Industrial hemp CBD oils aren’t just beneficial for individuals with physiological or psychological challenges. But how do otherwise healthy people know what they’re buying if it’s a non-psychoactive substance? In this article I review three products and discuss five ways I used to verify their CBD content.
Based on what we’re beginning to understand about the Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) thus far, cannabis products offer herbal/nutritional supplementation values rivaling any other life form!
We simply haven’t discovered flora possessing the same or greater degrees of plant-to-body synergy.
Thing is, hemp CBD products purchasable online from brands like Hemp for Fitness shouldn’t [legally can’t] be psychoactive. Getting intoxicated isn’t involved, because if it is someone’s getting busted. For that over 25 states now have legal marijuana laws/dispensaries. Hemp’s different, and when you study the nature of its primary compound cannabidiol (CBD) you discover it’s actually an anti-high chemical. The ECS uses it along with other cannabinoids to perform duties maintaining or working towards mental and physical homeostasis…equilibrium.
Then how does an otherwise healthy individual who isn’t experiencing something serious know if they just got scammed into buying 21st century snake oil? If I’m in pain and it relieves the pain, well that’s one thing. How about if there’s no real physical way to tell? Once customers have the tincture in their hand at home, how can they possibly know if it has CBD in it?
Reminds me of people who purchase basic vitamins. How do they know if those pills are as advertised? How do you know after you take one? You don’t feel anything… the same goes for clean hemp CBD oils. For hemp and CBD, this is a fundamental question a TON of Americans are asking as projected hemp CBD demand is set to go hypersonic in short order.
The best I can offer are some ways I personally use to gauge whether or not a hemp CBD product actually has what I’m after. Are these ideal methods for you? Maybe, I don’t know. But I believe the experience I’m writing about here speaks for the simple nature of CBD. See, in my eyes it’s sort of like water, which is equally valuable to everyone’s body. It’s good for you, me, healthy, sick, old, young, etc. Well, we all have an ECS, thus CBD as a supplemental tool is equally valuable to everyone and does what it does. Differentiators are potencies, delivery methods, overall qualities of the essential plant oils, and the ingredients mixed into the whole plant extracts. Right now there’s not much information on how cannabinoids interact with other essential oils or herbs. However, we do know that when mixed with other cannabinoids in a natural state (CBG, CBN, THC, etc.), cumulative benefits increase – the entourage effect.
With that said…
- 39 years old. Well, in a couple weeks from when I’m conducting this mini-CBD journey.
- Been working out, highly active since about 18.
- Healthy eater – primarily local & organics. 50/60% veggies. 20/30% healthy fats. 10/20% animal/plant proteins. Ballpark estimate.
- Little rough around the edges, sure, but no hardcore anxiety/depression problems.
- No current pain or injuries. I mean, I’m 39 with some scars, but I do a pretty decent job staying healthy and fit. So far so good anyway. Now I’m getting nervous…let’s move on.
The Hemp CBD Oil Products
These are the three products that recently arrived in my mailbox and all of them are from Hemp for Fitness – a brand I know and trust. Listed left to right from the picture:
Product One: Hemp CBD Soft Gel Capsules
- 30 soft gel capsules per bottle at 25mg each.
- Includes a small degree of CBN, or cannabinol, for synergistic relaxing value.
Product Two: Hemp CBD Oil Tincture for Anxiety
- 1000mg CBD – 30ml
- Includes MCT oil, amino acids, terpenes: Limonene (think of the smell of lemons) & Valencene (oranges).
Product Three: Hemp CBD Oil Tincture for Focus
- 500mg CBD & 25mg CBG – 30ml
- Includes MCT oil, amino acids, organic mint & spearmint, proprietary blend of terpenes.
Alright, so I got the products and then planned on trying them one at a time over the span of 5 days to allow a full day between. Below are the ways I myself used to gauge how much CBD is in the products – I know a fair amount about the compound, so it’s easier for me to sort of “see” it if you know what I mean.
#1: Hit the Gym & Workout
Because I’ve spent the last 20 years working out in gyms in my own way it’s like second nature.
Any deviation is blatant, apparent. And I’ll be frank with you, typically I smoke marijuana beforehand. Okay…always. Yeah, I admit it, I do. Only one hit 97% of the time, micro-dosing, but heavy exertion naturally increases Anandamide (the body’s mimetic THC-like chemical – an endogenous cannabinoid) so it can cause a certain amount of anxiety for me when combined with adrenaline. I funnel this tension and adrenaline into my workouts to keep them fast-paced, challenging, and interesting mentally to avoid boredom or a sense of monotony.
