CBD - What you need to know

The CBD trend

Whether you are an athlete, a teenager or an on-the-go parent, chances are you have heard of CBD - otherwise known as Cannabidiol.

CBD can be found in stores, products and in the cultural center of America. Yet with a trend so widespread as CBD it is easy to mistake product awareness with comprehension on the compound itself.

To give us insight into the CBD trend, we brought dietitian and nutritionist Deborah Orlick Levy, MS, RDN into the conversation.

She guided us through, subjectively, the most contemplated questions about CBD- what is it, the best carriers, its forms and her personal favorite methods of consumption. Before including CBD into your lifestyle, it is important to be well informed and consult your doctor before any changes are implemented. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming so we compiled our knowledge to help you jump right into the beginning of your research.

What is CBD?

Deborah Orlick Levy, MS, RDN, explained that CBD, found in Cannabis (the plant species that includes hemp and marijuana), is a Phyto cannabinoid, accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract and is a non-psychoactive. In simpler terms CBD, unlike THC (a substance often confused for CBD), will not get you stoned or high! Instead, it gives you what many describe as a “runner’s high”, the sensation of increased endorphins, and an elevated overall well-being.

What are CBD’s benefits?

Everyone who has heard of CBD has also heard of its claimed benefits. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating pain, sleep, appetite, mood, memory, and one’s immune response. Deborah Orlick Levy states, “It’s a key homeostatic regulator in the body, playing a role in almost every physiological system within the body!” This interaction contributes to the health claims behind CBD aiding anxiety, relieving pain, and disorders like epilepsy.

Is CBD safe?

While the FDA has not yet set regulations or confirmed many of the alleged health claims, everyday more testimonies appear applauding the wonders of CBD. Similar to any new product, Deborah Orlick Levy warns consumers to do their homework and check a product’s safety by ensuring companies are offering quality ingredients. When choosing CBD, it is crucial that consumers are wary of cheaper alternatives that are produced in unethical and unsafe conditions. Deborah recommends that consumers “look for CBD that is organic, has been grown in soil that has NEVER had pesticides, chemicals or anything else.” She also emphasizes that CBD should be extracted using the supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, not by other methods that use toxic chemical solvents.

What the best carriers for CBD?

Once a trusted and safe source is found. It is time to consider carriers and delivery methods. CBD itself cannot be consumed by itself and needs to be in a form or transmitted by a carrier such as a capsule, vape, food, or tincture. Cannabinoids are fat soluble which means that they break down and are stored in fat, opposed to water, making fat the most effective carrier for CBD. Deborah recommends using CBD oils for the fullest and fastest effect. CBD oils directly deliver the CBD concentrate into the bloodstream. An effective oil to use as a carrier for CBD is MCT Oil! It triggers a rapid release of cannabinoids as they are metabolized into energy by the liver for the best results.

What is the “right” dosage?

CBD is not a “one size fits all” product. Currently there is no standard dosage as the perfect serving size varies by person. It is useful to think of CBD’s serving size in terms of caffeine. One cup of coffee will not have the same effect on two different people due to size, tolerance and other factors. The same concept applies to CBD. Therefore, it is important not to rely on serving sizes that acquaintances, friends or even family members use. “The recommendation is to start low and go slow. If a small amount doesn’t work after a few days, you can [sic] increase the serving size,” states Deborah Orlick Levy. She suggests that seniors and children start a lower dosage than the package suggests and go from there. Consumers should remember that not all CBD is created equal, and that the potency of its effect vary depending on different factors. Before implementing CBD into your diet or lifestyle it is important to consult your doctor.

Now that Deborah Orlick Levy has clarified our frequently asked questions, the CBD trend no longer has to feel so overwhelming. Many may be intrigued or questioning whether CBD is right for them and their household. While the answer is different for every situation, it is critical that consumers remain knowledgeable, and practice safe consumption as advised by their primary doctor.

Questions and Insight into CBD Trend:

From all the options available, do you have a personal favorite delivery method and why?

My personal favorite is the liposomal delivery method. Liposomes are phospholipids which are both water soluble and fat soluble and are easily taken into the intestinal lymphatic system bypassing the liver and ensuring maximal blood uptake of CBD. It is also one of the quickest delivery methods into the body, so the effects of CBD are felt rapidly.

Do you have any CBD inspired recipes you would recommend?

I haven’t cooked with CBD.

How do you feel about MCT/CBD combinations & CBD oils? Pro & Cons?

CBD needs a carrier oil and MCT is a wonderful one for it.

What about for baking with the CBD powder?

I haven’t tried to bake with CBD.

What is the typical serving size for CBD?

There is no “one size fits all” for CBD. It varies from person to person and depends on what its being used for (ie. Anxiety, stress, pain, etc.). The recommendation is to start low and go slow. If a small amount doesn’t work after a few days, you increase the serving size. Children and seniors usually need a lower serving size of CBD than adults.

What do you look for when you are purchasing items that contain CBD?

Look for CBD that is organic, has been grown in soil that has NEVER had pesticides, chemicals or anything else. It’s important that its triple lab tested for nutrients and purity by an independent company and that consumers have access to the lab results. It’s also extremely important that the CBD is extracted using the supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, not other methods that are cheaper and use toxic chemical solvents.

What has changed since you last spoke to us on CBD?

The CBD industry has exploded, and EVERYONE is trying to get in on it. I always warn people to do their homework and make sure that the product they try is safe and effective and comes from a company invested in top quality products. There is no one regulating the industry yet.

Do you have any advice to new consumers looking to incorporate CBD into everyday to those looking to take it occasionally?

Only buy from someone you know and trust. Do not just walk into a store or a gas station (seriously, they sell it there now too) or order online from amazon or something like that. You truly need to know what is in the CBD and you need someone knowledgeable to help you get the most benefit from the miraculous plant.