CBD is like the new coconut oil - lots of people are claiming that this S&%@ cures all. Don’t get me wrong, CBD has some amazing health benefits, but we still need to be smart consumers and know what to look for in a product and what will work best for us. We must be diligent about what goes in and around our body, right?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is the naturally occurring chemical compound found in the cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike it’s sister THC, CBD will not get you high and is non-psychoactive, but it does commonly elicit a sense of calm and relaxation.
Studies show the benefits of CBD for getting a good night’s sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing recovery and performance.
Studies also show there could be benefits of applying CBD topically to pain areas for relief of arthritis and other syndromes that cause chronic pain (and no, your sore muscles from leg day aren’t considered chronic pain).
As a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, my job is to be high energy around the clock. Whether it’s the 5AM class or my last personal training session of the day, each and every person who walks through the gym’s door needs me to give every ounce of energy I have.
It's a constant feeling of pre-workout running through my veins, weights crashing into the floor, and music blasting the bass through my body. I am constantly in “teaching mode”, meaning non-stop go, go, go, all damn day. I rarely ever sit still or relax.
I love that I am able to ignite fitness and health in my community and it is truly my greatest passion, but I rarely refill my own cup or slow down. I am a bit of a psycho by nature, and constantly feel over stimulated due to high stress and anxiety.
I preach to my clients about well-rounded health that taps into all pillars (including physical, mental, social, environmental, and spiritual), yet I can’t make time in my day for a little bit of Zen.
I tried not to constantly check my phone and over book my calendar, but January and February are the busiest months in the gym and it was hard to say no. I needed to find something to calm me down in the 10 minutes I had before bed, so I could wake up and hit “beast mode” again. I could no longer pour from an empty… water bottle.
I was a little skeptical about trying CBD for the first time. I don’t smoke marijuana, cigarettes, or do drugs of any sort. I was actually pretty clueless about drugs my whole life. I remember one time when I was in Grade 9, my mom asked me, “Do lots of kids at your school smoke Marijuana?” and I replied, “no mom, just Weed!”.
Back to the point - I was a little nervous, so I made sure I did the due-diligence myself. I went straight to the experts and quality research to dive a bit deeper. If you’re new to CBD like I was and are thinking “Where the F do I start?” Not to worry!
I have created a brief guideline outlining the 5 most important things you should consider when choosing a CBD product that is right for you.
A Full Spectrum product is likely to be set at a higher price point and for good reason. Full spectrum CBD means it contains ALL cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid offers different benefits for a wide variety of ailments. Full Spectrum CBD does contain trace amounts of THC, but in such small quantities that they will not cause psychoactive effects. Full spectrum is beneficial for many people due to the “entourage effect” it has, meaning the cannabinoids work better together then when they are isolated.
Both Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolates may be better for those looking for absolutely NO THC in their product. Broad Spectrum CBD contains several Cannabinoids minus the THC, whereas CBD Isolate is pure CBD without any other cannabinoids at all.
There are a wide variety of situations when Broad Spectrum CBD or CBD isolate would be preferred over Full Spectrum CBD. For example, you may not necessarily need the full capabilities of Full Spectrum CBD, or if you aren’t legally allowed to use THC these two are a safer choice.
It is also important to note that other cannabinoids may cause negative reactions when isolated CBD wouldn’t. Depending on your condition and specific needs, this is where it could be a good idea to talk to a medical practitioner to decide which is right for you.
Next, you’ll want to ensure that the product lists the dose of CBD per serving so you know exactly how much CBD you’re getting each time. You’ll want to start with a low dose to see how you react and increase as needed. Be aware that some products may list total cannabinoid dose rather than specific dose of CBD, which can lead to mixed results and varied experiences.
Is the ingredient list filled with a bunch of BS that you can’t pronounce? A quick google search of each ingredient should tell you the quality of the product. Just like with our nutrition, we shouldn’t consume processed products full of fillers and preservatives. If your product has an ingredient list, check to see that you know what they are. Even better If they are natural and/or organic.
You can request information on where the cannabis/hemp plants were grown and how the CBD was extracted. Some companies oversee the product from seed to table, while others may be in a long-distance relationship with their manufacture and have a less hands on approach to product development. CO2 extraction of CBD is the standard method and ensures the a high quality product. However, some companies may take the cheaper route and extract using propane, hexane, pentane and butane, which is not so nice for our health.
Every product hits differently, so consider when you want the effects of CBD to take place. Tinctures are more immediate and you may feel benefits within 20 minutes, however they have an after-taste that may be unpalatable to some. Gummies can take 1-2 hours to metabolize but don’t taste as earthy, and are often delicious. Again, this is relative so it will vary from person to person.
Personally, I do not use Vape products – but those are an option as well. Just make sure you assess the health risks or have a discussion with your medical practitioner before using.
I currently purchase my CBD from Birch + Fog because they make taking CBD easy to understand. Their website makes it simple to shop based on “needs” which helps narrow down your choices. I chose to shop under the “Stress and Anxiety” tab as my need was to slow down, de-stress, and relax.
Right now I am using the DeLush Solvent Free CBD Tincture. This tincture is a mix of CBD Isolate (no THC) and MCT oil. MCT oil helps fuel the brain and can be great for gut health. I love that DeLush offers products with natural ingredients like MCT Oil, Cocoa Butter and Paki Fruit.
I personally prefer tinctures because I can easily adjust the dosage depending on how I feel using the measured dropper. It’s basically tasteless, so I drop it into my morning coffee or if I am on the go I put a drop under my tongue.
The container doesn’t leak and it’s so easy to use. I take it with me in my gym bag everywhere I go. A Bonus: all of DeLush’s products are hand made and animal cruelty-free.
Again, I am not the expert, but I believe my experience with CBD overall can be beneficial for others. As always, do your own research and dive deep into the products and supplements you consume.
Birch + Fog was helpful and educated in answering all my questions with complete transparency. Don’t believe every claim you hear and evaluate your specific needs, not what a marketing company deems you need.
Let your body be your guide!
- Coach Siggy