Anecdotes from doctors and patients point to cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential treatment for withdrawal and craving associated with opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder (OUD). Although medical…
Anecdotes from doctors and patients point to cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential treatment for withdrawal and craving associated with opioid addiction, also known as opioid use disorder (OUD). Although medical advancements have made withdrawal easier, patients in recovery still have a 40-60% chance of relapsing into addiction.
Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications (i.e., morphine), synthetic drugs with medicinal value (i.e., methadone), and the illegal drug heroin. Opioid molecules closely resemble naturally occurring endorphins and cause similar reactions. Endorphins and opioids bind to the same receptors in the brain and spinal cord, suppressing pain responses and enhancing mood.
Life-sustaining activities, such as eating, release endorphins into the brain, promoting a positive association and desire to repeat these activities. The brain learns to associate circumstances and environmental cues with these activities. In the case of eating, these positive associations could be a mouth-watering smell or favorite restaurant that triggers hunger.
Amid a global opiate addiction crisis, can CBD be part of the solution?
Opioids act on the same areas of the brain, tricking the natural reward system designed to maintain life into promoting continued drug use. By the time an addiction develops, the brain has undergone fundamental changes that cause it to function normally with opioids and abnormally without them. At this point, drug use is no longer a choice; treatment is necessary to manage and reverse these changes.
THE STAGES OF OPIOID ADDICTION TREATMENT
Treatment for opioid addiction begins with detoxification, commonly referred to as withdrawal. This part of recovering from addiction has tremendous effects on the mind and body, including but not limited to nausea, fever, muscle cramping, body aches, agitation, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
The second stage of treatment for opioid addiction is relapse prevention. Cravings are often managed with medication, while psychotherapy can help treat any underlying issues that contribute to excessive drug use. Exposure to circumstances and environmental cues (i.e., a friend that misuses drugs) also need to be controlled or effectively managed.
ESTABLISHED METHODS OF TREATING OPIOID ADDICTION
Treatment for opioid use disorder usually consists of psychotherapy, medication, and evaluation for underlying health issues. Medical devices may also be used, such as the NSS-2 Bridge that delivers electronic signals to the brain areas responsible for addiction.
Medications are the most common form of treatment, with 80% of patients taking a pharmaceutical during withdrawal. Many of these medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine, are opiate-based and carry their own set of risks. There have been deaths involving these medications, with methadone showing potential to be six times as lethal as buprenorphine.
Other drugs commonly used included clonidine and the fledgling medication lofexidine, approved for use by the FDA in May 2018. Both lofexidine and clonidine belong to a class of drugs that includes high blood pressure and some anti-anxiety medications.
It is important to note that opiate-based treatments can be safe and effective under medical supervision. Belonging to a different class of drugs does not necessarily make clonidine or lofexidine safer.
USING CBD TO MANAGE ADDICTION WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
CBD may be beneficial in influencing many of the symptoms caused by opioid withdrawal. For nausea, multiple human and animal studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD, possibly due to the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the areas of the brain that induce vomiting.
Among the potential benefits of CBD for people recovering from addiction: better sleep, relief of chronic pain and muscle spasms, and reduced symptoms of anxiety.
A pharmaceutical medication that contains a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD, called Sativex, already exists to treat pain and muscle spasms/cramping in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Currently approved for use in Canada, Sativex shows potential for pain management in other patients, such as those withdrawing from opioids.
The endocannabinoid system is a target for treatments that prevent relapse due to its potential to control cravings. CB1 receptors may influence opioid receptors, due to their location in the brain. CB2 receptors possibly affect dopamine and may reduce its rewarding effects that encourage opioid use.
Preclinical trials in rats and mice have reinforced the theory that CBD helps to control cravings, although why it works remains a bit of a mystery. Mice and rats given CBD in conjunction with morphine showed a lower reward response, making the morphine less appealing.
A similar study of rats addicted to heroin found CBD prevented relapse. Daily doses of 5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg kept the rats from relapsing for up to two weeks following their final dose of CBD.
A third preclinical trial shows rats addicted to cocaine and alcohol experience similar effects from CBD treatment. Another trial using rats addicted to amphetamines found evidence that supports using CBD to prevent relapse.
CBD COULD BE A BENEFICIAL ADJUNCT TREATMENT
Overall, CBD shows a strong potential as an additional treatment for opioid addiction when combined with psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals. Preclinical trials using animals consistently find CBD can be beneficial in preventing relapse, although further clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm this.
Recovery from addiction requires a multi-pronged approach, including treatment of mental health conditions that may contribute.
CBD may also help treat many of the withdrawal symptoms during detoxification from opioids. However, CBD alone does not replace the vital role of medically assisted treatment for addiction. Anyone suffering from OUD, or any form of substance use disorder should contact their primary care physician to establish a treatment plan.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to ending the opioid crisis, but CBD oil products may prove to be a valuable tool. At this point in time, while millions of Americans battle addictions and tens of thousands die, anything that may help deserves further investigation.
CBD is not a miracle cure, but many people report using CBD for PTSD offers relief of some of its most troubling symptoms. We collected scientific evidence that CBD reduces anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even hypervigilance.
CBD is not a miracle cure, but many people report using CBD for PTSD offers relief of some of its most troubling symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects millions of people worldwide. Some of its main symptoms include anxiety, insomnia and depression. Since it causes rapid fluctuations in mood, PTSD can lead to reckless behavior, issues with concentration and even hypervigilance.
Many PTSD patients have reported CBD as being a very effective alternative to helping with some of these symptoms. CBD shows tremendous potential to reduce the negative impact of PTSD, with minimal adverse reactions. In addition, CBD has very few side effects compared with other PTSD treatment methods.
Using CBD for PTSD can ease some of this complex condition’s most troubling symptoms.
In this article we will discuss how CBD oil can be a part of safe, effective PTSD treatment. We’ll take a look at the most prevalent symptoms associated with this condition and what CBD does to counteract them.
USING CBD MAY HELP EASE PTSD-INDUCED ANXIETY
Anxiety is sometimes not viewed as a serious condition given how prevalent it is. By definition, it’s just a natural response to stress and other stimuli that we may perceive as threats to our well-being. But there is a distinct difference between a reaction that is necessary to avoid a risky situation and one that is detrimental to our own peace of mind or relationships.
Approximately 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders each year. People that are part of this large segment are six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric conditions when compared to those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. Yet, less than 40% of these people receive treatment.
Sleep is one of our most vital bodily functions, that helps us to heal, recuperate and perform at our best. But, for millions of people worldwide, sleep can be quite difficult to come by.
It is estimated that one in four Americans develop insomnia each year. This prevalent sleep disorder has been associated with other health conditions, a major loss in productivity and even vehicular crashes. Perhaps the most common form of treatment for insomnia is sleeping pills. While some may be effective as sedatives, prolonged use may possibly lead to addiction. To make matters worse, when hopping off the medication, some people experience “rebound insomnia,” which is even worse than when they began taking the drug.
CBD may promote restful sleep, and is less likely than THC to cause nightmares or other weird dreams.
Given these potential hazards, it comes as no surprise that some people are looking for safer forms of treatment. One of the earliest uses of hemp was to help induce sleep. CBD has been the main element associated with this effect and is proven to be useful in managing sleep disorders. Through CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system, it can help to address symptoms that may cause a loss of sleep such as anxiety and promote more calmness. It also shows the potential to be a natural remedy for insomnia by aiding the production of melatonin, which promotes a deeper, better quality sleep.
Though research is still in the early stages, the limited studies and mounting user testimonies suggest that CBD is a safe, effective sleep aid, with little to no potential for abuse.
This condition should always be treated with some form of professional support. However, because of its stigma some people choose to tough it out or even turn to drugs or alcohol to get relief. These choices usually compound the problems even more. Experts suggest that effective treatment of depression usually involves a combination of structured therapy as well as holistic lifestyle changes. An increasing amount of people with depression are turning to CBD oil products to help support their self-care routines.
Though large-scale clinical trials are still underway, the experimental evidence seems to support CBD’s usefulness in helping to treat depression. Research has shown that the region for the brain responsible for regulating emotions, (hippocampus) shrinks when people experience depression. Some studies indicate that CBD may possibly protect and even regenerate the cells in this part of the brain.
PTSD can cause depression, and both can strike anyone, anywhere under the right conditions.
