Whole-plant CBD vs CBD Isolate
In a recent poll, Gallup found that about 14%, or about 1 in 7, of U.S. adults use CBD products. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a powerful natural compound found in marijuana and hemp that doesn’t get users high—and it’s legal to use almost everywhere. Over the past several years, CBD products have popped up all over the place. From gummies to brownies, CBD-infused bottled water, and coffee there are many ways to consume it. There are even options for your pets!
Why should you use CBD oil?
The Gallup Poll also found that 50% of U.S. adults do not use CBD, and 35% had no idea what the substance even was. Maybe you’re in the latter category and wondering, what on earth is CBD and why should I even bother looking at it? Or maybe you’ve heard of the health benefits of CBD and want to learn more about how to use it.
Because CBD is a relatively new supplement, it can be hard to sort out the ins and outs of the substance, so here, we’ll look at CBD basics and explore why whole-plant CBD oil is the best option.
CBD is a chemical compound found in cannabis (both marijuana and hemp plants). It’s a natural substance that can give you a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike the more well-known compound of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s not psychoactive. In other words, it’s incredibly useful, but it will not get you high.
CBD products are extracted from the hemp plant, which contains extremely low THC levels. In fact, it’s virtually impossible for hemp to contain enough THC to produce a high. All legal CBD products, unless sold in a dispensary and specifically labeled as containing THC, don’t have enough THC to produce the most common effects of a high: giggles, an altered sense of time and place, paranoia and euphoria, sleepiness, and so on. CBD does not have addictive properties.
As research emerged on cannabis in the 1990s, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. The endocannabinoid system helps us maintain bodily homeostasis—in other words, stability. Without it, we can’t respond to changes in our environment. It’s clear in our search for chi that our endocannabinoid system is essential. CBD removes the legal and ethical questions of marijuana usage and offers a plant-based supplement for whole-body wellbeing.
Legal status of CBD and where to find it
Speaking of legality, now that you know what CBD oil is, the next natural question is: Is it legal? Since January 2019, 47 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have passed laws allowing the use and sale of CBD, especially as an oil.
Hemp itself has been legalized as of December 2018. The Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Controlled Substances act and has made it legal to grow or cultivate for purposes of research. With this research, its benefits have been made public and it can be consumed legally. Because most CBD is made from hemp, and not marijuana, you can buy the plant both online and in local health and alternative shops.
How CBD is being used
The health benefits of CBD are enormous, and the list is growing. It’s already being used to treat epilepsy, and some athletes are using it for inflammation instead of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Although research is still underway, the substance’s effects on brain chemistry offer promising potential for treating anxiety and depression. One of the most exciting areas of potential is opioid addiction treatment.
Some even claim that CBD is a miracle drug, spouting out benefits and uses for things like acne, depression, and even Parkinson’s disease. But so far, research is limited. There is only one FDA-approved medication that includes CBD, which is used to treat epilepsy. Many doctors and pharmacists are urging caution, but they are also optimistic about the future of CBD. But, since CBD has relatively few ill side effects and is safe for the majority of the population to use, it’s ripe for experimentation.
Whole-plant CBD oil versus CBD isolate
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of actually using CBD. There are three ways to consume CBD: as an isolate, and as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum compounds. Essentially, these are three different ways of processing the hemp plant that result in three different products.
CBD isolate is just that: isolated CBD. Everything else in the hemp plant, including oils, waxes, chlorophyll, and nutrients, is stripped away. Although CBD isolate has proven health benefits, fighting both inflammation and anxiety in human and rodent test subjects, the positive effects drop off at both low and high doses. There is a bell-curve for effectiveness, making it hard to find the sweet spot of just enough to do good.
Whole-plant CBD, on the other hand, combines CBD with other substances naturally found in hemp. Full-spectrum CBD includes terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, including small amounts of THC. These accompanying compounds work with CBD to help magnify its effects. In a 2005 study, full-spectrum CBD was found to be more effective at providing pain relief than CBD isolate, and unlike the isolate, its effects increased as the dosage went up.
Broad-spectrum CBD offers the best of both worlds. It includes CBD and all the other natural oils, terpenes and cannabinoids in hemp, but completely eliminates THC, making it a slightly less risky option. There are dozens of cannabinoids in hemp besides CBD that have therapeutic benefits, and including these compounds offers an entourage effect, increasing the usefulness of CBD.
Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD are being tested for use in treating multiple ailments, including, according to the study linked above, “pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, [and] fungal and bacterial infections.” They can also temper the high produced by marijuana.
There are pros and cons for each type of CBD, and which one you choose to use is highly individual. But broad-spectrum CBD is the best choice for first-time CBD users who are hesitant about getting started with this product but want to access the benefits of the whole plant. It’s also a great choice if you’ve tried CBD isolate, but haven’t found it to produce the promised effects.
Incorporate CBD in your lifestyle
The more we learn about CBD, the more benefits we are seeing. The incredible potential of our endocannabinoid system in creating balance in our bodies can help us continue on our path towards chi. With CBD more widely available, we can assist our endocannabinoid system on that road towards true balance and homeostasis by incorporating CBD products into our daily routine.
Wondering about dosage? There are many variables that go into figuring out how much CBD is right for you, including your body weight, the condition you’re trying to treat, and your body chemistry. Consult with your doctor first to evaluate whether there are any health risks and see whether they can suggest a dosage for you to try. If your doctor can’t provide a dosing recommendation, start small with 20 mg a day, then work up to a higher dose as needed.
Take a chance on this safe and natural compound on your path toward chi.