When many hear the name cannabidiol (CBD), they think of getting a “high”, “stoned” or otherwise becoming intoxicated and immediately dismiss the therapeutic effects it may offer. Let’s debunk this myth right from the start. It is not cannabidiol that causes these intoxicated states, but rather its close cousin tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. CBD and THC behave differently and act on different receptors in the body, therefore you do not experience an altered state of mind when taking CBD. Its therapeutic qualities, combined with its safety and ease of use make
What is CBD and Where Does It Come From?
CBD is derived from the cannabis plant. The strain of cannabis plant designated for CBD oil production has been specially bred to contain less than 0.3% THC. Plants that fall below this level of THC are referred to as hemp plants. Once the plants have reached the ideal level of maturity, they are harvested. In some states, each crop must be tested to make sure they don’t exceed 0.3% THC before harvest. The harvest is hung in a ventilated barn for three to four weeks to air-dry. Once cured, the flowers (part of the plant where CBD is located) are sent to a processing facility, where they undergo the extraction process.
Once the oil has been extracted and tested, it is ready for use as the main ingredient in a variety of natural remedy products. Look for quality CBD that is processed using cold extraction when purchasing. It should be free from chemicals and have certifications demonstrating that it comes from a nonGMO batch that is free from heavy metals and pesticides.
What Are Endocannabinoids and What Do I Need to Know About It?
Endocannabinoids are specific molecules that seek out and bind to cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. Currently, there are over 180 known cannabinoids that have been identified and research is ongoing to discover more. They are part of a class of natural compounds that work together synergistically to enhance what is known as the ‘Entourage effect.’
It is important to note that full-spectrum products contain THC, but broad-spectrum products do not contain THC. Many believe that full-spectrum products work better than CBD alone. This due to the fact that too much CBD will oversaturate the receptors. However, broad-spectrum CBD products do not cause negative side effects when they are consumed in high doses.
Research shows that THC has negative effects on dogs when consumed in high dosages. For this reason, it is recommended to only use broad-spectrum products for pets, avoiding full spectrum altogether. Similarly, the long-term effect of THC on the developing brain has not been determined, thus unless directed by an experienced medical practitioner, it is best to use pure CBD isolate or broad spectrum when given to children.
How Does CBD Work?
Endocannabinoid systems exist naturally throughout the human body. Your body naturally produces endocannabinoids and therefore has two receptors for cannabinoids to attach to. They are called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Although CB1 receptors are found throughout the body, they are mainly located in the brain. CB1 receptors affect the movement and coordination of the body. They also have an effect on physiological states such as emotions, memories, and mood.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors are located primarily in the immune system and have an effect on immune function, specifically inflammation and pain in the body.
CBD does not directly attach to CB1 and CB2 receptors but instead balance the homeostasis of the body’s endocannabinoid system. They promote and replenish the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids and encourage them to attach to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The result is a myriad of natural health benefits to the user.
Benefits of Using Endocannabinoids
Now that you understand where CBD is derived from and how it works in the body, let’s talk about the benefits of using it to address a variety of ailments.
Temporary Reduction From Pain
CBD oil promotes the body’s endocannabinoids to interact with the CB2 receptors, which have an effect on the inflammation in the body. This means users may temporarily experience a reduction in inflammation which directly translates into a reduction from chronic pain in the body.
Ease the Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression is an inward daily struggle for many that can’t be seen on the outside. Treatment with the use of medications can cause unwanted, nasty side effects. The ability of CBD to ease anxiety and depression in individuals is related to its ability to interact with the receptors that control serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that has an effect on an individual’s mood and emotional state.
Insomnia or the inability to sleep is a common problem among Americans. Some data show that the use of endocannabinoid can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can be due to cannabinoids homeostasis to relax the mind and body by easing anxiety and relieving pain, which is two of the most common reasons people are unable to get a good night’s rest.
Treatment of Autism
Autism is a developmental disorder that can range from very mild to very severe. Those who are diagnosed with autism suffer from some level of impaired communications and social skills. According to the CDC, 1 in 59 children will be diagnosed with autism. Boys are much more likely than girls to be diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Studies show that CBD is a potential alternative for individuals that fall onto the autism spectrum.
Relieve Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating and progressive neurodegenerative disease for which there is no known cure. Research shows that endocannabinoids may be beneficial to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the inflammation on the brain and cell damage in the brain, which in turn temporarily minimize the progression.
