The rise and craze of CBD oil has erupted like a giant volcano! For all of you that are interested in CBD but have not yet familiarized yourself with it, this blog post is for you. I know it can be very confusing! When I was researching which products and lines I wanted to bring into Horse Hippie, my head was spinning!
Let’s start with the basics….
What is CBD? and how is it different from marijuana?
First and foremost, hemp and marijuana are not the same thing. While often mistakenly used interchangeably, these terms are referring to two different plants entirely. Both hemp and marijuana are part of the Cannabis family, but they have different uses and ways of cultivation that are easily mixed up.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.”
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. You can get CBD with THC but only in states where marijuana is legal.
The CBD compound is one of more than 100 other compounds called phyto cannabinoids found within the hemp plant. More on that in a minute…
Back to the basics.
You might know that you have 12 systems in your body, well all mammals do, but anyway, they are:
Most people have heard of the first 11 but lately, everyone is talking about number 12.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
Discovered in the 1990’s by Israeli researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a biological system that exists in all mammals as well as other types of animals. The main purpose of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis in the body, and as such it plays an important role in many of the body’s other systems including the nervous system, digestive system, immune system, endocrine, respiratory system and others.
From the nervous system to the musculoskeletal system, we have more cannabinoid receptors that are multi-functional regulators in the human body than any other system. The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
What is the difference between cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are a diverse class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in the body (endocannabinoids). In contrast, phytocannabinoids are the primary chemical compounds found in all cannabis plants.
Research has shown that introducing external phytocannabinoids, like those naturally occurring in hemp plants, could be useful to support a variety of health issues.
What is the Hemp plant in CBD products and is it legal?
Industrial hemp is classified as the non-psychoactive cannabis sativa plant and is grown legally in over 25 states under the Federal Farm Bill Section 7606. Industrial hemp plants must be inspected and certified as such by the state in which they are grown.
Hemp-derived supplements are treated like any other supplement. Despite the laws regulating production, these supplements are legal to purchase and use in all 50 states, and no travel restrictions exist. Hemp-derived supplements are also safe for children and legal to give them. (As with any supplement, adult supervision is advised.)
As for your horse, according to researchers at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) Hemp oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their health benefits. The nervous system of both mature and immature horses also benefits from Omega-3’s, as supplementation decreases stress, improves learning and cognition, and staves off the development of stereotypic behaviors, such as cribbing.” Unfortunately, the CBD products are listed as a banned substance for horses under USEF and FEI rules in recognized competitive events, so if you plan to compete in those, these are a no-no.
How do you use CBD products?
You must first decide on the delivery method that is best for you. Extracts of CBD—either from marijuana or hemp are sold as an oil or in tinctures. For humans you can also get CBD via a transdermal patch, capsule, sublingual spray, gel, cream, or vapor. Some contain pure CBD extract ( tincture, capsule, edible or salve). Each has it’s benefits but most people decide based on preference of how they want to take the products. Do you mind the taste? Do you prefer capsules? Are you just looking for topical relief?
How much a person takes depends on their needs and a serving size depends on the delivery method. A therapeutic dose is generally speaking, 5 to 10 mg per dose.
For tincture use, you use a bulb to take the tincture because it is in a liquid form. You depress the bulb of the dropper once (the dropper itself will fill about halfway) for a single serving. A single capsule or gummie also equals one serving.
It’s generally recommended that you begin with one serving in the morning and the evening. Try it for a few days and increase mindfully as appropriate.
Salves are used on your skin and can be used on an as needed basis.
In your pets (which include horses) the products are dosed by body weight. For dogs 1mg CBD per 10 lbs of animal weight. (Example serving: a 30 lb. dog would need .75mL serving). This can be applied to the food or in a treat.
In horses it is usually (25 mg CBD) per 250 lbs of animal weight. (Example serving: a 1000 lb. horse would need 4 mL per serving.) The product comes with a doze syringe. There are also CBD horse treats out there as well.
What is Full Spectrum and Why is it so Important?
Agricultural hemp is an incredible plant that contains over 100 different phytonutrients and phytocannabinoids. And the best way to benefit from this amazing bounty of nature is to utilize as much of the plant as possible in a finished product.
Only full-spectrum hemp oil can deliver the “entourage effect” which refers to the combined effect of the phytocannabinoids, and the other compounds like terpenes, and flavonoids, found in the hemp plant, working together in synergy in your body as a result.
How Can I Be Sure I’m Getting What I’m Paying For?
Over the last few years, the market for CBD hemp oil, hemp tinctures and other hemp products has growth at an incredible pace.
This rapid growth means it’s easier than ever to find and order CBD products online, creating more options for consumers. However, it also means that there’s been a significant rise in the sale of CBD products that, for all intents and purposes, just aren’t worth the money. A 2017 JAMA paper reported that almost 70 percent of all CBD products sold online do not contain the amount of CBD stated on the label.