CBD is also known to restrict the breakdown of the so called “bliss molecule” or Anandamide. This compound is an endocannabinoid produced by our body, and is considered a natural antidepressant. Although CBD should not be considered the first choice for handling something as serious as depression, it can certainly add value on the road to recovery.
PEOPLE WITH PTSD MAY FEEL CALMER WITH CBD
Hypervigilance is not really considered a condition but more like a behavior. It happens as a result of dealing with a traumatic situation, and usually involves someone being overly sensitive to their environment. The affected person’s senses are typically on high alert, as they subconsciously anticipate danger or some imminent threat.
This is a common symptom of PTSD, and can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, issues in relationships, obsessive behavior and other social problems. CBD can be great alternative to treating hypervigilance. Apart from its calming effects and mood regulation mentioned earlier, studies have shown that cannabidiol reduces learned fear. It may also contribute to the extinction of aversive memories which are usually linked to traumatic experiences.
CONCLUSION: CBD A VALUABLE TOOL FOR EASING PTSD SYMPTOMS
Professional medical advice should always be the first line of treatment for a serious condition like PTSD.
However, CBD has proven to be a valuable asset in helping to relieve many of the associated symptoms. It provides a safe, natural, alternative for relief, and as such should be considered as a useful supplement which can be combined with other forms of therapy.
Did you know many pro-athletes are now using CBD for recovery? Whether they use it to reduce soreness after workouts or to help promote sleep, a growing number of elite athletes openly praise cannabidiol.
Did you know many pro-athletes are now using CBD for recovery?
Whether you’re a pro-athlete, a retired athlete, or someone who spends their nights and weekends pushing their physical potential to the max, you’re intimately familiar with the variety of things that can throw off your game.
Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), injuries, pain, trouble sleeping, and illness are just a handful of the factors that can get in the way of you and what matters most: being able to recover and perform at your very best. This is why we all spend countless hours learning … How much protein should I get? Should I be intermittent fasting every day? What are the best supplements that I can take to expedite muscle synthesis?
In this article, you’ll learn why professional weightlifters and other elite athletes are using CBD for recovery. (Photo: XWERKS)
Early research and plenty of stories around the internet suggest that CBD might be a sort of panacea for athletes. From mood regulation to fighting inflammation, this wonder-molecule is being used by some of the fittest people around in the hopes of supporting healing and optimal performance.
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of phytonutrient (a compound found in plants that supports human health) found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Specifically, it’s one of around 100 cannabinoids in cannabis. These compounds, which include the well-known mind-altering compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), are unique when it comes to how they interact with the bodies of humans and other vertebrates.
Over the last many years, hundreds of studies have been published on cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD. By interacting with a system in our bodies known as the endocannabinoid system, these phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids that come from plants) can reach cells throughout our bodies, including those in our brains and our immune systems.
Thanks to this interaction, CBD and THC are capable of impacting vertebrate health in many ways. These range from helping with pain and seizures to impacting cognitive function and mood.
Unlike THC, which is the compound that causes you to get high if you smoke weed, CBD is non-psychoactive. This means you can take CBD without feeling “high.”
THE UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF CBD
To understand how CBD might be able to benefit athletes, it’s helpful to have a foundational knowledge as to how CBD works in the body. Studies have found CBD to be: (Sources: 1,2,3,4,5)
Anti-inflammation: CBD might be able to reduce inflammation in the body, such as that from chronic inflammatory diseases or injuries.
Analgesic: This means that CBD can reduce the sensation of pain.
Antioxidant: Free radicals are molecules that can damage our cells, with damage leading to conditions like cancer. Antioxidants reduce free-radical induced harm.
Anti-psychotic: This type of compound may be able to help those with mental health conditions.
Anxiolytic: CBD has shown potential in reducing the subjective feelings and physiological manifestations of anxiety and stress.
Antiseizure: For some types of seizure disorders, CBD can help to reduce the frequency of seizures.
Neuroprotective: Neuroprotective compounds protect the health and function of our brains and the resulting cognitive abilities.
Blood flow enhancer: CBD may be able to boost blood flow, therefore increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, including to the brain and muscles.
It’s important to understand, however, that most of the properties listed above have been found in preliminary animal studies, not human clinical trials. While these studies provide clues as to what CBD might do in the human body, more studies in humans themselves are needed to confirm if these benefits carry over.
Athletes use CBD for recovery to reduce soreness after workouts, promote deeper sleep, and more. (Photo: XWERKS)
As researchers continue to investigate CBD, we will learn which of these benefits apply to the human body, and exactly what kinds of effects it can have.
WHY ELITE ATHLETES ARE TURNING TO CBD FOR RECOVERY
CBD may help speed recovery
There are many times when our bodies need to recover. The most common is after a game or a hard workout, but we also have to recover physically from injuries like concussions or sprained ankles.
Because CBD has demonstrated an ability to combat inflammation, it might be able to help us heal faster. This can be particularly important if you are struggling with DOMS, an injury, or when you have back-to-back games that necessitate rapid recovery.
Additionally, the antioxidant and blood-flow enhancing effects of CBD could help to reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress and deliver oxygen and nutrients to healing muscles.
CBD might reduce pain
If you’re an athlete, you understand the constant battle between performance and pain. Much of the pain that you experience is inflammatory pain, which is pain that occurs from microtears in your muscle or from an injury.
The most common way to treat inflammatory pain are a class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). With long-term or excessive use of NSAIDs tied to a variety of health concerns, many athletes do without or try to limit their use.
In animal studies, CBD has demonstrated an ability to reduce inflammatory pain in rats. Because there have been no human clinical trials, it’s up to each of us to determine whether or not CBD helps to relieve pain. You will find many first-hand accounts of people using CBD oil for pain.
CBD may help some people sleep
Getting enough shut-eye is critical when it comes to optimal athletic recovery. It’s during deep sleep that our bodies are capable or diverting resources to allow the healing needed following a vigorous workout.
Anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders like insomnia can hinder sleep. When you’re unable to sleep for any reason, you won’t be able to recover as quickly. Some researchers have hypothesized that CBD might be able to help those with anxiety and sleep disorders sleep better.
A small human study found that CBD helped those with REM sleep behavior disorder, allowing them to sleep better throughout the night. Another study published this year found that CBD helped to reduce anxiety in those in a psychiatric clinic over three months, but the effect on sleep was not as definitive.
Though scientific evidence remains inconclusive, many CBD consumers report more restful sleep. This can be key to effective athletic recovery.
Even though there is no conclusive evidence supporting CBD’s role in human sleep, the research so far suggests that CBD doesn’t negatively impact sleep in the healthy population, and that some people might benefit from using CBD for sleep.
CBD might help those with chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Athletic recovery isn’t just about performing well in the next competition. For some, damage that adds up over the years can lead to chronic conditions. This is especially true for retired professional football players, as years of head injuries can take a toll long after they’ve stopped playing football.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a condition caused by repetitive head trauma. The chronic inflammation and neurodegeneration can lead to cognitive difficulties like memory troubles, mood disorders like depression, and eventually, to motor dysfunction similar to that in Parkinson’s disease patients.
In a study that examined the brains of deceases football players, it was discovered that 99% showed signs of CTE. And it’s not only football players, but boxer and those in the military, that are at risk of this disease.
Researchers have found that a combination of THC and CBD can help to treat CTE symptoms, such as psychosis, headache, nausea, and mood difficulties. And some believe that CBD itself might be helpful thanks to its neuroprotective effects.
HOW ELITE ATHLETES USE CBD OIL
Now that you know why CBD might offer benefits for athletic recovery, the question is, how do they use it?
The most common way to take CBD oil is orally by using a CBD oil tincture or a capsule. Oral CBD is particularly beneficial because it allows for distribution throughout your body, allowing a multitude of possible benefits.
This is contrary to topical CBD, which are products like salves and lotions that are applied directly to your skin. While this type of CBD might prove useful for things like an injury or arthritis, using it alongside oral CBD will allow additional effects of CBD for recovery in other areas of your body.
You can also find smokable CBD products like vape pens of hemp flower. These offer the highest bioavailability (meaning that more of the CBD is used by your body), however, its safety and dosage have not been researched as thoroughly as oral CBD.
WHAT ATHLETES ARE USING CBD OIL?
More athletes are coming out of the woodwork, sharing their experiences with their dedicated fan base. Not long ago, CBD was banned by the World Doping Agency, and thus using it could have gotten professional athletes in trouble. This all changed in 2018.
