So, you’ve completely overdone it during the festive season and you are overdue (pardon the pun) for some New Year’s Resolutions that will get you swiftly back in shape and on your A game. You have some solid plans to make the start of the new decade your best year yet, and you’ve been reading up on how to set resolutions that you can keep and part of this is trying to get to grips with a decent self-care routine. You’ve also possibly been watching, with interest, the meteoric rise in the number of CBD products that have become available over the past year or so and wondering how this might fit into your plans.
If you’ve been curious about trying a CBD tincture or oil, but you just have no idea where to start or you’ve tried a few and you can’t work out what all the fuss is about then read on. I hope this will help you.
To start off let’s do a little refresher on CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of more than 100 so far known cannabinoids which can be found in the cannabis plant. CBD will not get you high and there is an increasing body of knowledge about CBD showing that it can assist with anxiety, sleep, improved mood, better digestion and a host of other ‘wellness’ issues that we all seem to experience in the modern world. CBD interacts with a particular set of receptors in the body, called endocannabinoid receptors, to help the body’s natural systems restore balance in all these areas. CBD acts as a booster to the body’s own natural systems when they are not coping with the stresses and strains of a busy or demanding life.
One of the best ways to ingest CBD is to use a tincture, placing drops of oil under the tongue. This will get it into the body’s system quickly so that you can get maximum benefits, fast.
If you think a CBD tincture is worth trying, or you have tried a few and not found one that gives you any results then do a quick check below to see if your choice meets these criteria and that you are taking the tincture correctly:
Clear information about formulation strength
All CBD is not alike. Read labels very carefully – you will find that some tinctures will have almost no CBD in them and this may be why you are not getting any results. Do the calculations – work out how many mg of CBD you will be getting per drop and therefore how many drops you will need to take. A dose of 8–10mg twice a day will be an ideal starting place.
Clear information about formulation ingredients
Some CBD tinctures have only CBD, some have CBD and other cannabinoids, some have terpenes (the things that give flavour and additional effect to the tincture), they are mixed in different oils (MCT oil or olive oil for example). You have a right to know exactly what you are taking so that if it does work you can buy the exact same thing again and if it doesn’t work you can avoid that particular formulation or brand.
A scientific basis for the formulation
This is a big one for me. You will read about full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. They are all different. Full spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids (with very low levels of THC, the psychoactive part of the plant) and terpenes contained in the cannabis plant. It will usually be a dark colour and taste quite bitter and earthy. Broad spectrum is essentially a distilled version of a full spectrum plant, with undetectable amounts of THC, and can be nearly colourless and taste a bit better than a full spectrum product. Isolate has no THC, no taste and is clear.
There is a lot of media attention on full spectrum as the ‘best’ form of CBD. This is debatable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it means that the user will never be able to get EXACTLY the same product time after time. Each cannabis plant is subtly different and therefore each batch of full spectrum tincture will be subtly different (even if it is the same brand). Secondly there is, so far, quite a lot of research on CBD and less on the other cannabinoids and so I believe it is safer to stick what the science is uncovering – and that is largely about CBD at this point in time.
I do believe in the efficacy of terpenes and so have a look to see if the product you want to buy has some added. Terpenes are the active molecules in many of the herbs we use in the natural healing and aromatherapy worlds. They can be very beneficial and are something I have spent a lot of time working on over the past couple of years.
Third-party lab testing to ensure there are no harmful elements in the product
This is pretty important. As all CBD tinctures are essentially a concentrated version of what is in the cannabis plant you want to make sure you are NOT also getting a concentrated dose of heavy metals and pesticides along with your CBD! A good brand will either provide details of the third party tests on its website or it will make them available if you ask.
Your decision about full spectrum or isolate or something in between may be driven by the taste of the formulation. Some people don’t mind the taste of full spectrum tincture. I personally don’t like it one little bit. I take my evening dose of CBD last thing at night, before turning out my reading light, and I hate waking in the morning with the after taste of full spectrum CBD. But that’s just me.
I’ve been working in the medical cannabis and CBD arena for the past 2 and a bit years and I am a self-confessed CBD wellness devotee. If you have any questions on CBD at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find me on the email below or any of my Socials. Happy New CBD Year.