From quality to effects and cost, not to mention taste, aroma and flavour. There are many factors to weigh up before you choose a CBD product.
Has your internet search left you with more questions than answers? You’re probably wondering, ‘how much should I spend?
What does a good CBD product look like? How do I know if it will work? What’s the difference between taking a tincture and vaporizing?’
Don’t panic, and don’t let the confusion throw you off. Whatever your budget or lifestyle, there is a CBD product out there for you.
Use this easy guide to find the right product for you and get the best quality for your money.
What does a good CBD product look like?
When shopping for a new multivitamin or supplement, you expect a certain standard. The same expectations apply to the realm of CBD products.
First, you’ll want to see the origin and concentration of active ingredients clearly outlined on the label or packaging. Is the star ingredient from an isolate or broad-spectrum source? Does the product even contain CBD?
If it’s not on the ingredients list, walk away before you’re disappointed.
Next, you’ll note any added ingredients like preservatives or terpenes, and whether these come from natural hemp sources or if it’s synthetic. (Natural is always best).
Other questions might apply specifically to your lifestyle, like is this product vegan friendly? Is it suitable for coeliacs? Is it caffeine and sugar-free? Will it make me more alert in the mornings or support my sleep cycle at night?
With any CBD product, you will want to take your research one step further by viewing what’s known as a Certificate of Analysis. Any product manufacturer of good repute will make this readily available to show exactly which cannabinoids are in their formula, and importantly, the ones which aren’t present.
A COA is a verified document that analyses and profiles the cannabinoid make-up of a product based on the findings of an independent lab.
The ideal scenario for any CBD product worth its salt would be positive confirmation for CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBC which assist in the Entourage Effect. What should not be detected are THC and CBN, both being controlled substances rendering them illegal except for medicinal use.
Why are some CBD products more expensive than others?
Let’s look at some of the popular product types, what they contain and what they cost.
A quick scan of Handpicked CBD, the UK’s leading online CBD marketplace, shows that there is a bottle of oil drops (tincture) out there for all budgets. But it’s vital that shoppers understand that the most expensive option isn’t always the best.
The cheapest product in this category is £8 and contains 280mg of CBD in a 10ml bottle. This means that the concentration of CBD in this product is 2.8 per cent. While it won’t break the bank, this small bottle of oil is unlikely to last very long.
The most expensive CBD oil on the site is a ‘gold edition formula’ with a concentration of 40 per cent, which will set you back a cool £256. While potent, this is once again in a 10ml bottle. For most, the price tag and volume isn’t going to be suitable for everyday use in the long term.
What about capsules and gummies?
The same principles should apply to your CBD search, no matter the format. However, when swallowed in the form of a capsule, food or beverage, CBD isn’t guaranteed the warmest welcome from the body.
Our internal natural processes can destroy some of the active ingredients, leading to a lower rate of absorption, and in turn, less of an impact. This mainly occurs first in the digestive tract and then in the liver, in what’s known as the first-pass metabolism.
While many find gummies a sweet way to try CBD for the first time, it is almost impossible to calculate and monitor how much CBD you are ingesting.
So, what makes a good CBD product? The differences between the good, the bad and the average can be broken down into three key elements.
The quality of the CBD – has the manufacturer used isolate or broad-spectrum extract?
The concentration of active ingredients – generally speaking, the higher the concentration of CBD, the higher the price.
The presence of additional ingredients such as terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins or adaptogenic herbs
How much should I spend on CBD?
There is no ideal amount when it comes to spending or consumption when it comes to CBD because no two people are the same. We are all unique, and this terminology also applies to the individuality of the Endocannabinoid System.
Incorporating CBD into your life is a very personal experience. What works perfectly for one person might not be enough – or maybe too much – for the next. One way of identifying the right amount of CBD for your day-to-day life is to start with a small dose, increasing the amount gradually over time.
Just as you would keep a journal of progress at the gym or as your watch records how many steps you take each day, it’s important to keep a CBD diary too. You’ll need to record what works for you so that you have a base to build from.
The British Food Standards Agency recommends healthy adults cap their CBD intake at 70mg per day. Roughly speaking, this works out at the equivalent of taking 28 drops of a 5 per cent CBD oil daily. That’s a lot of CBD for everyday use, far more than most people would consume in one go.
With all of this in mind, how much should you spend on CBD? The correct answer is to find a product that fits your budget, lifestyle and needs. Remember why you want to invest in CBD in the first place. Then focus on the delivery method, for example, do you want something mess-free or will you be comfortable counting out oil drops? Shop for quality, convenience and effects before reaching for a product from the top shelf.
What does anyone want from a new purchase? Usually, it’s premium quality in an easy-to-use format, that’s good value with noticeable effects. That’s not asking for too much, right?
