CBD Oil Buying Guide
CBD popularity is exploding across the US. CBD has actually been around for awhile, but like cryptocurrency in 2017 it caught fire with the passing of the Farm Act of 2018 – which made hemp production legal in all 50 states. I know someone who works for John Deere and he said that farmers in Colorado are converting cropland into hemp plantations at an astonishing rate (and he is selling them farm equipment to do it). CBD is derived from the Hemp Plant and along with other Cannabidiols, it is responsible for many of the therapeutic affects and health benefits that most people get from consuming CBD Products.
For me, years of football and basketball took its toll on knees and elbows and led to inflammation and joint pain. I also had an unfortunate triathlon which led to a ruptured disc in my back. I had almost come to take joint pain and backaches for granted until I discovered CBD. But after taking it for a few weeks I can say it really is a miracle substance! For me, CBD oil continues to reduce inflammation and it also promotes sleep – as well as other beneficial effects.
That being said, it took some time to educate myself on the science and effects of CBD and Hemp oil on the body so it was a learning experience. I benefited greatly from Jess as she is a doctor and also quite knowledgeable about the science behind CBD – thanks Jess! I’m writing this guide to help people who are ‘noobies’ be able to pick something that will help them on their own journey for better health and wellness.
Q: So what is CBD? – It’s like marijuana right?
A: Actually, the answer is ‘no’ or maybe it should be ‘it’s complicated’ – let me explain. CBD is a chemical compound that has many health benefits. THC is another cannabidiol, and is the chemical compound found in marijuana that gets you high. Although CBD (the cannabidiol) can come from industrial hemp or marijuana plants (it’s found in both) the legal distinction is that CBD products must be made from industrial hemp – which is defined as less than 0.3% THC. Of course, this means you only get a tiny insignificant amount of THC in oil derived from hemp and in other words, you get the health but you don’t get the high. While ‘pot’ has been around forever the health benefits associated with cannabis products are just becoming known to the public. Public opinion, acceptance and perception of CBD is changing and because of this the demand for this product is skyrocketing. Due to increased demand (particularly in Colorado), farmers are tilling under thousands of acres of cropland to make hemp growing regions.
CBD is what is known as a cannabidiol, the hemp (and marijuana) plant have many cannabidiols of which CBD is the most famous, most studied, and arguably the most helpful. Sometimes on CBD products you will see ‘broad spectrum’ which means that although CBD is the cannabidiol most responsible for the benefits associated with CBD, there are a number of other cannabidiols in the hemp oil – usually about 1500!
So how does CBD work? If you want to get into the science behind CBD see this (link to article)
What are the Benefits?
So now that we know a bit about CBD – the obvious question is ‘How does that benefit me?’
Like most supplements, CBD works great for some people and less so for others. I happen to be one of the former. However, there is enough evidence to support this that while we cannot claim CBD is a cure for any disease, it can definitely help with many symptoms and it does have consistent benefits.
Benefit #1: Reduced Stress & Improved Mood
So does CBD help with depression? Or maybe at least lessen the stress of daily life? Those are hard questions to answer but without offering medical advice we can say ‘Yes!’ it does! There have been studies that show this to be true – such as this one.
Brain and emotional health is a complex subject, and our bodies naturally produce many hormones and chemicals that affect our mood. However, it was shown in a 2019 medical study that CBD reduces nausea and ups and downs. The mechanism for this seems to be that by attaching themselves to particular brain receptors and blocking or boosting brain signals, cannabidiols function to reduce stress and improve mood. CBD also works just like a free radical to detoxify the human body from substances that can cause neuro-degenerative diseases. As well as the physical benefits, we can confidently say that CBD has these qualities.
Benefit #2: Reduced Pain (Due to Inflammation in most Cases)
CBD and other cannabidiols have a great reputation or reducing inflammation – a number of studies have shown this correlation. In fact, most joint pain in the body is due to the presence of inflammation and many things can cause inflammation – particularly consuming things that you are mildly allergic to. I found that milk was this way with me, when I gave up milk, cleaned up my diet and took a consistent dose of CBD (tinctures to be specific) I was amazed at the reduction in join pain in my knees and elbows.
The mechanism through which CBD does is known as the CB2 receptor, which is tied to the management of pain and inflammation in the immune system. There was also a study done on cannabidiols on whether they help with degenerative disc disease, you can see that CBD had a positive effect on that by looking at this source.
Benefit #3: Sleep Support (read: Insomnia!)
The number one thing that many people are missing in their daily lives is a good nights sleep. Blame it on modern life, blame it on kids, blame it on cell phones or maybe facebook but it happens. By far the easiest (and healthiest) thing you can do for yourself is to get a good nights rest. But…. That’s not always as easy as it seems right?
Insomnia is a huge problem, in fact the word “insomnia” gets over 200,000 searches a month on Google. It was such a big problem for us that it made it into our logo! There are many ways to address insomnia but sadly the western world has largely turned to sleeping medications which are not natural. This often leads to side effects and other undesirable effects – such as developing a tolerance to medication (look what happened to Dorothy Hamill!).
