Categories
CBD Info

4 Best CBD Products to Help You Sleep

You wouldn’t like me when I’m tired. Between chronic pain, anxiety, and depression, a good night’s sleep is crucial to saving me from myself. Without at least six hours of shuteye, I’m likely to wake up looking and feeling a bit like a grumpy Nosferatu. No one needs that. But between the side effects of anti-depressants (insomnia, night sweats) and anxiety’s nightly feature presentation consisting of reels of shame and should-haves playing in my brain, getting to sleep is not always easy. And I know I’m not alone. About 35% of adults in the U.S. don’t get the recommended 7-plus hours per night. 

Sure, over-the-counter and prescription medications can offer some relief. But they can also cause some pretty nasty side effects. This includes next-day drowsiness, which kind of defeats the purpose of taking a sleep aid and more severe consequences such as dependency. The good news is CBD might be an effective, safe, and natural alternative. 

Why Don’t We Sleep Well?

Myriad factors affect sleep quality. Despite our best efforts, it’s not unusual to drink a little too much coffee some days or go to bed too late after an extra-long day. But if you have trouble sleeping regularly or feel drowsy even after a solid seven hours of shuteye, you might be one of the millions of people living with a sleep disorder. 

The Sleep Foundation defines insomnia as the brain’s inability to stop being awake. This can be a result of physical or psychological issues. In either case, treatment requires bringing the brain’s sleep-wake cycle back into line. 

Depression and anxiety are the primary psychological causes of insomnia. Not only can these mental illnesses disrupt sleep, but certain prescription treatments can impact rest too. Worse yet, lack of sleep can exacerbate these issues. It’s a vicious cycle. 

As far as physical ailments go, allergies, respiratory difficulties (such as asthma), gastrointestinal problems, endocrine issues (such as hyperthyroidism), arthritis, neurological conditions, and chronic pain commonly cause problems.  

What Happens When We Don’t Sleep?

Sleep is not a passive activity, as Johns Hopkins Medicine explains. In fact, the body and brain are pretty busy while we’re at rest.

The first part of the sleep cycle is non-REM sleep, which consists of four stages. In the first two, we fall asleep, our body temperature drops, and our breathing slows. In the third and fourth stages, we’re out like a light. During this period, the mind and body are recuperating. 

During REM sleep, our eyes move rapidly, and our brains are active, similar to when we’re awake. As we dream, the body is temporarily paralyzed. The cycle repeats, usually four or five times per night. 

Sleep is crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing. Going about your day without having slept the night before is like trying to drive a car on empty. Your brain and body just won’t work as well, and chances are you’ll feel awful too. 

Without sufficient sleep, our brain is not as capable of processing input, as Johns Hopkins explains. Not only does it make it difficult to absorb and process information in the present, but it also makes it harder to remember that information in the future. Some researchers even think our brain expels waste from its cells while we sleep. Basically, if we don’t sleep, not only do we feel (and maybe look) like trash, but our brain might be full of it too. 

Our bodies also suffer from a lack of sleep. In addition to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, we’re more susceptible to issues like inflammation, migraines, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and seizures, as well as illness and infection. According to Johns Hopkins, sleep affects metabolism too; missing a night of sleep can throw an otherwise healthy person into a temporary prediabetic state. Lack of sleep can also contribute to neurodegeneration, which, over time, can increase the risk of dementia. 

How CBD Can Help 

CBD binds with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a vast network of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes located throughout the brain and body. The ECS is responsible for various physical and psychological processes, including immune system response, mood, and sleep. CBD helps the ECS work more effectively, helping it better address issues like pain, inflammation, anxiety, and stress that can stand between us and sweet slumber.

In addition to overwhelming anecdotal evidence, there’s a growing body of scientific research confirming CBD as a dependable natural sleep aid. A study published in The Permanente Journal is one example. In this study, researchers examined 72 adults with anxiety and insomnia and found 79% slept better after 25 mg of CBD daily.

What Products Are Best for Sleep? 

These days, there are countless ways to take your daily or nightly CBD supplement. These include honey sticks, which you can dip into your tea, CBD caramels and mints, capsules, tinctures, and dark chocolate. Another popular option is gummies. 