You will now find elite athletes from all arenas who are supporters of CBD. Some have started their own companies, and many are hard at work furthering the legality and understanding of CBD. These include (among many others):
Julie Anthony (pro tennis)
Tatum Bell (NFL)
Brita Schwerm Bolane (pro volleyball)
Shannon Briggs (pro boxing)
Steve Cantwell (mixed martial arts)
Avery Collins (Ultramarathoner)
Julian Davidson (pro skater)
San Juanita Fetuuaho (Rugby)
Greta Gaines (pro snowboarding)
Al Harrington (NBA)
As you can see, professional sports players from many backgrounds are coming together to support the use of CBD for elite athletes.
ARE YOU READY TO START USING CBD OIL?
If you would like to try CBD yourself, the first step is finding a high-quality CBD oil product. Look for a product that offers third party lab-results, also known as a certificate of analysis (COA), that show the quantity of CBD and THC as well as other phytonutrients. All CBD products should be clearly labelled, making it easy to find the full list of ingredients and amount of hemp extract in each product.
Next, you will want to decide between full-spectrum hemp oil (FSHO) and CBD isolate. The general rule is that FSHO likely offers the greatest benefits, but CBD isolates are more cost effective. Additionally, you might want to look for a CBD oil products that contains 0% THC if you do undergo any type of drug testing. Be sure to check with the company that does testing to ensure that a 0% THC CBD oil won’t show up as a false positive.
Oral use of CBD, such as taking CBD capsules, allows for easy and convenient dosing after a workout. (Photo: XWERKS)
Remember, most athletes will try an oral product like a full spectrum oil or hemp extract capsules for optimal effect throughout the body. Try starting with a small amount once or twice per day, and slowly increase your dosage until you find what works best for you.
FINAL THOUGHTS: USING CBD FOR ATHLETIC RECOVERY
With elite athletes standing behind CBD and other cannabis or hemp products for recovery, many weekend warriors are beginning to learn about the potential benefits of this plant compound. CBD might help to speed recovery from exercise-induced stress and injuries, and might help to expedite recovery in other ways as well, such as encouraging restful sleep.
With increased legality, you can now buy CBD oil online or find it at stores throughout many states in the U.S.
Why do CBD brands make false claims about bioavailability? What is bioavailability, anyway? A CBD expert explores bioavailability and water soluble CBD in detail.
The hemp industry has seen a surge in products claiming to be “water soluble” and offering higher “bioavailability.” But what does this actually mean for products and consumers of hemp-based wellness products?
This article will help address the different methods used to make cannabinoids water soluble. We’ll also assess the CBD industry claims associated with these methods and bioavailability.
EDITOR’S NOTE:Keith Butler is the founder and lead hemp researcher for Life Patent, one of our Top CBD Brands. After Jessica introduced us to CBD bioavailability, we asked Keith for a more detailed “deep dive” into this fascinating subject. -KO
THE SCIENCE BEHIND BIOAVAILABILITY
To understand these terms and their meaning within the context of hemp-based cannabinoids, it would be helpful to start with some basic science.
First, cannabinoids are lipophilic molecules (i.e., oil-based compounds that are not soluble in water). This means that when you place extracted hemp oils into water, they float. Cannabinoids in their natural lipophilic state do not mix with water and they act exactly as if one poured motor oil onto water—they will not dissolve in the water. This has always been the problem for oil-based compounds—because our bodies are up to 60% water, they have difficulty dissolving, and more importantly, absorbing these types of molecules.
The term “water solubility” refers to a compound’s ability to dissolve into water at a specific temperature. The term bioavailability refers to the amount of active ingredient (AI) in the compound which makes it into the bloodstream. If one injects an AI directly into the bloodstream, this is called 100% bioavailability. If a compound is ingested, in almost all cases that compound is subjected to what is known as a first pass metabolism, or first pass through the liver, where the contents from our stomachs are “cleansed” by the liver on the first pass of digestion.
It is here where most of the degradation of AI takes place as enzymes process digested material within the liver. The chances of ANY ingested lipophilic compound passing 100% of the AI into the bloodstream by ingestion is almost zero percent. Decades of pharmaceutical science have tackled this subject with relative success, but no pharmaceutical company claims 100% bioavailability of active ingredients in their formulations of lipophilic compounds.
BIOAVAILABILITY AND CBD INDUSTRY CLAIMS
Why, then, does the CBD industry continue to tout claims of 100% bioavailability of cannabinoids, or other inflated claims about bioavailability?
The simple answer is because they can. The marketing of unregulated products like hemp “allows” companies to print what they want to believe or what they want you to believe. This is simply the nature of an unregulated industry, and unfortunately the hemp CBD industry is overflowing with overzealous assertions and outright misinformation when it comes to water solubility and bioavailability claims.
Vitamin and pharmaceutical companies have developed methods over time which allow lipophilic molecules to be more readily absorbed by our water-based bodies. These methods have included micro and macro emulsions; liposomes; nano particles; and nano emulsions. While each of these methods has its place in the world of solubility, the truth is to date, this author is unaware of any certified research trials testing the resulting efficacy and bioavailability of compounds associated with each of these cannabinoid formulation methods.
We asked an expert to explain CBD water solubility and bioavailability.
Certified research is available on every form of conversion by the pharmaceutical industry for their products, but few in the hemp industry have done this important work. Very few players in the hemp space have considered blood plasma testing for AI and those who do are mainly working with their own products. There are no independent studies available on this subject without product bias designed to prove one product is better than another. There have been no governing bodies for the industry to guide or implement these studies, and as a result, the public hears unverifiable information created primarily for marketing purposes and providing little insight into the actual efficacy of a product.
BIOAVAILABILITY AND DELIVERY METHODS: EVALUATING THE CLAIMS
What is the truth about bioavailability? How do our ingestion methods correlate to the amount of active ingredient our bodies process when we ingest hemp-based cannabinoids?
To begin, there are a few basic ways to introduce hemp cannabinoids to the body: through inhalation, ingestion, or application.
With bioavailability as the desired target, the most effective and proven delivery method is inhalation. Studies have shown that combustion, be it smoking or vaporizing cannabinoids, produces bioavailability levels from 2%-56% depending on the study and the smoker type, with averages leaning towards the higher side. The high discrepancy in availability is attributed to the experience of the test subject—novice smokers versus experienced smokers who inhale deeper and longer. So simply put, on the higher side of the scale, smokers get a high average bioavailability of cannabinoids around 40% (i.e., less than one half of what they ingest becomes available or quantifiable in their bloodstream). Now that we know this best-case scenario of actual high bioavailability (56% on the highest end), some claims by CBD (cannabidiol) and THC manufacturers may become a little harder to believe.
The truth becomes even more apparent as we move onto other methods.
Ingestion (sublingual) offers much lower bioavailability than inhalation, but the effects are longer lasting. Sublingual delivery is when a tincture is absorbed into the body by delivery into the bloodstream through the soft palate located under the tongue. This is considered the preferred method for bioavailability by mouth as the CBD can absorb through the mucosal membrane and enter into the bloodstream more rapidly than by swallowing. It is this action that many “water soluble” claims are based upon to increase the bioavailability to 100%.
But here is the trick: there are no independent published studies (that I am aware of) testing the transfer of CBD sublingually into the bloodstream by evaluating blood plasma test results to assess an increase in availability. There is a published article where sublingual techniques of cannabinoid delivery are discussed in comparison to known oral delivery bioavailability where the scientists believe that sublingual bioavailability is only slightly higher than oral ingestion. However, almost all the known studies involve THC (with exception of the work by GW Pharmaceuticals). With THC, there is a different outcome when ingested. Since the THC molecule undergoes changes in the digestive tract and transforms to 11-OH THC which is believed to be as much as 5 times more psychoactive than Delta 9 THC (the byproduct of D9 THC), the resulting effects—such as a long-lasting high associated with edibles—are magnified.
So, sublingual is perhaps marginally better than oral delivery. Oral delivery (ingestion by swallowing) is verifiably known to have bioavailability levels ranging from 4% to 20%, with most studies and outcomes falling within the lower range below 10% bioavailability. As a result, we can theorize (because we have virtually no data to confirm this) that sublingual administration of cannabinoids may yield a range somewhere between 10% and 20%, but not much more.
What about rectal CBD?
