This is a post is via Green Roads—Elephant’s Mindful Partner. We’re honored to work with them—they’re dedicated to inspiring hope, restoring happiness, and providing an alternative to prescription drugs. We’re in! ~ ed.
CBD seems to be everywhere at the moment.
Articles about its effectiveness as a painkiller, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and more are cropping up all over the place. People are talking about it online and more and more are trying it.
But what is it, exactly? Why is everyone so excited about it? How is it possible that one product could help with so many things?
Shouldn’t we all be digging a little deeper before we try a new medicinal supplement?
The folks at Green Roads—one of the U.S.A.’s most trusted producers of pharmaceutical grade CBD products—agree. They’re on a mission to inform and empower us to take charge of our own health and happiness again.
Here are their top five things to know before you try CBD:
1. What CBD Is & Where it Comes From
The most logical place to start before incorporating a new supplement into your lifestyle is understanding what it is and where it’s derived from.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol (pronounced cann-a-bid-EYE-ol). Cannabidiol is one of dozens of cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds of cannabis that have an effect on the human body when the plant is consumed. The human body has a natural receptor system (our endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short) that allows for cellular communication and regulation throughout the entire intelligent organism that is our body-mind. Cannabinoids bind to these receptors.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it won’t get you high—unlike THC, which is actually the only cannabinoid that will. So, while THC is both mind-altering and still illegal in most states—pure CBD is neither. And there’s a growing body of evidence that it has a number of health benefits.
First and foremost it’s important to know this clear distinction.
Hemp plants, from which CBD is derived, are also not the same as cannabis plants used to produce marijuana. Hemp actually refers to all cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes users feel high. CBD derived from hemp is therefore guaranteed to have less than this legal minimum amount of THC, meaning it’s federally legal in all 50 states.
2. How CBD makes you Feel
Okay, so we know that CBD won’t affect our minds, but how exactly does it affect our bodies? While we’re still in the early stages of understanding CBD’s effects on the body, there’s already scientific evidence—some of it funded by the U.S. government (1)—that CBD has legitimate medical benefits.
Studies so far have pointed to CBD’s anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. Another study was recently underway to see how CBD helps patients with PTSD and alcohol use disorder, and yet another is exploring how CBD might help curb drug cravings in people with opioid addiction. Cannabinoids like CBD may also be effective at treating cancer-related side effects (2).
Then there’s the anecdotal evidence about its anti-seizure benefits for people with epilepsy. “I have seen cases where a child who’s having hundreds of seizures a day got put on CBD and had a truly phenomenal benefit,” Dr. Orrin Devinsky, MD, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Health, told Men’s Health (3).
But how is it possible for one chemical to have such wide-ranging effects? It all comes back to our ECS. Or endocannabinoid system.
Endo….huh? This is basically a signaling system that all mammals have in common. It’s what allows our cells and organs to communicate with each other in order to balance overall activity and energy consumption. There are two categories of receptors: CB1 (found in the brain and central nervous system of all mammals) and CB2 (primarily concentrated in the immune system of mammals).
CBD binds to these receptors in a way that causes your body to produce more of them, so—basically speaking—the communication between cells can be strengthened and improved.
In other words, much of the therapeutic effect of CBD is actually carried out by your own ECS; CBD simply promotes its normal function. Which is why it’s possible for CBD to help with so many different conditions.
But taking CBD day to day, you shouldn’t feel any different than your regular self, besides the overall easing of pain, inflammation, and anxiety it seems to offer the majority of the population.
You can find out more about what exactly an Endocannabinoid system is & how CBD interacts with it, here >>
Unlike a medicine, CBD is classed as a dietary supplement, so how do we know how much we need?
3. How Much CBD to Take
CBD affects everyone differently. In addition, different kinds of CBD products have different levels of potency. Sublingual CBD products are the strongest, and depending on your reason for taking it, the experts at Green Roads advise you should start with 0.5 ML, or half a typical serving size.
If you’re using CBD for a specific condition, talk to your doctor about the best way to incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen. However, there is no way to overdose, so we don’t need to worry about taking too much.
One important point to note, here, is that this advice only applies to pharmaceutical grade CBD from a reputable and well regulated brand, like Green Roads.
Many other CBD branded products being sold at convenience stores and online have been discovered to contain THC and other impurities, regardless of advertising and labeling, which means taking too much could have an undesired effect on both your body and mind.
