CBD Starter Guide

CBD Starter Guide

CBD has been in the spotlight lately and for good reason! The vast amount of research that has already gone into the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids is mind-blowing.  From cancer to skin diseases, there seems to be very little that cannabis cannot help with. And while there is still a long way to go in terms of understanding the hundreds of components that make up the cannabis plant, it is quite clear that there are very few recorded downsides.

“There are over 100 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, the most well-known and well-researched being THC and CBD.”

It is becoming more and more difficult for doubters to argue *against* the benefits of cannabis, considering the assortment of evidence that has been accumulated and published. And of course, it seems like only a matter of time until researchers find out more about the lesser-known cannabinoids that are contained within this amazing plant!

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol which is one of the most beneficial compounds found in hemp (cannabis). Marijuana is also a part of the cannabis family, as is hemp which is what is being used to produce legal CBD products.  While marijuana is naturally higher in THC, hemp is naturally high in CBD and very low in THC.  

To keep things simple, we will discuss the potential benefits of legal, hemp-derived CBD which is what is inundating the market as of late. CBD oil is now being used by the masses as a safe, dietary supplement to balance body systems in order to create health, happiness and harmony!  Hemp is a beautiful plant and using it as a medicine may be just what you’ve been searching for!

Lets’ talk about why CBD seems to do SO MUCH! When I say “CBD” let’s assume I am talking about the multiple compounds and beneficial nutrients found within hemp (cannabis) from which CBD oil is made.

CBD interacts with your body’s own endocannabinoid system (or ECS for short). Your ECS regulates a huge range of bodily processes like appetite, pain, mood, memory, immune system activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, and so much more it would be difficult to type it all out!

The fact that our endo-cannabinoid system exists (it wasn’t even discovered by scientists until nearly 1990) may help explain WHY we need to supplement with cannabinoids (CBD). I encourage you to research ECS on your own and you will soon see why using CBD regularly may be a good idea for you! The system is complex and beautifully designed to maintain homeostasis. When we become deficient in cannabinoids, we need to introduce them back into the body by supplementing with CBD. By doing this, the cannabinoids interact with the receptors in our bodies and can correct imbalances in mood, sleep patterns, hormone fluctuation, inflammatory response and so much more.

Using CBD to support your endocannabinoid system function has incredible therapeutic potential for many human dis-eases.  

Pain and inflammation: A healthy ECS has the potential to significantly reduce or eliminate dangerous drug dependency for chronic pain (both over-the-counter and prescribed drugs). CBD has potent anti-inflammatory/analgesic effects. Many people report dropping their pills altogether in exchange for CBD.

Mental health: Anxiety, depression, ADHD and other conditions may be significantly improved when CBD is used to support the ECS.

CBD has protective effects on the liver, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the endocrine system… CBD positively impacts the whole body!

CBD is an anti-convulsant and may to help reduce seizures. Regular use of CBD may help gastrointestinal issues, drug and alcohol addiction, auto-immune conditions, and many other health conditions that we are commonly faced with today.

And while CBD is working hard in your body by supporting healthy endo-cannabinoid system responses, all that is needed from you is to sit back and let your body do the work! You may find that you need less CBD over time, not more so don’t let that old thinking of how some *other* medicines may work influence how much CBD to take!

TYPES OF CBD:

Full Spectrum – This type of extract uses the whole plant to extract a “full spectrum” of cannabinoids and other constituents from hemp including trace amounts of THC.  Full-spectrum hemp oil refers to when the oil extracted from hemp contains all the same cannabinoids and compounds found in the original hemp plant. Unlike isolated or synthetic cannabinoids, full-spectrum hemp oil contains an array of cannabinoids, as well as many essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, flavonoids and terpenes. A full plant profile allows for the “entourage effect”.

This phenomenon, the “entourage effect,” results when hundreds of natural components within a plant interact together and with the human body to produce a stronger influence than any one of those components used alone. It’s a synergistic effect. Whole plant medicine!

***While the legal limit in the US is .3% THC for hemp-based CBD oil, many oils contain much less than that since hemp naturally contains very low levels of THC. Even with full spectrum CBD oil, there is little chance of any “high” even at larger doses. However, if you are subjected to random drug screenings, Full Spectrum CBD is not for you because it will most likely cause you to fail a drug test. (which targets THC)

Broad spectrum – This extract is the same as full-spectrum hemp extract minus the THC. While broad-spectrum oil is free of all THC, it does deliver the entourage effect, as it contains all other cannabinoids and phytochemicals found naturally within the plant as mentioned above! Since there is no THC in broad spectrum hemp oil, this may be a better option for you if you are subject to drug screenings but it is always wise to discuss this with your employer.

Isolate—A CBD isolate is just one cannabinoid, cannabidiol, nothing else.This process isolates one cannabinoid (CBD) so there are no other cannabinoids, no THC, no terpenes, proteins, fatty acids, etc. There is no entourage effect available with CBD Isolates but this form can still work well for your needs. A CBD Isolate (sometimes referred to as ZERO THC OIL) is another option for those subject to drug tests.

