CBD oil is a hot topic and a huge buzz word at the moment. Perhaps like you, I was both curious and confused! I had so many questions related to how CBD can support my own personal health and well-being. There is a lot of conflicting information out there that can make it really challenging to sift through!
That's why I was so grateful I was able to spend some time discussing CBD with Dr. Mark Lindholm, a Chiropractic Doctor, author and CBD science expert.
The material we covered will hopefully answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you need to explore using CBD as a way to achieve optimal health.
How Mark’s CBD journey began
A few years ago, Mark had a serious wrist injury that would not go away. As a Chiropractor for over 25 years, this injury could spell disaster for his career. This was truly an unwelcome problem that caused Mark a lot of stress and worry.
“This was a painful injury but it also was an emotionally stressful one because I was really worried I might not be able to work anymore.”
The idea of losing his career was not an option.
He tried many therapies like cold laser treatment, essential oils, chiropractic, anti-inflammatories and massage. And nothing helped, in fact the problem got worse.
He was desperate for a solution.
So, he decided it was time to try a CBD product. He experienced a drastic improvement and over the course of a month, he was able to rehab the injury with amazing results.
“Out of desperation I tried a CBD product, and within 2 days the pain was about 80% better. It was a dramatic change.”
He was now convinced of the benefits of CBD and decided to dig into the information that was available. After a year of investigation and research, he became deeply knowledgeable in the benefits of CBD. Mark realized it was something he wanted to offer his patients. This led him to write the book, “A Doctor’s Perspective on CBD: Science, Success Stories and Changed Lives.”
A CBD terminology lesson
Hemp. Marijuana. CBD. THC. I know, these terms can be confusing. Just bear with me as we are about to get super scientific!
Hemp is the parent plant that has been around for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, with records going back as far back as 6000 years. It was used medicinally as an extract even back then in various cultures around the globe.
Marijuana is a hybridized version of hemp. But what does this mean exactly?
To try and understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, imagine you are driving by a large corn field. It would be very hard to tell the difference between sweet corn, popcorn and field corn. They are all corn but very different.
Hemp is the parent plant and marijuana has been hybridized (or cross-bred) to hold different characteristics. Just like the different types of corn.
In the hemp plant, there are 2 main compounds: CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol and THC which stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol.
THC is the psychoactive part of the hemp plant. The marijuana plant has been bred to produce much higher levels of THC for the purpose of recreational use.
It’s important to know that, to be considered legal in the USA, CBD can only have 0.3% THC or less. If it has more than 0.3% THC then it’s considered marijuana. You can get pure forms of CBD that contain 0.0% THC.
You will also hear the term full spectrum oil. This means that the oil will contain all of the components of hemp because of their additional benefits. Full spectrum holds at least 60 different types of cannabinoids. And there are all sorts of beneficial parts of hemp besides CBD, including terpenes, flavonoids, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6. All of these combined makes a full spectrum hemp oil.
We can’t talk about CBD without talking about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Prepare yourself for another science lesson!
If you are uncertain about taking CBD or other cannabinol products, the reality is that you are already producing cannabinoids in your own body!
This system is relatively new to the medical community and was only discovered in the 1990’s.
Basically, it is a critical biological system that is responsible for keeping your body in homeostasis or balance. It helps to regulate pain, appetite, sensation, inflammation, mood and stress response. It is the master controller of balance in your body.
Cannabinoids are the active compounds in the cannabis plant. But we also have cannabinoids in our own body, called endocannabinoids.
Within the ECS system, these endocannabinoid receptors are found in the brain and nervous system (CB1 receptor) and in the immune system (CB2 receptor.) And every system in our body has these receptors.
When you take a CBD product, the CBD molecule binds to these receptors and activates them, which assists in this balancing effect. And that is why many people experience additional positive side effects because of the effect it has on so many of the systems in our body.
For example, a patient may take CBD oil for chronic pain but find that their anxiety has improved.
In Dr. Lindholm’s practice he witnessed this balancing effect in his patients who were taking CBD products.
“It improved their health and they were able to take less medication.”
Some studies have shown that 50% of people that take a CBD product are able to diminish or discontinue medication.
There is still so much to be understood about the ECS system and we are just on the horizon of this new yet important field of study.
Is CBD Safe?
According to Dr. Lindholm, a full spectrum hemp oil is safe to use.
“It is so safe. It is safer than Vitamin D. Because our body naturally produces these compounds.”
You won’t become addicted to hemp oil and CBD. But this is not the case for THC and marijuana products.
The World Health Organization has looked into the potentially harmful effects of CBD and they declared it does not appear to have abuse potential or to cause harm. In fact, there are cases where it actually helps people to detox off their addictions to other medications, such as opioids.
As recently as last year, the FDA approved a CBD medication called Epidiolex to treat children with a rare form of epilepsy.
4 things to consider when buying a CBD product
As a general rule of thumb, always make sure that the producer you buy from has GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification and 3rd party testing. They should also be certified by the US Hemp Authority.
Some other things to consider:
- The CBD product should be a categorized as a full spectrum hemp oil.
- Make sure the CBD or hemp is organic. Finding a USDA Certified organic product, preferably from domestic hemp (not imported hemp) is highly recommended.
- THC levels
- Absorption levels
As mentioned before, to be legal, a CBD product can have THC levels of 0.3% or less. The only way you can know this for sure is if the product has gone through 3rd party testing. Otherwise, quality control is limited and actual levels of THC may be uncertain.
Many companies will market the different levels of strength of the CBD, for example, regular strength or 1000 mg of CBD. The important thing is not the strength or dose, but actually what your body absorbs.
Just as oil and water don’t mix well, your body doesn’t absorb oil well either. Most hemp oils are only absorbed at about 3 to 6%! This means that most of the CBD you consume (between 94 and 97%) will never be used by your body! And depending on how much you spend, it may not be cost effective.
If you buy a bottle with higher rates of absorption, let’s say 80%, now you are getting value for your dollar. It also means you can consume less amounts, less frequently with higher effectiveness.
The benefits of CBD oil
CBD is essentially a plant based product that has many benefits to the body. In Dr. Lindholm’s book, he covers many of these benefits.
Because CBD is a supplement and not a drug, Dr. Lindholm is not making any medical claims that it treats different conditions. His book is an in-depth look into all the medical literature and research that demonstrates how CBD has been of benefit to certain conditions.
Some of the benefits that he mentions in his book include:
- Reduction of swelling and inflammation for things like IBS, Crohn's disease, joint pain, arthritis, skin irritations
- Pain reduction
- Balancing mood and other mental health issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD
- Blood sugar levels.
There are also many studies being done on how CBD can be used to treat cancer - from breast cancer to pancreatic and prostate cancer. (Mark dedicates an entire chapter to this topic alone in his book!)
Want to explore CBD a little further?
If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend Mark’s book and you can purchase it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
If you are interested in trying a CBD product then Mark recommends a company called Zilis.
It has everything Mark looks for in hemp products. It’s sourced from USDA Certified Organic hemp, it is 3rd party tested, has 0.0% THC levels, and has very high absorption rates.
A final thought from Dr. Mark:
“I believe in the next 10 years that 99% of Americans will be using a high-quality CBD product or full spectrum oil product. I think it will revolutionize healthcare.”
Well, that’s a statement to end with! There is so much potential in this area and it is truly exciting to see how CBD will change the future of healthcare and treatment options.
You can watch a short trailer for this episode below:
The Toxin Terminator