There is another way for cannabinoids to enter the body: through rectal administration.
Anecdotal evidence and articles would suggest that this method is the most bioavailable as many cancer patients choose this route of administration. However, the only science available was conducted on monkeys and showed about 13.5% availability, much lower than one would expect given the popularity of this method in large dosages. The truth is, rectal administration is basically location specific. Based on the veins and arteries in the rectal area, absorption into the bloodstream is minimal according to existing scientific publications.
Topical CBD and bioavailability
What about the skin? How and why do topical cannabinoids seem to work? Is the skin capable of transferring CBD to the bloodstream to create bioavailability, and if so how much?
You might be surprised to find that, in reality, transdermal delivery of cannabinoids is only a theory, at least for now, but clinical tests are underway. Eventually, science will prevail as topical CBD products proliferate and inquiring minds prioritize this as an area of study. However, testing the transfer of a lipophilic molecule into water-based skin can’t truly be done without complicated scientific practices which are currently rare in the hemp industry. There is only one company that I am aware of (CV Sciences) who has created a transdermal delivery method with any strong science behind it and who was recently granted a patent for this invention.
Topical CBD vs. topical THC
There is one thing we do know: THC and CBD act differently as far as the epidermis is concerned, and CBD seems to be far more absorptive through the epidermis than THC.
There is also another reason why cannabinoid topicals seem to work so well for so many people. The skin is the body’s largest organ and is filled with CB receptors, as are our muscles, bones, nerves and tissues. So, it is possible the cannabinoids, given the proper carriers, can cross the epidermal layer and directly affect CB receptors by absorption.
If this is true, it would support the massive collection of anecdotal evidence which supports the general consensus that topicals work. But as a formulator, I can tell you that there is a big gap between those components required to make products that just work, and those that work really well. In developing LifePatent’s topical formulations, I am focused on making sure our products work really well as opposed to the ‘whatever works mentality’ that is prevalent in the industry and that is often opposed to exploring the possibilities of what could work better through dedicated research and development.
CBD INNOVATION, EFFICACY, AND FALSE CLAIMS
Now that we understand how cannabinoids get into our system in different concentrations dependent upon administration methods, we can now start to develop an understanding of the current water solubility methods employed to increase availability, efficacy, or both. We can also now take a look at some of the claims made by certain product lines, and better understand the challenges that consumer’s face when trying to evaluate and differentiate cannabinoid products in the marketplace.
One popular CBD website claims that their ‘Nano Particle Water Soluble CBD’ has a bioavailability of 90% or more. Really? Let’s look at this claim. Our industry is plagued by false or unsubstantiated claims. I have seen no science showing that this company conducted clinical trials comparing their product to others, or comparing blood plasma levels showing their product is 90%+ as effective as an injection into the bloodstream. In addition, this company claims a “patent” on this technology, but do they actually own the patent? Would it be safe to assume the technology is patented and they are buying it from a third-party source who owns the patent and did the blood plasma tests to make the claim that this product works 90+% as well as an injection?
But let’s first understand what this claim is for—it is for a “new” technology which is claimed to be “better” than Nano-Emulsion technology (which this company claims offers an absorption rate of 10-30%). If Nano-Emulsion CBD has a bioavailability rate of 10-30%, and we know that sublingual oil-based tinctures already have a bioavailability rate of 10-20%, where do these claims of increased bioavailability leave us? Confused.
Is anybody confused yet?
If these claims are true, the Nano-Emulsion technology that everybody claimed increased bioavailability by ten-fold is now less than two-fold according to the claims of this particular company because their new “patented” technology claims to be superior to Nano Emulsion. The new science? Nano Particles, which producers claim are smaller and therefore work better.
That seems to be the ‘science’ in our industry: if its particles are smaller, they absorb better—which is somewhat true. A glass of shaved ice, which has a much higher surface area than a glass of ice cubes, will cool down and melt faster due to the greater surface area. Translating this into the skin-blood barrier, smaller particles may pass through the skin easier, but this does not ultimately change the way the body metabolizes or digests lipophilic compounds. Smaller particles just allow a greater surface area in which to transfer the active ingredients through carriers into the body where they still undergo the ‘first pass metabolism’ and where a large percentage of the active ingredients are destroyed by enzymatic processes.
So, is anybody confused yet?
Although it is confusing, now that we have the basics of administering cannabinoids, let’s look at the science behind today’s applications to improve their water solubility.
MAKING WATER SOLUBLE CBD: HOW IT WORKS
To achieve fine dispersion of oil into water, the water must be kept in a continuous phase while the oil is in a dispersed phase. This requires the use of an emulsifier or surfactant to assist in the dispersal. There are three common ways to achieve this.
Macro emulsions, which utilize large 1 micron plus droplets, with the carrier oil and surfactants added. Macro emulsions are rather unstable. Think of this as the mixing of cannabis or hemp oil with lecithin (such as animal fats), and mixing it in a drink at home. This method probably works as well as a good sublingual dosage, and maybe even a little better.
Micro emulsions are done on a smaller scale, with droplet sizes 1/10 of the size of a macro emulsion. Micro are more stable than macro. Unfortunately, like macro emulsions, the current science is lacking. Additionally, the number of surfactants used can overwhelm the taste buds or can exceed allowable limits for consumption.
Liposomic transfer by spherical structures that are either man made, or available in nature, which have a water attractive (hydrophilic) outer layer and in inner cavity which is capable of encapsulating the cannabinoid molecules and pass them literally “inside” themselves. There are a variety of carriers out there available in the pharmaceutical industry which are approved to do this job. I expect over time there will be CBD manufacturers who reach out to the pharmaceuticals for help, or technology.
I’m excited to be a part of all of this! I can’t wait to one day unveil what my team and I have been able to create in our labs, starting with our solid dose pill. I’m sure others out there have great dedication for the cannabis sciences and are creating the future as well.
NANO PARTICLES AND NANO EMULSIONS
Probably the most well-known method of enhancing solubility is through the use of Nanoparticles or Nano Emulsions. These two terms are completely different things, so let’s first discuss the differences between emulsions and particles.
Nano Particles are generally carrier and active ingredient particles dispersed or disrupted with the use of sound waves or frequencies where the particle size of the intended target (the CBD and carrier) is disrupted into smaller and smaller pieces by ultrasonication (sound waves). Nano-sized particles are created by this process. These very small (nano) particles composed of carrier and active ingredients are much smaller than their non-disrupted selves. They’re capable of passing through membrane walls easier as a result of the highly diminished particle size.
Nano emulsion is a mixture of those nanoparticles with emulsions of surfactant droplets, which are also extremely small, and are designed to enter the body more efficiently. Nano emulsion is currently (theoretically) the most bioavailable option out there. But how much better is it? If you listened to some of the companies who sell it, they claim the bioavailability of nano emulsions is over 90%. By now, I’m hoping we all realize that this is doubtful. Considering known administration types, like sublingual or oral ingestion, can be boosted from 20% bioavailability in a best-case scenario to 90+% of that through an intravenous injection, I would be really surprised if a study could ever prove such efficacy for traditional delivery methods.
WATER SOLUBLE CBD: CAN ANYTHING BE 100% BIOAVAILABLE?
Returning to nano water soluble claims of 100% absorption, we can see this simply cannot be true unless the water-soluble products on the market today could be (and were) injected directly into the bloodstream. As a result, how do we express the relative bioavailability of products that our industry supplies comparative to the science?
More research will be needed to determine the truth about different forms of CBD and bioavailability.
Firstly, we do the science and get the answers before we make claims. LifePatent filed patents in 2017 for water solubility and bioavailability of cannabinoids. We’ve still yet to make a claim of any kind other than the discovery of “nature’s delivery method” for cannabinoids. Our technology has been in testing for over a year. Once all the evidence is in and verified we will speak.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BIOAVAILABILITY: DO YOUR RESEARCH
At LifePatent, we encourage all CBD and hemp cannabinoid users to do the research. The unregulated marketplace is the ‘wild west’ but eventually the wild west was regulated.
As time passes, I expect to see changes from both consumers and regulatory agencies. This will encourage the proliferation of real science and genuine products. Unfortunately, in our world today we only have the word of mouth and product reviews to make our choices. Tomorrow we may have science and technology to support those referrals and reviews.
