CBD For Wellness: Types And Uses Of This Popular Product
CBD has gotten a great deal of press lately, but for those who are new to this market, the market can be confusing. There are so many products, including items with different compound ratios and concentrations, different forms, and even confusing product names. Add to all that the countless recommended uses, and such confusion comes as no surprise. So, how can you determine if you might benefit from CBD?
Using CBD for health issues is a personal choice with a lot of variables, which is why interested individuals should do their homework. This primer on product types, strains, and other variables can help you make sense of the market.
Before looking at the finer points of CBD purchasing and use, it’s important to understand exactly what this compound really is. First and most importantly, CBD isn’t marijuana. Rather, it’s a derivative of pharmaceutical-grade hemp and is a separate compound from THC, the substance in marijuana that creates a “high.” This means that CBD products provide benefits like reduced anxiety and pain relief without negative cognitive effects.
Another important thing to understand about CBD is that it comes in a variety of forms. Among the most common are CBD oils and salves. CBD products can also be smoked, taken in pill form, or integrated into edible products like baked goods. Many CBD products are also blended with a smaller amount of THC, though usually in such proportions as to avoid any psychoactive effects.
Hemp for Health
There’s no such thing as a cure all – though appealing, different complaints require targeted treatments. One thing that makes CBD so popular, however, is that, due to targeted cross-breeding of different strains, it can be used for a variety of different complaints. Some of the most common uses of CBD include glaucoma and migraines, anxiety, insomnia, and some forms of chronic pain. It can also help with some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and is the only treatment for two rare types of infantile epilepsy; Epidiolex is the first FDA approved CBD-based drug, used two treat these conditions, which first appear in children under age two.
Outside of epilepsy, researchers still have limited information about how CBD works on these complaints, but patients offer plenty of anecdotal reports. Those with a passion for plant breeding are also committed to developing and trialing different hemp strains for different conditions and often work with medical marijuana patients at dispensaries.
Strains and Strategies
Which hemp strain a patient chooses and how they choose to use it generally depends on their treatment goals. These combinations are some of the most common protocols.
Purple Gas for Pain and Anxiety
Related to the well-known indica strain, Hindu Kush, Purple Gas is actually a hybrid of two other new hemp trains, BaOx and Therapy. This strain makes high-quality extracts because of its high resin content, but many users like to smoke Purple Gas hemp flowers for anxiety and pain relief. Purple Gas is a good choice for daytime symptom management because it doesn’t cause sedation, a result of its high CBD content – as much as 18% in some plants – and its low (less than .3%) THC content.
Smoking the actual hemp flower is less common than using CBD extract for several reasons, particularly because it doesn’t last very long and because smoking can, of course, have negative health effects. However, smoking CBD has higher bioavailability, so that it takes effect more quickly and more completely than other forms of the compound.
Charlotte’s Web for Sleep
Charlotte’s Web is one of the best known CBD strains, in large part because of the product’s backstory; the strain was developed for Charlotte Figi, a young girl with Dravet Syndrome, one of the aforementioned rare forms of infantile epilepsy. At the time it was bred, Charlotte’s Web was still unusual in its emphasis on CBD content, which originally ran as high as 22%, with virtually no THC.
Today, many people favor Charlotte’s Web’s gummies for easing their insomnia, though the company makes a wide variety of products with their signature strain. Other Charlotte’s Web products are designed for anxiety, as well as fitness recovery, and the company sells gummies, tinctures, capsules, and creams.
CBD Salves for Inflammation
Using CBD products topically for pain is obviously a very different experience than ingestion or inhalation, and when choosing a salve, you want to look for a high quality hemp with high CBD levels. The extraction process is also important, since that will determine how much CBD is pulled from the plant. High quality products like those from FabCBD and Cheef Botanicals can reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis, injuries, and various forms of chronic pain. It may also be used topically for pain from conditions like shingles.
CBD is a legal product, but if you do choose to smoke hemp plant flowers, it’s important to be cautious. Because they come from the same plant, CBD flowers are essentially indistinguishable from those of THC-containing marijuana. This can lead to problems with the police if it’s found in your possession, despite its legal status. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid using any form of CBD, though these products are otherwise generally safe.
Another important thing to know about CBD is that it can take some time to take effect when ingested. When you first begin using it, it’s important to start slowly, be patient, and then taper up your dosage as needed. Taking too much at once can be an unpleasant or overwhelming experience, so pay attention and keep track of how much product you’re using.
Many people find that the association between CBD and marijuana is intimidating or stigmatizing, but they are distinct products, and CBD alone doesn’t cause any of the major psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. Rather, many industry experts expect that scientists will identify a growing set of applications for CBD, with potential for more formal pharmaceuticals, along the lines of Epidiolex. CBD is natural medicine, and it could be just what you need to support your health.