Topicals— There are many topical applications of CBD as well. CBD can work beautifully on your skin to help relieve pain and help improve skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, eczema and wounds.

~Edibles and vape oils are common forms too.~

What to look for in a CBD oil

CO2 extraction

With a boom in CBD production, it’s very important to look for a reputable company because there are many brands that just aren’t worth wasting your money! They are made cheaply and recklessly and can be harmful. There are many reputable companies as well! Look for one that uses a CO2 extraction method to produce their CBD oil.  CO2 extraction is an expensive process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull the desired phytochemicals from a plant.  CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method and it is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Third Party Testing

This testing ensures that you are getting what is advertised. Third party testing can measure the cannabinoid content, (and other plant constituents), whether or not there are pesticide residues, metal and other contaminates. 

No Fillers or Artificial Ingredients

CBD extract is a concentrated product so in order to make it easy to take orally, companies blend this potent extract with hempseed oil, MCT Oil (which is a liquid coconut oil) or other vegetable oils in their CBD oil “tinctures”.  These carrier oils are acceptable and commonly used. But watch out for added preservatives, sweeteners, etc because these will “dumb down” your product are not necessary.  A lot of CBD oils do contain flavoring which makes the CBD experience more pleasant! Just make sure the extracts being used are pure and not synthetic. Mint, orange, vanilla, all of these are common flavors used and are acceptable if you want a little natural flavor in your CBD.

Made in the USA

Look for a CBD oil company that boasts US grown and processed. We have organically run farms right here in Kentucky, Colorado and other states. When working with foreign farms, brands lose their transparency and quality control. And when it comes to hemp, its cultivation environment is critically important.  With the Federal Farm Bill of 2014, state governments were allowed to start piloting hemp farming in their individual states. In the past few years, hemp farming has grown quite significantly in some states, including in Colorado and Kentucky. These states have now set up a legitimate license and certification process for its farmers to go through. The process entails working with the state department of agriculture to ensure that each individual farm and the hemp seeds and crops are registered. The governance by the state programs creates an unmatched barrier to entry. The process required to obtain licenses to grow hemp shows the extra due diligence required by hemp brands working with farmers in the United States.

DOSAGE

Dosage can vary widely among users. Take note of how your body has adapted to hemp CBD on a weekly basis and make adjustments accordingly. It is wise to start with just a few drops 1-2 times daily going up in drops to a full dose if needed. Many people find that 3-5 drops works well for their condition and other may need a full dropper (full dose) multiple times a day. This will depend on what your goals are. Don’t be afraid to experiment with dosage!

Generally, CBD oil drops are taken under the tongue and held there for up to a minute for better absorption but the drops may also be added to food or beverages if needed.

In Conclusion…

Using CBD as a nutritional supplement can be very rewarding especially if other means have failed you. Most anyone can use CBD for health and happiness! We are just scratching the surface here with this information I have provided so I encourage you to continue your education on the subject if you want to navigate the wonderful world of CBD!

10 Ways to Improve Lymphatic System Health

10 Ways to Improve Lymphatic System Health

The lymphatic system is the primary component of our immune system. It contains lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that destroy pathogens and remove them from the body. When our lymphatic system is unhealthy, all kinds of health problems can ensue:

  • bloating
  • swelling
  • constipation/digestive issues
  • fatigue
  • increased colds, flu, allergies
  • skin problems
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • cancer
  • depression…

If the lymph glands, the body’s “drainage” system, become congested, the flow of lymph is obstructed and this can cause a domino effect of cascading pathology as mentioned above.

There are many natural and easy ways to keep lymph moving!

1.One of my favorite ways to keep lymph moving is to keep the body moving! One of the best forms of exercise for lymphatic flow is rebounding. Rebounding is simply jumping on a trampoline! We have a mini-trampoline (aka rebounder) as do many home health enthusiasts (and parents of young children)! This is an inexpensive, easy and fun way to keep the lymphatic system in tip top health. Just 15-30 minutes of rebounding a day will do the trick. Small rebounders can be placed inside the home and you can jump, jump, jump your way to health while watching television, listening to music or playing with the kids. Place your rebounder outdoors on nice days and get your jump on while taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

2. Walking. What a simple way to exercise. Simply taking a walk is a good way to raise your heart rate and pump lymphatic fluid to where it can be cleaned in the lymph nodes. Make a commitment to take a brisk 20-minute walk (not a leisurely stroll) every day and not only will your lymphatic health improve, but your overall health and weight will improve as well! Inversion positions such as legs up on the wall (lying with legs elevated), and other inversions use gravity to increase lymphatic flow. Stretching and using these positions increases circulation and breathing in general and, in turn, supports the lymphatic system.