If you’re searching for high quality CBD hemp products, it’s important to know what to look for. Below, are three key features that you should look out for when buying hemp oil, hemp tinctures and other products to make sure you only ever get the best quality and value for your money.
- One of the first things you should look for in hemp oil, tincture and other hemp products is the use of hemp grown with organic and sustainable farming practices. Not all hemp is equal. Some plants are better for fabrics or rope, and some is better for its abundance of phytonutrients and compounds which impact your wellness.
- Another thing to check for is the infusion process. To produce hemp oil tinctures, hemp plants need to be infused into MCT oil, allowing you to easily consume the phytonutrients as an end user. To save money, many inferior hemp oil manufacturers use a cheap, simple process that can affect the therapeutic value of the phytonutrients. The end result is oil or tincture that’s less effective than it should be, giving you suboptimal results.
- The last thing to be careful of is that the product contains the amount of phytonutrients that are listed on the label. Some companies fall very short here. Other products might contain the nutrients but lack the bioavailability necessary for your body to be able to put them to use, resulting in few, if any, positive effects.
How Do I Know It’s Safe AND Effective?
Hemp oil must be analyzed to certify that it’s pure, free from harmful toxins and able to provide the claimed benefits. As with many natural products, the properties of full-spectrum hemp oil can vary immensely from producer to producer. Before you buy hemp oil, learn what to look out for.
Common hemp tests
Hemp oil is usually tested by third-party labs – companies not related to the producer. After testing, the labs issue a Certificate of Analysis, or CoA. And while CoAs by different labs often look different, each usually includes:
- Potency testing
- Pesticide testing
- Microbiological testing
- Terpene profiling
- Residual solvents testing
The first test – Potency testing – determines the levels of cannabinoids in the product. Hemp oil contains over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in the plant. Each cannabinoid has a different effect on the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. And so, each one can have different beneficial aspects. It’s important to know the levels to determine the potency of the full-spectrum hemp oil.
The next test is Pesticide testing. Even when grown organically, certain pesticides may be used on hemp plants. The same pesticides that help the hemp survive and flourish could make you extremely ill in high concentrations, That’s why it’s so important to test for them.
The is Microbiological testing is done to make sure there is no mold or harmful bacteria on the hemp that was used to make the hemp oil. Any pathogens that are present on the plants can easily get inside the body and have a negative effect on your health.
Terpene testing: Terpenes are what gives hemp oil the distinctive color and flavor unique to each strain of the plant. It is from the terpenes that we get flavors like mint, berry, citrus or pine. And they are also believed to have beneficial effects on health.
The last test that will be done will look for any Residual solvents. Many producers use concentrations of solvents like hexane, ethanol, propane, carbon dioxide or acetone in the process which can lead to some very serious health issues.
As you can tell, a lab test for a hemp oil product provides a lot of insight.
What is the Shelf Life of CBD Products?
Depending on your storage conditions, most CBD oil will last up to two years on the shelf. After that the taste might be affected.
What benefits can I expect from using CBD?
There are numerous reasons that people (and animals) are using CBD products including pain management, anxiety and depression, heart health, and sleep disturbances.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters
Improvement in anxiety and depression appear to be linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. This could be related to it’s affect on anxiety and also inflammation.
Are there any side effects?
CBD products are safe for most people and there are very few, if any, potential side effects. The vast majority of people take them without ever experiencing any unpleasant effects at all, and the rare few who do will most likely experience only minor symptoms such as mild stomach upset or dry mouth. These can be relieved by taking with food and drinking plenty of water.
CBD is known to interact with several medications, so before you start using CBD oil, discuss it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
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.”
Whew! That’s a lot to digest! Thanks for sticking with me! With all that being said, which products did I decide to add to Horse Hippie’s Wellness section?
For humans I chose Essence of Well Being. They are well known for their long history of essential oils so are very good at the oil extraction process. I also love that they are in control of the product from farm to shelf, use third party testing, and offer a variety of ways to consume. I added their CBD tinctures, CBD creams, and the CBD gummies to my shop.
Essence of Well Being CBD begins with certified organic hemp. Expert extraction is done via advanced ethanol processes which guarantee native terpenes remain intact. Their extraction partner located in Denver, Colorado has developed an industry first extraction that maintains detectable levels of CBG. They finish the product with a choice of flavors in a stable MCT oil base.
I also added the Essence of Well Being CBD creams. Their cream base is naturally crafted in their Santa Fe facility. Decades of experience and organic chemistry expertise delivers a gentle, environmentally friendly cream base. This base is expertly homogenized into nano particles which are easily absorbed. Adding organically grown CBD into this nano blending process guarantee an even, effective dose at every use.
So if you are interested in trying some SAFE &EFFECTIVE CBD products email me at Laura@horsehippie.com and we can get you started. If you’d like to try some for your horse, I recommend Silver Lining Herbs products.
Peace and good rides,