What To Know About The Types Of CBD

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Insights from Forbes Health Survey on CBD Usage

A recent health survey conducted by Forbes in collaboration with OnePoll, involving 2,000 U.S. adults, shed light on the widespread adoption of cannabidiol (CBD) products. Surprisingly, 60% of respondents reported trying a CBD product and expressed belief in its health and wellness benefits. These perceived advantages encompass improved sleep, anxiety reduction, and pain relief.

Despite this positive reception, a noteworthy one-third of participants admitted to lacking a comprehensive understanding of the distinctions between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

While the allure of swiftly acquiring the first available CBD oil may be strong, a judicious approach to CBD product procurement entails grasping the nuances among different CBD types and the diverse consumption forms available. This understanding proves pivotal in making informed decisions regarding CBD usage.

Understanding CBD: Types and Consumption Methods

CBD, predominantly sourced from hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, is a compound with potential health benefits. Unlike its counterpart THC, CBD products contain minimal levels (no more than 0.3% by dry weight) of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element in cannabis known for inducing intoxication.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, CBD does not produce a “high.” Instead, it interacts with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), including the brain and spinal cord. This interaction has been associated with potential calming effects on the central nervous system, alleviating anxiety, improving sleep quality, and reducing inflammation and chronic pain symptoms.

Types of CBD

Understanding the distinctions among full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate is crucial for selecting the most suitable type for individual needs and preferences.

  1. Full-Spectrum CBD:
    Full-spectrum CBD includes CBD along with other naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant, such as terpenes and minor amounts of THC. This combination is believed to create the “entourage effect,” enhancing the therapeutic benefits of CBD.
  2. Broad-Spectrum CBD:
    Similar to full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD undergoes an additional extraction process to eliminate all THC while retaining other compounds present in the hemp plant. It is often referred to as “nearly THC-free.”
  3. CBD Isolate:
    CBD isolate, or pure CBD, is devoid of THC and other hemp plant compounds. The extraction method isolates CBD, making it unable to produce the entourage effect associated with full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD.

Ways to Consume CBD

CBD can be consumed in various ways, each with its unique characteristics:

  1. Sublingually:
  • Using an oil or tincture absorbed under the tongue.
  • Quick onset of effects, with absorption into the bloodstream.
  1. Oral Ingestion:
  • Edibles like gummies, candies, snacks, beverages, and capsules.
  • Slower onset due to digestion, affecting the amount entering the bloodstream.
  1. Vaping or Smoke Inhalation:
  • Inhaling CBD through vaporization.
  • Rapid onset, but potential respiratory concerns.
  1. Topical Application:
  • Using CBD ointments, salves, lotions, or creams.
  • Targeted relief for localized issues.

Dr. Jeff Chen emphasizes that each method has different absorption rates, onset times, and potential side effects. For instance, sublingual consumption offers quicker effects, while edibles have a delayed onset due to the digestive process. Ultimately, the choice depends on individual preferences and desired outcomes.

CBD Capsules: Convenient Oral Consumption

For those who prefer a straightforward and convenient method of consumption, CBD is available in oral capsule form. Similar to gummies and other edibles, CBD capsules necessitate processing through the digestive system, resulting in a delayed onset of effects, as highlighted by Dr. Chen.

Topical Application for Targeted Relief

Individuals seeking potential relief for chronic pain and various skin conditions often turn to CBD-infused topicals such as lotions, salves, and ointments. When applied to the affected area, these topicals offer localized relief.

Dr. Chen notes that with topical forms of CBD, like lotions or creams, only minimal amounts reach the bloodstream. This characteristic may help avoid potential side effects associated with CBD reaching the bloodstream, such as diarrhea and lethargy. However, for consumers seeking relief for non-skin conditions like pain, insomnia, or anxiety, Dr. Chen recommends using a non-topical product to ensure the CBD reaches the bloodstream for optimal effectiveness.

Vaping and Smoking CBD

For those seeking rapid effects, CBD is available in vape form, delivered through slim, pre-filled or refillable cartridges commonly known as “pens.” Inhalation of CBD oil through vapes or the act of smoking dried flowers from the hemp plant both offer a quick onset of effects and increased CBD absorption in the bloodstream. However, Dr. Chen emphasizes potential risks, citing theoretical concerns about lung damage, challenges in dose control, and the limited research on these consumption methods.

Risks and Safety Considerations

Vaping, in particular, carries additional risks. It can lead to the inhalation of substances like vitamin E acetate, heavy metals, or other compounds found in the oil or solvents used for vapable CBD oil, such as propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. These substances may pose pulmonary or systemic health risks.

Safe CBD Usage Guidelines

Given the lack of FDA approval for over-the-counter CBD products, Dr. Chen urges caution. Only one prescription CBD drug, Epidiolex, has received FDA approval for treating specific seizure-related conditions. The FDA has issued warnings to CBD manufacturers for mislabeling and making unsubstantiated health claims.

To use CBD safely, consumers should consider the following:

  1. Dosage Control:
  • CBD effectiveness and safety are linked to dosage.
  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase, monitoring for effectiveness and side effects.
  1. Interactions with Medications:
  • CBD may interact with certain medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and opioids, potentially causing adverse effects.
  • Avoid combining CBD with medications carrying a grapefruit warning.
  1. Special Considerations:
  • Individuals with liver disease or during pregnancy should avoid CBD.
  1. Certificate of Analysis (COA):
  • Check the COA for the specific Diamond CBD product.
  • COA provides information on hemp extract concentration, THC percentage, other cannabinoids, and the presence of contaminants like yeasts, molds, bacteria, pesticides, or residual solvents.

Dr. Chen advises consumers to find the lowest effective dose without intolerable side effects and recommends gradual increases while closely monitoring responses. Additionally, thorough research and scrutiny of COAs can help ensure the safety and quality of CBD products.

Because the FDA has approved only one prescription product containing CBD, most health care providers have minimal formal education on CBD, says Dr. Chen. However, many holistic health practitioners, such as naturopathic doctors, are experienced in CBD and its effects on their clients.

“There are ‘cannabis clinicians’ in states that have legalized cannabis who have undergone additional training and/or have significant experience overseeing cannabis use in their patients, including the use of CBD,” he says. “You can find such clinicians through organizations like the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.”

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