Stephanie Kahn, who with her husband, Jeffrey, runs the Takoma Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Northwest Washington, says that about half of her 1,200 patients use CBD-rich products. Her dispensary offers several strains of high-CBD cannabis as well as CBD oil, with different ratios of CBD and THC, each of which she recommends for particular conditions. “We get questions about it every day,” she says. “A lot of our patients get relief with this, and a lot of times this works better than pharmaceutical drugs.”
What did I experience? As was the case for Talansky, my sleep improved almost immediately. It wasn’t that I slept more; I felt like I slept better—more soundly, less waking during the night, more often getting out of bed feeling refreshed. By the second week I noticed less overall creakiness while going about daily activities; CBD advocates would say the products had lowered systemic inflammation. Those two changes made me feel like I was recovering better from training, which led to being more eager to train, and feeling better while doing so.
Our full spectrum certified USDA organic CBD hemp oil for dogs and cats is extracted from our proprietary strain of hemp, PR-33. PR-33 is grown at our joint-venture certified USDA organic hemp farm in eastern Colorado and was selected because it’s cannabinoid profile was the most optimal for pets. In order for CBD oil for pets to be as beneficial as possible, every cannabinoid naturally found in the hemp plant must be present, THC included. This is because all of the cannabinoids in the hemp plant work together in what is called the “entourage effect,” this is why Pet Releaf never uses CBD isolate, CBD alone loses the majority if it’s medicinal benefits. The PR-33 strain is extremely high in the beneficial cannabinoid CBD and extremely low in THC at an almost undetectable level of 0.1%. PR-33 is a proprietary strain and will only ever be found in Pet Releaf products. We extract our CBD hemp oil using a super critical CO2 method, meaning we only use pressurized air to remove the CBD from the plant and never any toxic solvents or chemicals. Our CBD hemp oil for pets uses the flowers, leaves, and some seeds so that our products contain the full spectrum CBD that is extracted from the plant as well as the protein benefits of the seeds.
Hemp seed oil is a great source of high-quality nutrients and has a long history of use in Eastern culture as a multi-purpose natural remedy. Despite its widespread popularity, prejudice related to its association with Marijuana it has kept it from common use in the West. While the oil contains virtually no THC (the psychoactive element in cannabis) hemp oil is still considered sketchy to some. Thankfully, education is prevailing and the market for hemp seed oil is growing in the United States, with an increasing number of people seeking it out for its reported health benefits.
McGuire doesn’t advise buying CBD products. You need to differentiate, he says, between the extremely high doses of pharmaceutical-grade pure CBD that participants in the handful of successful studies were given and the dietary supplements available over the counter or online. “These may contain quite small amounts of CBD that might not have large enough concentrations to have any effects,” he says. “It’s the difference between a nutraceutical and a pharmaceutical.” These supplements aren’t allowed to make claims of any effects. “If you’re making creams or sports drinks with CBD, you can say anything you like as long as you don’t say it will do such and such,” he says.
Both Bonn-Miller and Ward stress that it's up to the consumer to be well-educated about the material they're purchasing and the research that's out there. "The companies that are creating [cannabis oils] are offering lots of claims about its use that are not necessarily substantiated by any research," Bonn-Miller said. So "I think there needs to be, from a consumer standpoint, a lot of vigilance," he added.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to widespread use of CBD is price. High-quality tinctures from brands like Floyd’s of Leadville and PlusCBD cost $35 or more; the bottles contain enough tincture to last about a month if you’re using an eyedropper’s worth per day. Prevail’s 2-ounce topical salve, which the company says should last most users between 30 and 45 days, costs $133. A one-month supply of a daily gel typically costs $30 to $60.
One of the strongest nutraceutical CBD oils is called Charlotte’s Web, with a 50mg dose. Charlotte’s Web is produced in Colorado by the Stanley Brothers, and named after Charlotte Figi, a girl who became famous in the US after her frequent seizures, brought on by the rare Dravet syndrome, were greatly reduced when she started taking CBD oil aged five. The company makes THC products too and is extremely successful, having just offered shares on the Canadian securities exchange, raising about $100m.
And the products on the shelf aren't all the same, Ward said. "There can be many, many different varieties, and if you're thinking about doing this for medical reasons, you want to find a trusted source and do your research," she said. "Where does that oil come from, and how confident can you be that you know the exact percentages of the different cannabinoids in the product?"
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
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