CBD, which comes from cannabis but doesn’t get you high, is supposed to ease tension. But with so many different products and kinds, choosing which CBD to take can induce a headache. Chef V breaks it down for you…
Are you CBD-curious but totally confused by all the different types of products with it? And are you totally confused by the different kinds of CBD to take?
I don’t blame you. A few years ago, I was totally intrigued by CBD. Being a certified nutritional therapist and passionate devotee of all-natural healing, I was determined to learn more about it.
After talking to some people I know who tried it and claimed CBD helped ease anxiety, I tried it myself. But back then, CBD was in just about everything, from shampoo to toothpaste. The CBD bandwagon was out of hand and the green gold rush was on.
The problem was that the therapeutic effects of CBD are only felt if the CBD is of good quality. But there have been lots of shady business practices in the CBD business over the years. The general rule of thumb is that if you see a product with CBD sold at a gas station for cheap, don’t expect miracles. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean the more expensive a CBD product is, the better it is. But you get the idea…
There are still plenty of substandard CBD products out there. CBD is unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so anybody can claim that a certain product contains X amount of CBD and you can be left holding the bag.
But in this article, I’ll tell you:
- What type of hemp extract is considered therapeutically the best (CBD comes from the hemp plant)
- What’s the best product for specific health concerns
- And what to look for in a reputable brand
Before we dive in, however, let me give you a mini crash course on CBD just in case you’re still not 100% sure what it is.
What is CBD?
It stands for cannabidiol. CBD is an extracted molecule from the hemp plant. Hemp belongs to the cannabis family of plants. Marijuana is also a plant from the cannabis family. CBD is in marijuana but it doesn’t get you high. In fact, CBD counteracts the psychoactive properties of THC, which is the most abundant chemical in marijuana.
CBD is actually the second-most abundant molecule in marijuana, and is just one of over 100 molecules that have been discovered in cannabis. These 100 or so molecules (I think it’s 134 that have been identified to date) are known as cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are phyto- (plant) chemicals that helps stimulate a system in your body that’s responsible for keeping you healthy and balanced. That system is known as the endocannabinoid system.
When you get hurt, your endocannabinoid system springs into action to help relieve the pain. The problem is the effects of each receptor in this system is very short lived. That’s why some people believe CBD is helpful in keeping the endocannabinoid system going strong. This is especially true if you have anxiety or lots of stress.
In 2018, industrial hemp became legal under federal law as an agricultural commodity. That means hemp pants might be back in style soon, for the first time in like 300 years. CBD comes from industrial hemp and contains a tiny amount of THC. But it’s such a small amount you won’t feel it.
Different Types of CBD
When it comes to the different types of CBD, here are three terms you’ll hear a lot:
- Broad spectrum
- Full spectrum
If you’re going to start using CBD on a regular basis, it’s best to know the difference. CBD isolate contains no THC. If you’re one of those rare people who get a contact high from pot from someone smoking 500 yards away, then maybe CBD isolate is right for you. Remember, CBD has trace amounts of THC. So if you work for the CIA and don’t want to risk being nailed on a drug test for THC, you may want to start with CBD isolate.
But for most people, I recommend not using CBD isolate. Broad spectrum also contains no THC. But it does contain other cannabinoids like CBN. In hemp extracts, CBD is by far the most abundant cannabinoid.
However, the trace amounts of other cannabinoids has a synergistic energy that works with CBD. This is called the “entourage effect.” People who swear by CBD believe that these lesser cannabinoids are vital for helping ease anxiety, pain and whatever else is ailing them.
If you want the full entourage effect, choose full-spectrum CBD. It’s got all the cannabinoids of broad spectrum, plus the trace amount of THC. Just to emphasize again: it won’t get you high, and it’s not the same as medical marijuana.
So to sum up, the best type of hemp extract in my opinion is full-spectrum CBD. I’ve tried CBD isolate before and it didn’t really do anything. But I’m sure for other people, CBD isolate or broad spectrum has some effect.
Now that we have our type of CBD chosen, let’s go shopping for some product…
Best CBD Products
Until I have my own line of CBD—no plans as of yet—I’m not in the business of name-dropping brands. But at the end of this article, I’ll give you some pointers on what to look for when choosing a reputable brand.
Best for Sleep
When it comes to CBD products, gummies are all the rage. And why not. It’s therapeutic candy. What could be more fun?
But there are a couple things I don’t love about gummies. Most of us consume far too much sugar and most gummies have sugar added to them. Plus, many brands have artificial food coloring. Numerous health problems have been associated with fake dye, especially attention-deficit disorder in kids.
However, if I had occasional sleeplessness and had success using CBD gummies before bedtime, I’d keep at it. Just remember to brush those teeth before bed and cut down on the rest of your added sugars.
Best for anxiety & stress-relief
When it comes to easing nervous tension and anxiousness, I’m a believer in using the purest form of CBD possible: oil. Also called “drops”, CBD oil is pure hemp extract with nothing added to it other than MCT oil so it can be better absorbed.
The best way to use full-spectrum CBD oil is to squeeze some drops of it under the tongue and hold it for about a minute before swallowing. This will help with the absorption.
Warning: the purest of the pure CBD oil tastes super earthy and hempy. You can tell if it’s good quality stuff if it smells like weed a little bit.
Best for soothing achy muscles and joints
I think daily use of high-quality CBD oil is the best for general wellness and mental well-being. But when it comes to taking care of your bod, let’s get topical. In the last couple of years, CBD roll-on bottles have become trendy and I think that’s fantastic. Who thought it would have taken so long for someone to come up with a purpose for roll-on bottles other than masking stinky pits?
There are other forms of topical CBD like creams, lotions, salves, balms, etc. But you have to look at the ingredients to determine if it’s a good product.
In addition to premium hemp extract, there should be many other healing botanical helpers like capsaicin, menthol and essential oils to name a few. But don’t expect your pain will miraculously vanish. Topical CBD may work for alleviating or masking pain but it’s not a magic potion.
And what about trendy bath bombs, you may be wondering? Go ahead and try it. Get your luxury bath treatment on. If it’s a good quality bath bomb, you might just feel blissed out.
Tips for choosing great CBD
Any reputable brand will get their products tested by a third party and prominently display those tests on their website. Each batch of hemp extract should be tested for heavy metals, pesticides and fungus. And each lab report should show the molecular profile. That means the report will give you the percentage breakdown of all the cannabinoids like THC in the batch.
By law, CBD can’t have more than 0.3% THC. And when CBD comes from hemp, it won’t contain more than that. CBD from marijuana is not federally legalized.
So now that you know what to look for in a great CBD product, get shopping. Read customer reviews, talk to your friends and experiment. That’s the fun of CBD, and remember, experimenting with CBD won’t get you high.