I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Eddie Stone at our house on February 18 for a Q&A about CBD Oil. Eddie Stone is the founder of a company called Touchstone Essentials, which develops and sells some of the only organic supplements on the market.
The Q&A about CBD Oil really blew my mind! I learned SO much from Eddie, and SO much about CBD Oil!
And since CBD Oil is a pretty new product, and REALLY hot right now, I want to share what I learned ... some of it is kind of on the geeky side, but I'll try to minimize that ...
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of about 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are simply a type of molecule (compound), and they are known by names like CBD, CBDV, CBC, CBG, THC, THCV ...
TCH is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana and is responsible for the "high" feeling people get from marijuana. Out of the ~100 cannabinoids found in hemp, THC is only 1 of them. So there are about 99 other cannabinoids that DO NOT get you high.
Hemp Plant VS. Marijuana Plant
The HEMP plant and MARIJUANA plants are cousins. However, the US government definition of "hemp" is that it contains 0.3% or less TCH; if it contains more, it is a marijuana plant. Even the way the plants are grown is different: marijuana plants are bred to have large flower buds and are tall, while hemp plants are short, ground-cover type plants.
Hemp Oil & Hemp Seed Oil
(The product I use is called "Hemp Oil" because it is sold in different countries, like Japan, and their government is sensitive to the term "CBD oil".)
HEMP SEED OIL comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, and it is kind of the same as any other kind of vegetable oil - think sunflower (seed) oil, corn oil - those both come from the seed of the plant (corn kernels are the corn plant's seed). HEMP SEED OIL is rich in Omega-3, -6, and -9 oils, so it is good for you in the same way that fish oil is, but it does not have the benefits of CBD oil.
HEMP OIL is extracted from the stalk of the hemp plant and has a high concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids. There is also a little CBD oil in the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, but there is actually no CBD oil in the hemp seeds, so HEMP SEED OIL (which is extracted from the seeds) does not contain any CBD oil.
People have an endogenous CBD system
"Endogenous" means in the body naturally, i.e. we are born with it. Just like our bodies have an endocrine system, our bodies (and all mammals) have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a series of receptors found throughout the body - in the brain, the immune system, the central nervous system, and more. These receptors respond to cannabinoids that our body produces, as well as cannabinoids from plant sources (such as hemp).
My mind was BLOWN when I learned this. We have receptors in our bodies, naturally, to receive cannabinoids! The receptors are generally called CBD1 and CBD2 receptors.
Why is this important? Because our bodies are brought into balance when the ECS is balanced. When our ECS is balanced, it sends signals to other systems in our bodies telling them to calm down - it signals the immune system to reduce production of inflammatory particles, resulting in a reduction in inflammation. It signals the endocrine system to back off on cortisol production, which is produced when the body is stressed either physically or mentally, and cortisol is known to be bad for the heart and to promote weight gain.
Other Beneficial Effects From CBD Oil
I have seen first hand the beneficial effects of CBD oil. Reduced discomfort from arthritis is a big one. This is from not only my dog Toby, but at least half a dozen people I know personally. CBD oil has also significantly decreased healing time for major muscle strain and even major muscle tears, and also improves the symptoms of asthma, anxiety, and depression.
What causes these benefits? One of the big reasons is the reduction in inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of both arthritis and asthma (inflammation of the airways in the lungs). Less inflammation also allows your body to heal more quickly with less pain.
Lowered cortisol from taking CBD oil can reduce or eliminate symptoms of stress.
Sleep and Anxiety Improved
When the ECS is balanced, we rest better. In fact, studies show that 85% of people who take between 15 & 50 mg of CBD oil per day have better sleep. 25 mg per day seems to be the average effective serving for CBD oil. And the cool thing is that it does not make you feel drowsy, it just helps you sleep better!
Taking CBD oil is also shown to reduce anxiety and depression. And when you consider that 72% of girls and 52% of boys report feeling anxiety, this can be a big deal. There are studies to back this up, some are here and here.
