CBD is the hot new health trend everyone is talking. Once vilified in the public’s eye, CBD is now in high demand due to its potential to help with treat anxiety, inflammation, pain and even seizures. With its fairly new entrance into the supplement world, how well does it really work and are all CBD products alike? CBD may offer a more powerful pain relief option for many people, but it’s important to know all the facts first.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It’s a naturally occurring substance (one of more than 100 naturally occurring compounds) found in cannabis and hemp that’s used in products like lotions, oils and edibles to provide a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD won’t get you high.

Can CBD really help?

Our body produces its own similar compounds called endocannabinoids, including CBD and THC equivalents. We already have endocannabinoid receptor sites within our nervous system that help regulate physiological and cognitive functions, such as mood, pain sensation, appetite, and memory. CBD binds with our natural endocannabinoid system and enhances what our bodies should produce.

How can you take CBD?

There has been an explosion of CBD products on the market, especially since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that made it legal to cultivate hemp for CBD. It can be used topically in lotions, oil, sleeping masks, bath bombs or skin patch. It can also be consumed through edible oils, tinctures, edibles such as gummies, cookies, cakes, brownies, coffees, lattes, etc. There are even CBD vaporizers. There are even CBD products for pets. New products are sprouting up daily touting the many potential health benefits of CBD.

Are all CBD products the same?

The challenge with CBD products at the moment is that they are not federally regulated, though the FDA is expected to start regulating CBD products within the next two years. CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC, that’s the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis that makes you high. Unfortunately, there are many products tested that contain significantly less than that to point of offering little benefit to the user. In one review of CBD items available to purchase, only 30 percent of the products were actually labeled correctly.

How can you be sure your CBD supplement is high quality?

Since these products, including supplements are not yet FDA-regulated, consumers must be diligent and educated when purchasing CBD to ensure they’re getting what they paid for, and that the product is of good quality. First, look for products that show 3rd-party lab results, so you know what is in your product. Second, check that there is less than .03% THC. Third, only purchase from a reputable supplement company that has a reputation for quality products. Last, if you’re consuming a CBD supplement, look for one with liposomes. Liposomes for optimizing active absorption of CBD are showing huge promise, yet few companies invest the time and expense to add them to their supplements. Liposomes are essentially a nutrient wrapped in a layer of fat (phosphatidylcholine, which is a fat molecule). This is how nutrition is delivered to babies through breast milk. Small “fat bubbles’ filled with nutrients, basically. Liposomes are sometimes used to deliver drugs to specific targets in the body. They are also used to deliver nutrients into the body. Liposomes are better at delivering that nutrient into the cell than powders which make up most tablets and capsules. Others refer to it as a nano delivery system. CBD is well-suited for delivery via liposomes because it is non-psychoactive so ingesting it in its unadulterated form doesn’t have any adverse effects. In fact, liposomes allow individuals to receive the optimal amount of CBD with each dose. As with other quality liposome supplements, a CBD supplement with liposomes will help the body absorb more of what it needs in the supplement you’re taking.

CBD may offer a more powerful pain relief option for many seeking relief. Understanding what it is, how it works, and how to find a quality product can help you greatly reduce the pain you experience.