The package your CBD comes in isn’t as important as what’s inside. For best results, you’ll want to look for a full-spectrum product, meaning a CBD that contains all of the naturally-available cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including up to 0.3% THC, as well as flavonoids and terpenes. These compounds have distinct health benefits and have a synergistic relationship, so full-spectrum is almost always the way to go. However, if you live in a state where THC is outright illegal, broad-spectrum, which contains all of the above except for THC, is a good alternative. Many CBD products for sleep also contain a CBN isolate. CBN is a cousin of THC and CBD that’s best known as a natural sedative. 

Other ingredients that could complement CBD’s relaxing effects include melatonin, l-theanine, magnesium, and essential oils, such as lavender. 

Here are a few examples of products that might be worth a try: 

  • FAB CBD 

Fab CBD’s blends, like all of the products on this list, are lab-tested and pesticide-free. Oils come in 300 mg, 600 mg, 1200, or 2400 mg of CBD per bottle. They also provide gummies, vape pens, and topical creams, all of which can promote relaxation.

  • CBDistillery 

CBDistillery has a range of product options, including full-spectrum tinctures, oils, and vape liquids. Their CBD Nighttime Gummies, infused with 30 mg of CBD and 1.5 mg of Melatonin, is your best bet for a good night’s sleep.

  • Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies for Sleep 

Charlotte’s Web is one of the CBD industry leaders and has an array of products, including three kinds of CBD gummies, one of which is specifically formulated for sleep. The gummies contain a full-spectrum extract as well as 3 mg of melatonin.

  • Cosmic View 3:1 Tincture 

Cosmic View’s 3:1 CBD: THC tincture contains the ideal ratio for relaxation. Some users suggest taking smaller doses earlier in the day for an overall sense of calm, then taking a larger amount before bed to wind down.

  • Bespoke Extract’s Comfort 

Bespoke Extracts releases a new product this fall, featuring a signature full-spectrum CBD blend, vegan, cruelty-free, made with U.S.A-grown, and third-party tested for quality and content. The mix features CBD as well as a CBN isolate, ideal for a restful night. 

Categories
CBD Info

How Hemp Oil is Being Used in the Beauty Industry

Natural beauty is booming as more people learn what Mother Nature has been telling us for centuries: she’s more than just a pretty face. She has a whole lot to offer. 

The perks of earth-based beauty are twofold. Many natural products are more sustainable and eco friendly than their counterparts; likewise, they tend to be better for consumers. Along with products like argan and coconut oils, hemp oil has become one of eco-conscious beauty’s most famous faces in the past couple of years. 

If you’re wondering how this extract from the cannabis plant became a pop culture phenomenon and health and beauty staple, here’s what you should know.

Terminology 

Hemp oil can refer to any extract from the hemp plant. While marijuana is legal in many states, it is not yet federally legal. However, the Farm Bill of 2018 made industrial hemp and hemp derivatives, including CBD oil, with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. Hemp oil encompasses CBD oil as well as hemp seed oil. The latter contains no cannabinoids, including THC or CBD, and is similar to flaxseed oil in its health properties. CBD oil, which is made from all parts of the hemp plant, including the stalks, flowers, and leaves, can contain CBD alone or CBD and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant. 

Some beauty products contain hemp seed oil alone, while others contain CBD oil. Those that contain CBD oil have cosmetic and health-boosting attributes. 

Industry Interest 

The United States beauty industry is valued at $532 billion. And the CBD beauty industry specifically is projected to be worth $25 billion in the next decade. This means in 10 years, CBD could make up 15% of the total skin care market. Research shows more than 50% of women are interested in CBD-infused makeup products, including 67% of Generation Z, 62% of Millennials, and 33% of older generations. The influx of CBD in the beauty industry makes sense for a couple of reasons, including its connection to major beauty trends such as sustainability and self-care, not to mention the overall surge in popularity of CBD products nationwide. 

