Submitted by Leann M. Croft, MSPT, Hope Center for Pain
CBD oil is becoming incredibly popular—and with good reason. People are finding that it can help with a wide variety of health issues including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and other conditions. However, there is some confusion and mis-information surrounding CBD—what is it, what does it do, how do I use it, etc. And because the industry is not regulated very well, there are hundreds of companies wanting to “get in on the action,” making it difficult for consumers who are looking to purchase a quality CBD oil that is safe, effective, and isn’t a complete waste of money. Let’s help clear up some of this confusion.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol—a cannabis compound that is found in the hemp plant. Hemp is NOT the same as marijuana. It has very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what produces the psychoactive effects, and higher levels of CBD, the substance that provides the therapeutic effects. CBD will not get you “high” and is completely safe.
Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated and useful crops in the world. It can be grown as a renewable source for raw materials that can be incorporated into thousands of products. The fibers and stalks of the hemp plant are used in biofuel, construction materials, hemp clothing, paper, plastic composites, and many more. The flower and seeds are used in health care, organic body care, and other superfoods. The flowers are rich in oil and can be extracted for cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN.
Full spectrum CBD is the whole plant extract, meaning it contains CBD plus other cannabinoids and has less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD isolate is refined and isolated from all other cannabinoids, so it contains nothing but CBD and is free of other cannabinoids including THC.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the primary chemical compounds produced by the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are also produced by the human body. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that was first identified in the early 1990s. Many people do not realize that there are more than 80 identified cannabinoids that all interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. While more research is needed, we know that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating a wide variety of functions including sleep, the immune system, pain and the central nervous system.
What Are the Health Benefits of CBD?
Many people take CBD as a general health supplement for overall wellness—similar to why you might take a multi-vitamin. However, there are many specific health conditions that might benefit from CBD. The most common health benefits are for reducing chronic pain and inflammation; alleviating depression and anxiety; and helping improve neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. According to Yolanda ImOberstag, founder and owner of Banner Harvest, a local, family-owned hemp farm, “Most consumers of CBD products are looking for natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals. They want to feel better, get pain relief and manage stress without the dangerous and addictive options offered through prescription drugs.”
Although CBD is considered safe, it may interfere with certain medications, so always check with your doctor.
If you think you’d like to try CBD, it’s important to choose wisely. With any type of supplement, quality makes a difference and there are CBD products that are a complete waste of money. Extracting CBD from the hemp plant requires a lot of plant material as well as very careful monitoring of the growing environment. CBD is not regulated by the FDA; therefore, it is difficult for consumers to know exactly what they are getting. Is the product safe? Does it actually contain the active ingredients listed on the label? How is the CBD extracted from the hemp plant? There are many extraction methods and some companies may use methods that leave residual amounts of harsh chemicals in the final product.
The most important thing is to trust the source of the Hemp and the CBD. Many CBD brands being sold are white labeling or private labeling their products from unregulated overseas sources or huge corporate distributors who do not have any quality or efficacy standards, and worst of all, supply an altered certificate of analysis (COA) or no testing at all. The COA is a document that establishes that a product was analytically tested and meets specifications of safety and quality. Any company selling CBD should use an independent 3rd party to test not only for potency, but also the full panel, which includes pesticides, residual solvents, microbials, and heavy metals. Many companies will say that the CBD is tested, but the testing is done by their own company.
Banner Farms, located in Banner, Illinois, grows all their own hemp to use in their products. Yolanda says that, “It is critical for the consumer to understand and demand access to a product’s test. We are passionate about cannabis as a medicine, and although we can’t make any definitive claims of benefits, there is plenty of testimonial evidence that CBD is helping with a wide array of health issues.”
Banner Harvest products can be purchased at Hope Center for Pain, Mon-Fri, 10am – 5pm. Hope Center for Pain is located at 2810 E. Empire St., Ste. B in Bloomington. For more information about Banner Farms, you may visit their website, www.Bannerharvest.com. For more information on Hope Center for Pain, you may contact Leann M. Croft, MSPT, at 309-452-0704 or online at www.hopecenterforpain.com.