With the increasing pace and stress of modern life, starkly felt during the recent unprecedented chaos of the global Coronavirus pandemic, many people are turning to natural and therapeutic ways of relieving anxiety and promoting overall wellbeing – including the addition of various CBD products to their existing self-care routines.
CBD is enjoying a meteoric rise to popularity as more and more consumers discover its broad and wide-reaching therapeutic effects. It can be found in many high street and online stores in numerous forms including oral drops, nasal sprays, vape oils, candles, creams, tampons and even bath bombs. But what is CBD anyway? And should you include a sparkling CBD bath bomb next time you get a moment to hop in the tub?
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is one of the main components of cannabis, but by itself, it won’t give a sense of euphoria or produce a ‘high’. This is the work of THC – another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, more typically associated with strains derived from marijuana and smoked for mind-altering effects. CBD oil is derived from the hemp strain of cannabis and has high CBD levels with low levels of THC. Legal CBD products either have zero or negligible levels of THC, though CBD sale and use in general remains somewhat of a legal grey area.
The body produces endocannabinoids as part of the complex endocannabinoid system, an infrastructure of receptors and enzymes that help to regulate the body and keep it in a state of homeostasis. With receptors present in the nervous system, immune system and most major organs, this existing system is what allows our bodies to interact with the CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids found in cannabis.
CBD is non-intoxicating and has become known for its therapeutic and healing effects. Whilst there is a lot we still don’t know, and much more research needs to be conducted into the efficacy and application of CBD, studies undertaken so far have indicated promising results on the effectiveness of CBD in improving epileptic seizures, chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety.
You’ve probably seen these terms on bottles of CBD oil and similar products, but do you know what they mean? Knowing the difference between these oils will help you to establish which product is best for you. There are a few different types of CBD available, and which you should use is a personal choice, which may come down to individual preference, lifestyle, finances and accessibility.
- CBD isolate. Exactly what it says on the tin – this is a product that contains just CBD, and no other cannabinoids.
- Full-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains all naturally occurring cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other beneficial components, including CBD and THC. Most full-spectrum products still only include legal levels of THC (<1mg in the UK.)
- Broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD again contains all the natural cannabinoids found in the plant but no detectable levels of THC, which will have been removed.
The most popular types of CBD in the UK are full and broad-spectrum products, due to belief in the entourage effect. Whilst not yet has proven this is the understanding that the therapeutic effects of CBD are at their highest potential when working in collaboration with other phytocannabinoids found in the plant. In a study authored by a leading pharmacologist and neurologist, the potential synergy found between numerous cannabis compounds is explained in-depth and suggests a promising application for myriad combinations. As consumer focus on CBD grows, this is likely to be an area of increased research-based attention in the years to come.
There are different types of CBD infused products available, which are all used in different ways, and enter the body via varying means. Whilst all methods of using CBD are broadly tolerated, it is important to note that the rate of absorption and bioavailability can differ between individuals due to variables such as weight, and metabolism, so any information provided on a product is a guideline.
As there are no official dosing regulations in place, it is always recommended that you start with a lower dose when you first start using CBD, and gradually increase your dose if you wish, whilst keeping an eye on your symptoms and tolerance. Here are the most common ways to take CBD:
- CBD oils, tinctures and oral sprays are swallowed or more commonly placed under the tongue for absorption via the oromucosal lining of the mouth to experience effects faster;
- CBD edibles or tablets are swallowed and absorbed via the digestive system after ingesting, which usually takes time before it can be absorbed into your bloodstream;
- CBD vape liquids are inhaled and very quickly enter the bloodstream via the lungs, which results in an almost immediate positive effect;
- Topical CBD products are typically applied to the skin and provide localised relief due to penetration through the skin layers.
Using a CBD bath bomb is an easy way to add a relaxing treat into your self-care routine. Users of CBD bath bombs often report feeling calmer and enjoying better sleep afterwards. At the same time, the active components can help to relieve aching muscles, reduce the body tension, skin issues or any inflammation you may be experiencing. Many are also infused with essential oils to add a pleasant scent during your relaxing soak in a bath tube and leave your skin feeling hydrated and soothed.
Simply fill up your bathtub, throw in a CBD bath bomb, let it dissolve into the water and let the stress melt away in the colourful fizz! Really, it’s that simple, but how effective.