CBD and Self-Care

Like CBD itself, the notion of self-care is another of the past few years’ most prevalent trends. Self-care can be as ambiguous as it is ubiquitous. Depending on your personal perception (or what influencers you follow), it can encompass anything from mimosas and manicures to meditation and nutritional supplements. 

The self-care movement has been criticized as another capitalist-driven money-maker. And while it is undoubtedly profitable (valued at about $10 billion), its core principles are arguably positive: prioritizing health and happiness and carving out a bit of “me” time is essential for anyone. 

At its worst-self-care can be expensive, competitive, and toxic (not dissimilar to the beauty industry itself). But at its best, it can help individuals feel and live better. In addition to the individualistic value of this, research shows people are better able to give to others when they themselves feel well. Basically, you’re more likely to go out of your way to give someone a lift if you are not running on an empty tank. 

The idea of cosmetics as self-care is contentious for some. But based on the fundamental concept of self-care as a means to improve happiness and well-being, it certainly seems to fit. It’s especially apt when cosmetics incorporate potentially beneficial elements, whether lavender, vitamin C, or hemp oil. 

Health & Beauty Benefits of Hemp Oil 

Hemp oil seems uniquely suitable to marry beauty and self-care since it can provide cosmetic and medicinal benefits. Hemp oil without CBD (i.e., hemp seed oil) has similar benefits to argan oil. Rich in omega-3 fatty and omega-6 acids, applied topically, can supply supple soft skin and hair. When CBD is included, its potential cosmetic and medicinal benefits are more significant. 

The health effects of CBD are well-documented and range from pain and inflammation reduction to acne treatment

Speaking with Dermatology Times, Tina Alster, MD., clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., referenced overwhelming evidence that CBD can positively impact an array of ailments, including chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, headaches, nausea, neurological disorders, epilepsy, insomnia, and skin disorders. 

Alster explained CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties could benefit the skin in a few ways, by moisturizing, reducing excess oil production, and relieving pain and itching. 

“Topical CBD is safe and works effectively for all skin types. The products are easy to administer. Sufferers of serious medical skin conditions and those seeking innovative skincare options can benefit from topical CBD use,” Dr. Alster told Dermatology Times.

“Anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD are beneficial in treating such dermatologic conditions as acne, psoriasis, and eczema due to reduction of dryness, irritation, and redness. CBD-containing creams, oils, gels, and serums not only moisturize and soothe the skin but are also showing encouraging results in relieving pain caused by certain skin disorders.”

While topical CBD products work well for supporting a number of beauty-related concerns, ingestible CBD products designed for anti-inflammatory and healing purposes, like Bespoke Extracts Full Spectrum CBD Tincture, can also provide relief for chronic inflammatory disorders like dermatitis (eczema), rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

CBD also has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. In addition to regulating sebum production and reducing acne, CBD oil may protect and repair skin from free radicals. As Dr. Alster explained, this, combined with hemp oil’s omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, may improve overall skin appearance and reduce signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

CBD and omega-3 and omega-3 fatty acids aren’t the only things CBD beauty products have going for them. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils contain multiple cannabinoids from the hemp plant, as well as terpenes. Terpenes are kind of like essential oils, with scents ranging from earthy to citrus and pine. But more importantly, they can help cannabinoids, including CBD, work more effectively. Whether for cosmetic or health benefits or both, when shopping for CBD oils, look for those using full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD to get the full effect.

Categories
CBD Info

The Risks and Side Effects: What You Must Know Before Trying CBD

As the popularity and availability of CBD continue to grow, questions about possible side effects are growing as well. CBD is new to most consumers, so it’s understandable that questions will arise. However, the decision to use CBD is individual and only you can decide if CBD is right for you. 

Before deciding to use CBD, it’s important to understand what CBD is and what it isn’t. A thorough comprehension of its properties and origins will help you determine if CBD offers the benefits you seek in the face of any possible side effects.

What is CBD and Where Does it Come From?

The usual CBD formulation is oil, but this product is also sold as a tincture, a vaporized liquid, and an oil-based capsule. Among the many CBD-infused products available online are food, drinks, and beauty products. Cannabidiol, widely recognized as CBD, is one of 140 identified cannabinoids, or compounds, found in cannabis plant species, namely Cannabis sativa (hemp) and Cannabis indica (marijuana). 

