The ABCs of CBD

Health-conscious consumers are taking greater interest in alternative ways to manage chronic pain, stress, anxiety, inflammation, and sleep. In the wake of the opioid crisis and in tandem with a society seeking effective, affordable, and safe options to prescription drugs, Cannabidiol or CBD, as it is commonly called, has found its way into everyday conversation. CBD is an extract from the cannabis plant that has an amazing number of natural health benefits.

First, there is an important distinction to be made. Both hemp, from which over-the-counter CBD is derived, and marijuana come from the same Cannabis Sativa plant species. These strains though contain different properties. The marijuana plant contains something called Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is also a cannabinoid and medicinally helpful but has side effects to your body and mind which some may describe as “getting high.”

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Hemp does not contain THC so the CBD from hemp is safe and does not have these negative effects. Hemp contains barely a trace of THC - less than 0.3-percent. Many products are refined to contain zero THC.

Why should you take CBD? Cannabinoids are important to the human body on many levels. There are cannabinoid receptors found in the brain, nervous system, GI tract, bone, immune system, skin, and nearly every other organ in the body. These receptors are like little docking stations for the CBD and helps to regulate functions such as:

  • Appetite

  • Bone health

  • Caloric metabolism

  • Fertility

  • Immune function

  • Inflammation

  • Mood

  • Memory

  • Pain sensation

  • Skin health

  • Sleep

  • Stress response

When comparing CBD products, look for full spectrum CBD oils because these contain the most comprehensive profile of cannabinoids. Full spectrum oils use the whole plant, not just the hemp seed or specific portions of a cannabis plant, like leaves or stems. A full spectrum CBD oil contains other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBD-V, CBD-G, CBD-C, CBDN, all of which have their own unique healing properties.

Another CBD option would be a product made from an isolate of just CBD that does not use the whole hemp plant - everything is removed except the CBD constituent. The difference between isolate and full spectrum CBD is in the extraction process. Not that there is anything wrong with just plain CBD but if you want total pain management, full spectrum CBD oil is the best choice.

Lastly, the best hemp, necessary to produce the best CBD, is organically grown in the U.S. and non-GMO without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers and heavy metal residues. Beware, there are products selling CBD derived from non-organic hemp (maybe genetically engineered cannabis plants) as well as from unknown locations and sources. Using these products may have some unwanted health effects. Please choose your CBD oil wisely!

The author, Dr. David Berv, is a certified chiropractic sports physician, acupuncture diplomate. He is a co-owner of The Float Zone, and can be reached at david@myfloatzone. To read other posts visit our blog page.

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