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What is CBD?

The cannabis industry is booming and there does not seem to be an end to the benefits cannabis may provide. There are two species of cannabis: hemp and marijuana. The difference between the two is the levels of THC and CBD. These compounds are what are known as cannabinoids: chemical compounds that makeup the active components of cannabis. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound that produces the feeling of being “high”, while CBD (cannabidiol) has little or no psychoactive effects. The hemp plant legally contains less than 0.3% THC so all CBD products on the market are derived from the hemp plant.

CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the body’s regulatory system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The prefix, ‘endo’, means from within, so the ECS is a system of cannabinoids from within the body! The ECS works to maintain a balanced and regulated state of all your body’s interconnected systems. This balanced state is called homeostasis. Appetite, sleep, pain response, stress, anxiety, energy, and more are all regulated in some way or another by the ECS.

Here is a list of the top 11 reasons to take CBD back by science…

reasons to take cbd
Reasons to Take CBD by Thrive Flower

Here is a List of the Top 11 Reasons to Take CBD:

Great Reasons to Take CBD…

1. CBD Is Legal

You read that right, CBD is federally legal as per the Farm Bill (2018). The bill defines hemp as containing less than 0.3% THC. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and used to make all the products you see on the market. While this is all federally legal, states have the ability to choose laws and restrictions for themselves.

Out of the 50 states, only a few have restrictions and two have outlawed CBD products. Idaho and South Dakota do not currently allow for the products, sale, or consumption of CBD products. Smokable hemp is restricted in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas. Check out our blog to see your state’s viewpoint on CBD legality.

2. CBD Will Not Make You High

The compound that produces the feeling of being “high” is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is most abundantly found in the marijuana plant while the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC. At these levels of THC, there will be no psychoactive effects. If drug tests are a concern, you would be able to pass them as well. Drug tests test for the metabolite that THC produces in your body. CBD will never produce THC’s metabolite and therefore will “not report positive” for a marijuana drug test.

If you prefer CBD products with 0.00% THC, look for products made with either CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. Isolate is 99% or more pure CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD extract contains all of the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, but the THC is removed. Full-spectrum CBD products will have trace amounts of THC, but still less than the legal requirement of 0.3%.

3. CBD Has Minimal Side Effects

The World Health Organization’s report on CBD found it to be “well-tolerated with a good safety profile”. The report also states there is no risk of abuse. The most common adverse effects that someone may experience are light-headedness and nausea. Proper hydration and a small snack before using CBD may be helpful to avoid any adverse effects. 

Talking to your doctor is always a good idea when making changes to your wellness routine. The research into CBD’s interactions with other drugs, prescription or over-the-counter, is lacking. Do not stop taking any medications before talking to your doctor as CBD is not medication.

4. CBD is Natural

The cannabinoid, CBD, occurs naturally in both the hemp and marijuana plants. CBD is usually only about 1-3% of the marijuana plant, but it can be upwards of 20% of the hemp plant. To extract CBD from the hemp plant, the general premise is to remove the cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.) and terpenes (flavor) from the plant using a solvent. Then evaporate the solvent leaving behind the extracted cannabinoids and terpenes. Ideally, the solvent used is carbon-dioxide (CO2). This produces the cleanest extract.  

5. There are Many Ways to Use CBD

CBD products come in all shapes and sizes. You can chew on some CBD gummies, rub on a CBD topical, drop some CBD oil under your tongue, or even smoke some CBD flower or a vapor pen (in states where smokable hemp is legal, see above). How you take CBD is entirely up to you, but there are a couple things you should consider. CBD is absorbed by the body differently for different application methods. Gummies and other edibles need to go through the digestive system and may take a bit longer to set in, but may also last longer.

When dropped under your tongue, CBD oil gets to the bloodstream via the mucous membrane, bypassing the digestive system. Using this method you are going to get more of the CBD than an edible, but effects may not last as long. Topicals are great for on-the-spot relief of local cannabinoid receptors, but not much of the CBD will penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. Smokable products have the highest absorbancy rate because the large surface area of the lungs goes right to the bloodstream. If you have specific questions about which product is right for you, try reaching out to a company representative

6. CBD Can Help You Sleep

Many of us struggle to get a solid night’s sleep consistently. Maybe your mind is running, or you have body pain, or you just do not feel tired until late into the night. CBD is becoming an increasingly popular sleep aid and one of the most common reasons to take CBD. In one study of healthy people given either CBD or placebo, it was found that “ . . . CBD does not seem to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers” (Linarest, et al).

CBD use before bed also seems to show a “ . . . decrease in reported time to sleep . . . ” (Tringale, et al). Besides being able to help you fall asleep faster, CBD can also lessen bedtime anxiety, making it easier for some subjects to drift off into a dream world (Shannon S, et al).

7. CBD Can Help with Anxiety and Stress

Stress and anxiety, although not the same thing, do tend to go hand-in-hand. Stress is the emotional and physical response to a trigger. This trigger could be a sudden change or having too much to do or being late, etc. Anxiety can be the result of prolonged stress. Most of us have experienced one or both at some points in our lives, it is very common.

Using CBD for stress and anxiety is one of the most studied aspects of CBD and one of the best reasons to take CBD. One study found that the use of CBD reduced anxiety and improved sleep in the subject (Shannaon, et al). Several other studies found CBD to be associated with “ . . . significantly decreased subjective anxiety . . . “ (Crippa, et al) in part by reducing blood pressure and heart rate (Bergamaschi, et al). Both an increase in blood pressure and heart rate are common symptoms of stress and anxiety.