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is also a naturally occurring cannabinoid in these plants. While THC is the major active ingredient in marijuana, hemp contains only very small amounts of THC.

A multitude of studies have shown that cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, provide a wide array of health benefits as they interact with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that help maintain the body’s internal environment. It’s important to know that CBD-based products are non-psychoactive, while products containing THC may induce psychotropic or euphoric effects on a user. 

What is CBD oil?

Although there is much to learn about the endocannabinoid system, this much is clear: CBD from hemp plants and THC from marijuana plants interact in some way with an individual’s ECS. 

Did you know that CBD offers therapeutic benefits that range from relieving the symptoms of arthritis and helping to manage chronic pain and even treating epilepsy in children? Studies suggest that CBD may also help with both falling asleep and staying asleep, as well as lowering the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. We know this is why CBD and THC are generally helpful in relieving pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other ailments. 

Recent studies indicate that a malfunctioning ECS could spark autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia as well as migraines. That is why the healing possibilities of CBD are so encouraging and its many benefits are still being explored. In some instances, CBD even appears to aid in the restoration of the body after injury.

As the term “CBD” becomes more widely known, people across the world are becoming more aware of this product’s therapeutic benefits, it’s important to understand that unlike its psychoactive counterpart, commonly known as cannabis, CBD will not cause someone to feel high. In fact, the World Health Organization has declared products like CBD oil to be safe and worth researching.

Studies on the Side Effects of CBD

The majority of studies done on the effect of CBD in humans have focused on the treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders. The reported side effects included tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight. According to the National Institutes of Health, CBD has a better side effect profile than other drugs used to treat those conditions. Other reported side effects of CBD include dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. Signs of liver injury have also been reported in some patients, less commonly. 

CBD is often used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer from insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study showed promise in the areas of neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In all instances, more studies on CBD’s therapeutic effect on humans are still warranted.

Other potential side effects?

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Interaction with blood thinner

At this time, CBD is primarily marketed as a supplement, and the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements. The FDA also does not allow CBD to be marketed as a wellness product the same way vitamins and minerals are. As a result, it can be difficult to know exactly what you are getting. That’s why it’s so important to use verified CBD products from companies that offer plenty of information about the growth and production of their product, and openly display their certificate of analysis (COA).

CBD’s Restorative Traits Are Under Review

Although research on cannabidiol continues to evolve, one thing is certain: CBD affects the brain. Why this occurs remains uncertain. However, studies indicate that cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function. Preventing the breakdown of this chemical and increasing its levels in the blood seems to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with conditions such as schizophrenia. Because research on cannabidiol is still in the early stages, its usage is limited. For example, CBD can’t be included in products marketed with therapeutic claims. It can also only be included in “cosmetic” products if the product contains less than 0.3% THC.

CBD's restorative traits

At this time, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex for treating two types of childhood epilepsy. However, research is underway to study CBD as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety. Research supporting the drug’s benefits is still limited. 

While the benefits of CBD continue to be explored, this also opens up an unregulated market within the CBD industry, which offers a variety of products containing CBD for a variety of uses.

Special Precautions 

Because CBD is relatively new, studies are still being conducted on its overall uses. In certain circumstances, it is recommended that the use of CBD be avoided in an abundance of caution:

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: To date, it is unclear if using CBD while breast-feeding or pregnant can affect the infant or fetus. It is best to avoid using CBD in such circumstances until further research yields a definite answer.
  • Children: The FDA has approved the use of the drug Epidiolex, a prescriptive cannabidiol, in some children suffering from certain kinds of epilepsy. The effects of CBD on children for other uses remains unclear, per current research. It is best to avoid using it with children.
  • Liver disease: Research indicates that individuals with liver disease may need to use lower doses of CBD compared to healthy patients. Some studies have shown CBD to lower liver enzymes. Others have shown CBD to cause them to rise.
  • Parkinson’s disease: Early studies suggest that taking high doses of CBD might cause muscle movement and tremors to worsen if someone is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. It is best to avoid CBD until more definitive research is available.

