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North Hills Monthly

Options Abound When Considering CBD Products

Oct 29, 2020 07:37PM ● By Vanessa Orr

SunMed bath bombs at Your CBD Store

Tincture, balm or edible? Full or broad spectrum, or isolate? 

If these words seem familiar, you might have been CBD shopping. But if they still seem confusing…well, you’re not alone.

Even for people who are interested in CBD, the types of products—and the options available within the different categories—can be overwhelming. So how do you know what’s right for you?

According to Shaun Painter, co-owner of Your CBD Stores in Cranberry and Gibsonia, the best way to get started is to visit a local CBD retailer. While hemp products can be found on the Internet, nothing beats a conversation with people who have the knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction.

“One of the first questions we ask is how a person wants to benefit from using CBD; are they looking to lessen anxiety or stress, or do they want help getting to sleep? Are they dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia or suffering from neuropathy? Once we discover the issue, we look at the level of severity,” he explained.

A person with anxiety, for example, would rate their level of anxiety from one to 10. The type of anxiety, whether constant or situational, is also important. “Once we can pinpoint the issue and its severity, we figure out the best product for them, and the amount they should take based on height and weight,” said Painter, adding that they advise patients to “start low and go,” until they build up to the amount that best treats their symptoms. 

Once a dose is determined, customers are introduced to the different ways that they can take CBD. “It really depends on what is best for that individual; some people don’t like the taste of CBD, or aren’t comfortable holding a tincture under their tongue for a minute-and-a-half,” Painter explained. “Some people prefer using a flavored, water-soluble product; others like hard candies. There are also topicals for skin or surface issues, like bruise relief, or speeding up the recovery process after working out.”

Reliv, a 32-year-old wellness company that provides core nutritional supplements backed by science, offers both tinctures and balms to their clients. 

“We’ve found that with a tincture, you’re really getting more benefit than with other forms of CBD, because when you put it under your tongue, it is absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream; it doesn’t get broken down in your digestive tract,” said Sherri Walker, a retired nurse and independent Reliv distributor. “Depending on the issue, a person should start with a small amount and see how that works for several days. If they aren’t getting the results that they’re looking for, they can add more. It’s trial-and-error to some extent; some people may get results quickly with a smaller amount, and some may need a bit more.”

She adds that the balm is especially helpful for aches and pains. “Personally, I’ve found that when my husband or I are having muscle or even joint issues, we can use the balm and in a few minutes get relief from pain,” she said. “It’s also great for any type of skin irritation.”

What’s Inside?

In addition to deciding on the type of delivery method, it’s important to learn more about what’s contained in each product. Some products, known as isolates, contain CBD only; others contain more of the 117 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, which may provide additional benefits. 

“As more studies are done, researchers are finding that different strains have different benefits. CBD is only one of the strains found in the plant; there is also CBN, which has been found to help with sleep, and CBG, which works for energy and inflammation,” said Painter, adding that Your CBD Store is now creating tinctures and water solubles that have higher levels of CBG and/or CBN. 

“Medication that is full spectrum has every one of the strains found in the plant, which provides an entourage effect in which each part of the plant works together to help the body reach homeostasis,” he added. “If you’re only treating one condition, an isolate may be fine. But if you’ve got a number of issues, I recommend full or broad spectrum products, which also contain terpenes and flavonoids, to get more bang for your buck.”

He notes that people who undergo drug tests for work may want to consider a broad spectrum medication as it is the same as a full spectrum product, but without the THC.  

Staying Safe

No matter what type of product customers prefer, it’s important to make sure that it’s safe.

“Whatever you choose, make sure that you view the certificate of authenticity; if it doesn’t have that, you don’t want to buy it and you certainly don’t want to consume it,” said Walker, adding that the CBD industry is not yet regulated by the government. “It will probably be another year or two before they institute regulations, and I expect to see about 70 to 80 percent of hemp products go away because companies won’t be able to meet the new standards.”

According to Painter, it’s extremely important for customers to research what they’re taking—or to buy from a company that has already done the homework. “When we were deciding what products to carry, we looked at thousands of companies to see if they met certain requirements, including that all of their hemp was grown in the United States, and that their extract process was performed properly,” he explained. “We also made sure that testing was done every step of the way from the time the seed was put into the ground, to testing the soil for pesticides while growing, to how it was extracted.

“All of that testing and proper extracting processes have a cost, so when you see CBD products with much lower costs than similar products, it means that things were missed,” he added. “You don’t want to spend less at the expense of your health.” 

New Products on the Horizon

According to Painter, Your CBD Store will soon be able to mix products on-site and tweak formulas to meet customer’s specific needs.

“We’ll be able to create a person’s own specially formulated bottle right in our store,” he said. “For example, if a person has arthritis, we can add a strain higher in CBG; or maybe they need more CBDA to reduce inflammation. While this type of customization was thought to be years out, it’s a lot closer than we think. I’d say once the economy gets back up to semi-normal, customers will see this in Your CBD Stores within six months.”

At Reliv’s first virtual conference in August, the company announced that in partnership with SS Biotech, they had created a hemp extract tincture in combination with lunasin. 

“Lunasin is a naturally occurring soy peptide discovered in 1996 that has a multitude of nutritional properties and benefits, and is one of the first nutrients shown to work at the epigenetic level,” said Walker, adding that lunasin is found to help with cholesterol management, inflammation reduction, immune support and overall cellular health. “I’m not sure when that product will be available, but it’s going to revolutionize nutrition as we know it.”