Green Roads products are both manufactured from 100-percent-certified industrial hemp in full compliance with the U.S. Farm Bill, and only contain pure and potent CBD—free of any THC molecules, contaminants, toxins, or any other foreign substance—which they isolate using supercritical CO2 extraction. (A little more info on this coming up…)
As long as you’re taking CBD from a trusted brand, it really comes down to experimentation with the amount (as well as the form) of supplement that works best for your body.
So, what options are out there in terms of potency and product types?
4. Which CBD Products to Choose
Thanks to the growing scientific and prolific anecdotal evidence of CBD’s effectiveness for a wide range of ailments, the industry is booming. There are all sorts of brand names and product types out there to choose from. Where do you even start, especially if you’re a beginner in the CBD world?
As CBD is taken by many as a replacement of pharmaceutical drugs, it only makes sense that an expert in the field should be the one formulating the CBD that you’re taking in place of prescription of over-the-counter medications.
Because there are no regulations governing the cannabinoid ratios or inactive ingredients in hemp-derived CBD products, third party lab tests are a reliable way to determine if a CBD product is safe to consume. If a company doesn’t offer lab test results, or they contain any levels of residual solvents or heavy metals, the product should be avoided at all costs.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is the only method of isolating individual plant compounds that doesn’t use a liquid solvent, but instead uses a solvent which is a gas at room temperature. This means that as soon as the mixture exits the extraction chamber, the CO2 evaporates completely within 50-100 milliseconds, leaving behind 100 percent pure CBD with no residual solvents whatsoever.
Every person is different, and that affects both the strength of CBD you should be taking as well as the type of CBD that would work best for you. This comes down to personal preference (Do you prefer chewies over drops? Or minty flavors over fruity?) as well as personal needs. (Are you taking CBD to help with your insomnia, or your arthritis?)
Different products are absorbed by the body at different rates, and there is no one correct “dosage” to take. As a general rule, sub-lingual drops are faster absorbed by the body than other forms. However soluble CBD oil works well for those who don’t like the strong flavour of the straight oil under their tongue. Though Green Roads CBD products come in some pretty tasty flavors! (Pineapple Express anyone?)
5. How to Incorporate CBD into your Daily Routine
People consume CBD in all sorts of different ways. These are the most popular methods (4) of incorporating it into your daily routine, much like any other dietary supplement, but with way more variety, because CBD can be infused into almost anything…
Sublingual drops: These products are usually vegetable glycerin-based and are ideal because of how little time it takes to apply the drops, coupled with a rapid onset of relief. People suffering from internal diseases such as gastrointestinal problems or diabetes prefer drops to any other method of consumption.
Edibles: CBD infused edibles are a close second in popularity due again to the ease with which the product is introduced to the user’s system. These products have a wide range of flavors and food groups, including CBD gummies, baked goods, teas, coffees, candies, and more. Easy to administer, scrumptious to eat, and the often the best way to induce sleep in insomniac patients.
Capsules: Best for health conscious individuals who understand value of CBD and wish to incorporate it into their lives in an unobtrusive and simple way. As opposed to sublingual oils, which differentiate CBD from other dietary supplements and vitamins, CBD capsules are slightly less effective as they require hepatic metabolization in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Topical Creams: Lotions infused with CBD concentrates are often the choice of people suffering from chronic pain. Topical CBD treatments are for you if you have arthritis, constant pain from injury, or any other form of pain that is caused primarily by inflammation.
However you choose to incorporate them into your daily routine, CBD products are a great way to stay healthy…but not if you forget to take them!
Green Roads have come up with a range of delicious, fun, and effective ways to incorporate CBD into your daily life, and your existing supplement routine.
Their CBD oil and Terpenes come in handy, travel-size dropper bottles. Edible CBD products are a tasty and convenient way to take CBD as you would any gummy multivitamin supplement…except with the calming benefits of CBD.
The other handy option Green Roads have developed is their Daily Doses range. You can keep CBD Daily Doses in your purse, briefcase, or book bag, so you always have your CBD on hand. Topical CBD creams are the perfect way to relieve soreness after a long day or a tough workout, just keep a bottle in your gym bag or medicine cabinet.
There are many other types of CBD products, and the number only grows as people get creative with this superplant. As with any health supplement, consult your doctor before use, especially if you have any specific conditions you hope to treat with CBD.
However you choose to enjoy the benefits of CBD, if you take nothing else away, make sure you’re using a trusted brand. And remember that, whatever your situation, “There’s Always an Alternative.”