CBD can help pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleep and stress . So many companies are breaking into the CBD market and with so many products , strengths and varieties it can be hard to decide which is the best to buy so I will try to keep it simple while explaining what CBD is, which one you want and how strong you need it to be.
What is CBD? CDB stands for Cannabidiol it is an extract from the cannabis plant (hemp) however it will not get you stoned or high, it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) .*** some do contain trace amounts of THC, we will get into this later***
Your brain has 2 cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 which are part of the endocannabinoid system, that are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.
The CB1 receptor is mainly in the brain (central nervous system or "CNS", but also in the lungs, liver and kidneys and gut.
The CB2 receptor is main in T cells and immune system and play a role in pain sensation and work as an anti- inflammatory.
Most CBD oils are both CB 1 & CB2 but some are just one . So you should always ask. If they are "full spectrum" that means they contain trace elements of THC and I will get into what this means for drugs tested athletes later on.
Full spectrum CBD is made from the entire plant also contains a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids, and fiber. Full spectrum CBD oil, unlike CBD isolate products, includes a wide range of cannabinoids present in the cannabis or hemp plant. Studies have shown that full spectrum was more effective than CBD isolate when fighting pain and inflammation.
WADA has approved CBD but it can not be a full spectrum CBD. from the WADA website " Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited. Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance." Which means you can not buy a full spectrum CBD you must find a brand that says it has NO THC.
How much do I need?
you will see labels that say 500mg or 750mg or 1500mg- this is the total amount in the bottle. You can check the amount of servings per bottle to find out how much is in each serving. Typically it ranges from 8mg-28mg per serving. Ideally 10-20mg 2xs a day would help most people. It depends on your ailments and also your body size. I take 20-50mg daily, I suggest if you are over 250lbs and very active you take a similar dosage.
Tincture- tincture is an oil suspension of CBD you take this sublingually and it works throughout your body. Because CBD is absorbed through fat tinctures are the most bioavailable form. I recommend this over gummies and candy. Put these under your tongue for best absorption.
Salve or creams can be used topically and tend to work on local inflammation . You will find these in amounts of 50-1000mg. Once again that's the entire container so look at sizes and see how much would be in each portion you use. Some creams have other compounds which are helpful in pain relief or anti inflammatory. I use a cream which has 450mg and I recommend one with 1000mg to my athletes. You can find a link for that here. (You must set up an account through that link, my sources only sell directly to practitioners or clients who come from a practitioner not to the general public.)
You can combine both or use just one, I always recommend the cream and salves for muscle and joint aches and pains.
***If you are on medications, have trouble with detoxing medications, have sensitivities to supplements or medication, have high liver enzymes, are recovering from liver damage you may want to avoid a tincture because CBD does effect liver metabolizing enzymes on the CYP450 pathway.
Price- It's not cheap- you can get a good CBD for around $100-120 , I get a full spectrum 1500mg CBD for $120 and it has 60 servings. That means 1500/60= 28mg per serving. or $2 per 28mg serving.
I have paid $50-$90 for a 500mg cream. My favorite cream is this one and it's $75 for 1000mg.
If you want to spend less, you can get a lower strength CBD tincture for $50-60 but you have to take more, at the end of the day you think you saved money but you get more bang for your buck with the stronger products. If you are just a regular person who doesn't have many aches or pains or issues or you have strong reactions to supplements I recommend you start with a lower dosage and 250-500mg bottle will be good for you. If you are an athlete, larger person and /or have a lot of aches and pains ( I put myself in this category) then I suggest you get 1000-1500mg , it's worth the investment. You get more in the long run for your money.
How long should a bottle last? On average at least 30 days, depends how often you take it. If you get a 1500mg bottle you can definitely make that last 30-60 days. The cream also depends on how large or how many areas you use it on. I can run through a bottle of CBD cream in 30 days.
Why do I like CBD- This is only my personal description of how it has worked for me- It enables my body to relax from the inside out. My muscles that are usually sore and tight, which prescription muscle relaxers can't help, are able to finally relax. I am sleeping better, my body doesn't ache as much and those two feelings alone are priceless for me. Locally topical CBD helps my aches in my joints and muscles as well or better than any NSAID I have taken. I also prefer not to take prescription medication when it's avoidable, especially class 1 drugs such as muscle relaxers and pain meds as well as NSAIDs.
What to look for
Organic, non gmo - these crops can be sprayed heavily when chemicals it's important to get a non gmo organic source.
Full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate- does it use the entire plant or is it just isolated parts?
An isolate is the purest form of a compound, which is produced by singularly extracting that compound from its environment and isolating it from all other compounds.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, which is produced by removing all other compounds found in the plant including terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids. This product has very little to no THC whatsoever.
Full spectrum is an extract that contains all compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. Researchers found that test subjects administered with full spectrum CBD had higher levels of pain relief. If it is not "hemp derived" it can contain trace amounts of THC so check with the manufacturers labels and their charts to see how much THC has come back on test if you are a drug tested athlete. I recommend that all drug tested athletes avoid full spectrum if they anticipate an upcoming drug test and always buy it directly from a practitioner who knows the source and it is a reputable company. Buying from a vape store, especially in some states like FL or CO will land you with more THC than you can have to pass a drug test. Buying from your teammate's boy who makes really strong CBD that helps with pain is a good way to fail a drug test.
Reputable brands verify through 3rd party labs that their THC is under 0.3% THC those are companies I would lean towards. It is not legal for a company to have more than 0.3% THC if the CBD is hemp derived so always look for hemp derived if you are buying full spectrum. Buying from a trusted practitioner is always your best route.
Athletes- as always remember what you put into your body is your choice and your responsibility. You need to know what is in all of your products. No matter what. Even if I am your nutritionist you need to be the one who decides what you are taking & responsible for the outcome.
Broad spectrum combines the isolate with Full spectrum but the THC is completely removed.
Third Party Lab Testing and product information sheets- any reputable company will have 3rd party lab testing (meaning a lab unaffiliated with the company was sent a sample and ran a report on what they found) This report should contain the amount of CBD in the product as well as any additional botanicals or ingredients. It will also say how much product is found per serving in some reports.
Paraben Free - Make sure the other ingredients in your topical or tincture are free of chemicals which can harm your adrenals
Gluten Free- If you have to avoid gluten for autoimmunity or celiac look for a gluten free product.