why does cbd work?

CBD Facts: Why Does Hemp Work?

In this article

What is CBD?

Why does CBD work?

Why is hemp good for you?

Is CBD legal?

Does CBD make you feel “high”?

What conditions can hemp be good for?

How do I take hemp?

How much CBD should I take?

What should I expect after taking hemp?

Are there any negative side effects from taking hemp?

How can I tell if a hemp product is any good?

What is full spectrum hemp and Why is it better? 

CBD Facts – The Takeaway

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical found in hemp. Pure cannabidiol differs greatly from THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces a ‘high’. Hemp is most well known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties. There is currently an FDA approved drug, Epidiolex, which is simply a massive dose of pure CBD that is prescribed by doctors to certain individuals suffering from serious seizures. Science is in the early stages when it comes to studies on cannabinoids in humans but we are starting to learn that basically cannabidiol helps keep a body in a homeostatic state of balance. That’s a good thing. 

Why does CBD work?

It may come as a surprise to learn that the human body naturally produces its own internal cannabinoids through what is known as our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The purpose of these cannabinoids is to keep the body in a state of stasis, or balance. Maintaining internal homeostasis keeps the body’s many processes running smoothly. When a body process gets imbalanced our internal cannabinoids’ job is to help correct the problem. What science has found is that plant based cannabinoids like CBD work because they can directly support our body produced cannabinoids

Why is Hemp good for you?

By supporting your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) CBD keeps the body in balance. That balance promotes health and healing on many levels. That is why it can be used to relieve pain and inflammation and also is good for stress, depression and anxiety. It can also benefit heart health by reducing blood pressure. There is also evidence it has neuroprotective properties and can reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and psychosis. It has also been shown to improve sleep and help with substance abuse. And as mentioned the FDA has approved CBD under the drug name, Epidiolex, as an anti seizure medication.

All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD. This is because, in 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal – that would be like making apples legal, but keeping apple juice illegal.

Is CBD addictive or Does it make you feel high?

Pure CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. Therefore CBD cannot cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” In fact CBD is so anti-high that individuals who have ingested too much THC can actually take CBD to reduce the THC effects.

What conditions can hemp be good for?

  • Epilepsy. The first FDA approved cannabis-derived medicine, Epidiolex, is an anti-seizure medication. This massive dose of CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, stop them altogether.
  • Anxiety. Studies and clinical trials are exploring the common report that it can reduce anxiety.
  • Insomnia. Studies suggest that it may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
  • Chronic pain. Further human studies are needed to substantiate claims that hemp helps control pain. One animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests hemp could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to skin. Other research identifies how hemp may inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are difficult to treat.
  • Addiction. Hemp can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, according to some research in humans. Animal models of addiction suggest it may also help lessen cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.

How do I take hemp?

Hemp comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topical preparations for use on skin. If you want to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical hemp-infused balm may be the best option. Alternatively, hemp oils designed to be placed under the tongue (sublingual) allows hemp to directly enter the bloodstream. Food and drinks containing hemp are the least effective as they must pass through the gut before being absorbed by the body. Vapes have become popular but can irritate the throat and vape liquid may contain unwanted additives. Hemp oil and hemp balm are generally considered the best ways to use it.

How much hemp should I take?

As with many or most supplements, start with a small dose and work your way up until you get the desired effect. Current guidelines suggest 0.25mg hemp extract multiplied by your body weight in pounds on a daily basis. Therefore, a 120 pound person should take 30mg hemp extract daily (0.25 x 120 = 30), and a 200 pound person should take 50mg hemp extract daily (0.25 x 200 = 50). Ideally, split your doses equally between morning and evening. There is no toxic or overdose level for hemp so you can never take ‘too much’. Remember that every body is different.  You may need to experiment to find your perfect dose. And even though you can’t take too much, quality hemp products aren’t cheap, so it makes financial sense not to take more than you need.

What should I expect after taking hemp?

How you feel after taking hemp depends entirely on why you are taking it in the first place. Typically you can expect relief from any condition that hemp is able to help with. So if you are stressed, you could expect to feel more relaxed. If you have a headache you should expect it to lessen. If you take hemp not for any acute issue but rather just to maintain bodily homeostasis, then you might feel only a bit more relaxed and at ease. Hemp helps keep you in balance so if you are already in balance, you might not feel much different after taking it.

Any negative side effects from taking hemp?

Unwanted side effects from hemp are minor to non-existent. There is a possibility of dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite and drowsiness. It may also interact with blood thinning medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements including hemp. Therefore, you must be able to trust the integrity of the hemp company you buy from. It is crucial to only buy trusted and vetted products from reputable companies that provide lab analysis on request.

How can I tell if a hemp product is any good?

Because hemp is unregulated, the primary cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of hemp in products. A recent study of 84 hemp products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less hemp extract than labeled. In addition, THC was found in 18 products. When purchasing a hemp product the amount of hemp extract it contains in milligrams should be clearly stated on the package. If you can’t see that information, it might only be hemp seed oil with no actual hemp extract whatsoever. CBD currently cannot be purchased on Amazon or other major online retailers so anything you buy on those platforms will not actually contain CBD. Any legitimate company will provide a lab analysis of their product on request. Aside from that, word of mouth from happy customers is probably the best way to know if a product is any good.

What is full spectrum hemp and why is it better?

A full-spectrum hemp product contains multiple cannabinoids, including essential oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids, such as cannabinol. Because full-spectrum hemp extract contains all (up to 140) cannabis plant compounds, it can have a more potent effect than pure CBD. Research suggests that hemp’s health benefits may be more prominent when multiple compounds from the cannabis plant are present. This is what researchers call the ‘entourage effect.’

CBD Facts – The Takeaway

Hemp is a plant that is loaded with cannabinoids that is able to support the human body’s own internal endocannabinoid system. It has been proven to be a helpful, relatively non-toxic option for managing anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain and other issues. Although legal in all 50 states, care must be taken to make sure you are purchasing a quality full spectrum and lab analyzed product from a reputable source.

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