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Hazecamp, A., Ware, M. A., Muller-Vahl, K. R., Abrams, D., & Grotenhermen, F. (2013). The medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids-An international cross-sectional survey on administration forms. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 45(3), 199-210.
Huestis, M. A. (2007). Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1770-1804.
Khadka, P., Ro, J., Kim, H., Kim, I., Tae Kim, J., Kim, H., Min Cho, J., Gyiae, Y. Jaehwi, L. (2014). Pharmaceutical particle technologies: An approach to improve drug solubility, dissolution and bioavailability. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 9(6), 304-316.
Rashid, M., Malik, M. Y., Singh, S. K., Chaturvedi, S., Gayen, J. R., & Wahajuddin, M. (2019). Bioavailability enhancement of poorly soluble drugs: The holy grail in pharma industry. Current Pharmaceutical Design, doi: 10.2174/1381612825666190130110653
Pairing the refreshing taste of home-made cold brew coffee with the nutritional punch of hemp seed oil, our hemp oil cold brew recipe makes for a delicious drink for any occasion.
Pairing the refreshing taste of home-made cold brew coffee with the nutritional punch of hemp seed oil, our hemp oil cold brew recipe makes for a delicious drink for any occasion.
With the rise of Starbucks in the ‘70s and the more recent rise of local 3rd wave coffee shops, cold brew coffee has become commonplace in millennial Instagram stories worldwide. Providing an easy-to-drink, smooth and crisp coffee beverage, it’s no surprise to see the cold brew become so popular.
Our hemp oil cold brew recipe is easy, delicious, energizing, and even good for you.
While awesome on its own, a benefit that cold-brew carries from its hotter cousin is the innate ability to serve as a perfect canvas for other flavors, sugars, milks and syrups. This is where we insert the hemp seed oil part of this equation; a nutrient-dense oil that is easily integrated into all kinds of beverages, it can not only provide a nutritional boost but also tastes great.
While lots of people add coconut oil or even butter to coffee, we think hemp seed oil is a better choice. We’ve even seen at least one commercial hemp seed oil coffee on the market. However, our hemp oil cold brew is easy to make, and it’ll help you get through your stressful workday.
THE BENEFITS OF THE COFFEE BEAN
While coffee is good for improving athletic performance & liver health and even reduces the risk of diabetes, cold-brewed coffee brings with it a separate set of benefits. When the coffee grounds are steeped overnight (and sometimes even longer), the chemical composition of the drink changes. More specifically, the phytochemicals contained in coffee beans (which in turn contain antioxidants) stay preserved within the coffee. Normally these phytochemicals are burned away when exposed to high temperatures in the traditional preparation methods of coffee and in the roasting process, but when you use the cold-brew method paired with a light roast coffee bean, these antioxidants stay intact (for the most part).
Another benefit of cold brewed coffee is its lower caffeine content. Now, this may sound counter-intuitive to the ethos of coffee, but trust me, if you drink coffee for pleasure then cold brew is perfect for you. If you get easily wired from coffee, but you still crave the taste of coffee, try cold brew. With its lower caffeine content, you can drink cold brew multiple times throughout the day while mitigating those unwanted caffeine highs and lows.
We think hemp seed oil tastes better, and offers unique benefits over butter or coconut oil.
With drastically different tasting notes than traditional coffee, cold brew is great at bringing out the individual tasting notes of the coffee bean, while also giving you a cool rush of flavor with every drink. Perfect as a canvas for other flavors or simply a refreshing coffee drink on a sweltering summer day.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE HEMP SEED OIL COFFEE
Hemp seed oil’s benefits are similar to hemp seeds. Pressed hemp seed oil has a myriad of health benefits such as anti-inflammatories, fatty acids, and Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). Hemp seed oil also provides more valuable antioxidants.
The most important of this bunch is arguably the GLA contained in the oil. Not only does it reduce inflammation, but GLA is essential in regulating blood pressure, heart pressure and even obesity. In terms of macro-nutrients, hemp-seed oil gives you a nice nutrient boost while providing a source of good fats.
Plus, we just love the flavor of hemp seed oil coffee. We think you’ll love the way it brings out the earthy, nutty flavor of cold brew coffee.
MINISTRY OF HEMP’S HEMP OIL COLD BREW RECIPE
Prep time: 8-20 hours
8 ounces whole light roast coffee beans (pro tip: look for a roasting date on the package for freshness and overall quality, coffee makers who put roasting dates on their packaging are usually higher quality)
8 cups water
2-3 tea spoons hemp-seed oil
½ cup of hemp seeds
Sweetener is optional. We love this coffee black.
Use a coffee-grinder to grind the coffee (you’ll want to use a larger grind, meaning keep the coffee similar to the texture of raw sugar).
Combine the coffee-hemp seed mix with water into a large jar or pitcher. Mix in the hemp-seed oil at this point (this will allow the oil and coffee to mix while it steeps overnight).
Gently stir to incorporate it into the water. Five ‘stirs’ should be good.
Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Steeping the mixture for longer means a more potent concentrate.
Strain the coffee via cheesecloth or paper towel. DO NOT squeeze the coffee grounds as that will release bitter tasting notes (Paper filters not recommended as they tend to rip and make a huge mess).
Put into resealable container.
Drink and enjoy! This recipe creates a strong coffee concentrate that you can mix with water to taste, but 1:1 is a good starting point. You can add more hemp oil per serving of coffee if you want.
With so many CBD brands on the market, choosing the best CBD oil can be confusing. Here’s some tips on picking the right CBD product to manage your pain.
How do you choose the best CBD oil for pain?
The answer may not be as simple as you think. Nowadays, there are so many different CBD brands and products that things can really get confusing, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Over the past few years the CBD market has grown at an unprecedented rate. The sheer success of the industry attracted many new entrants into the space, seeking to capitalize on what can potentially be a multibillion-dollar business. And though this CBD craze has contributed to an increase in innovation, it also caught the attention of some shady characters looking for a quick dollar.
So, if you’re considering grabbing some CBD oil for pain relief, you should keep in mind that the space is still mostly unregulated. As such, we need to be very particular with our choices to ensure that we pick a high-quality product and more importantly, one that is safe for consumption. In this article we will provide some guidelines to help you choose only the best CBD products for pain.
HOW TO DETECT A QUALITY BRAND?
Method of manufacturing
There are several methods that can be used to manufacture CBD products. But not all are made equal. Some are perfectly safe, and others may be risky due to the use of toxic solvents.
While CBD may offer pain relief, knowing how to pick the best CBD oil for pain can be confusing.
The most reputable companies tend to use CO2 supercritical/subcritical extraction, because it is one of the best ways to get a high yield of CBD without any exposure to toxic chemicals. It’s really the gold standard as far as CBD extraction goes.
When looking for a CBD oil product for your pain relief, ensure that the brand is transparent about their production process. If there’s little to no information is available, this is usually a huge red flag.
Top tier CBD oil brands will usually boast that their products have been third-party lab tested. It’s a great selling point and helps to bring validity and transparency to the brand.
For the consumer, it also provides some reassurance that what is claimed on the label is accurate, and that the item is safe for consumption. So, before you purchase that CBD tincture to relieve your pain and other symptoms, make sure that the item has been third-party verified. The actual results of the test should be available for customers to review. When you’re examining this information, ensure that it’s up to date and that the tests have been conducted within the last 6 months.
Any brand of CBD oil should be third-party lab tested to ensure purity and reliability.
Usually details of the lab tests can be found on the company’s website. If they’re not available online, you should always request them from customer support.
Ingredients on the label
Transparent product labelling is absolutely essential for any consumable good. After all, you need to know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
There’s no way to tell if a CBD product is the best suited for your pain solely based on the nice graphics on the label. But the list of ingredients and nutrition facts on the back will certainly go a long way. The two main components that are usually included in a tincture are CBD and a carrier oil like MCT (often based on coconut oil) or hemp seed oil. Apart from that, you may observe fractional percentages of other cannabinoids on the lab test results.
Some brands may also offer their own special blend of herbs in addition to CBD, to enhance pain relief. Reputable companies usually give a detailed breakdown of all the ingredients included, and their respective percentages. If this information is obscure or non-existent, then we recommend you proceed with caution.
Reviews and recommendations
The internet makes it possible for us to get an idea of how a product will work before we make any monetary investment. Reviews and recommendations go a long way when shopping for CBD oil. Every brand will claim to provide the best CBD products for pain and the world of symptoms.
