Whether they’ve found that it helps them alleviate their stress, bolster their sex lives, or improve their hormonal health, more Americans than ever are enjoying the benefits of CBD, or cannabidiol. In fact, according to one of the latest surveys conducted in 2019 by Consumer Reports, 64 million Americans said they had tried CBD, or cannabidiol, in the past 24 months. It’s no wonder more products than ever are available, with the U.S. CBD market projected to grow 107% through 2023.
One drawback of CBD’s popularity booming: It can be challenging to navigate the bevy of products on the market. In addition to finding a product type you like, you might want to feel like you connect with a CBD company’s values. Do they pride themselves on educating their customers and supporting their CBD journey? Are they committed to disclosing their products’ potency and manufacturing process? How transparent are they in general? All of these are questions you could find yourself asking as you consider the CBD products that are best for you.
But, for starters, it’s helpful to nail down your CBD basics. Here we share a beginner’s guide to learning more about CBD including how to use it, its benefits, side effects, and more.
What Is CBD?
For thousands of years, CBD, or cannabidiol, has been relied on as a healing agent. It’s one of over 150 naturally occurring compounds called phytocannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is grown either as “industrial hemp” (has less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, content) or as “marijuana” (with up to 30% THC content).
It bears noting that THC is psychoactive while CBD is not. It doesn’t make you feel “stoned” or intoxicated, because it interacts differently than THC with receptors in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), our body’s biological system for managing overall homeostasis (the body’s state of balance). It may help us regulate sleep, mood, hormones, our immune system, and more.
That said, just about anyone who wants to tackle a wide range of issues from stress to focus could possibly benefit from — and is a good candidate — for CBD.
Types of CBD
There are products that are called broad-spectrum as well as those referred to as full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Here’s how they differ:
Broad-spectrum: These products do not contain THC, but they do contain other parts of the cannabis plant. It is not recommended unless someone absolutely cannot have THC in their bloodstream.
Full-spectrum: These products are more effective problem-solvers than pure CBD alone. This is because CBD is most effective when it’s accompanied by other cannabinoids found in the plant, including its more well-known sister THC (even in small amounts). The combined chemical reaction is known as “the ensemble effect” or “the entourage effect.” This means the cannabinoids boost each other and work together to achieve their goal.
CBD isolate: Isolate is just what it sounds like: pure CBD, stripped of all the other chemical compounds. Without any other compounds to accompany it, CBD misses out on the entourage effect — and becomes noticeably less effective.
Forms of CBD
From topical creams to cartridges you can vape to edibles, there are a wide variety of ways to get your CBD dose. And you might opt for a particular method depending on your wellness goal. A few to know about:
One of the most popular ways to take CBD is in liquid form. In the case of Equilibria’s Daily Drops, full-spectrum hemp oil is combined with a coconut-derived MCT oil. “MCT oil is our carrier oil of choice because it has one of the highest concentrations of fat-soluble compounds,” says Maia Reed, Head of Member Success at Equilibria. “MCT molecules are smaller than normal molecules, which make them easier for the body — especially, the liver — to process.”
The final product is the Daily Drops, which are held under the tongue to allow for sublingual absorption. “This means the CBD enters your bloodstream more directly, resulting in an onset time of 10-30 minutes with effects lasting between 4-6 hours,” says Reed.
Some people find that in an effort to get a consistent dose every time, they prefer capsules like Equilibria’s Daily Softgels. Capsules are absorbed through the gut and modified in the liver, so CBD will spread evenly throughout the body, according to ProjectCBD. Edibles (like mints or gummies) work in the same way.
Creams and lotions
Whether you’re using a roll-on oil like Equilibria’s Daily Roller Duo, a body butter like Equilibria’s Relief Cream, or a bath bomb, CBD-infused topicals can help soothe muscles and joints. They might also help clear up inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
CBD Side Effects
At the beginning of their routines, some Equilibria members have reported slight headaches and stomach discomfort. However, with starting low and going slow, routine adjustments, consistent use, and taking Softgel doses with food, many members find these discomforts to subside.
For this reason, it’s best to start out with a low dose and slowly increase it, ideally with support from a Dosage Specialist. They can also help you determine the delivery method that best suits your needs and goals. Book an appointment with us at myeq.com/dosage or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about how to get started.
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