CBD is a remarkable new health trend with many impressive qualities, but the promising research and buzz has led to a “Green Rush” — and just like the Wild West Gold Rush, there are snake oil salesmen everywhere, trading on flashy branding on empty promises, often with little quality control. Here’s how to cut through the noise and determine which CBD product will do the most for you.
What it actually does
CBD does a lot of cool stuff — supporting balance in the body’s root level operating system, the Endo-Cannabinoid System — but real medical studies are expensive, so only Big Pharma has earned the right to “treat or cure” specific conditions.
But there’s a pile of anecdotal evidence supporting CBD’s value in fighting stress and anxiety — and the science is there too, with preliminary studies suggesting that CBD can help people cope better with stressful situations.
CBD’s inflammation-relieving properties also account for some of its most intriguing applications. Chronic inflammation is implicated in a number of serious disorders from cancer to depression, in addition to ordinary lifestyle bummers like menstrual cramps, soreness after workouts and chronic pain.
“Within 40 minutes or so of using Foria’s CBD oil, Basics Tonic, my mood was very gently yet significantly elevated. I feel light and strong. It’s as if the oil deactivated the cortisol spike I was experiencing.” – Teighlor
Broad-spectrum CBD vs CBD isolate
Not all CBD is alike. Many products use CBD isolate, which you can buy by the pound off the internet for pretty cheap, and sellers have been taking advantage of this.
Isolate won’t hurt you, but it probably won’t help much either. The real deal is broad-spectrum or whole-plant-extract CBD. It comes with an “entourage” of cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolics that are greater than the sum of their parts.
Advantages & Pitfalls
Though vaping CBD is the quickest way to get results, if vaping isn’t your thing, there’s a whole world of tonics and edibles available — but edibles are mostly a waste of good CBD, since the majority of active ingredients are lost during digestion. However CBD oil can be swished in the mouth for rapid, efficient absorption.
What’s in there? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Reputable sellers include a Certificate of Analysis to show that there’s nothing scary lurking in the product.
And carrier oils matter. Look for organic-certified oils, ideally something fast-absorbing like MCT — the favorite of biohackers and keto/paleo dieters, since it’s an easily-digested source of energy and brain fuel.