So, it helps to look beyond the marketing pitch and listen to the opinions of actual consumers or trustworthy sources. Always look for reviews and recommendations online before making a purchase. If the reviews are good then it will most likely be a good product, and if they’re bad, then you just saved yourself a bad experience.
In addition to sites like Ministry of Hemp, we often recommend the CBD subreddit on Reddit as a great resource for connecting with other CBD consumers.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO TAKE THE BEST CBD OIL FOR PAIN
The great thing about CBD oil is we can consume it in many different ways. There is no one size fits all, when determining the type of CBD product for your pain relief.
Holding a CBD oil tincture under your tongue is a great option for pain relief, due to the effectiveness and high bioavailability of this method.
Usually the form of the CBD oil is largely dependent on the intended use. Here are some of the most common CBD products and their unique properties:
Capsules are the most convenient way to consume CBD. If you’re on the go, or perhaps would like to take you CBD oil discreetly, this method may be right for you. Additionally, capsules are great for people who are just starting off, as they provide an exact dosage per unit, and are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
These can come as creams, lotions or ointments and are absorbed directly through the skin. Topicals give the consumer a means to use CBD for pain relief without having to ingest or inhale anything. They are best suited to focus on specific areas and act faster than edible products, since the CBD is absorbed transdermally.
These are perhaps the most popular type of CBD oil product. Tinctures can be administered under the tongue and are also easy to use in the kitchen, by blending with other oil-based substances. If you’re interested in creating your own CBD-infused food, then tinctures may be the way to go.
It’s also worth considering that tinctures are highly bioavailable through sublingual application, which is great to maximize on the amount of CBD per dosage. Make sure to hold the tincture under your tongue for at least 30 seconds to a minute to get the maximum effect.
This is one of the fastest ways to get relief from CBD, since it enters your bloodstream via the lungs, rather moving along the digestive tract. Vaping tends to create a high bioavailability of CBD through this method of absorption. Additionally, it’s a discreet way of taking cannabidiol, since there is no distinct difference between CBD vape oil and others on the market.
Thanks to the widespread use of e-cigs, you won’t look out of place while vaping CBD.
It’s important to be aware that a small percentage of users have experienced adverse reactions, due to the presence of contaminants included in some vapes. Check out our Vaping 101 article to find out more.
FULL SPECTRUM OR ISOLATE?
Typically, full spectrum oils are considered to be more effective since they gave you the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes. But, in cases where the consumer may not be permitted to consume even negligible amounts of THC, then isolates are an option.
For overall therapeutic use, full spectrum products certainly have an edge. However, isolates are tasteless so they’re easier to incorporate with meals. They also allow you to manage your dosage of CBD more precisely since there are no other ingredients included.
THE BEST CBD OIL FOR PAIN: OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
CBD oil tends to come in different ranges of concentration depending on the brand. The common ones are 250mg, 500mg and 1000mg. For a newbie, the best bet is to start at the lower end of the spectrum. You can increase the dosage as needed, when you get accustomed to the effects. If you find yourself taking higher doses, then higher strength CBD products quickly become more cost-effective.
Although CBD is a great option to help with pain relief, it is not a cure or miracle formula. As such, it is important to understand the effects of the compound and how it interacts with your body. One drop of oil is not going take all your body pain away instantly.
Try CBD for a while, and experiment with different products or methods of ingestion. But always ensure that your expectations are realistic.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CBD OIL FOR PAIN
We hope that these guidelines make it easier for you to find the best CBD products for your pain and therapeutic needs.
It’s absolutely crucial that you choose reputable brands, with high quality items. The form of the CBD oil should be based on the intended use and functionality. Information on any product worth considering,should be easily accessible and in line with the claims of the manufacturer.
With that being said, choose wisely and happy shopping.
Within recent times, alternative medicine and natural remedies are becoming increasingly popular. More people are looking for ways to improve their overall health and well-being that doesn’t involve taking pharmaceutical drugs.
It’s no surprise that hemp-based substances such as CBD, have risen to prominence based on its unique therapeutic abilities. However, there are other herbs like kava, sometimes called kava kava, also receiving attention for similar positive effects. But can you really compare kava with CBD? If we were to pit CBD vs kava, which of the two would come out on top?
In this article we’re going to explore exactly that. We will examine how the popular CBD matches up against the lesser known underdog, kava. Through this comparison, we hope you can better determine which herbal remedies support your needs.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW ON CBD
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a lot more popular than Kava. It’s certainly more widely used. Cannabidiol is one of the main compounds found in the hemp plant and its primary role is to create balance within the body. CBD is non-intoxicating and helps ease symptoms of a variety of common conditions including stress, anxiety and pain.
CBD offers numerous benefits without a high, unlike kava which can cause mild mind-altering effects.
Quite notably, scientists are studying the potential use of CBD to treat some more serious ailments like cancer. Today, you can find CBD in just about anything. There are capsules, gummies, tinctures and if those are too boring, you can even find CBD-infused beverages and food.
WHAT EXACTLY IS KAVA?
Kava is an herb native to the Pacific Islands. People in places like Hawaii, Fiji and Tonga used kava for hundreds of years.
Typically, the root of the plant is used to make an extract. Kava is thought to have calming, analgesic and stress relieving properties. Traditionally, they would dry and crush the root into a powder, then mix it with water to make a drink.
Herbal supplement companies today use more sophisticated methods of extraction in order to maximize the concentration of its main ingredients, kavalactones. The final product is usually a capsule that contains anywhere from 30% to 90% concentration. There are 18 of these kavalactones found in the kava plant and they’re responsible for its potential benefits.
Unlike CBD, which is non intoxicating, these kavalactones can also induce a high and even mild hallucinations due to their psychoactive nature.
CBD VS KAVA: USES
CBD is well-known for its wide range of therapeutic applications.
Cannabidiol works with our endocannabinoid system to regulate the body’s internal processes. Many people all over the world are using CBD to help with issues such as chronic pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation. Part CBD’s appeal is the lack of psychoactive effects. Apart from the more common uses, it also has the potential to treat even more severe illnesses such as schizophrenia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, bone disease and more, though a lot more research is needed.
In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a marijuana-based CBD medicine, to treat seizures related to some forms of epilepsy. This was a major triumph, as it marked the first time the FDA recognized the medical benefits of cannabis. With more research, we can expect to see more CBD based products being introduced to the mainstream in the future.
Kava is much less researched than CBD. The kavalactones found in the plant interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain to create its calming, euphoric effects. Kava is mainly used to help reduce stress and anxiety. Some suggest that it can be a natural alternative to treating anxiety disorders. More research needs to be done to really determine its effectiveness as some studies have produced mixed results. This makes it a bit more difficult to form any real conclusions.
It is also said that kava can be useful in promoting sleep, and therefore has the potential to treat sleeping disorders such as insomnia. In one 2015 study involving over a thousand participants, researchers could not really prove any noticeable difference when compared to placebo.
CBD VS KAVA: SIDE EFFECTS
One reasons that CBD is becoming so popular is that it has very minimal side effects. Studies have shown that even when consumed at relatively large doses, it typically does not cause any adverse reactions that may jeopardize the user’s health. CBD is a non-addictive substance that doesn’t require larger doses after prolonged use. CBD is arguably safer than many pharmaceutical drugs in use. No fatal overdoses by CBD have ever been reported. Even in the rare instances where users report side effects, they are usually mild symptoms such as dry mouth, drowsiness and nausea.
While there’s some evidence that kava may help with stress, insomnia, and similar issues, there’s also evidence that it may cause damage to the liver in some cases.
Kava on the other hand, can have various side effects, especially when consumed in large doses. Some of these may include: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, diarrhea, skin issues and liver damage.
Whether or not similar adverse effects are found among Kava’s traditional consumers, this still raises concerns about the quality of the kava supplements being sold commercially. Additionally, there may also be some negative reactions when consumed with other substances like alcohol, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and diuretics. With these potential risks and minimal research, kava needs to be consumed with caution and under the right medical supervision.
CBD VS KAVA: LEGALITY
In the US, CBD is legal throughout all 50 states as long as it is derived from hemp (0.3% or less THC). The 2018 Farm Bill was a huge step forward for the cannabis industry. It rightfully removed restrictions on hemp by revoking its schedule I classification. Even though hemp is now legal on a federal level, there have been police raids on CBD stores in states like Texas, due to conflicts between state and federal laws. U.S. Consumers, in general, haven’t faced any legal penalties for possessing or purchasing CBD.