3. Lymph fluid is mostly water, as is the human body. Dehydration only stresses the lymphatic system more and makes it less efficient. Drinking your full fluid intake as clean, clear water will help your lymphatic system flow well. Flush your system with up to a gallon of water per day. Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol. This further dehydrates the body and is, or course, detrimental to overall health and lymphatic flow.

4. Diet. Diet is of utmost importance in any situation. Eating a diet of wholesome foods free of artificial ingredients like colors, flavors, sweeteners, additives and preservatives will help your lymph system run more efficiently. Remove things from the diet that do not belong there! That is simple. Focus on leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage, berries, nuts, seeds, and wild caught fish (or supplement with Omega 3s). Unrefined oils like coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for cold preparations are encouraged. Red foods in particular (beets, pomegranate, turmeric, apples, cherries) are great for the lymphatic system!

5. Deep breathing exercises are beneficial to the body in many ways. Practicing deep breathing strengthens the diaphragm which promotes lymphatic system health. Breathing. We do it every day, while we sleep, each and every moment, but we don’t always focus on our breath which can be a mistake. There are no fancy steps that you need to take to practice deep breathing. Simply breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Draw in the air and feel it fill your lungs. Now exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times daily. You can feel the oxygen saturating your body… who couldn’t use some deep, calming, cleansing breaths daily!? Deep breathing exercising helps with mental clarity, pain relief and relaxation as well as detoxification.

6. Massage – Lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle, specialized form of massage that focuses on lymph. Find a licensed massage therapist in your area that offers lymphatic drainage massage or you can perform it on yourself at home quite easily. YouTube has some wonderful videos to show you just how to do this yourself. It is the most gentle, lightest form of massage and can be done safely and easily in the privacy of your own home.

7. Saunas and detox baths—Sweating It Out in sauna therapy is another way to increase circulation, sweat out harder to remove toxins (like metals) and improve lymphatic flow for cleansing. Many gyms and health clubs now offer infrared sauna therapy which is one of best ways to detoxify the body! An infrared sauna session raises the body’s core temperature, activates circulation and excretes toxins from the lymph and blood through the skin. If you can’t get to an infrared sauna, you may opt for a detox bath at home. There are many different detox bath recipes to be found online, but all you really need to do this at home is a bag of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) and good old-fashioned baking soda. Use 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt and ½- 1 cup baking soda, mix well and soak in a hot bath for at least 30 minutes. Most people own essential oils, and why not blend some bath safe oils into your soak to increase the effectiveness? Some of my favorites in the bath are lavender, rose, frankincense, lemon and tea tree. Stir in no more than 10 drops in total of essential oil for an adult detox bath. Avoid mints, clove and lemongrass (among others) in the bath because they can be skin irritants, especially in the bath. If you are going to use bath safe essential oils in the bath, stir in 1 Tbsp of coconut or olive oil into your detox bath recipe before adding to the water.

8. Not smoking, reducing stress & inflammation and getting enough sleep are paramount for lymphatic health. Go to bed before 10pm and rise with the sun if possible. Lack of sleep is one of the worst things for your body! Take magnesium glycinate before bed and take a cup of relaxing herbal tea such as chamomile or lemon balm. Poor quality sleep can cause a host of issues from depression to chronic illness. Getting adequate rest, deep sleep, can boost your mood, lower stress levels during the day, aid in weight loss and increase lymphatic system health.

9. Laughter! Certainly the easiest and most joyful way to improve lymphatic flow. Laughter is GREAT medicine!! Laughing boosts your immune system, reduces depression, protects the heart, stops fear, relaxes and comforts us and those around us! Injecting laughter into your life can also ease pain and boost recovery time from surgery or chronic illness. Laughter brings people together because laughter is contagious! How many times have you and your best friend or sibling NOT been able to STOP laughing once one of you starts giggling? Laugh and the world laughs with you! Laughter is just as effective as deep breathing which we already know boosts lymphatic health.

10. Employ herbs. Lastly but certainly not to be overlooked is herbal supplementation in the form of teas, tinctures, or capsules! Ayurvedic herbs like red root (aka Manjistha), astragalus root and ginger are superb “lymph scrubbers!” Other more commonly known herbs such as calendula (a member of the marigold family), mullein, turmeric and cleavers are wonderful allies for lymphatic system health! These can be found in capsule form, tincture form or can be combined in different variation as an herbal tea.

One of my favorite teas for lymph congestion is:

2 parts calendula flowers,

1/2 part ginger,  

1 part cleavers,

 1 part lemon balm

Use 1 Tbsp of dried herbs in total for each cup of tea. Bring water to boil, steep herbs 20 minutes. Enjoy with honey. Serve warm for best results.

Unlike the heart, the lymphatic system does not have its own built-in pump. In order to keep the toxins moving, it relies on breathing and bodily movement to function properly. Follow some of these steps above to improve lymphatic system, and OVERALL health of the body!