Ready to try CBD oil – but unsure how to use it or how much to take? Here are a few things you should know. People turn to CBD to relieve unwanted symptoms such as anxiety, pain, seizures, and difficulty sleeping, but did you know that your body comes equipped with a system that is a direct target for CBD and other compounds in the hemp, or cannabis, plant: the endocannabinoid system (ECS)? Ultimately, CBD helps the body to regulate inflammation, from which chronic illness stems. Dr. Ethan Russo (2004, 2016) introduced the concept of endocannabinoid deficiency as the root cause of many chronic illnesses. When in balance, the ECS boosts the functioning of the immune and central nervous systems, but when out of balance, it’s unable to keep our body in check and illness occurs.
Though it’s often simply referred to as CBD oil, look for a full-spectrum hemp oil. In general, the whole plant tends to be more effective due to the “entourage effect”. The entourage effect is realized through the whole plant extract and not just an isolated part. Dr. David Meiri has discovered 144 cannabinoids (like CBD, THC) in the plant plus terpenes (essential oils). With this being said, if your job requires drug-testing be aware that there are trace amounts of THC in hemp oil that could show up on a drug test. In NY, hemp oil with concentrations of CBD is legal when it contains less than 0.3% THC.
Note that there is a difference in hemp oil (as a food product) sold for its omega content and hemp oil produced with higher levels of cannabinoids like CBD. When shopping for a reliable product, look for product lab test results posted on a company’s website showing no evidence of contamination from solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, or microbes. The hemp plant is a bio-accumulator, making it a great plant to replenish toxic soil for agricultural purposes, but the oils you consume shouldn’t contain harmful substances. Also, a CO2 cold extraction method without the use of harsh solvents is recommended.
As for serving size, start low and go slow. Work up to a serving that feels right for you. Part of my role as a CBD specialist is to vet the companies that I recommend to clients so that they don’t have to do all the guesswork.
If you think CBD isn’t right for you, I have good news. There are various ways to target the ECS for wellness. PEA is another option that works for pain. This endocannabinoid (produced in the body and plants) interacts with the ECS and has been proven to reduce pain and inflammation. Balancing the ECS can also be addressed through nutrition, especially with spices like fresh black pepper, exercise like yoga, and alternative therapies like acupuncture. The best results of using CBD come from using it along with a lifestyle that promotes balance and health.
Written by Alicia Salazar of Stay Balanced in Patchogue, NY. Alicia is a health coach and CBD specialist who completed certification through the Holistic Cannabis Academy. Come visit Alicia at Tranquility Within in Patchogue to discuss CBD and a product that is right for you. Stay Balanced sells oils, liposomes, topicals, body butters, patches, and more.