It seems like everyone and their mother is talking about CBD these days. It’s been steadily gaining popularity over the past several years for its numerous health benefits, and now the industry is exploding and CBD is showing up everywhere. With all of the hype and variety of products available, how do you know where to start?
1. Know the Basics About CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 80-plus cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. When most people think of cannabis, they immediately think of getting high; however, this psychoactivity is caused by another cannabinoid called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. CBD itself is non-psychoactive. Cannabis is commonly broken out into two categories: hemp and marijuana. By legal definition, hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. Marijuana, on the other hand, typically contains larger amounts of THC and is used both recreationally and medicinally. CBD can be extracted from any type of cannabis, but it is most commonly extracted from industrial hemp.
Fans of CBD have quickly discovered its health benefits. However, due to FDA regulations, manufacturers cannot make health claims about CBD or the other ingredients included in their products. There are many resources available online for consumers to do their own research though, and it is always recommended to consult a medical expert for advice. It is also highly recommended to avoid companies who do make medical claims about their products, as they are in direct violation of the law and are essentially putting consumer wellness at risk.
2. Know What You’re Shopping For
There is a bounty of CBD products on the market already, ranging from CBD-infused beverages to lotions and oils. Because of this wide variety, it’s difficult for many to figure out where to start. Full-spectrum hemp extracts are best for beginners as they include the entire array of cannabinoids plus additional health components like terpenes, flavonoids, ketones and omega fatty acids, among many others.
Shoppers may encounter some uncertainty when distinguishing hemp oil from CBD oil. Hemp oil can refer to several different things, but most often it refers to hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is extracted from seeds and although it’s an excellent source of nutrition, it generally does not contain a significant amount of cannabinoids. Hemp extracts, on the other hand, are generally synonymous with CBD oil and contain extracts from the aerial parts of the plant where the cannabinoids are produced. Remember to check your product label for the specific cannabinoid content to ensure you are buying CBD oil instead of just hemp seed oil.
3. Know What’s Actually in Your Product
Don’t be fooled by boasts of “in-house” lab testing. Consumer reports have revealed that many CBD manufacturers falsely advertise the amount of cannabinoids or CBD in their products. Many products don’t contain CBD at all. For this reason, it’s critical for consumers to be able to view third-party lab tests from the company for each one of their products. Bluebird Botanicals has a batch database that allows customers to look up these tests for every single batch of every single product. Not only do these tests show the potency of our products, but they also reveal any potential contaminants like pesticides, mycotoxins (fungus), microbial life, and heavy metals.
4. Experimentation and Consistency are Key Ingredients for Success
Everybody reacts differently to CBD. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Just like every person has their own individual personality, everybody also has their own unique endocannabinoid system. So, experimentation and consistency are two vital components of figuring out what serves you best. This includes trying out different products, serving sizes, number of servings and even the times of day that you take it. The good news is that CBD is very forgiving and impossible to overdose on, so you have license to experiment with the amount that works for you. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent and mindful of your experience with CBD. When first getting started, it is recommended to take the same amount of the same product for several weeks before switching up the routine. Pay careful attention to how your body feels before and after taking CBD. You may even find it helpful to start a daily use journal to track your bodily responses.