What is CBD and Why Do I Need It?
By Amy Stein
Pelvic Floor Specialist
Author of Heal Pelvic Pain, Beating Endo
Believe the hype!
CBD isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. After the Farm Bill was passed in 2018 which removed hemp from being a class 1 drug like weed, sales of CBD products grew an astounding 706% in 2019 compared to 2018. Some projections show CBD product sales to reach $23.7 billion this year, and that’s in the U.S. alone. It’s now found in everything from edibles like gummies and tonics to topicals like salves and lotions. But what is the big deal exactly, and what do you need to know when making a purchase?
It is important to note first and foremost that there are 2 main parts of the cannabis plant: hemp and weed, and that CBD derived from hemp is NOT psychoactive and what we are referring to here. By law, products containing CBD cannot swing above the 0.3% THC mark, which is not nearly enough to get you high or show up on a drug test. In fact, many members of the industry are fighting to increase that amount to allow a greater potency of CBD to be used in products, thus possibly increasing its efficacy. But as of March 22, 2021, this will be declared the final rule by the USDA.
The first thing you want to investigate when you are searching is quality. With over 1,500 brands in over 268,000 retail outlets in the U.S., it’s important to make sure you are getting a good quality, responsibly grown, clean product. A reputable brand will source their CBD from an organic hemp farm, or at least one that uses sustainable and regenerative farming methods, and perhaps even more importantly, grows their hemp with love. Sound cheesy? Check out the websites of a variety of different hemp farms and look for yourself… trust me, you will know when the love is there! A quality brand will also provide access to all of their Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to show that the required tests have been performed by an independent, third-party lab to show potency and cannabinoid breakdown. Some brands will go one step further by having their product tested for things like solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides.
The next thing you want to consider is potency. What are your needs exactly? Are you suffering from anxiety or experiencing pain and inflammation? Research indicates that CBD may help relieve many symptoms associated with anxiety and pain, though as of now the FDA doesn’t recognize these claims. But there is absolutely zero that is straightforward about the dosage amounts you read on various labels because of what is referred to as full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
Full spectrum CBD refers to using the whole plant, including other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, as well as terpenes, and, as discussed previously, a small amount of THC. The benefit to using full spectrum products is that you are more likely to achieve what’s known as “the entourage effect,” which simply means that all of these components work together to provide the best results. Indeed, much of the research showing promising results in treating anxiety and epilepsy and managing pain is based on full-spectrum CBD. Similarly, broad spectrum CBD contains the cannabinoids that full spectrum CBD contains, but without the THC. Some argue this may lessen the synergy of the components and make it less effective in its therapeutic benefits. Lastly, is CBD isolate, which is pure CBD extracted from the hemp plant. The distinctive difference with using an isolate is that you can greatly increase the amount of CBD used in the product since there isn’t any danger of exceeding the THC limit (which in this case is none.) But again… no entourage effect.
When you do find a good quality, sustainably sourced product that is full spectrum with a high potency, you should expect to pay more than the average bottle that may turn up through a Google search or that you find on Amazon. Make sure that you are knowledgeable about the product you are getting and what you are using it for, and are able to make an informed decision.
I got into CBD as a result of the over-prescribing of opioids to people suffering from chronic pain. My friend and cannabis MD, Dr. Ken Weinberg, suggested reaching out to someone he knew at Hudson Valley Hemp Co. – a local, organic hemp farm that firmly believes in sustainable and regenerative farming. After visiting the farm, I was convinced that specially formulated CBD products could further help my patients combat their chronic pain and anxiety. So this led me to create Wellness x Nature, a company that aligns with bringing you premium quality CBD with a high potency.
Learn more about the benefits of CBD for pelvic health here.
Use code PELVICHEALTHSUPPORT for 15% off your order.
Premier physical therapist, founder, and pioneer – Amy is at the forefront of treating pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic pain, specializing in functional manual therapy. In addition to being the founder of Beyond Basics, Amy has served as the President – and is currently on the advisory board – of the International Pelvic Pain Society.