Research suggests that when it comes to CBD, there is one format that trumps the rest for delivering an accurate dose to the bloodstream, and you’ll be glad to know, it’s great value for money and it couldn’t be easier to use – vaporization.
Investing in a top of the range vaporizer with a variety of compatible, high-grade vape cartridges is a guaranteed way to get a return on your CBD investment.
One product that should be at the top of your list is the VapePod by Kanabo. The world-renowned medical cannabis researchers at Kanabo have developed the first-ever medical grade vaporizer device for everyday CBD use.
The VapePod is easy-to-use and it provides rapid onset via the lungs with noticeable effects in minutes. Available in the UK exclusively from Handpicked CBD, the Kanabo VapePod Starter Kit is priced at £129.90.
This set includes the medical-grade, reusable, pen-style vaporizer – the first of its kind in the world, plus three cartridges expertly formulated to help you, Reload, Relax and Repair.
Each interchangeable cartridge measures just 0.5ml of CBD-rich oil, plus a unique blend of terpenes and other cannabinoids and hemp compounds for maximum benefit. As you inhale the VapePod will cut out after 1.5 seconds, providing a perfectly measured dose of 1mg CBD every time.
Perhaps most impressive is that this intelligent device is so advanced, it can measure and deliver more than 300 doses, with each cartridge lasting around six to eight weeks.
For less than £130, you’re buying up to 24 weeks of CBD supply. That’s almost half a year, costing as little as £5.40 per week.
When you’re not using your new vaporizer, it can be discreetly stored in a pocket or purse. It charges wirelessly too, taking the chore out of charging.
Finding the right CBD product for you is a process. But don’t be put off by the sheer vastness of the marketplace. Yes, there is an abundance of products out there, but all it takes is a few questions and some listening to your body to find the perfect product for you.
New studies examine effects of THC and CBD on stroke
New data suggests both positive and negative effects of cannabis in stroke patients
A new study has shown that pre-treatment CBD may have a neuroprotective effect in stroke patients.
The study aimed to investigate the effect of CBD on oxidative stress and cell death which occurs in ischemic stroke patients.
It revealed that the cannabinoid may reduce the destructive effects of cell damage associated with stroke.
Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. They occur when a blood clot blocks a flow of oxygen or blood to the brain. This takes place in arteries that have been narrowed or blocked over time by fatty deposits (plaques). The most common symptoms of a stroke include facial drooping on one side, not being able to lift your arms and slurred speech.
If this occurs, it is vital that a person be taken to the emergency room immediately.
The National Institute of Health Care and Excellence (NICE) estimate that there are around 100,000 strokes every year in the UK. It is also thought that 1.3 million people live with the effects of a stroke.
Stroke recovery and CBD results
The Study showed that CBD reduced the amount of infarction in those samples which had been given the cannabinoid. Infarction refers to the death of tissue as a result of a lack of blood supply and is commonly due to a blood vessel being obstructed or narrowed.
There were also differences in malondialdehyde level (MDA) – a common marker of oxidative stress – between the brains of the CBD group and the vehicle group.
It also revealed that CBD may help to protect tissue by preventing further damage.
THC and stroke risk
According to findings, cannabis consumers who experience a stroke known as an aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH), are twice as likely to develop further complications.
An aSAH occurs when a weakened blood vessel bursts on the surface of the brain leading to bleeding between the brain and tissue that covers it. It can result in neurological disabilities, long-term slurred speech or even death. It is estimated that aSAH affects around eight people per 100,000 of the population each year, accounting for six per cent of first strokes.
The study by the American Stroke Association suggested there is twice the risk of developing delayed cerebral ischemia for cannabis consumers. The researchers analysed data from 1,000 patients who had received treatment for bleeding over a 12 year period. In the group of participants, 36 per cent developed cerebral ischemia and 50 per cent had moderate to severe disabilities.
When comparing the results of patients who tested positive for THC with those who did not, they found cannabis consumers were 2.7 times more likely to develop cerebral ischemia. They were also 2.8 times more likely to develop long-term moderate to severe physical disabilities.
However, compared to those who tested negative for THC, the cannabis group did not have larger aneurysms, higher blood pressures or worse stroke symptoms when admitted to the hospital. They did not have any higher cardiovascular risk factors than the negative group.
Researchers are now conducting further studies in which they hope to better understand if THC can impact aneurysm formation and rupture.
New study shows CBD may prevent Covid-19 infection
Researchers are calling for more trials to determine if CBD could be a preventative or early treatment for the virus.
Researchers are recommending clinical trials to examine if CBD could help to prevent Covid infection after more positive findings have been published.
