4. Heart Health
Several studies point to CBD as a heart-healthy option. Participants in several studies showed lower blood pressure readings, reduced arterial stiffness, and improved blood flow.
How To Tell if CBD Is Working
If you are wondering how to tell if CBD is working, you likely took some and are experiencing little if any results. It is usual for consumers to experience minimal results after the first dose.
CBD is a cumulative product, meaning it can take several weeks for noticeable effects. Also, the way you consume the product matters. Therefore, there are several factors contributing to the effectiveness of the product.
CBD, like other substances, needs time to build up in your system. Also, over time, your tolerance can adjust to doses, meaning you may need more CBD to get the same effects. Consult with a doctor and a CBD professional before you start using a CBD product.
Some delivery systems are better than others. For example, smoking or vaping CBD can provide a quick reaction, but it will not remain in the system as long as an edible or oil, which takes longer to go into full effect. You will probably need to experiment with different types of CBD to find the one that works best for you.
Buying questionable CBD products from non-reputable sources can affect the product’s efficacy. You want to choose licensed distributors with CoAs published on their websites or posted in their stores. Also, select U.S. grown products.
The absorption and reaction to CBD also depend on your biology. Every person is different, and their responses to cannabidiol can vary. Three things tend to play a role in the effectiveness of CBD products on the individual, including:
Sometimes, CBD will just not work for specific people. You can talk to your doctor about the chances the product might work for you.
Is CBD Right for You?
Unless you try it, there is no way to tell if CBD is right for you. However, before you do, talk to a healthcare professional, preferably someone who knows your history.
CBD can interact with different medications and may cause problems if you have specific medical conditions. A doctor can help you decide whether CBD is worth trying.
For more information about CBD products and a healthy lifestyle, check out Healthy Living.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. Consult a medic before taking CBD or other related products.
Written in partnership with Upstate Elevator.