What You Need to Know About Inflammation

What is Inflammation?

Ever had a bug bite? A twisted ankle? Then you already know what inflammation feels like. The pain, heat, redness, and swelling are the classic signs that inflammation is happening. Under the surface, your body is ramping up its immune response and releasing a whole menagerie of cells and cell signals.

Whether it’s the surface of your skin, the gut, or blood vessels, whenever cells get damaged they send out a distress call. The first responders on-site are usually the neutrophils, immune cells that clean up debris, dead tissue, and microbes from whatever triggered the damage. The second line of immune cells, the macrophages, and phagocytes, then arrive to catch anything else that escaped the first wave. Blood vessels will dilate to speed up the process, bringing more fluids to the area and with it the redness, heat, swelling, and pain that is so common with inflammation. If all goes well, the trigger is dealt with and the acute inflammation response shuts down. The real damage occurs when the body can’t shut it down, leading to chronic inflammation.

What Causes It?

Our body is pretty much always dealing with acute inflammation as we stumble through the world and deal with everyday issues like sick coworkers or pulling a muscle at the gym. Chronic inflammation is a bit more insidious, simmering below the surface until it becomes problematic. Triggers of chronic inflammation can include stress, external pathogens (e.g., Lyme, Candida) that the body can’t remove, an autoimmune response due to a food sensitivity in which the body gets confused and starts attacking its own tissue or when areas of the body (e.g., arteries, gut lining) can’t fully repair due to damage. This last cause of chronic inflammation one is why so many have sworn off gluten to ease bloating, sluggishness, and stomach pain. 

How Can I Tell if I Have Inflammation?

While the acute response may have the whole red, heat, and swelling thing going on, chronic inflammation can be a bit harder to pinpoint. Often the inflammatory markers that are overloading and attacking the body lead to pain, fatigue, and lack of focus. For example, many who are affected by fibromyalgia (thought to be caused by inflammation in the brain) also experience “fibro fog,” which can cause headaches and a feeling of mental slowness. Skin rashes and outbreaks are fairly common with inflammation and often linked to poor digestion and absorption of nutrients. Not to mention that the hyper response of the immune cells can also lead to anxiety and insomnia, making you feel worse. It is also thought that stress can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, which can in turn heighten the effect each of the signs of inflammation we just outlined. 

The key is to support the body’s acute inflammatory response, which is ultimately healing, and prevent the chronic response from getting out of control by making smart lifestyle choices. 

What Can You Do About It?

Research shows that the best approach for dealing with chronic inflammation includes lifestyle, dietary and supplement strategies. Eliminating common inflammatory foods like dairy and gluten is a great place to start (though you should always consult with your doctor before doing so). If that doesn’t seem to help, add soy, corn, and eggs to the list (again, talk to your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes). At the same time, you can increase anti-inflammatory foods like berries, green leafy veggies such as kale and spinach, and healthy Omega 3-rich fats like fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocado. Decreasing stress and adding regular movement (e.g. yoga, walking) into your day certainly won’t hurt either.

Throwing supplements into the mix is also key. The research on CBD is extremely promising, not only in its effectiveness to reduce stress and support mental health, but to literally reduce the inflammatory markers that are wreaking havoc in the body. Prevention is the name of the game. Regular use of CBD has been shown to be supportive when taken internally daily, as well as supporting your body when used topically. 

So whether you choose to take a daily CBD capsule, oil,  or topically prevent acute flare-ups, do yourself a favor and stay ahead of the inflammation game.

 

References

How to Maintain Focus During Endless Virtual Meetings (and while WFH)

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many of us to working from home. At first, virtual meetings can be exciting and liberating (who doesn’t like not having to dress for work!?), but if you’re anything like us, the novelty has definitely worn off. There’s the challenge of setting a background, finding a flattering angle, and making sure you’ve located the mute button, let alone actively listening and contributing to the discussion at hand. If you’re one of the 50% of employees globally who regularly works outside the office for 2.5 or more days a week, video conferencing is not just the new normal, it’s often mundane. If you find that your focus and productivity often suffers, reboot your enthusiasm with these simple techniques. 