Ease Symptoms Related to Cancer
Nausea and vomiting are two of the most common and unpleasant side-effects of chemotherapy used in cancer patients. CBD has been shown to be effective in providing relief from these two symptoms as well as increasing the overall comfort level of those who suffer from the side-effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Studies show that it has been used effectively to alleviate pain during cancer treatment.
The health benefits of CBD seem to spread wide and far with new benefits being discovered on a regular basis. Over 2,000 published medical studies have been conducted on potential beneficial effects of CBD on neurologic conditions, ADHD, antipsychotic properties, skin care, PTSD, and veterinary applications.
How To Use CBD
CBD is most commonly taken orally by users with a couple of different options for ingestion. Individuals who are looking for the fastest absorption method that delivers the strongest effect, then placing the recommended amount directly on or under the tongue is the best method. The CBD oil is absorbed by the mouth and digestive tract delivering health benefits to the user quickly. If you prefer a more subtle approach. CBD can be incorporated into baked goods or beverages such as smoothies.
CBD oil can also be incorporated into lotions and soaps, which are then applied to the body and absorbed through the skin. The method you choose depends on your overall goal and personal preferences when it comes to CBD.
Choose Only the Highest Quality Products to Put In Your Body
MD understands that your health is important to you. Taking several medications that are a trade-off between offering relief for certain conditions while paying the cost of unwanted side effects is not appealing. CBD is an effective natural alternative in many circumstances. You pay attention to the foods you consume and what you put in your body. It’s only natural that you only want the best products made from the highest-quality ingredients. Visit our website and stay up to date with the latest information and our newest products by signing up today!
Ever since wearable fitness trackers came out, this has been a debate. Is a fitness tracker necessary if you have a smartphone with a fitness app installed? The answer is it depends. Specifically, on these three things:
How you plan to use it: Unless you have your smartphone with you all day long, including bouncing up and down in your pocket when you are out running, it will not record steps. With a wearable fitness tracker, like any in the Fitbit® line, each move is tracked and counted. Just synch once a day with your smartphone to see all the data it collected during the day.
Another disadvantage of using your smartphone to track fitness is battery life. With a fitness app running in the background, the life of a battery charge is severely shortened. With most FitBit® devices, they can go four or five days between charges.
Where you plan to use it: Most smartphones are not waterproof, so taking them in the pool (plus where would you keep it!) is not a viable option. The new FitBit® Flex 2 is fully waterproof down to 30 feet, so it records activity while even exercising in the pool. Most serious joggers do not carry their smartphone with them while out running, so if using just a smartphone app, their running steps would not be captured. Wrist-worn FitBit® fitness trackers capture each step taken so you get an accurate picture of your fitness activity for the day.
What you want to track: Two common measurements people are now tracking are heart rate and sleep, both of which are not trackable using most smartphones. However three models in the Fitbit® line track this data (Charge 2, Blaze and Surge)
Heart Rate – Monitoring heart rate is important as you want to get your heart rate up into the target heart rate zone (220 – age times 70% to 80%) for maximum fitness benefit while at the same time not overworking your heart. The PurePulse® feature on all three models noted above not only heart rate but also heart rate zones so you can see the benefit you are getting at a certain heart rate.
Sleep Monitoring – Not only will these trackers tell you how long you slept but also how well by tracking how many times you were awake and or restless. You can even set a wake-up alarm that will vibrate on your wrist when it is time to get up.
While smartphones can do some of the same things as wrist-worn fitness trackers, they usually cannot do them as efficiently or as comfortably. The best combination is to use both – track data with a FitBit®, and analyze the downloaded data in the FitBit® app on your smartphone.
It’s been proven many times over that exercising can help you look and feel younger, but exactly what kind of exercises should you be doing? Broken down into two broad categories, it should be a mix of cardio and strength training.
Doing anything that raises your heart rate qualifies as cardio training. So whether you ride a bike, walk, jog, play tennis or swim laps, all of it gets your blood flowing faster. This gets more oxygen to your cells and more carbon dioxide out.
In a study done at McMaster University in Ontario Canada, researchers had one group of mice run in a wheel while the other group did nothing for exercise. What they found in the group that exercised is that every aspect of their health and appearance improved versus the control group that did nothing.
But that was only part of the story; they also found that the control group’s fur started graying and balding. In the group that exercised, their fur did not gray, nor did they experience balding.
In another study – this time on humans -the doctor then took another skin sample from each and did a comparison study after 3 months of exercise. Importance of exercise was demonstrated in a published study by the National Institute of Health linking skin health to exercise and diet. What he found was the group that exercised had improved skin; both their inner and outer layers had significantly improved. So much so that he concluded their skin was of the same age as a 40-year old.
