From professional athletes to children dealing with debilitating illnesses, people from all walks of life are ditching prescriptions and turning to more natural plant medicine. But it’s not just any plant; they’re seeking relief from one particular cannabis compound: cannabidiol, or CBD.
Even if you don’t use cannabis, you’ve probably heard of CBD. This cannabis compound took the nation by storm in 2013 when CNN reported on a six-year-old girl named Charlotte Figi. Four years prior, she was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a myoclonic form of epilepsy, that prompts as many as 300 seizures a week.
After her parents administered an oral dose of CBD oil twice a day, that number dropped to just two or three seizures each month!
Since Charlotte’ story became public CBD has continued to rise in popularity. Most dispensaries carry CBD flower, vape cartridges, edibles, and topicals. Many health food stores now sell hemp-based CBD extracts, even in states that prohibit medical cannabis. Because CBD is non-psychoactive (it doesn’t get you high), many who don’t smoke cannabis are able to enjoy the reported health benefits of this miraculous cannabinoid.
Aside from children finding epileptic relief, CBD is also gaining traction among pro athletes. Former NFL player Leonard Marshall, a former defensive end for the New York Giants, suffered a traumatic brain injury stemming from concussions, better known as CTE. Rather than consuming a daily pharmaceutical cocktail, Marshall turned to hemp-based CBD oil to deal with CTE side effects like persistent headaches, mood swings and depression. Now he experiences relief within minutes after taking CBD, and his migraines are gone.
But what exactly is CBD and what can it actually do? We’ve separated fact from fiction to help you understand the latest research, how CBD can be used to aid recovery, and a handful of products that the Nugg Team has quality tested and approved.
CBD is one of many chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The most popular and most widely known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which makes you feel stoned. But CBD is different. The World Health Organization concluded that CBD alone doesn’t appear to cause intoxication.
In addition to seizure disorders, CBD is also frequently used to treat anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. In fact, pain is the number one reason why pro athletes are putting away the pills and turning to cannabis. When professional cyclist Andrew Talansky strained his hip flexor muscle, he turned CBD oil and found instant relief. Aside from that, he also tells Outside Magazine that the benefits didn’t stop there; he also felt less anxious and his sleep improved dramatically.
While CBD is generally considered safe to use, it does have the potential to affect certain medications, including blood thinners, so consult your physician before taking CBD.
Not all cannabis has high CBD levels; in fact, many strains available at your local recreational dispensary typically have little-to-no CBD. That’s because these commercially available strains were historically bred for their high THC content. This is changing.
Cannabis breeders increasingly recognize the demand for potent CBD strains. Some are beginning to select strains based on their ability to yield a high CBD and low THC: Sour Tsunami, Charlotte’s Web (named after Charlotte Figi), Ringo’s Gift and AC/DC, for example, typically test high in CBD.
Many studies suggest that CBD may have positive health benefits. Researchers have found that orally-administered CBD may contain significant anti-inflammatory properties, offering the potential for pain reduction and reduced swelling. Another study reported that topically-administered CBD can help reduce pain and arthritic inflammation.
Neuroscientists have also studied CBD for its potential to manage symptoms of certain neurological disorders and its potential immunosuppressive properties. Another neurological study even suggested CBD might help reduce brain damage from neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.
One patient study reported that CBD use in conjunction with pharmaceutical medication helped slow the progression of some ALS symptoms, giving the patient almost complete use of two affected limbs and slowing the pace of muscular degradation.
Like other cannabinoids, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates endocrine function (glands that secrete hormones) and controls our energy balance. In fact, our ECS plays a key role in regulating a wide range of body processes, from brain function and immune tissues to our endocrine glands and digestive system. Researches have also found that CBD may interact with receptor sites outside the ECS, illustrating the potential to treat inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Cannabis patients and recreational users in legal states can purchase high-CBD flower, concentrates (including vape cartridges), topicals, edibles and tinctures. If you don’t have this access, you might find CBD oil for sale online, but it’s most likely hemp derived and doesn’t offer the same benefits that MMJ patients report. This is due to the “entourage effect,” which means all of the cannabinoids and terpenes may offer greater benefits when combined as a whole plant or a whole-plant extract.
Because CBD shows promise treating inflammation, you may be wondering how to incorporate CBD into your recovery plan. First, talk to your doctor about your using CBD. Your doctor will need to review your health history as well as your medication list to make sure there is no risk of adverse side effects.
If your doctor recommends the use of CBD, then Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge service can help you find the right cannabis products for your needs, including products that are high in CBD. Here are a few of our favorites!
Smoking and vaping cannabis flower remain one of the most popular methods of consumption. But smoking a bowl or a joint doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get stoned! Try these Nugg favorites, which are high in CBD and low in THC to give you greater relief without causing intoxication the way most high-THC cannabis strains do.