Why Working from Home is Different

The average employee spends 13 days a year in meetings. That’s almost two weeks of ‘Flagging up’, ‘Circling back’, and ‘Thinking outside the box’. Not surprisingly, enthusiasm and passion can wane. In fact, a study in the Harvard Business Review found that 71% of managers view meetings as unproductive. Having to work online from home rather than in the workplace, makes the relentless onslaught of meetings even more exhausting. The lack of structure at home – the change in dress code, rituals, and formalities – also takes some adjustment. Without that break between work and home, stress can even accumulate to the point where insomnia becomes an issue and impacts focus. 

How to Stay Focused While Working 

  1. Create an Office Environment – Many experienced mobile workers reclaim their schedule by ‘suiting up’ at home and dedicating a fixed area as their home office. Keep things tight and focused by sticking to a schedule, choosing a routine, and checking off tasks as they’re completed. The Pomodoro technique is a great way to boost productivity by breaking down work into 25-minute bursts (which is also great for parents who are juggling work, school, and entertaining the kids). 
  2. Beat the Afternoon Slump – The post-lunch or mid-afternoon slump that strikes in your workplace can hit especially hard while you’re working from home. If you’re working on the couch or sitting up in bed, your body is particularly primed for an unexpected nap. Stay alert with a round of stretches or yoga to keep you feeling revitalized, boosting your endocannabinoid system in the process. Rather than reaching for energy drinks or another coffee, you can stay alert and productive with a Focus Shot, which gives you a focus boost and helps you feel productive for hours without any jitters or side effects.
  3. Minimize Distractions – It might feel that joining a scheduled video call interrupts your flow, but it’s important to be fully present during conversations. That means using active listening to focus on clear, useful goals, and allowing each person time to finish speaking without interruption. It’s also a good idea to put away your smartphone, close down any open tabs, and switch off notifications because these are all potential distractions. When it comes to refreshments, think about what you would do in the office. Bringing a cup of coffee or a cookie to a virtual meeting shouldn’t be too distracting but showing up for a call with a bowl of hot wings might be taking the “work from home” approach a little too far. 
  4. Set an Agenda and Time Limit – If you’re the host of the meeting, help everyone maintain a sense of focus by limiting meeting participants where possible so that everyone can be actively involved. Set an agenda and a time limit so that each participant feels a sense of accomplishment as the meeting progresses. It can also help to open up the chat function of your virtual meeting platform to allow people to chime in with thoughts and questions that can be circled back without interrupting the flow of the conversation.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused the spotlight on working from home, but virtual conferencing is likely to be a permanent solution in the future as jobs become more mobile. The trick is to make working from home work for you, and that means staying productive. Try these simple tips and you could be the star of your next video call. 

Sources:

Locked in the House With Your Kids? Tips to Stay Sane

If you’re stressed about having the kids at home during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re definitely not alone. The sudden change in everyone’s routine has most people feeling anxious, stressed, isolated, and frustrated, to say the least. While social distancing and isolation can present a number of challenges to you and your family, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the most effective way to avoid spreading the virus and to return to life as usual at some point. While ensuring your family stays healthy — washing your hands, sanitizing surfaces, and wearing protective masks included — it’s important to remember life doesn’t have to just be about taking care of everyone else. Losing sight of your own self-care can bring on burnout, exhaustion, and even more stress.  

With that in mind, here are some easy tips to help you carve out some time to take care of yourself amidst the chaos of having everyone home all day, every day and bring you some much-needed relief. 

