But CBD has recently become a major player in the world of athletics for two reasons. First, it has proven anti-inflammatory properties. This has been pretty firmly established through a number of studies. For example, in a 2009 lab study, researchers found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory pain by activating glycine receptors at the spinal level. CBD is also a known analgesic, meaning it has pain-relieving properties. Many athletes use CBD after intense workouts to help manage pain from aching muscles and joints. And recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances, opening the door for professional athletes to make use of the extract for pain relief.
Although several clinical studies focused on the health effects of CBD, the results available so far were not enough to convince the FDA to approve it as a drug. The FDA does not agree with its use as a dietary supplement either, but as long as sellers publish the appropriate disclaimers (like those on the CBDPure website and labels), it’s not up to them.
In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
Transparency: Fab’s website features third-party lab results for most products. They only have a lab test for one of their tinctures though (which shows results for cannabinoid potency, as well as contaminants like pesticides). Customer service pointed out that the same CBD oil is used for all their products, but since potencies do vary, we appreciate companies that show potency testing for all products.
However, when compared to skin-care pillar ingredients like retinols and vitamin C, the research behind CBD's efficacy in skin care (especially beyond the realms of being a temporary topical pain reliever) is still relatively in its infancy. "There is limited data to suggest that CBD may decrease oil production when applied topically," says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital, who explains that unlike marijuana, which contains psychoactive THC, hemp seed oil is a common source of naturally anti-inflammatory cannabinoids — which is what ends up in all of those lotions and potions. "Hemp seed oil also acts as an emollient to smooth rough cells on the skin's surface and offers moisturizing benefits," he adds.
Of course, there is a different side to the story also. It is true that the studies concluded so far have their limitations, and there is no saying what effects supplementation with CBD for more than 6 months could have. However, they suggest cannabidiol has the potential for treating some mental disorders, like anxiety and depression, seizure disorders like epilepsy, insomnia, and chronic pain.
Tinctures – Typically tinctures are small glass or plastic “dropper” bottles that have cannabidiol oil mixed with a preserving solution such as alcohol. Tinctures were very a very common way to ingest botanical oils prior to the industrial revolution and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people are looking for natural remedies. Tinctures with droppers allow you to put a few drops in your tea, under your tongue, or to bake the oil directly into your food.
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All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
I’ve been hoarding Girl Scouts Thin Mints lately (they’re especially good if you freeze them)—the chocolate is fine, but the peppermint oil is what makes them addicting enough to go through a whole sleeve without getting sick of them. I’m also trying to cut down on sugar, though, and while it would be a huge stretch to say that this peppermint oil-infused clear lip balm is a direct replacement for Girl Scout cookies, it really does have a very satisfying full-mouth taste of peppermint. The CBD oil, which soothes and facilitates healing at the same time, makes this formula an ideal balm for outdoor enthusiasts and or just those who are prone to painfully chapped lips. For those of us with long-hair-don’t-care, it’s not sticky—as a matter of fact, the formula is on the stiff side and won’t cause your hair to stick to your face, a welcome departure from many balms.
Out of all the CBD products I’ve tested and used in the past few weeks, this thick green lemon-vanilla scented salve is my favorite. I massage it onto my sore red knuckles after boxing practice, and if it weren’t so expensive, I would encase my entire body in it. The cannabis sativa seed oil in this salve has antioxidant properties so that your skin can repair itself from the inside out, while the thick balm-like formula protects your skin from environmental aggressors. I would not recommend rubbing this onto your face because it’s so thick, but do whatever you want on the rest of your body—and if your feet are in need of some serious TLC in time for summer sandals weather, consider rubbing this onto your cracked heels and putting on a pair of soft socks before bed. The next morning, you’ll have baby’s feet again.