The serotonin receptor, 5-HT1A, also plays part in decreasing blood pressure and heart rate. It is thought that an increase in anxiety could be attributed to lower 5-HT1A binding levels (Akimova, et al). CBD was found to aid the decrease of blood pressure and heart beat (Russo, et al). We can all take some CBD and chill!

Thrive Flower Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture at Sunflower Park in Philadelphia, PA

8. CBD Can Help with Pain

Physical pain can come in many forms. Stub your toe, overwork your body, bad posture, arthritis, etc. One major cause of pain is the inflammation occurring within your body. This inflammation can be a cause of something short term like an injury or a bacteria.

Long-term, chronic pain and inflammation can be caused by diseases that create an overactive immune response in your body. The immune response partially comes in the form of pro-inflammatory cytokines (cytokines are signaling molecules that let other molecules know what to do) such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-ɑ) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1𝛽).

CBD has been shown to inhibit the production of both TNF-ɑ and  IL-1𝛽 (Sumner 1383).  T-regulatory cells (Tregs) are a type of cell that suppresses the immune response and CBD just so happens to be able to upregulate it (Nagarkatti, et al). So taking CBD can help with pain and inflammation by slowing the production of molecules that support inflammation and increases production of anti-inflammatory ones.

Arthritis and Fibromyalgia are both common causes of chronic pain. Both diseases and their reactions to CBD use have been studied more and more in recent years. Recent findings show that “CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating [Osteo-Arthritis] joint neuropathic pain” (Philpott, et al) as well as “significant relief of pain, stiffness, [and] relaxation” (Fiz, et al) in Fibromyalgia patients.

CBD can be a wonderful recovery tool for your muscles after a workout, which is one of the fantastic reasons to take CBD. While there is a healthy level of inflammation that occurs to your muscles when working out, it is possible to over-do it and experience prolonged soreness. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could potentially help your body recover quicker (McCartney, et al).

9. CBD Can Help Your Mood

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed? CBD has your back. There are any number of reasons our mood can turn negative. Maybe it is work or a nagging injury or money problems, no matter the cause, CBD can help turn that frown upside down by having an effect on the production of serotonin.1 This makes for one of the most attractive reasons to take CBD. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that has major effects on our mood. Lacking serotonin can lead to mental health issues and depression-like symptoms.2 The research shows that

“CBD is an attractive compound to improve mood disturbances and improve quality of life . . .”1

“CBD treatment has been shown to exert antidepressant-like effects . . .”3

CBD may also be able to help reduce the severity of learned reactions to negative stimuli. For example, if the sound of a new email during the workday immediately gives you a stressful feeling, the stress is your learned response known as the fear expression. Research shows that CBD may be able to help break down that connection between a stimulus and a negative response, allowing you to improve your mental well-being.4 This also makes CBD a suitable candidate for the treatment of conditions such as PTSD and and phobia treatment. 

10. Pets Love CBD

Your furry friends have some reasons to take CBD and can experience many of the same benefits you do when taking CBD. It can help with anxiety from separation, loud noises (fireworks, thunder, etc.), or vet trips. It can help with nausea during car rides. CBD can also have a calming effect on over-excited pets and bring them to a more sociable excitement level or help them sleep. Pain and inflammation is common with older animals and CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may be able to help them stay active. CBD Dog Chews and Pet Drops are popular for their ease of use.’

11. CBD is Good for Your Skin

Skin care and beauty products are incorporating CBD into their product formulas because the potential benefits can really improve the quality of life in a person with a skin condition. Inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis have potential to be therapeutically treated with CBD products (Palmieri, et al).

There is even evidence that CBD use can reduce the visibility of scars, blemishes, and sun spots (Palmieri, et al). CBD also shows potential in treating symptoms of something many of us deal with, acne (Marks, et al). Other conditions that CBD may have effectiveness to control symptoms and improve quality of life include, systemic sclerosis, atopic dermatitis, and pruritus (Marks, et al).

Reasons to Take CBD: How to Find Quality CBD

If any of the reasons to take CBD listed above have you considering supplementing your wellness routine with a CBD product, now you will face the vast options of companies and types of product to try. It is important to be as informed as you can on the product you will be using.

We suggest looking for lab tested results for each product on the company’s webpage. They should be easy to find and if they are not, the company should easily be able to provide you with them upon request. On the lab test results consumers should be looking for a few things. The first being that the levels of CBD match or exceed or the amount advertised on the product label. Next, the levels of delta9-THC are lower than the legal limit of 0.3%. Consumers should also check the date of the results. Companies should be updating lab results for every batch of new products.

Once you’ve found a company that you trust, the next question is which product to use?! There are many types of products from edibles to tinctures to topicals to smokeables. Not only is the strength of the product important, the way the CBD enters your body is as well. 

Now once you have picked the company and the product, how much CBD should you take? Everyone has different dosing needs based on many factors such as severity of the affliction, weight, gender, age, activity level, etc. The general rule is to start with a low dose (~10mg) and take note how that affects you. Then if you feel you could use a higher dose, take a little more next time and again note how you feel. Then repeat! This is a process that takes days not hours so be patient and conscious of what your body is telling you. Start Low and Go Slow!

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