1. Try CBD for Stress Relief 

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of CBD for stress, sleep, relaxation, and tension relief through friends, social media or the news – and it can be a very useful resource for parents who want a quick and natural way to reduce their own stress. In a recent article, the New York Times reports that more and more stressed out parents are turning to CBD to help them relax; one parent divulged that she turns to CBD instead of a glass of wine, saying, “I’m less likely to scream and freak out that there’s, you know, hot pink Play-Doh smushed into the carpet.” While CBD is not intended as a replacement for medication (you should talk to your doctor about medications that can help), research has shown that CBD can have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

B GREAT’s CBD Stress Bundle is a beneficial, natural way to help alleviate tension and calm stress inside and out, especially when you feel like you just need a break for yourself. The Stress Relief set contains Hemp Oil and a Hemp Balm, both made from full-spectrum whole hemp grown to the highest standards here in the U.S. Hemp Oil can be taken twice a day by dropper to provide relaxation and calm. The Hemp Balm which also contains soothing lavender and eucalyptus oils can be rubbed on to sore, aching muscles to help soothe your skin. 

Bonus tip: If you want to support a tired mom and show her that you appreciate all she does, B GREAT’s CBD Stress Bundle also makes a fantastic gift. Even a massage with B GREAT’s Hemp Balm is a great way to help mom calm down and destress after she’s done taking care of everyone else all day. 

2. Take Information Breaks

It can be tempting to stay glued to your smartphone or TV screen during the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s a good idea to be informed, especially when it comes to what’s happening in your community, avoid information overload. Even the CDC has advised people to take breaks from watching, listening, and reading the news and accessing social media. Remember, there is a lot of sensationalistic reporting going on that can make you feel afraid and even more stressed. 

Also, limit your children’s exposure to upsetting news and social media – they may not understand what’s going on and can easily misinterpret things they read or hear online. Talk to them about the pandemic but reassure them that your family is doing everything it can to be safe. Having open and honest discussions as a family will decrease anxiety levels across the board, helping you feel a little bit saner in the process. 

3. Cultivate a Relaxation Routine

With the kids at home, you might feel like you have even less time for yourself than usual, making it harder to enjoy any “me” time. Try to find small ways to prioritize your mental and physical health throughout the day. Make sure to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, set aside some time to meditate (even five minutes is beneficial), and try some home yoga routines – you can find free sessions on YouTube that are short enough to squeeze in while the kids watch yet another episode of Paw Patrol.

4. Get Enough Sleep

During increased times of stress, it can be hard to unwind and let go after a busy day of taking care of your family. Try to stick to your usual sleep routine even if you’re not working or if you’re working from home. Dedicate some time to wind down each night to prepare your brain and your body for sleep. Take a warm bath, dim the lights at least 30 minutes before bed, and turn off electronic devices. If you have trouble easing into sleep B GREAT’s Relax Shot is can be a helpful way to destress and relieve occasional sleeplessness – it contains a proprietary mix of full-spectrum hemp as well as GABA, Melatonin, Ginkgo biloba, and soothing lavender water to encourage serenity and calm.

5. Connect with Others

Let’s face it – social distancing is not easy, even though it’s the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We are social beings, and we need contact with others or we will start to feel isolated, sad, stressed, and lonely. When your only day-to-day contact is with your immediate family, you can feel like your world has gotten really small. Staying in touch with extended family and friends through online video chat or phone calls on a regular basis is important. While it can be tempting to only talk about the coronavirus, try to make time for other topics as well by sharing funny stories about what your kids are doing or reminiscing about happier times.

And Finally…

Try to keep things in perspective. As difficult as it might be right now, realize that this situation won’t last forever. Although you can’t control external circumstances, you can control your reaction to them and decide how much you want them to affect you. Don’t feel guilty for taking time out for yourself whenever you feel like things are too much to handle – remember that by caring for yourself, you’ll be better able to care for your family. You’ve got this!

References

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/12/parenting/cbd-oil-safe.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/5-minutes-of-meditation-can-change-your-entire-day_b_7898176

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Just-Breathe-The-Importance-of-Meditation-Breaks-for-Kids.aspx

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/coronavirus-anxiety.htm

 

Why Can’t I Sleep at Night? Common Causes of Sleeplessness and Tips to Get Some Quality Shut-Eye

Everyone has difficulty sleeping from time to time, so if you feel like you’re tossing and turning all night, you’re not the only one. In fact, in a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans reported that their sleep problems affected their daily activities one or more days in a row. You might have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. If sleep is crucial for optimal functioning and well-being, then why are so many people lying awake at night? 