On this particular Monday I plopped about a full dropper’s worth of the Anxiety Hemp CBD oil blend on my tongue – half in the early morning and half 3 or 4 hours later before my mid-day workout along with the micro-dose of sativa flower (Tangerine Dream – 26’ish%).
Here are the differences I noticed:
- Anxiety: Non-existent. None of the more what I call ‘background’ anxiety of being in the gym (and around all the attractive ladies *wink*), or the natural elements I experience from Anandamide + Marijuana + Adrenaline. This made the following part really neat.
- Energy: Totally serene, but able to exert. So weird! I just went through my sets in a much calmer, smoother fashion. Dare I say almost graceful… must’ve seemed so at home, rather than in a hurry and coursing with ‘furious energy.” The pump was definitely there though, as I was noticeably able to add on some extra sets, rather than getting burned out after the ol’ weights-then-cardio routine. I think it has a lot to do with the next point.
- Mentality: Okay, so, normally I’m the type of gym person that doesn’t look people in the eyes, and almost never, ever talks to others. I’m the guy wearing the hoodie up. It’s not that I don’t enjoy socializing, I’m just usually in my head/body concentrating (often fighting off anxiety if I smoked a strong sativa – more on this in #3 below) on my workout. Instead I was calm, relaxed, balanced. I found myself not looking at the ground; eyes up, hoodie down. No pacing. No fidgeting. My mind also wasn’t racing and time slowed to normal so it didn’t seem to go by so incredibly fast (hello ADHD applications!). During actual exertion, all the pressure and everything is similar, just without the same level of mental stress.
Note: Got a wildly popular article called “ADHD and CBD – How About the Hemp Option?” if you’re interested. Bookmark it for later if it’s relevant
Really interesting actually. As was my next experimental day, where I used a couple different substances to test the product’s ability to modulate anxiety/panic/furious energy – in other words CBD potency.
#2: Induce Panic – Coffee!
When it comes to coffee, I have a childishly low tolerance. Abysmally low. And should I venture beyond that threshold, it causes an eerie feeling, makes me pretty anxious. It also causes me to chat way too much! This means it’s perfect for testing the potency of CBD. To get serious I made a batch of what my old Marine brother’s would call Military Coffee. It’s not quite soup you can put a fork in or the sticky consistency of tar, but it’s FAR beyond what I can tolerate…
On day 3 I woke up, made an extra strong medium roast pot with trepidation, filled my big Christmas coffee mug and started guzzling. This was on an empty stomach folks, so within short order I was floating, buzzing around my apartment like Speedy Gonzales. Then I grabbed the tincture of hemp CBD oil Focus blend, shook it, and took about half a dropper’s worth.
- Fast Acting: This is the fascinating part, because of how natural and non-psychoactive CBD is, it’s really hard to see any transition. One minute I’m internally freaking out, then suddenly I realize I’m not and there was no point in time where a change was noticeable. The caffeine was still in my body, and I could FEEL it’s impact on my body, but the anxiousness was either gone or so muffled it didn’t cause any issue. This is EXACTLY what CBD is medically and anecdotally proven to do. In other words, caffeine caused certain chemicals to spike in my brain, which led to others spiking. The ECS then utilizes CBD and other cannabinoids (both plant-based or supplemental and endogenous) to better regulate or modulate these chemicals on the synaptic level so my mental experience doesn’t become so imbalanced.
- Long Lasting: Another transition I didn’t notice was when the caffeine ran its course. Hard to say how long that cup would’ve driven me crazy, but I assume it’s maybe three or four hours. While I don’t know when it began, this physical/mental balance stayed with me through the morning, my workout with a micro-dose of marijuana and into the afternoon.
This next test was how I knew beyond the shadow of doubt that CBD was still in my system many hours later.
#3: Use Strong Marijuana (THC)
Yeah, so I’ve been partaking in ganja for many moons. Never tried to mess with pharmaceuticals or hard drugs (outside a…umm…smidgen…of experimentation in high school!) – no offense, just sayin. Point here is marijuana’s something I know intimately well, along with my body’s reactions. Since 2012 and legalization in my state of WA I’ve learned so much, refined the type of flower I smoke, and how much.
Like with coffee, intaking a strong indica or raising THC levels beyond my deliberately low tolerance = ANXIETY: hypervigilance, heart beating like I’m on a battlefield, internal distress and defensive body language! Anxiety levels go up in intensity with the rise in THC. If it’s just a little too above ground, it’s not that bad, but if I accidently take a hit or two off the wrong joint/pipe…extremely unpleasant. It matters not if I’m 112% aware it’s just the THC and nothing’s wrong, because I can’t stop my brain from doing what it does.
So after my workout, checking emails, walking the dog, making dinner and eating I purposely smoked far too much of a strong sativa (wasn’t willing to try an indica) that I knew would cause significant anxiety.