According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

CBD and Allergies: Effective or Not?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies, which are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. 

If you suffer from allergies, CBD may offer a form of potential relief that you may have never before considered. Whether your allergies are seasonal reactions to environmental factors like pollen and mold or are affected by climate and humidity, animal hair or even food, CBD may provide therapeutic relief.

This potential treatment option can help reduce allergic reactions and overall inflammation. In some instances, CBD has been shown to help prevent the closing of airways, a common allergic symptom. It is considered a lower-risk treatment option than antihistamines, which are often associated with nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and blurred vision.

Allergy season is known for causing a spike in health concerns like throat and sinus inflammation, which can make it difficult to eat. CBD can reduce such symptoms making seasonal allergies easier to withstand. Medical sources indicate that high-strength CBD oil may relieve pressure in the sinus cavities and help ward off nasal congestion.

CBD allergies

However, individuals who suffer from allergies need to make sure they do not have an allergic reaction to CBD itself. CBD oil allergies can cause a range of symptoms:

  • Skin irritations: Topical creams or balms containing CBD could potentially cause a rash or hives if the user is allergic. Check the product’s contents carefully, because reactions could be caused by other ingredients as well.
  • Dry, itchy, red eyes: A minority of users may experience these symptoms after using CBD, although such symptoms are more commonly associated with marijuana, which contains THC.
  • Migraines: Some CBD users experience a slight headache for the first few uses, but migraines are sometimes a sign of something more serious.
  • Respiratory problems: Breathing issues are likely to be the result of poor-quality products that contain contaminants from the hemp plant, such as pollen or mold.

It is suggested that people with plant allergies avoid CBD products, particularly full-spectrum ones, which contain so many compounds that it can be hard to tell what caused the allergic reaction.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a list of precautions in regard to CBD and its possible side effects:

  • Use of CBD with alcohol or other drugs that slow brain activity, such as those used to treat anxiety, panic, stress, or sleep disorders, increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
  • Male reproductive toxicity, or damage to fertility in males or male offspring of women who have been exposed, has been reported in studies of animals exposed to CBD. However, other studies have shown that CBD may be beneficial especially for women who are trying to conceive.
  • Use of CBD can cause changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
  • Use of CBD can cause gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
  • Use of CBD can cause changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
  • CBD can cause liver injury.
  • CBD can affect how other drugs you are taking work, causing serious side effects.

The FDA also notes that there are many aspects about the use of CBD that are simply unknown at this time. Among those uncertainties?

  1. What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
  2. What level of intake triggers the known risks associated with CBD?
  3. How do different methods of consumption affect intake (e.g., oral consumption, topical,    smoking, or vaping)?
  4. What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as on children who take CBD)?
  5. What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
  6. How does CBD interact with herbs and other plant materials?
  7. Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals.

A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements, and not all states require manufacturers to properly label their products. Clearly, this can have significant repercussions. 

A 2017 study that reviewed the labels of CBD products found that nearly 70 percent of the CBD products they analyzed contained less CBD than labeled. Forty-percent of the 84 products examined were “under-labeled,” meaning they contained more CBD than their label indicated. In addition, approximately 25 percent were “over-labeled,” meaning they contained less than the label stated, potentially negating any therapeutic effect. That’s why it is especially important to use reliable brands, known for their quality control.

“The key message with all new drugs and technology is that there is an ongoing learning process that will continue through the lifetime of the drug,” lead author Dr. Nicholas S. Downing told CNN

Before you consume CBD products, it is wise to consult with a physician to make sure you are not putting your well-being or life at risk.

In Conclusion

It’s important to note that while side effects associated with CBD use have been documented, most are mild and more inconvenient than serious. 

Of course, it’s important to be aware of possible drug interactions and pay close attention to your doctor’s advice. However, most CBD-related side effects are minimal compared to those that are often associated with traditional pharmaceuticals. 

Sources: WebMD, mayoclinic.org; Harvard Health Publishing; FDA.Gov; National Institutes of Health; TriadHealthCareCenter.com; Washington Post