One of the fastest growing industries in the western world is that of CBD supplements. CBD supplements are essentially any product that’s sold with CBD in it that isn’t a prescription medication.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a derivative of cannabis but is also found naturally in most vertebrate animals including humans.
Many people have been turning to CBD to help with their medical issues due to the many healing properties that it contains and because it’s a natural substance that works naturally within the body.
What Exactly is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of 113 known components that are found in cannabis plants. These components called cannabinoids are types of chemical compounds that act upon neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS comprised of the brain, the central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system and helps regulate physiological and neural processes.
CBD has been found to have amazing healing properties. Among the issues CBD has been found to treat are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Cardiovascular Disorders
- Huntington’s Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome-Related Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative Disorders
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Tourette’s Syndrome
And while CBD may not be a cure for some of these ailments, it is an effective treatment in for many of the symptoms that present in these diseases.
The cannabis plant has 3 main species, Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. All 3 can produce CBD, but the concern is the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol content. Under most jurisdictions, the THC content must be under 0.3% for the cannabis to be used commercially. Below is a comparison chart of the 3 species of cannabis.
|Cannabis Sativa||Cannabis Indica||Cannabis Ruderalis|
|Commonly Known As||Hemp||Marijuana||Russian Hemp|
|THC Content||Less than 0.3%||Up to 35%||Less than 0.1%|
|CBD Content||15% to 20%||5% to 10%||Up to 25%|
|Average Plant Height||Up to 20 feet||3 to 6 feet||2 feet|
|Legal for Medical Use||Legal for medical use in most states. Federal law only recognizes 1 CBD product by prescription.||Legal for medical use in 33 states. Not legal under federal law, however, the justice department is prohibited by law from using funds to prosecute medical cannabis users and suppliers||Legal for medical use in most states. Federal law only recognizes 1 CBD product by prescription.|
|Legal for Personal Use||Ambiguous under federal law||No||Ambiguous under federal law|
|Area of Origin||Eastern Asia||India||Russia, Mongolia|
|Uses||Medical, Food, Clothing, Rope, Construction Materials, Plastics, Bio Fuel||Medicine, Recreational use, Hashish||Medical, Food, Crossbreeding plant for both Sativa and Indica|
Because of US law, CBD in most of the country is derived from hemp. Both Sativa and Ruderalis are both used for hemp. Sativa is far more versatile as the plant can grow up to 20 feet high. This allows for far more applications that the plant can be used for including rope, clothing, paper, food, and medicine.
Ruderalis can be used for all of this as well but is mostly used as either a medicine, food or to crossbreed with Sativa or Indica as the plant has a feature that most growers want to incorporate into their strains of plants which causes the plant to “auto-flower”, allowing for rapid cultivation.
Both Sativa and Ruderalis have high CBD content and, for the most part, low THC content. Indica also contains CBD but also is a high source of THC. CBD from Indica is available for purchase in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use and is available by prescription in most states that have medical marijuana laws but is still illegal under US federal law.
Forms of CBD Supplements
When extracted, manufacturers can choose to sell it in various forms. These include:
- Tinctures – The most common form of CBD is the tincture. These are liquids that are taken sublingually (under the tongue) using an “eye-dropper” like device that usually doubles as the cap for the oil bottle. These oils come in varying potencies based on the manufacturer. The potency that a user should take is based on the type of issues the user has and the effects the user feels after taking a few doses. (For example, if the person gets too tired after taking the oils, they may cut back to increase attentiveness).
- Pills – Another common form of CBD is pill form. This, like popular over-the-counter pain relievers, can come in the form of tablets, capsules, gel caps, soft gels, and gummies. While these tend to work fine, they work slower than other methods such as oils as they have to metabolize in the digestive system.
- Vapes – A form that’s growing fast is the vape form. A vape is an electronic device that’s used to simulate smoking. The device has a section where the CBD liquid can be inserted into it. The device then heats the liquid and generates a vapor via an aerosol that the user inhales much like the smoke of a cigarette.
- Topical creams – Topical creams are used for both skin conditions and as a topical analgesic. The CBD is mixed with beneficial creams or oils such as tea tree oil or coconut oil. It can also be paired with other known remedies such as menthol.
- Edibles – Among the more popular method of ingesting CBD is to eat it. The internet has exploded with hemp-based recipes. But cooking at home isn’t the only option. Suppliers sell CDB in the forms of gummies, candies, lollypops, baked goods, and more.
- Suppositories – While not the most popular method to take CBD, one of the more effective ways is to take it as a suppository. Suppositories can come in rectal or vaginal form. These dissolve and is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. The vascular system carries the CBD through the bloodstream.