What To Look For When You Purchase CBD Oil
First of all, the CBD oil market is currently unregulated, so you need to know what to look for when buying CBD oil.
Carrier Oil & Amount of CBD per Serving
Think of CBD oil products kind of like alcohol - there are different strengths. When a bottle of alcohol says "40 Proof", you know that the bottle contains a liquid that is 20% alcohol, and the rest is ... actually, I don't know what the rest is, but it's not alcohol. If you're looking to get drunk, you could compare the alcohol percentage to price.
With CBD oil, there is no "proof" rating, but instead, the bottle should tell you how many mg of CBD oil are in the bottle. The product I use (calm full spectrum hemp oil) says "750 mg". This means that in the 1 oz. bottle, 750 mg are CBD oil, and the remainder is a carrier oil. In my product, the carrier oil is hemp oil. (Remember, hemp oil is the oil from the hemp seed.)
Some CBD oil products will have olive oil as the carrier oil, which is fine if it is EVOO. Beware of products that list "vegetable oil" as the carrier oil - this could be canola oil, corn oil, or just vegetable oil. This is an indication of a cheap product. And, vegetable oil is usually rancid from the extraction and production process.
And make sure there is a decent amount of CBD oil in the bottle - you want to get your money's worth. (See my blog on price comparison)
An ideal serving size is 25 mg of CBD oil per serving. In the product I use, one serving is on dropper-full of oil. There are 30 servings per bottle, which has 750 mg of CBD oil, so 750/30 = 25 mg of CBD oil per serving.
The extraction method matters because using an extraction method that uses heat can damage the CBD oil, making it not as effective in your body. The way to tell if a product may have used a heated method is to look for a sweetener in the product - heated extraction methods make the oil taste bitter, so sweetener is added to mask the bitterness.
Isolate or Broad Spectrum
Like I mentioned above, there are about 99 beneficial substances (cannabinoids) in the hemp plant. When the extraction method is done with care, many of these substances are extracted and the oil is called "Broad Spectrum".
With broad-spectrum CBD oil, the different compounds work together synergistically in the body and have a greater effect. And since the body reacts more strongly to multiple compounds taken together, you need to take less.
It is a more expensive extraction method to get broad-spectrum oil. A cheaper method extracts just one cannabinoid (just 1, out of 100!). This is called CBD isolate. When you take CBD isolate, your body needs a significantly higher quantity in order to gain the same effects of a broad-spectrum oil.
If you have taken CBD oil in the past, and not felt any effects, it is likely that the product you tried was NOT broad-spectrum.
If a bottle does not say "Broad Spectrum" or "Full Spectrum", it isn't.
One last thing to look for in a CBD oil product is the molecule size. This might sound pretty trivial, but the smaller the CBD oil molecule is, the more surface area it has and the easier it is absorbed. Again, more absorption = better effects in the body = lower dose required = less expensive.
The interesting thing about CBD oil is that it is intrinsically a nano-sized molecule. The problem comes, again, from the extraction and processing. If a cheap extraction method is used, the CBD oil molecules clump together, making it a larger, and harder to absorb molecule.
Summing It Up
(1) Our bodies are designed to use CBD oil; (2) The benefits are real and impressive; (3) CBD oil is NOT illegal or a controlled substance and doesn't get you high.
My observations and experience with CBD oil have been really amazing. And the more I learn about it, the more amazed I am.
Those who know me know that I do not make a habit of strongly recommending anything unless I am really impressed by it and the science and results bear out. And CBD oil is one of the few things that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
And I'm thrilled that I have found a product of amazing quality that is a very good value. I encourage anyone who had been thinking about CBD oil to give this product a try - and then let me know your experience with it!
P.S. I learned a lot more from Eddie Stone about health and nutrition and will include it in a separate blog!
P.P.P.S. If you would like to become part of my Touchstone Team and help spread the word about CBD oil, contact me!