Kava is also considered legal in the US. However, it’s important to consider the 2002 advisory issued by the FDA warning of its potential liver damage. Certainly, more research needs to be done on the herb to confirm or deny those statements, but remember just because its legal doesn’t mean its safe. Another consideration: Poland banned kava, while countries like France, Canada, Germany and Switzerland have some restrictive measures in place.
Hopefully this helps to paint a clearer picture of what these herbal remedies are and how they compare to each other.
CBD is widely used and researched, with a long list of holistic benefits and limited side effects. While kava, on the other hand, does show some potential to treat stress related symptoms, its long list of side effects and lack of definitive scientific research suggest that consumers should proceed with care.
With all these things into consideration, which do you think is better?
Today, we’ll explore how the American hemp supply chain is hampered by inconsistent laws and regulations. From growers to extraction to the final CBD oil you take, there are many steps along the way.
Today, we’ll explore how the American hemp supply chain is hampered by inconsistent laws and regulations.
Most people are unaware of the sheer complexity that goes behind putting their favorite product on the shelves. Exploring those complexities will help show how your favorite CBD product goes from plant to final product and explain the cost of CBD.
“Despite all the obstacles along the path of the hemp industry supply chain, brave individuals and companies have made a way for it to work,” said Keith Butler, co-founder and chief formulator for LifePatent.
LifePatent is one of our favorite CBD brands, so we reached out to Butler for an insider’s view of the process.
WHAT IS A SUPPLY CHAIN, ANYWAY?
To understand the CBD supply chain, we must first consider what a supply chain even is and what it means to a business.
A supply chain is essentially the bones & muscles of a company. The supply chain is comprised of raw material producers, system processors, customer service, truck drivers, factory floor workers. Hell, even the IT guys are part of it. This is why a good supply chain manager or team is essential in a healthy business. Whenever you buy, move, make, sell, service or repair you are using your supply chain. A supply chain is successful when all the links in the chain work together smoothly.
One example of a supply chain is the process that goes into creating coffee, from growing to roasting to the final cup in your favorite cafe.
Let’s consider a simple cup of coffee at your favorite cafe. First, farmers grow and harvest coffee fruit (probably somewhere in South America). Further processing happens before shipping coffee overseas or to America. Then drivers, packagers, trucks, fuel and further processing are needed to get it to the companies who order the beans.
Those companies (part of the chain itself), roast, package, test and ship those coffee beans to different retail spots. Then coffee shops grind the beans and make them into a cup of coffee for you to buy.
All of this goes behind making a cup of coffee. Keep in mind this is a simplistic version of the real coffee supply chain. The real thing is much more complex. Depending on size and scope, a business might cover just one aspect of the supply chain — such as coffee roasting. Or they might oversee the entire process from coffee fruit to cafe. The same can be true of the CBD supply chain.
THE HEMP INDUSTRY AND THE CBD SUPPLY CHAIN
The hemp industry is growing at a break-neck pace.
Valued at $3.1 billion at the end of 2017, the industry is currently projected to triple that figure by 2022. When you factor in last December’s Farm Bill, the industry is only going to grow faster. This is not simply an American story as Canada, France and China have successful and fast-growing hemp industries.
The hemp and CBD supply chain begins with hemp seeds.
Truly, the hemp plant is making a resurgence in popularity, mainly due to the robustness, simplicity, and ease of hemp farming. Not to mention over 50,000 different uses of the plant, from car panels in France, to hemp hearts grown in Canada and the massive hemp-textile industry in China.
Butler told us:
“The supply chain begins with the seeds. Today’s hemp genetics can be incredibly complex and equally as complex to acquire. With the explosive growth of the hemp industry, supply side beginning with something as simple as a seed can be a challenge. The companies who have access to the unique seeds and genetics are even harder to find. Once the seeds have been secured the supply side begins with the farming process.”
HEMP INDUSTRY SUPPLY CHAIN REQUIRES MORE INFRASTRUCTURE
This fast-growing industry has attracted many businesses, from retailers, producers, suppliers, farmers and so on and so forth. The supply-chain is growing just as fast as the industry itself. One simply needs to look at all of the different CBD-brands that have seemingly come from nowhere to see the pace of growth in the industry.
“Although hemp is a weed and is considered an easy plant to grow, making medicinal hemp is a little more complicated. The plant will require proper sun, moisture, nutrients and protection,” Butler said. “All of these factors will determine the level of medicinal quality which can be achieved, but the process takes months of time and patience not to mention luck and skill.”
But the support infrastructure necessary to power the hemp supply chain is still lacking in many places.
“Once the flower has been collected by the farmer it needs to be dried, again, a straightforward process which is not so simple. Sure, solutions are being created to simplify the harvesting and drying process, there are even systems which require no drying at all,” said Butler. “But these systems are few and far between leaving most farmers to do it and the old-fashioned way, by hand. Once the harvest has been dried it must be transported to the extraction facility.”
HOW CURRENT REGULATIONS INTERFERE WITH THE CBD SUPPLY CHAIN
But it’s not all rainbows & sunshine as the American hemp industry is seriously hampered by inconsistent federal and state level legislation.
While the aforementioned Farm Bill certainly helps, there are still major grey areas in the classification of hemp. The production of hemp is now federally legal, and the Farm Bill removed CBD from the Controlled Substances Act, but the industry is closely watching upcoming decisions by the FDA.
“Despite all the obstacles along the path of the hemp industry supply chain, brave individuals and companies have made a way for it to work.” — Keith Butler, LifePatent
“Things can get tricky here depending on whether you plant to extract locally, in state or out of state,” Butler commented. “For those who need to transport over state lines to extract a whole new set of obstacles arise in the supply chain.”
“Recent seizures of hemp being transported across state lines after the passage of the 2018 farm bill show us that many places didn’t get the memo. And worse yet some states have challenged the legality of hemp even after its removal from the controlled substance act.”
All cannabis businesses still have to operate on a cash-only basis. Banks cannot offer financial services such as bank accounts or business loans. Alongside the clarification of CBD products by the FDA, the financial side of the business is the biggest supply chain obstacle for cannabis and hemp companies to overcome. With continued bi-partisan support of the STATES act, this may soon be fixed.
THE DEFINITION OF HEMP ALSO POSES RISKS TO CBD BRANDS
Butler explained the definition of hemp, pinned to 0.3% THC, also causes issues:
“To date the definition of hemp outside of less than 0.3% THC by dry weight has not been defined causing a whole new challenge for the hemp products producer. When extracted a 0.3% THC hemp plant will create extracted oils which can be in excess of 3% THC now. A number that can be 10 or more times above the legal limit of hemp, but it is from the legal hemp plant but now the oils appear to the world as cannabis despite the fact they are hemp derived. It is this single undefined issue that drives the extraction, formulation and bottling of most hemp products. When the hemp is extracted the THC levels increase as do all the other cannabinoids.”
Third-party lab tests help ensure that the final CBD-infused products consumers purchase remain under the legal limits of THC, but the extraction process puts hemp brands at risk. Butler thinks the issue may need to be solved in the courts:
“Unfortunately, no one in the government has addressed this reality and until someone with the resources required to put up a fight gets stopped and arrested with hemp oil extract the hemp industry will continue in the conundrum of can I transport the undiluted oil from extraction to a different state for bottling and formulation.”
THE INNOVATIVE MODERN AMERICAN HEMP INDUSTRY
“Creativity and ingenuity are the hallmarks of the American people and those in the hemp industry are more akin to the pioneers, blazing the trails to a better future,” Butler told us.
So next time you enjoy your favorite CBD tincture, soft-gel, cream or simple hemp-hearts, keep in mind the complex CBD supply chain necessary to bring that product to your table. The issues above reflect that more legislation may be needed to protect the hemp industry, though fortunately Sen. Mitch McConnell and other hemp supporters in Congress seem to be willing to undertake the effort.
“I know for guys like myself and the people with whom I began this journey with nearly 40 years ago, we found a way and now hemp is legal,” Butler concluded. “For the future I expect the new pioneers will create new trails and find new ways to bring our beloved plant to the peoples of the earth.”
When it comes to comparing CBD vs. kratom, these two natural supplements don’t have as much in common as you might think. While both offer some real benefits, CBD remains the safer choice in most cases.
