CBD has become so popular lately, and we’ve received many questions about it, so I wanted to address some of those here. CBD is a great supplement with many different benefits, the most common of which are its benefits to helping with pain reduction and anxiety, though benefits are also being researched for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, depression, insomnia, and many more.
Is CBD the same as marijuana?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a plant extract known as a phytocannabinoid that is found in both marijuana and hemp. Hemp derived CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that it won’t make you feel “high” or out of it, but it can be of benefit to many people since it is very effective for treating pain (from all causes) and anxiety. Hemp derived CBD is now legal in all 50 states since the 2018 US Farm Bill was put into effect.
Does CBD contain THC? My job requires drug testing.
THC is the compound in marijuana that confers the “high” that the plant is known for. Even though hemp based CBD is not made from marijuana, hemp plants naturally do have trace amounts of THC. To be sold legally in the United States, CBD from hemp cannot contain more than .3% THC. That amount isn’t enough for a person to feel a “high”, but it may be enough to show up on a drug test. If a person is consuming CBD with any amount of THC in it, there is no way to be certain that they won’t have a problem if they needed a drug test for whatever reason.
That being said, there is CBD available that is guaranteed to contain zero THC. At Pass Health Foods we have many CBD products available that contain no THC. If this is an important issue for you, be sure that the CBD you’re using does not contain any THC. Small amounts of THC in a CBD product does not mean that it’s a bad product necessarily, but it is important to know exactly what you’re taking. For example, CBD extracts known as “whole plant” extracts will almost always contain CBD because it is a natural part of the hemp plant, even though it is in small amounts.
There was a television news story just recently about a woman who lost her job because she was taking a CBD product that contained small amounts of THC, which just reiterates the importance of knowing exactly what you’re taking. Personally, I feel like using a zero-THC product is a good decision, since it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Is CBD regulated by the FDA?
Natural products and supplements, like CBD, are regulated by the FDA differently than prescription drugs. CBD is approved as an ingredient to be sold, but individual bottles and products are not specifically tested by the FDA. Because of this, it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting a reputable product sold by a reputable store. When it comes down to it, anyone could put something in a bottle and say it’s CBD. If people started to get sick from taking it, the FDA would probably step in, but otherwise, there would be no way to know that that specific product was fake (other than it not working). In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 70 percent of CBD sold online did not match the concentrations printed on the labels.
One of the ways to protect yourself against issues of quality when it comes to CBD is to look for brands that do something called “third party testing”, which means that they formulate their product but then send it away to be tested by a laboratory not connected to their brand to confirm the ingredients and that what it says on the label is really true. Every CBD product we carry at Pass Health Foods is third party tested to confirm potency and purity.
What is the best way to take CBD?
CBD is available in many different forms from liquids, gummies, and pills to even foods and drinks infused with CBD. The very best way to take CBD is in a liquid extract; the reason is that CBD is difficult for the body to absorb, and liquids are able to be absorbed so much better. When you take a liquid CBD supplement, it’s recommended that you put it under your tongue for about a minute (longer is even better, but you don’t need to be ridiculous about it). Holding the CBD in your mouth helps the CBD to begin to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the soft tissues in the mouth (similar to if you’ve ever taken a sublingual vitamin). After holding it under your tongue, swish it around your mouth (further enhancing absorption) before swallowing it.
Taking CBD in this way allows your body to absorb it the best it possibly can. Also, liquids are fast acting, with the benefits generally being felt within 20 minutes, which can be extremely helpful is you need relief right away. Gummies are convenient especially for on the go or for people who can’t take liquids for whatever reason, and can be effective, but I would definitely say that liquids are best when it comes to CBD.
Many people worry that a liquid will taste terrible, and to be honest, some do. I’ve tried many different brands of CBD and some are absolutely awful tasting, which can make it difficult to take on a regular basis. The difference in taste from brand to brand comes from a variety of factors, including what carrier oil it’s mixed with and if it’s a whole plant extract, which can be more bitter tasting.
We have several extremely high quality CBD liquids at the store that are great tasting without any bitterness or awfulness. The CBD we most recommend is by a company called Green Gorilla, which I believe has the cleanest, best quality CBD around. They’re USDA Certified Organic (which is incredibly rare when it comes to CBD) and do third party testing on each batch of CBD they make. They also make really nice tasting CBD liquids, making them easy to take.
How much CBD should I take?
First, I’d like to explain about how CBD is sold in regards to potency, since it’s unlike any other supplement. For example, if you wanted to buy Vitamin C, it would say 500mg on the bottle whether it had 30 pills or 500. CBD is not that way, it is measured by how much is in the entire bottle, which can often be confusing. What really matters is the strength of CBD per serving, which varies. We carry CBD in a variety of strengths, the most common being 10 or 20 milligrams of CBD per serving. A 10 milligram dose is on the low side, but can often be enough for someone just experiencing mild pain or anxiety. For people experiencing more severe issues, often a low dose isn’t enough.
The amount of CBD needed for each person if different, depending on the problems they’re experiencing in addition to their individual physiological makeup. In our experience, most people have good results with a 20mg. dose of CBD, though we do have a number of people who use higher amounts to help with more extreme pain. CBD is very safe to take, even in extremely high doses, though there’s no sense in taking a higher dose if a low dose does the trick. That is another nice thing about liquids, with a liquid it is very easy to lower or raise the amount of CBD you take at one time, and also that the benefit is felt quickly, so it is easy to determine if you may need more to help with your individual needs.
I’ve written about some of the more common questions above, but please stop in the store if you have any other questions that we could help you with. Also, all of our health articles are archived on our website at passhealthfoods.com, including many different ones on CBD, its benefits, and how it works. We also have copies available at the store of a wide variety of articles on CBD, so feel free to stop in for more information at 7228 W. College Drive in Palos Heights.