Reasons You Can’t Sleep

Sometimes, an inability to sleep may have to do with medical issues that should be checked by a doctor, but some of the more common non-medical reasons people can’t sleep include:

  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Tension
  • Poor sleep habits

Many people experience stress and worry on a regular basis, so it’s no wonder that sleep problems are so common. Tossing and turning because you’re ruminating or anticipating potential future events only fuels stress and exacerbates sleep disturbances. But it’s basically impossible to just turn off an overactive mind through willpower. You can’t force yourself to sleep, and trying will likely only make matters worse

So what can you do to increase your chances of catching some much-needed rest?

Establish Healthy Sleep Habits

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again: Your nighttime routine could be keeping you awake.  If you engage in stimulating activities before sleep, such as watching the news or checking social media, you don’t allow your brain a chance to disconnect from the outside world. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before bedtime to unwind. Dim the lights and turn off distracting devices, such as TV, smartphones and tablets. Make sure your sleep environment is dark and peaceful and ensure that you only use your bedroom for sleep and sex. If you have trouble sleeping after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room and do something low-key and calming, such as reading or listening to soothing music. 

Here are a few of the easiest relaxation techniques to try before bedtime:

Progressive Relaxation 

This is a useful yet simple technique to help induce relaxation. Lie on your bed and take a few deep breaths as you focus your mind on your bodily sensations. Starting with your feet, clench each major muscle group for a few seconds, then release, working your way up to your legs, your torso, your arms, and your head. You can also find guided progressive relaxation exercises on platforms like YouTube.

Visualization

Your imagination is more powerful than you might think. People who visualize being in their favorite peaceful place or picture themselves blissfully sleeping may have an easier time falling asleep. If you’re particularly worried about something, you might try visualizing that everything works out the way you want, instead of expecting the worst, which only intensifies tension and stress. While you can experience the benefits of visualization after as little as 10 minutes, it’s ideal if you can devote at least 20 minutes (or more) before bedtime to the following relaxation and visualization process. Lie down, relax your body using the progressive relaxation technique mentioned above, and then focus your mind on the situation that’s causing you worry. See yourself handling the situation confidently and competently. Imagine things working out and resolving in a positive and beneficial way. You’ll be catching restful zzz’s in no time.

Journaling

Before bedtime, some people find it helpful to write down their worries on a piece of paper or in a journal to help empty their minds and relax. Avoid using your computer, tablet or smartphone, as it can be too tempting to engage in online activities (and the blue light coming from your screen may trick your brain into feeling like it’s still daytime). As you write your list, tell yourself that you will address any problems or issues the next day when your mind is fresh and alert. 

Consider Natural Supplements

To give each of these behavioral techniques a boost, you may also want to add a natural sleep supplement into your bedtime routine. You can find many different artificial sleep aids in the drug store, but they can cause an unpleasant sleep hangover that can leave you with lingering drowsiness and grogginess. Nowadays, many people prefer to use sleep supplements that contain effective all-natural relaxants like CBD and melatonin. 

In fact, clinical research has shown that CBD can be an effective way to calm your nervous system, reduce stress, and ease tension. Incorporating a melatonin and CBD shot, like B GREAT’s Relax Shot (which combines both CBD and melatonin), into your bedtime routine can be a beneficial way to relax, de-stress, and take the edge off. More calm and less stressed means you may be able to more easily drift off into a restful night’s sleep.  

Additional Lifestyle Tips to Remember

Your daytime activities and general mindset can play important roles in your quality of sleep. For example, engaging in aerobic exercise (as long as it’s at least a few hours before bedtime) can help you sleep and increase wellbeing. Your daytime attitude can also be a factor — one study found that people who approached the day with an optimistic outlook had better quality of sleep. Try keeping a gratitude journal or cultivate a mindfulness practice; research has shown that these simple activities can promote a positive attitude and help reduce sleep problems. 

