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Balance in a Bottle

by Mary Beth Janssen

Hemp extract with CBD can offer powerful health benefits. Here is Part 1 of our two-part series on how to make sure you are getting what you need.

Over 80 percent of doctors’ visits are attributed to mental, physical, emotional and environmental stress. Utilizing whole plant hemp extract with Cannabidiol or CBD can powerfully serve as an additional wellness therapy for managing stress and shoring up our health profile.

Depending on the brand, whole plant hemp extract may also be called full-spectrum hemp extract, or cannabinoid-rich hemp extract. This denotes that you’re getting the whole spectrum of beneficial chemical constituents from the hemp plant.

CBD is one of over 100 plant-based or “phyto” cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It’s also one of the most actively researched cannabinoids showing scientific and anecdotal evidence for a wide range of benefits. Thus, it’s desirable to have a high concentration of CBD in the whole plant hemp extract you use.

In addition, sustainably grown, organic hemp extract can contain up to 500 distinct compounds, including a wide variety of bioactive compounds that work synergistically to optimize wellness benefits. These include cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and more. Whole plant hemp extract with CBD is made from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil, MCT oil, olive oil can all serve as a base for the hemp extract. And some very sophisticated hemp/CBD formulas that are formulated with herbs and botanicals may not be carried in oil at all.

Unlike THC (the cannabinoid that gives medical marijuana its signature psychoactive effect), CBD, along with the other bioactive compounds in whole plant hemp form, have been shown to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and adaptogenic qualities, helping with everything from pain relief and insomnia to PTSD and anxiety to MS and epilepsy, to cognitive function and addiction resolution — all without getting you high.

State of Business

At press time, medical marijuana is now legal in 31 states, recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and whole plant hemp extracts (with CBD) are widely available (with a few exceptions) in almost every state.Experts predict that if the cannabis industry continues to expand at its current rate, the American market will reach $20 billion by 2020. But the hemp extract market, in particular, is spinning off into a mega-industry on its own. Cannabis industry analysts The Brightfield Group estimate that the hemp extract market alone could hit $22 billion by 2022.

These whole plant hemp extracts with CBD can now be found in physicians’ and veterinarians’ offices, wellness centers and spas, health food stores and pharmacies, yoga and fitness studios, coffee/tea shops and more. Major food, drink and personal care companies are on the sidelines waiting to dive in. And with the loosening as well as falling away of regulations nationally and worldwide surrounding the usage of cannabis sativa (of which high CBD, low THC hemp and its psychoactive sister marijuana are different varieties), we are poised to take advantage of this incredible natural herbal medicine like never before.

Hemp Extract (with CBD) and Drug Interactions

The drug interaction profile of hemp extract with CBD is still considered relatively low; however, consult with your doctor prior to taking along with prescription medications.

There’s the potential for interactions between CBD and certain medications. At high doses, above 60 mg, CBD can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system in the liver leading to a slower clearance of certain medications metabolized through the liver, especially blood thinners. This delayed clearance may require a change in dose and timing of these medications if one is taking CBD oil alongside them.

What to try: Try hemp/CBD extract in tincture form, time-released soft gels (to bypass degradation in liver before moving into the gut), and topicals (balms and oils). If you’re just getting started, try products from these reputable companies: NuLeaf, Bluebird Botanicals, CW (Charlotte’s Web), Elixinol, Lazarus, Restorative Botanicals, PureKana, Receptra, PlusCBD, Cannabalanced, Populum, Empathica and Superior Hemp Formula (created by a clinical herbalist and product formulator).

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