Is CBD Hype or a Hit?

Updated: Feb 25

CBD is the latest health trend and the wellness market is already flooded with CBD cosmetics, beverages, lotions, tinctures, and pet products.

A few weeks ago, I was at Erewhon a natural foods store, where I ordered a Chaga Latte and for an extra $3 I could add CBD. It sounds so LA, but consumer sales in 2019 were at $813 million US dollars. That’s a lot of money and I wonder if it’s just hype or have we really hit on something that works?

For those unfamiliar, CBD stands for Cannabidiol which is a chemical compound in Cannabis that has no psychoactive effect.

After working in the Cannabis industry for two years, I’ve learned that consumers still have a lot to learn about CBD. For example, how does CBD work in the body and are there any side effects? Does CBD work for the variety of health claims that are being promoted? What’s the difference between Hemp vs Cannabis CBD and how do you choose the right kind of product.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading and watch this video. It's from a panel I was on, "The Magic & Mystery of CBD" We were at the USC Galen Center hosted by USC Civic Engagement Department and NLBWA-LA,  National Latina Women's Association of Los Angeles.

How Does CBD Work with the Body

In order to understand how CBD works with the body, we need to dive into the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS involves three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are natural cannabis-like molecules produced by the human body. They bind to receptors CB1 & CB2 signaling the ECS to maintain bodily homeostasis — biological harmony in response to changes in the environment.

We now know the ECS is involved in a wide variety of processes, including pain management, mood, appetite, sleep, metabolism, and immune function. Stress and poor diet can impair the ECS, known as an endocannabinoid deficiency, and this can lead to long term chronic stress related health problems. The ECS is able to down regulate stress-related signals that lead to chronic inflammation and certain types of pain.

Although CBD is generally safe, it can cause adverse reactions like diarrhea and fatigue in some people who consume larger amounts. It may also interfere with certain medications. Refrain from CBD if your medication has a “grapefruit warning.” Both grapefruit and CBD interfere with cytochromes P450 (CYPs), a group of enzymes that are important to drug metabolism.

Can CBD Really Stand Up to All the Health Claims?

Many of CBD’s purported health benefits come from people trying to sell CBD products — not from scientists. Most of the studies have been on animals and that’s because of federal restrictions. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Many claims (if not most) about the health benefits of CBD are anecdotal. Small trials are now underway looking at the effects of CBD on anxiety, pain, opioid addiction, depression and other health problems.The National Institute of Health funding for CBD studies went from zero in 2014 to an estimated $16 million in 2018.

The strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness is in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD. Check out the TOP 10 Cannabis studies of all time.

Hemp Vs. Cannabis (Marijuana) CBD

Hemp CBD has no THC (the psychoactive ingredient). Because of that, anyone can buy Hemp CBD anywhere in the United States. Buyers beware. Hemp CBD is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. The FDA rules say that CBD cannot be legally added to food and sold across state lines, sold as a dietary supplement or marketed with claims of treating diseases.

A study published in 2017 in JAMA found that of 84 products sold online in 2016 as CBD-containing products, only 26 were labeled accurately (containing CBD within 10 percent of the claimed amount). Look for brands that offer access to lab results on their website. However, even if product labels were always accurate, people have no idea of the correct dose of CBD (assuming the right dose would be effective). For example, people who participated in the Epidiolex study took 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Most products in the current market are dosed at 5-25 milligrams per serving. To reach that daily dose, you’d have to eat several packages of CBD gummies. That just isn't realistic and it is very costly.

Cannabis (Marijuana) CBD contains THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gives the “high” feeling. In the current legal Cannabis market, there are products available that have such a small amount of THC that the consumer doesn’t feel “high.” There is no sense of impairment with a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1. High CBD products are available in flower, vapes, tinctures, edibles, and topicals. Due to the THC in these products, you can only purchase them in a legal Cannabis dispensary in states where Cannabis is legal.

The plus side to purchasing Cannabis (Marijuana) CBD is that it is highly regulated. Testing is very thorough and accurate. It has to be or companies lose their license and their ability to operate.

There are also therapeutic benefits to THC that complement CBD. There is analgesic potential in pain management with THC specifically for neuropathic pain and cancer pain.

Personally, I prefer Cannabis with CBD and THC because of the entourage effect. This is the effect you experience from all the compounds of Cannabis working synergistically together. You can avoid having a negative "too high" experience by sticking to ratios like 20:1 or 10:1. Cannabis has been a part of my health and wellness for over 10 years. I was on Prozac for Anxiety and that eventually caused depression. When doctors tried to give me more pills, I switched to Cannabis. My anxiety, has been managed with a combination of Cannabis, Yoga, and Meditation.

Are you interested in finding out if Cannabis can help you with your health and fitness goals? Let's connect! Book a Free Consultation with me by clicking HERE!

*Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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