Researchers from the University of Chicago have reported that CBD may stop the infection of Covid-19 by blocking its ability to replicate in the lungs.
A number of cannabinoids including CBD and THC were tested along with 7-Hydroxycannabidiol (7-OH-CBD) which is thought to be produced when cannabidiol is processed by the body.
The study found that CBD showed a significant negative association with SARS-CoV-2 positive tests in a national sample of patients who were taking high doses of CBD, prescribed for epilepsy.
As a result of their findings, researchers are calling for more clinical trials to determine whether CBD could eventually be used as a preventative or early treatment for the virus.
Covid and CBD study
Researchers treated human lung cells with a non-toxic dose of CBD for two hours before exposing the cells to SARS-CoV-2 and monitoring them for the virus and the viral spike protein.
They found that, above a certain threshold concentration, CBD inhibited the virus’ ability to replicate.
Further investigation found that CBD had the same effect in two other types of cells and for three variants of SARS-CoV-2 in addition to the original strain.
CBD did not affect the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to enter the cell. Instead, CBD was effective at blocking replication early in the infection cycle and six hours after the virus had already infected the cell.
Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 affects the host cell by hijacking its gene expression machinery to produce more copies of itself and its viral proteins. This effect can be observed by tracking virus-induced changes in cellular RNAs. High concentrations of CBD almost completely eradicated the expression of viral RNAs.
When it came to the other cannabinoids, CBD was found to be the only potentially potent agent. There was no or limited antiviral activity noted by the similar cannabinoids including THC, CBDA, CBDV, CBC or even CBG.
Marsha Rosner, PhD, professor and senior author of the study said it was a completely unexpected result, she commented: “CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, so we thought that maybe it would stop the second phase of COVID infection involving the immune system, the so-called ‘cytokine storm.’ Surprisingly, it directly inhibited viral replication in lung cells.
She added: “We just wanted to know if CBD would affect the immune system. No one in their right mind would have ever thought that it blocked viral replication, but that’s what it did.”
The researchers do caution that this is not possible with commercially available CBD. The CBD tested was high-purity and also medical grade.
However, Rosner cautioned: “Going to your corner bakery and buying some CBD muffins or gummy bears probably won’t do anything. The commercially available CBD powder we looked at, which was off the shelf and something you could order online, was sometimes surprisingly of high purity but also of inconsistent quality. It is also hard to get into an oral solution that can be absorbed without the special, FDA-approved formulation.”
CBD and Covid studies
This is the second study to be released showing the potential for cannabinoids in Covid management and prevention.
A study by Oregon State University has revealed that the compounds cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), may have the ability to prevent the virus that causes Covid-19 from entering human cells.
Researchers and scientists, led by Richard van Breedan, found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a step in the process the virus takes for infection.
Targeting compounds that block the virus-receptor interaction has been helpful for patients with other viral infections such as HIV-1 and hepatitis.
The researchers and scientists identified the two cannabinoid acids through a screening technique, developed previously in van Breeman’s laboratory. The team also screened different botanicals such as red clover, hops, wild yam and three types of liquorice.
Partner of Irish politician “six years seizure free” faces charges over medical cannabis use
John Montaine uses medical cannabis to manage his epilepsy – and is said to be six years seizure free.
The partner of a sitting Irish TD is contesting charges of cannabis possession, saying he uses it medicinally to manage his epilepsy.
John Montaine, who is the partner of Clare Sinn Fein TD Violet Ann Wynne, was charged with the alleged illegal possession of cannabis on February 11, 2021, at his family home, the Irish Independent reported.
Mr Montaine contests the charges and his partner Deputy Wynne has previously spoken publicly about how he uses cannabis medicinally to manage his epilepsy.
Speaking after the initial court hearing in November, Deputy Wynne said in March her partner would be “six years seizure free”.
She went on to say that it has improved his quality of life “100 per cent, without a doubt”.
“There was always some kind of issue – say John having a number of fits within the one month or losing teeth or suffering with severe migraine, but since John has been using the medicinal cannabis, he has had a better quality of life,” Deputy Wynne told the Independent.
She added: “It has also freed myself up. John would have been on disability allowance and I would have had to have been his carer but since using the medicinal cannabis, he doesn’t suffer from any of those issues any longer.”
Medical cannabis is legal in Ireland, but access to a prescription is limited.
Despite legislation being signed off in 2019, Ireland’s Health minister Stephen Donnelly only announced funding for it in January 2021, with the programme only becoming fully operational in November.
Four cannabis-based medicines are expected to be available through the MCAP, to people living with one of three qualifying conditions. These include intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, severe treatment-resistant epilepsy and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Mr Montaine’s solicitor appeared in Kilrush District Court on behalf of his client this week, where his case was adjourned until 15 March.
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