A Doctor’s Thoughts on CBD
The health benefits of medical marijuana has been known for some time, especially in relation to pain and cancer. However, obtaining marijuana has been a problem for many because it was illegal in the United States until 1996 when California legalized it for medical use. This trend really began spreading in 2016. A compound in the hemp plant, CBD, has exploded in more so in the last year than ever before. CBD really appeared on the scene in 2015, but many people were skeptical because of the close ties it has to it’s sister plant, marijuana. One round on the Dr. Oz show is all it really took, and now I have anywhere from parents coming in asking about it for their kids to senior citizens who heard about it from their primary care physicians. It seems like a vast majority return for more after receiving some benefits, some going as far to say it has “been a miracle” for them. Now, I’m very much against a “one-size-fits-all” approach to any supplement, but everywhere you look people are being recommended CBD for symptoms of just about anything; depression, anxiety, sleep issues/insomnia, pain/inflammation, autoimmunity, cancer, Alzherimer’s/dementia, Parkinson’s, seizure disorders, arthritic conditions, and the list goes on. Some have gone on to call it the “91st essential nutrient”. So, is CBD for everyone?
Understanding What You’re Buying
Here’s the quick and dirty on the different hemp products you can legally purchase. It seems like hemp products are as confusing as buying eggs. You can buy eggs, cage-free, organic, free-range, cage-free organic, omega-3, free-range organic, cage-free free-range organic pastured, non-gmo verified, animal welfare certified, cage-free organic free-ranged pastured animal welfare certified omega-3, and really any of the above combination that people can think of.
Full spectrum: this is derived from hemp, and has all of the plant compounds you would find in the hemp plant, including THC (which is what gets you “high” from marijuana). The amount of THC allowed is 0.3%, so you are not going to get “high from this product. The amount in this is too small. But, you can FALSE POSITIVE ON A DRUG TEST. So, if you get drug tested at work, this is not for you. But if you don’t this is fine to ingest. THC has some unique benefits compared to CBD but at 0.3% I wouldn’t imagine you would get them. However, full-spectrum also contains all of the other phyto-compounds of the hemp plant.
Broad Spectrum: exactly the same as full spectrum, with all the THC removed. You can get all the benefits of full spectrum’s phyto-compounds without having to worry about a false-positive drug test by their employer or whoever wants one.
CBD Isolate: this is a pure, distillation that consists of just CBD. This is the sought-after compound that most people have heard about benefitting a wide variety of ailments.
Confusing it Further
Companies also use different extraction methods, each claiming there’s is the best. There’s 3 kinds:
Ethanol: extracts the phyto-compounds using alcohol.
CO2 Critical: extracts the phyto-compunds using carbon dioxide.
Butane: extracts the phyto-compounds using butane.
Each one has benefits and drawbacks. So who is right? In a scenario with 3 companies who each used one of the above extraction methods, each would claim their extraction method is the best. However, I think that both the ethanol and CO2 critical extraction companies would rate the butane extraction as the worst. In my eyes, I am not married to any one method in terms of superiority. There are people who do better with different vitamin C preparations too, even though they all contain vitamin C. Finding what works best for you is key.
We use Lazarus Naturals here at Nutrifarmacy because they are 3rd party tested, organic, vegan, with no harmful chemicals. They have been around since 2014 and haven’t had issues the FDA has found with other companies, such as lying about the dose.
Some companies use hemp, while others use marijuana (the recreational “drug”). They still produce preparations with less than 0.3% THC, so you won’t get “high”. These companies will claim that their product is superior because of the starting product. Some people swear by marijuana-derived CBD, while I’ve heard other say “it didn’t do anything” and did better with hemp derived.
Many people are confused about the dosage as well. This is by far the MOST CONFUSING aspect as far as I can tell regarding CBD. Companies take advantage of the CBD-craze and use clever marketing to severely under dose the products. When buying CBD, the most important question you should be concerned with is: How much CBD is in this bottle? This is where most people get confused. To find this out, go to the ingredients part of the bottle. Somewhere, it will say how many mg of CBD are per serving. Take the servings and multiply it by the mg of CBD. That is how much CBD is in the bottle. This is what’s important. Now, take the cost of the product, and divide by the total number of milligrams. This is how much you are paying for each mg of cbd.
The CBD we sell here comes out to roughly $ 0.04 per mg. Most companies are higher (usually greater than $0.14 per mg).
There’s also capsule vs. oil. Some say the oil is best absorbed, and works better for pain and inflammatory issues. Some say the capsule works more in inflammatory GI conditions. In my experience, you will benefit from either if you will benefit at all. Someone told me who tried both is he only felt a difference when he abstained for a few days.
I use Applied Kinesiology during my appointments to determine what supplements I recommend to my clients. Often times CBD will test strongly with a patient, but not always. In cases where it does not test, I do not recommend taking it. When it tests strongly, I try to incorporate it. Many times it helps, but some of the time the patient doesn’t notice a difference. If they don’t notice a difference, I always leave it optional for them. Many times they discontinue it only to find out that it had been working! Symptoms that had been going away slowly creep back in, such as sleep disturbances or a nagging joint.
Dosage varies; some don’t need much, sometimes just 5 mg. Others benefit from dosages as high at 100 mg. I find most people fall around 50mg, but 25mg is a common dose as well pre-bed for sleeping. CBD can be a beneficial product for many, but also reveals there is a deeper underlying issue.