We’re talking three puffs. For me that’s a ton lol.
- THC Regulation: Similar to caffeine, I could still feel the THC and the impacts within myself, they were just noticeably dampened. It’s hard to explain. But again, the CBD was lessening the synaptic impacts on ME to maintain neuro-chemical balance – which in my experience means a more stable and clear head. Like inside it’s still impacting my brain/body, but my mind [the part of me you’re interacting with right now] just doesn’t react as it normally would. Instead there’s balance, a calmness, and relaxed energy. CBD reduced the shallow 8.0 THC earthquake for me to a tolerable 3.0 with depth.
- Keep In Mind: If you enjoy THC psychoactivity, do NOT use these types of strong hemp CBD products during any day you plan on smoking, eating, vaping, or whatever your fancy. Seriously. Talk about buzz kill… for me, if I take a hemp CBD product in the morning, I can’t experience THC like normal until at least the next day or possibly two. Marijuana becomes completely useless to your surface consciousness; impotent. Might as well be oregano. This same exact thing happens to a marijuana crop (female) if any pollen from mature hemp plants (male) gets on them. It essentially destroys the THC potency along with the THC-dominate genetics! Thus why marijuana growers are nervous about industrial hemp farming once again becoming legalized in the the U.S. It’s going to force marijuana growers inside, and to double their efforts to ensure no pollen from hemp farms destroys their crops.
Remember, this was in the afternoon. I took my dropper’s worth of the hemp CBD oil on this day in the morning. Meaning the heightened levels of CBD were still in my system many hours later. Now let’s get to Friday when I kicked things up a notch using a couple other substances.
#4: Induce Light Withdrawals
I hate to admit it, but I’ve been struggling with nicotine addiction for a good chunk of time – addictive personality much? Ugh! It’s rough. I was never a heavy smoker, but what a pain in the @#$!!. Anyways, about a year and a half ago I switched to light vaping.
The addiction to nicotine is still present, just not the smoking. Now, CBD has been gaining steam as an anti-addiction tool many people anecdotally have been saying helps them with addictions in general – this includes opioid addiction where this year (2018) the DEA..yes the DEA…advised a dramatic increase in marijuana production to help combat the opioid crisis.
Here’s a snippet from a Forbes article summer 2018:
“…in a new Federal Register filing set to be published soon, the anti-drug agency [DEA] is moving to more than quintuple the amount of cannabis that can legally be grown in the U.S. for research purposes—from roughly 1,000 pounds in 2018 to more than 5,400 pounds next year.”
A tiny amount, sure, a step in the right direction nonetheless. But…THC isn’t the cannabinoid that’s helping folks with addictions. It’s CBD. This is backed by science.
So, on the morning of the third day I popped one of the hemp CBD oil soft gel capsules and put my little vaper contraption on its charger in another room. Then I waited to see how well the capsules would play referee with any withdrawal symptoms.
- Results: Same thing as coffee and marijuana where I can physically feel my body beginning to react to low levels of nicotine but mentally the experience is muffled, lessened, tempered. If I were going to tackle an addiction, CBD would help, which itself isn’t habit forming so that works out well.
#5: Drink (Not Too Much) Alcohol – Intoxication
I chose to test the hemp CBD oil with alcohol because alcohol is one thing that doesn’t tend to make people feel uncomfortable, quite the opposite. My curiosity begged to see how well it would modulate the effects. Now, I live in a hardcore beer town – meaning there’s like 20 local microbreweries within a few miles of my front door. Thus, over the last couple years living here I’ve become very attuned to my alcohol tolerance.
I wasn’t going for drunk, just a slight buzz with enough to mentally and physically feel it. Around 6pm I popped another capsule, went to the store and grabbed a pint of 7.5% from Pelican Brewing out of Oregon, which for me is a solid hour-long buzz where I get tipsy for only about 10-20 minutes then it fades rapidly and I’m left sort of tired and sluggish.
- Results: This time the modulation from the CBD was very pronounced. There’s no mistaking the effects of alcohol in your body language, tonality, state of mind, etc. Anyone that drinks knows exactly what I’m talking about. THC is more mental. Alcohol isn’t. With the CBD in my system, my mind was less impacted but not my body. I know it may sound odd, but I don’t yet know of a better way of stating it.
Overall, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind these products do in fact have whole plant hemp extracts. I experienced no bad side effects of any kind. In conclusion, it’s much easier for people dealing with a physical issue or serious psychological challenge to notice if there’s any difference after supplementing their ECS with hemp CBD oil, or full spectrum hemp extracts. For healthier folks without those, it’s more challenging. How would you do it?
Thanks for your time and your support of the American industrial hemp movement.