- Beverages – Much like edibles, CBD infused drinks are becoming more commonplace. People wanting to drink CBD can find energy drinks, sodas, teas, water, sparkling water, coffee, Kombucha, and more.
- Transdermal patches – Similar to the over-the-counter pain patches that can be purchased at local drug stores, transdermal patches adhere to the skin and the CBD is absorbed through the pores.
- Bath products – A host of bath products exist that include soaps, shampoos, conditioners, bath bombs, colognes, perfumes, aftershave, shaving creams, and shaving gels.
- Aromatics – These include CBD infused candles and diffusers that allow users to get a constant stream of CBD in the air while they perform everyday tasks.
When buying a CBD supplement, most people will go to places they know, such as Amazon or a local drug store, but that isn’t always the best choice.
Stores that specialize in CBD (or in states where it’s legal CBD and marijuana) are the best choices to purchase CBD products. And these can be either traditional brick and mortar locations or online.
The reason for this is that your local CVS or Walmart isn’t going to have experts there to discuss the product. This is true in online purchases, but for online purchases, many sites have a chat, email address, or even a phone number that allow the store to be contacted.
It’s the difference between bringing a car to Walmart for a tune-up or bringing it to the dealership where the car was bought. Walmart may know the basics of how the car works, but the dealership will know all the functionality of the car and how each moving part works with the next as well as how to find signs of wear and tear that Walmart may not know or even care about.
The same is true for CBD. Specialty shop owners generally get into the business because they have a passion for CBD and the health effects it provides.
These owners live in the CBD universe, so the not only keep up with how it works and what it can help with, but they also keep their eyes on the best products and latest trends in the industry. This is important because the CBD industry is new and is changing rapidly, so these owners need to keep up or they could conceivably lose their business.
Another aspect of the CBD specialty shop is quality. These businesses are trying to build reputations to build a customer base. A regular CBD customer can generate a fair amount of revenue for a store, so it’s in their best interest to make sure their suppliers are top notch. Most astute owners will audit their suppliers on a regular basis by requesting the supplier to provide their latest third-party, independent test results.
If you’re buying online from a retailer or even a manufacturer, it is recommended by the FDA that anyone purchasing CBD request the latest third-party testing results. And they should be recent. Results from a year ago aren’t recent. Most companies spend thousands of dollars each month to have independent third-party testing done.
When a manufacturer or supplier does third-party testing they’re not just trying to verify that their product is pure. They’re trying to verify the ratio of ingredients in the product. For example, a product may say that it contains 25% CBD. The only way to verify that it is consistent at 25% is to have samples tested. Mistakes can happen in the manufacturing process. That’s why there are news stories every month about recalls of different foods. The manufacture of the food had contaminants enter the production line and what was thought to be a nut-free product may have had nuts added to it, forcing a recall. The same is true for CBD. The product needs to be consistently checked for contaminants and quality.
A common question you might have when starting out taking CBD is the correct dosage to take. Unfortunately, there’s not a “cookie-cutter” answer to this question.
The effects of the CBD on your body can vary based on such factors as:
- The concentration of CBD in the product
- The type and severity of the condition that the CBD is being used for
- The body weight of the individual
- The user’s body chemistry
- How long the person has been using CBD
Generally, most CBD manufacturers will recommend 1–6MG of CBD for every 10 pounds the user weighs. This is still a wide gap. So 2 things are recommended. First, consult your doctor before starting a CBD regime. They can help you with the dosage based on your condition and medical history. Second, start out low and adjust over a few weeks’ time. Your body will need time to adjust to the CBD as well. Taking too much can cause drowsiness throughout the day. Not taking enough is obviously ineffective in treating your condition.
Whether a person is buying CBD for health maintenance or to combat a condition that they have, the CBD industry offers a wide variety of products to choose from.
From traditional tinctures and vapes to prepackaged food and drink to suppositories and bath products, CBD supplements are available in almost any form a person can conceive.
Recently, fast food companies even got into the fray. On April 20th (International Counterculture Day) the fast food company Carl’s Jr/Hardees offered a one-day special burger called the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight (notice the capital letters on CheeseBurger Delight). The burger consisted of two beef patties and was topped with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, crunchy fries, and Carl’s Jr. Santa Fe Sauce infused with hemp-based CBD oil produced by a Colorado-based CBD company. Each sandwich contained 5 milligrams of CBD extract.
So no matter what way a person chooses to get their daily dose of CBD, there’s a supplement form that will meet their needs.