- Ritual CBD 20:1 1/8th (Henry’s Original): Offers a clean-burning flower that boasts a 20:1 ratio of CBD: THC. Our reviewers gave this strain high marks for its delicious aroma and superior smoke quality. This Henry’s Original strain also performed well in our ash test, and it delivered consistently exceptional effects.
- Harmony Rose CBD 1/8th (Flow Kana): This prepackaged eighth of is pleasing to the senses and sure to meet your needs. The appearance, aroma, taste and effects of this high-CBD strain earned high praise from our reviewers, who also appreciated Flow Kana’s above average packaging and labeling.
- JellyFish CBD (Glass House Farms): Nugg’s reviewers ranked this strain’s aroma and taste average among the pool, but Glass House Farms stood out in terms of its effects, consistency and clean-burning ash test. For the price, JellyFish offers a decent option for patients interested in trying CBD flower for the first time.
Many patients looking for quick relief appreciate the convenience that cannabis vape pens and cartridges offer. Vaping gives you rapid onset of effects, no lingering smoke or smell, and the ability to easily dose out your medication. You can take a couple of hits then put it away, whereas a joint requires you to keep smoking or stub it out.
And the best thing about vaping? No harsh smoke on your lungs, which is especially beneficial for professional and endurance athletes. World-renowned mixed-martial-arts fighter Nate Diaz vapes CBD oil to help recover from the physical torment of the ring. Despite the match’s outcome, Diaz takes a beating. Vaping CBD oil helps his body heal and reduces inflammation so that he can prepare for the next fight.
These vape cartridges/pens received high marks from our Nugg reviewers and can offer the relief you need:
- Calm 10:1 CBD disposable pen (dosist): Our reviewers loved the packaging, labeling, and overall quality that dosist delivers. This disposable pen makes it easy to microdose, giving you precisely measured vape hits with a consistent 10:1 ratio of CBD:THC. No buttons or knobs, just a mouthpiece to inhale. The vapor tastes very flavorful, the oil is of high quality, and the effects come on quickly.
- ACDC 3:1 CBD, 0.5 g Pax Era Pod (Bloom Farms): Our reviewers praised the taste, vapor quality, oil quality and effects. You’ll need to purchase a proprietary Pax battery that’s a bit costly but won’t regret it. You can swap out pods as easily as you insert a USB drive–and it pairs with an app that lets you adjust to the exact temperature you want. A quality pod in a pleasing package.
- Marley Red CBD Rich, 0.5 g (Marley Natural): This vape cartridge offers a great tasting product with quality oil, decent vape quality and pleasant effects. The packaging left our reviewers a bit dissatisfied, but it’s a great product at a reasonable price – what’s not to love?
While edibles offer long-lasting effects, they take longer to kick in than smokable or vapable cannabis. All of the CBD edibles listed below contain some degree of THC in addition to CBD, meaning you may feel more intoxicating effects than you would with a pure CBD treat. So we recommend caution if you’re new to cannabis or edibles. Infused treats affect patients differently than smoking or vaping, so don’t overdo it. Remember to start with a low dose and be sure to wait at least an hour before increasing.
- 1:1 THC to CBD Dark Chocolate (Chill): This delivers a balanced ratio of THC:CBD with 50mg of each per piece. Our reviewers found it well packaged, easy to dose, flavorful, consistent and effective. It’s a great product for a reasonable price.
- 1:1 THC to CBD Cinnamon Mints (Breez): Also balanced with an equal THC:CBD ratio, the bottle has 20 mints containing 5mg of each in every one. Nugg reviewers appreciated the taste, discretion and ease of dosing.
- 1:5 CBD to THC Indica Milk Chocolate Bar (Garden Society): If you’re new to edibles, this may not be the best place to start. It’s got a decent dose of CBD, 16mg, but also comes with a relatively high THC content, 80mg total! The effects hit hard so use caution; although veteran edibles eaters will appreciate the taste, texture and effectiveness.
Topical products are applied externally to the skin. You can use topical balms or transdermal patches to target specific areas where you’re experiencing localized pain or inflammation. Lotions and soaking agents are also great options, and they easily offer widespread or whole body relief.
The best part is that you can easily use these products and, with the exception of transdermal patches, most CBD topicals don’t get you stoned! Post-workout recovery, alleviating chronic pain, other recent injuries – topicals offer the symptom relief you need to rest up, sleep well, and feel better.
We understand that the number of cannabis options may be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to cannabis. Have questions? Our Cannabis Concierge service is here to help! Contact Nugg today to get the information you need and the medicated cannabis products you want!