What you need to know about CBD

What you need to know about CBD

There's no question - CBD has *officially* made it in the wellness world. Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Oprah to ZenChi has taken up Mary Jane’s cousin. But what is CBD? 

CBD (aka, cannabidiol) is a natural compound extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana and hemp plants. CBD oil comes from the dilution of the extract by a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD wasn’t invented in 2018 — hemp is one of the oldest crops in the world and one of 50 oldest Chinese herbs.

CBD should not be confused with weed. While both CBD and THC are the two main compounds in marijuana, THC is the one that messes with the mind. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won't get you “high”. As long as your CBD products contain no — or very little — THC you’ll bask in the benefits without going full dazed and confused.  

Not all strands of CBD are legally available across the US. Only hemp-derived CBD— like ZenChi CBD Oil — is fully legal due to its lack of psychoactive effects. Marijuana-derived CBD is only legal in 8 states (as of Fall 2018) because of its THC content. 

What’s given CBD all the prestige?  There are loads of health benefits.

While the majority of research to date has been based on animal studies and anecdotal evidence, some sure proven benefits include:

    • Cancer— While still in the early stages of research, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) believes CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. CBD’s ability to moderate inflammation and change how cells reproduce make it exciting for cancer treatment. One test-tube study found concentrated CBD sparked cell death in human breast cancer cells.
    • Pain— The way CBD interacts with your brain’s receptors may help with pain management. One rat study found CBD injections reduced the pain from surgical incisions. Another found oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation. Additionally, pre-clinical studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health are looking into the way CBD relieves symptoms of arthritis, chronic pain, MS pain, muscle pain, and spinal cord injuries.
    • Addiction— A 2013 small, short-term study in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors found inhaling CBD reduced smokers’ cigarette consumption about 40%. Additionally, early studies show CBD may help those who also want to break their addiction to heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
    • Stress— By reducing defensive responses to stressful events, CBD has proven to help reduce the body’s response to stress. In an animal study, CBD helped rats’ bodies cope with stress, exemplified by reduction of blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety.
    • Anti-inflammation— Research has shown CBS has great effects on inflammation. That's because CBD carries potent immunosuppressive properties, translating to anti-inflammatory effects. Marc Feldman of Imperial College, London, tested CBD on mice with rheumatoid arthritis. He found, at the right dosage, CBD reduced the mice’s inflammation by 50%. 

    Of course, every good thing comes with risk. Being new on the block, CBD still has some quirks to feel wary about, such as:

    • Little regulation— CBD products aren’t all created equally, and the FDA hasn’t stepped in to tell you which products you should trust. A 2017 study led by Bon-Miller found 7 out of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the amount of CBD extract promised on the label and 1 in 3 CBD products containing THC, which is what gets you “high.” That’s why at ZenChi, we only source directly from U.S. organic farms with third-party lab testing and certification — this way you always know exactly what you’re getting.
    • Interactions with other drugs— While CBD is safe to use, the way you metabolize CBD can interfere with how your body normally metabolizes other medications you take. If you’re taking medications, we recommend speaking with your doctor before incorporating CBD into your routine.
    • Side effects— While CBD is largely considered safe and side-effects are rarely reported, every individual’s body is different. Potential side effects could include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light-headedness, and drowsiness. To minimize side effects, it’s important to start on a low-dosage (~20-30mg/day) and work your way up depending on how you’re feeling.

    The most important safety consideration is to purchase your CBD from a trusted source.

    Make sure to look for the following qualities:

    • Third Party Certified— Since the FDA has no hand in CBD regulation, it’s incredibly important to have a neutral, unbiased examination of CBD products. Third party testing does just that by offering transparency into the quality of products through lab testing. 
    • Sourcing— The quality of CBD oil depends on the source. The gold standard comes from organic-certified, hemp farms in pristine regions of the world with defined standards. That’s why we source from farms in Oregon and upstate New York using organic farming practices and adhering to all local and federal regulations.
    • Extraction method— Some companies use toxic solvents like butane, hexane, propane, and pentane when extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. Look for CO2 extraction. It uses non-petroleum based solvents to ensure extracts are pure and safe. 
    • CBD Volume vs. Hemp Volume— You’ll want to know how much CBD is actually in your oil. CBD oil contains higher levels of CBD, while hemp contains very low levels. It’s important to know the dosage you’re using to ensure safe practice.

    From soap bars to Goop-approved cocktails, there are plenty of different ways to enjoy CBD in your daily routine. Here are a few of our favorites:

    • Add to your morning coffee for a calming energy
    • Drip a few drops under your tongue before bed for restful sleep
    • Rub on that stubborn breakout to make it vanish
    • Add a few drops to your favorite nighttime eye cream to protect against aging
    • Make a CBD-infused post-workout shake to improve mental and cognitive functions
    • Treat yourself to a scrumptious CBD cookie bar

    Convinced you need CBD in your life? You're in luck — get your ZenChi CBD Oil today!

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