CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound found in hemp plants and you’re likely hearing a lot more about it because it is part of a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, companies in the business of health and wellness are touting the benefits of CBD for both mind and body. Since CBD is growing in popularity, people are very curious about what it is, the potential health benefits and risks.
Nutritionist and Wellness Coach, Deborah Enos stopped by the Q13 studios to talk about CBD from a nutrition standpoint, based on her own experience and research.
Below are Enos’ additional thoughts on CBD:
“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product or segment is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
As with any substance or supplement, always check with your health care professional prior to use.
I was so confused by CBD! I’d heard rumors about its popularity and when I attended a food show in March I saw so many products that contained both hemp and CBD. The problem was, when I asked questions about the products no one could give me a clear answer. This caused even more confusion!
I’ve eaten hemp seeds in my yogurt numerous times; I started to wonder, “If CBD comes from hemp, am I getting CBD by eating hemp seeds?” Yup, even more confusion!
That’s why I wanted to investigate this topic because so many of my nutrition clients are hearing about it and then asking me questions. So, while the jury’s out on many aspects of this industry, here’s a look at my CBD adventure…
HEMP VS CBD VS MARIJUANA
It’s a myth that Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant.
Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant type, Cannabis, hence, the confusion. Over the centuries, growers recognized the many beneficial characteristics of cannabis and bred the plant to separate out those traits. Hemp became an industrial mainstay while marijuana was propagated for its psychoactive properties
Think about it like this, broccoli and cauliflower are both part of the Brassicas or cruciferous vegetable family. Yet, they are completely different veggies. Hemp and Marijuana are similar, they are from the same family and share some characteristics but are cousins and not twins.
The hemp plant contains low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis. Marijuana can contain anywhere from 5 to 30 percent
Hemp naturally has higher levels of CBD, a non-psychoactive compound currently being researched regarding helping human bodies maintain health and overall wellness
A study found that eating hemp seeds had little effect on a person’s THC levels.
Hulled hemp seed, which is the whole seed with the crunchy outer shell removed, comes by quite a few names like hemp hearts, shelled hemp seed and hemp nut. According to the research studies available, regular consumption or use of commercially made hemp foods (such as seeds, cooking oil, cereals, milk, granola) or hemp products (lotions, shampoos, lip balms, etc.) will not show a positive result for THC on a drug test
Hemp seeds have long been a staple in health-food stores, being prized for decades for their nutritional benefits ― they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a complete protein source, and a rich source of essential minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
In the past few years, hemp seeds have gained popularity and have started moving into mainstream markets. These days, you can even find them at Trader Joe’s. People sprinkle them on their salads, blend them into their smoothies, bake them into granolas and even turn them into hemp milk.
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound found primarily in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. It’s one of many powerful cannabinoids found in hemp, and is being studied in regard to supporting body and mind in various ways.
Here’s what I find fascinating, every animal with a vertebrate (yes that means your dog or cat) has a natural endocannabinoid system. The body produces its own cannabinoids and also has receptors to receive and interact with these endocannabinoids. These receptors also interact with phytocannabinoids (phyto means plant) such as THC and CBD that come from cannabis plants. So we are born with a system (endocannabinoid) that can interact with Cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD works by activating your endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors in the human body related to your central nervous system that help regulate how your body responds to pain and mood. While CBD has been used medicinally for centuries, it is currently enjoying a boom in the U.S.
There are over 100 identified cannabinoids naturally produced by the cannabis plant. The two most well-known are CBD and THC. They have an identical molecular structure with 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Though the formula is the same, the way the atoms are arranged changes the interactions these cannabinoids have with receptors in the body.
As a nutritionist, you read a lot of labels. What are you looking for when reading the ingredients in products that contain CBD?
I was advised that when choosing CBD oil, to opt for full-spectrum CBD oil instead of an isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD oils contain a variety of cannabinoids and original compounds found in the hemp plant. These may help to magnify the therapeutic benefits of CBD and the additional compounds in what’s known as the entourage effect, though more research is needed.
Full-spectrum CBD oil may include these compounds:
2. fatty acids
CBD oil sold in the United States isn’t regulated by the FDA. The manufacturer is responsible for quality control.
That’s why it’s important to select a reputable company. These companies will offer lab results from third-party testing and be available to answer your questions.
I was also advised to; beware of any company that promises extreme results! And remember that results may differ. A product that works well for a friend or family member may not have the same effects for you.
Summing up the differences between CBD and THC (from Receptra Naturals site)
Both THC and CBD are stored in fat cells. The amount of time it takes these cannabinoids to clear the body depends on a number of factors some of which include body fat percentage, hydration, activity level, metabolism, and diet.
CBD does not get you high
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants
Full-spectrum CBD can contain over 100 different cannabinoids and hundreds of other plant compounds
WHY IS IT SO POPULAR RIGHT NOW?
The CBD market is expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022 – an astronomical growth compared to its expected $591 million this year
Right now, it’s the magic sauce that people are looking for to improve their health. Rumors abound, I think of it like this, CBD is the really cute new kid at a small school, lots of interest and curiosity but nobody knows much J
Another key point, with our aging population there will be a move toward products that can help with pain, arthritis and sleep disorders. In all of my reading, these are the areas where I’ve seen the most anecdotal information.
Studies have linked CBD usage to some of the following health issues:
· Sleep disorders
HOW DO PEOPLE GET IT OR USE IT?
I’ve bought it from my naturopath’s office. You can also look online or go to your local dispensary. When I was interviewing experts for this story, I was told to always ask about 3rd party testing.
WHO SHOULDN’T BE USING IT?
This is a very important question for your health care professional. I am not a physician so I’m not able to offer advice, only information.
HOW IS IT MADE/EXTRACTED?
There are many way to extract CBD here are two of the most common ways to extract CBD from the Hemp plant. Co2 extraction and Cold ethanol extraction.
Co2: better for larger batches of hemp. It creates a good final product but in the process it appears that not all nutrients are retained. For example, current theory is that this method does not retain the chlorophyll from the hemp.
Cold Ethanol Extraction: This system is used for smaller batches and I’m told it’s more of an artisanal method for extraction. I’m also told that this extraction method retains the chlorophyll from the hemp (the very important nutrient we get from eating green veggies, it gives veggie their green color). As a nutritionist I’m always interested in getting the maximal amount of nutrients from my food
HOW IS THIS INDUSTRY REGULATED?
At this point there are more questions than answers in the hemp industry.
In December the FDA made statements suggesting CBD my not be used in food.
When the Trump administration passed the farm bill in 2018, it removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. The farm bill did not, however, preempt—or bar—states from regulating the production of hemp or limit them from enforcing laws that are stricter than the farm bill. So, while hemp is federally approved, states can individually prohibit production (this info is from an article listed below by new hope).