Using CBD as a Dietary Supplement
Updated: Aug 17, 2018
It’s well known by now that diet can have a profound effect on our physical and mental health. Some turn to diet changes while others supplement with vitamins to keep their bodies in balance. As more and more states pass medical and recreational cannabis laws, many individuals are shifting their attention on the plant as a potential cure for their various ailments. Not only are citizens hoping to find medical value in the plant, but they are curious about the dietary benefits of cannabinoids as well. One cannabinoid in particular, cannabidiol, or CBD, has many excited over its versatile uses. Before we dive into CBD’s dietary benefits, we will explore a little more about what cannabinoids are and how CBD affects the body.
What are Cannabinoids?
A more recently discovered system in the body, the endocannabinoid system is believed to be responsible for a variety of homeostatic functions. Receptor sites for cannabinoids are located in specific areas of the body and are either activated by CB1 or CB2 cannabinoids. CB1 cannabinoids are responsible for regulating anxiety, stress, the immune system, nausea, appetite, and tumor inhibition. CB2 cannabinoids fight inflammation and tissue damage. It is believed that a deficiency in these naturally occurring cannabinoids can lead to issues such as fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome. However, more research is needed to prove the link between these circumstances.
How Does CBD Affect the Body?
Phytocannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant and interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body just like the body’s natural cannabinoids. THC and CBD are two examples of phytocannabinoids. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it doesn’t produce the mind-altering effects like THC does. Since CBD binds to the same receptors as they body’s own cannabinoids, it produces the same effects. This is why many use CBD to treat their anxiety, depression, pain, cancer, and even epilepsy. CBD is a great alternative for someone who hasn’t found success with western-based medications, and a compromise for those who want to try cannabis-based medicine but don’t want to experience the mind-altering effects of THC.
CBD as a Dietary Supplement
Some users of CBD don’t suffer from any serious conditional at all but supplement their diet with CBD oil and/or Hemp Seed Oil for extra vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and other nutrients. CBD oil can be sourced from either a cannabis plant, in cannabis-friendly states, or a hemp plant. A hemp plant is a cannabis plant with 0.3% concentration or less of THC. Full-spectrum CBD oil from a hemp plant will contain fiber, protein, essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, and a whole host of vitamins and minerals. This is exciting for those on restrictive diets, such as vegans or vegetarians, who may not be getting these nutrients elsewhere. Because of these nutrients, whole hemp-derived CBD oil can be beneficial for heart health, mental functioning, and immune system strength.
Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, which do not contain any THC or CBD. Hemp seed oil is best thought of as like coconut oil. It is used in a variety of applications, and not just for ingestion. Hemp see oil can be used for cooking, lotions, or as an anti-inflammatory. CBD oil, on the other hand, is generally taken in capsule form and is used to treat a variety of ailments or just keep the body in balance. One study of rats found that their risk of developing diabetes dropped significantly after using CBD, which is exciting both medically and dietarily.
Should I Use CBD Oil?
Since our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, CBD oil should be safe for most users. However, CBD can interfere with some medications, so it’s best for people to talk with their doctor if they are currently taking any other medications. Even taken alone, CBD capsules can cause mildly negative side-effects in some users, such as drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, or anxiety.
Since CBD is currently not regulated as a dietary supplement by the FDA, dosing is difficult to recommend to users. Many people wait to see how one capsule affects them before upping their dose. Dosage may change from person to person based on size and the ailment or imbalance being treated. Also, the lack of regulation in regard to CBD has left some gaps in the market. Users will want to exercise caution as to where they source their CBD from, as not all capsules contain the same ingredients, and extraction methods could be unsafe.