The modern world has realized that natural and homeopathic remedies are usually preferred to big pharma. We believe that CBD is a huge part of solving this problem. Taking a healthy dose of CBD oil in a tincture under the tongue before bed has worked wonders for a lot of people in getting a good nights sleep and being fresh the next day. The other natural thing that has helped a lot is getting some good physical exercise at the gym, on the bike – or just walking around the neighborhood. The human body is designed for work and our sedentary modern lifestyles have not helped with this. A tincture or other preferred application of CBD oil along with a tired body works wonders! CBD has also been shown to increase the amount of actual sleep according to this study.
The other bad thing associated with lack of sleep and insomnia is stress. Stress is part of modern life but we can manage it! Yoga, meditation and other stress reducing activities are essential. A small serving of CBD can also help you feel less stressed which makes it easier to concentrate during the day on the things that matter and get a healthier night’s rest.
What is my Buying Criteria?
There are a lot of CBD products on the market, and a lot of different products available on this website so how do you pick? Well, it can be a bit overwhelming to address this but the good part is no matter what product you decide to try it will have CBD and other cannabidiols in it. The thing we are trying to understand here is how much CBD you want, what you feel comfortable paying for it and how you prefer to take it in. The answers to these questions differ for most people. So here are some criteria for helping you decide what is most important to you:
- CBD Concentration – This is the most important, oftentimes CBD is mixed with other oils (MCG for example which his great for brain function) but the concentration of CBD is what people are most interested in. This is a source of great confusion and you should always look for a number in mg of CBD per bottle or unit, commonly starting at 250 or 500 and going up from there. That is the TOTAL amount of CBD in the bottle or product. Tinctures are the easiest way to think of this as they are typically the same overall volume of oil but the CBD concentration varies as does the price.
- Price – This is important to most people as few of us have unlimited funds. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and in this case that is milligrams of CBD. CBD is far and away the most expensive component in the oil and the price is largely determined by how concentrated the CBD is in the bottle. Typical CBD concentrations are 250/mg 500/mg 1000/mg 1500/mg all the way up to 3,000/mg per 30ml of oil which is so much CBD that it’s almost crystalline.
The way to think about this is that to get the desired effects you need to reach a certain threshold of CBD intake for your body and how much you get and how you get it is up to your personal preference.
- Taste – Again a matter of personal preference but how does it taste? Some people think hemp oil tastes kind of acrid, and this can be true but the oil (MCT or otherwise) that the product is mixed with affects the taste. The CBD Isolates and high potency products from Lazarus Naturals tend to have very little ‘hempy’ flavor and come in wintermint, blood orange (a fan favorite), vanilla mocha, and natural of course. Other products such as CBD gummies also have flavors and other ingredients and don’t taste like hemp oil. The tinctures are really the only form of CBD that you have to get used to the flavor.
- Ease of Use – Some kinds of CBD can be taken like vitamins (capsules) other forms, such as tinctures work great for putting some drops under your tongue. There are actually a myriad of ways to take CBD, including skin balms and vape oil. People who vape are going to love the flavored CBD Vape Oils.
- Time Frame for Effects – How fast the CBD takes effect is something people wonder about too. There is quite a bit of difference here between forms of CBD, here it is:
- Using a vaporizer or e-cigarette, for example with the CBD vape oils the benefits start almost immediately.
- Under the Tongue (sublingually) – with this method you will start to feel the effects of CBD in 20-40 minutes. This is our go to for going to sleep, as you need a little time to unwind and the CBD usually takes hold right after you drift off keeping you asleep. I sometimes mix this with an over the counter melatonin and the sleep is amazing!
- Topically – Most CBD Products take a bit to kick in (an hour or so). For fast absorption you’ve gotta try this 800mg High Potency CBD Massage Oil. You’ll never get a better nights sleep after a back rub with this stuff!
What is the Best Way to take CBD?
CBD comes in many forms:
- CBD Tinctures – This form is very popular and is a medicine dropper and a bottle of oil. It is usually placed under the tongue.
- CBD Concentrates – This is heavily concentrated CBD usually in oil or paste form.
- CBD Topicals – Oils, lotions and balms that are directly applied to the skin.
- CBD Vape Oil – This is like e-cigarettes but with health instead of carcinogens! Also it has the characteristic of being absorbed very quickly so it can be used as a quick fix for anxiety or other fast acting needs.
- CBD Capsules – Pills of CBD, taken just like the other supplements and vitamins you are used to. This might be the most vanilla but most practical way of taking CBD.
- CBD For Pets – These offer the same benefits but for your feline or canine friends. CBD can be a little expensive for your pet but if you really love em’!
- CBD Edibles – CBD Gummies are a great example, cookies and other edibles that have CBD content in them. Much like the infamous pot brownie but without the THC!