As we age, we lose bone density, muscle mass, and tone. By using light weights or resistance bands, but doing many repetitions, you can slow the loss of bone, keep muscle tone and maintain mass. Heck, you can even build muscle mass after age 65 with the right program!
The second aspect of looking and feeling younger is eating the right foods. Stay away from fast and processed foods, and diet soda.
Instead, focus on eating lean meats and fish, whole grains, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Each of these foods adds something special to your diet, so to have a complete nutrient plan you need some from each group.
The other half of eating right is portion control. As we get older, our metabolism starts to slow down, so we don’t need as much food as we once did to maintain our current weight. Read labels to see how much a portion really is as packaging can leading you into eating more than one serving.
Doing cardio, strength training and eating right is as close to the fountain of youth as anything we have. Exercising on a consistent basis not only increases endurance and stamina, but it improves muscle tone and skin. With exercise and healthy eating, you’ll look years younger than you really are, have more energy and in general feel better and have a more youthful outlook on life.
A big step toward eating better lunches can be to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. There are several powerful vegetables one can add to improve your health according to WebMD. Here are hints on how:
- Add fruit and nuts to salad; top with a low-fat dressing.
- Add chopped tomatoes, pineapple or avocado to tuna and chicken salad.
- Create fruit skewers with sliced pineapple, cantaloupe or bananas dipped in lemon juice and toothpicks. Pack low-fat yogurt for dipping.
- Spread peanut butter over a whole grain tortilla; top with crushed whole grain cereal and a whole banana. Roll up and enjoy.
- Serve a delicious pineapple salsa with leftover grilled chicken, pork or as a healthy dip with fresh veggies and low-fat chips. Combine chopped fresh pineapple, red and green bell peppers, sweet onion slivers, lemon juice, fresh cilantro and one seeded finely chopped jalapeño. Each serving provides a boost of vitamins C and A.
- Stir in canned beans and fresh chopped tomatoes to low-sodium canned soup for a heartier lunch.
- Tomato and part-skim mozzarella chunks drizzled with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is always a hit.
- Stuff whole grain pita with veggies and beans or fruits and nuts. Top with low-fat yogurt.
- Mix chopped tomatoes and herbs with cottage cheese for a dose of calcium, vitamin C and fiber or add chopped pineapple and banana to cottage cheese for a naturally sweet after-lunch treat.
Another cold and flu season has arrived, and it’s nearly impossible not to be affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults have an average of two to three colds a year, and children have even more. And when one family member catches a cold, it’s likely the rest of the family will follow suit.
While there’s no universal cure for a cold, there are ways to help you feel comforted while you’re sick. Put on your softest PJs, snuggle under the covers and read these tips for staying comfortable this cold and flu season:
- Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth, warm apple juice or warm lemon water with honey can help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can further dehydrate you when you’re sick.
- Soothe a sore nose. Noses can turn sore and red from tissue blowing, so use a soft, soothing tissue. Those with aloe may feel especially gentle. Don’t use pre-moistened wipes like diaper wipes or ones for removing makeup, as they contain fragrance, detergents, or other chemicals that may further irritate cracked, dry skin,
- Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can ease your aches and pains. If your head hurts, dimming the lights and placing a cool gel mask over your eyes can be extremely relaxing. And if you are feeling chilled, try snuggling with a heated blanket.
- If you have a sore throat, try ice chips, sore throat sprays, or lozenges, to soothe your sore throat pain. And don’t forget the ultimate comfort food for colds—chicken soup—which can help ease sore throat pain. Tea with honey is another good option.
- Try to keep your mind off being sick with family board games, playing cards, coloring books, crossword puzzles and the like. Watch your favorite movie or show, or listen to soothing music.
- Another way to pass the time is to take a relaxing bath. Add some Epsom salts to help with body aches and lavender oil to feel more calm and tranquil.
- Lastly, be sure to get plenty of rest. While eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep for most each night, go to bed even earlier when you’re sick, and be sure to nap throughout the day. Soft cotton sheets will help your body breathe more in bed, especially if you have a fever.
How To Protect Yourself From Future Colds
While most people recover from a cold within 7 to 10 days, it can spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact, such as shaking hands, or touching infected surfaces, like door handles or sink faucets.
Here are some tips to avoid catching a cold, whether it’s your first time or third:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Take zinc supplement to boost your immune system.