Both CBD and kratom are getting a lot of attention, so we thought we’d compare their relative benefits here.
You’ve most likely heard of the hemp-derived compound CBD before. It’s been the talk of the town in realm of alternative medicine for quite some time, and has really developed a reputation as a natural route to relief of many conditions or their symptoms.
But there are some other herbs besides hemp, that have also been growing in popularity for their therapeutic properties. In this article we will take a look at kratom and how it really compares to CBD.
Some people claim kratom can be an effective substitute to CBD. But, is this really accurate? On the surface, they may appear to have some common ground. As you begin to dig deeper it becomes more apparent that they’re really quite different.
AN OVERVIEW OF CBD
Nowadays, CBD or cannabidiol can be found in many different types of consumables.
CBD oil, extracted from industrial hemp, is a safe, non-psychoactive supplement with numerous benefits.
You can find it in traditional forms like CBD tinctures or capsules and even more creative products such as CBD coffee. The main role of this compound is to create internal balance, through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Part of what makes CBD so special is that it’s non-psychoactive, unlike the well-known THC, the main active ingredient in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”). CBD can help you improve your mood, deal with anxiety and even support pain relief, all without experiencing mind-altering effects.
CBD also shows the potential to treat many more serious conditions. As scientists conduct more research, even traditional doctors increasingly support the use of cannabidiol.
WHAT EXACTLY IS KRATOM?
Kratom, also known as “mitragyna speciosa,” is a tree that originates from South East Asia. It grows naturally in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. People from these areas have used kratom for thousands of years. Traditionally, natives of these areas chewed the leaves for its stimulant-like properties. Kratom has a long history of use as an opium substitute and in more recent times has become popular as a recreational drug.
The plant’s main active ingredients are mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine (7HMG). These two compounds induce their effects by interacting with the body’s opioid receptors. Mitragynine is the chemical thought to be responsible for the therapeutic effects, whereas researches attribute psychoactive effects to 7HMG. The clinical research on kratom is still very limited. This lack of research also prevents kratom from catching on like CBD.
CBD VS KRATOM: USES
CBD has a relatively long list of applications. It’s most commonly used to help with anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic pain and inflammation.
Although many consume it to feel more relaxed and manage stress related symptoms, it is also becoming quite popular in the fitness community to help with recovery and pain management. Apart from those practical uses, CBD is also being researched for its potential to treat more severe ailments such as: cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, diabetes and many others.
When comparing CBD vs. Kratom, one major difference is that CBD is non-addictive and appears safe even at relatively high doses, while kratom can pose risks of dependency and other side effects.
Kratom is used mainly to reduce anxiety, relieve pain and help with opiate addiction. As research surrounding the herb seems to still be in the early stages, no solid conclusions can be drawn as of yet. Based on user accounts, and the natives who’ve grown the herb for centuries, there may be some truth behind some of the promoted benefits. Some individuals have claimed it is particularly effective in breaking dependency on stronger opioids like heroin and oxycodone. However, more clinical trials need to be conducted before it can be recognized as a reliable method of treatment.
CBD VS KRATOM: SIDE EFFECTS
CBD is great not only because of its numerous benefits, but because CBD has limited side effects. The versatile cannabinoid, is proven to be non-addictive, and is still safe to consume even in large quantities. To date, there have been no CBD related deaths ever recorded. Some mild side effects that may be experienced by users include nausea, dry mouth and drowsiness.
Kratom however, starts to a lot look less appealing when we begin to examine the side effects. Although it’s promoted to be a solution to opiate addiction, there is also the risk of becoming addicted to kratom. Frequent use is generally not recommended, as it increases the chance of dependency and also exposes the consumer to other potential risks.
Some relatively common kratom side effects include vomiting, nausea and constipation. But the list doesn’t stop there, as there are even more severe symptoms that may arise from kratom use such as seizures, psychosis, respiratory depression, liver toxicity, and increased blood pressure. When we consider all these side effects, they could heavily outweigh the benefits.
THE LEGALITY OF CBD AND KRATOM
The 2018 Farm Bill forced the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove hemp-deriveed CBD from its list of illegal drugs. The bill formally legalized industrial hemp with a THC content of 0.3% or lower as an agricultural commodity, rather than a controlled substance.
Even with this monumental move, there are still some restrictions varying from state to state. While consumers can generally access CBD both in stores and through online CBD brands, some CBD stores still face the threat of police action.
While recent legal changews support access to CBD, kratom may face further restrictions in the near future.
The legality of kratom remains a bit more undefined as it is not regulated on a federal level. However, there are some states that have banned the substance like Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, Vermont and Washington, D.C. In 2016 the DEA announced their intentions to classify kratom as a schedule I substance. The announcement was followed by intense public outcry, and since then they have not yet made any advances to restrict it on a national level.
Even the FDA issued a statement warning of kratom’s adverse effects. The FDA attributed 36 deaths to kratom in 2017. Last year, there was a salmonella outbreak related to kratom products which affected 199 people across several states. The nationwide controversy led to a massive recall, and once again shed negative light on the herb, which may eventually lead to its restriction on a larger scale.
When we examine all the factors above, we’re better equipped to evaluate natural remedies.
While some people compare kratom and CBD as herbal supplements, they’re in two completely different lanes. CBD is a lot more recognized, with a strong backing of user testimonies and scientific research.
While kratom may treat some conditions, due to minimal research and a growing list of concerns, it is likely to be restricted before it is accepted on a wider scale. While we don’t support legal prohibition of natural substances, users of kratom must be aware of the risk of dependency and other potentially harmful side effects.
Once again, we’re bringing hemp and oats together in our ultimate hemp granola recipe. This recipe is delicious, nutritious, gluten free, and easy to customize with added ingredients.
Hemp granola fuses the superfood capacities of hemp seeds with the hyper-efficiency of oats for a delicious, on-the-go snack.
Much like our previous Ultimate Hemp Oatmeal recipe, hemp granola brings the same nutritional one-two punch of hemp hearts and oats together. Not only are they good for you, making them proves that you don’t need to spend hours of your valuable time to make an uber-healthy snack.
Delicious, nutritious, and easy to customize, our hemp granola recipe will be your new easy breakfast snack.
Extremely balanced and highly nutritious, oats are high in fiber and carbs, and are loaded with many important vitamins and minerals. A meager half-cup of oats contains 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, with only about 300 calories. This makes oats a super nutrient-dense food, providing you with a good ratio of nutrition to calories.
In addition, oats are rich in antioxidants, can lower cholesterol levels, and lowers blood sugar. To add on to all of that, oats are very satiating.
Hemp, of course, is high in plant-based protein, contain good fats, and are also nutrient-dense. One ounce of hemp seeds contains nine grams of protein, twelve grams of fat, and two grams of fiber. It also contains all twenty amino acids and all nine of the essential amino acids which our bodies do not produce naturally. Hemp is also extremely easy to incorporate into your diet through the use of hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds) and hemp oil.
Once made, this recipe helps you save time as hemp granola can be refrigerated and stored. A large batch can last you up to 14 days. Not only does it save you time, but they provide a much healthier alternative to other snacks such as potato chips, ice-cream or the occasional fast-food run.
Keep in mind that this hemp granola recipe is highly customizable, and you can mix in different ingredients such as berries, other seeds, peanut butter etc. to meet your nutritional needs! Not only that, you can eat hemp granola by the handful, or with milk or yogurt.
MINISTRY OF HEMP’S ULTIMATE HEMP GRANOLA RECIPE
Prep time: 5 minutes
Tip: Our hemp granola recipe is gluten free, if you make sure to buy gluten free oats.
You can eat our hemp granola by the handful, or mix it with milk or yogurt. (Photo: Ministry of Hemp / Ellijah Pickering)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 1 honey or agave syrup
2 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 tsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 – 1 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp coconut flakes, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small sauce pot, over medium heat, add the butter and peanut butter. Stir until softened. Turn heat to low. Then add in the honey (or agave). Stir for a minute, until well combined.
Add in the rolled oats, stir well to combine.
Add in the hemp seeds, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, flax seed, coconut flakes.
Turn off the heat. Stir well to combine. The mixture will feel very thick now.
Lay a sheet of aluminum down on a one-inch thick baking sheet. Pour the mixture onto one side of the sheet and flatten and spread with a spoon.
Load granola into the 350-degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. Edges will begin to brown when they are done.
Cool hemp granola at least ten minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.