Final Thoughts

Sleep shouldn’t cause you more stress – it should be a time for your body and mind to rejuvenate, restore and repair. Adopting a healthy sleep routine, using supplements wisely, and ensuring that your body and mind can fully relax should help you get a better night’s sleep. However, if you continue to have persistent difficulty sleeping that affects your ability to function for more than 3 weeks, it’s advisable to consult your physician, just to be on the safe side, so they can rule out any potential underlying health concerns and provide you with further advice. 

References:

CBD and Coronavirus: De-Stressing in an Anxious Time

The sudden shifts in day-to-day life that come with surviving a global pandemic together often feel surreal — particularly the effects of social distancing, which can stir up feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. It’s important to remember, as communities like Taiwan and Singapore have proven, that social distance and self-quarantining can be extremely effective solutions for flattening an outbreak. But while that’s heartening, it doesn’t make these methods any less stressful. That stress, however, can be eased, particularly if you pay special attention to engaging in a little extra self-care outside of just washing your hands a lot (but definitely do that, too).

Stress and Your Health

At Psychology Today, Pamela B. Paresky, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago says, “Stress isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Depending on one’s interpretation of stressors, it can be motivating and energizing. But the stress of unexpected negative situations can be depleting.”

Stress, whether induced from isolation or otherwise, can be more than just emotionally depleting. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stress can lead to headaches and migraines, stomach issues, inflammation, cardiovascular complications, obesity, long-term mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and more.

Of particular note during the COVID-19 pandemic, stress can also have an adverse impact on the immune system. In a review of over 40 studies on the correlation, Current Opinion in Psychology concludes that “psychological stress has been linked empirically with dysregulation of facets of the human immune system.”

CBD as a De-Stressor

While CBD is not a replacement for traditional anxiety medication, “evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system,” reports The Permanente Journal in a 2019 study of 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep patterns. After CBD treatment, which was well tolerated in all but three patients, anxiety scores improved in roughly 79% of the study participants and sleep improved in about 67% within the first month.

Likewise, a review of 49 clinical, preclinical and epidemiological studies conducted by Neurotherapeutics finds that “existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder” and other stress-related issues. CBD works by interacting with protein-based receptors in the body, which are attached to your cells to receive various stimuli. The receptors that CBD is believed to interact with most are chiefly found in the central and peripheral nervous systems and may elevate serotonin levels (low serotonin, meanwhile, is associated with depression and anxiety). Similarly, research (such as that from Future Medical Chemistry) indicates that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. As inflammation can suppress immune response, this quality may help boost the immune system. 

In Your Routine

CBD is a great, natural way to help relieve stress. It’s non-addictive and it won’t get you high, meaning you can take it whenever you need to relieve a bit of tension. At B GREAT, we offer oil drops that you can put under your tongue or easy-to-take CBD capsules – and the calming effects can be felt in as little as 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the product and the individual.

If you’re looking into CBD for its calming qualities in particular, seek products that specifically cater to that need, as they’re often bolstered by additional ingredients that may help ease stressful feelings. For instance, B GREAT’s Relax Shot packs melatonin and ginkgo biloba in addition to full-spectrum, lab-tested whole hemp grown in the U.S.A., while our Hemp Capsules also feature MCT oil for sustained energy. To help stay relaxed all day, you can try taking the capsules (or a dropper of B GREAT Hemp Oil for faster results) as you begin your day, and then take the Relax Shot before bed to help you wind down and get a solid night’s sleep.

More Self-Care Techniques

Speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer in March 2020, psychotherapist Angelique Porter discussed self-care during self-quarantine, encouraging everyone to “distract yourself with an art activity, like coloring, painting, drawing, listening to music, or playing music if you play. Those distractions have been proven through research to reduce stress, which in turn can boost your immune system.” 

The CDC also offers some tips for getting through tough social isolation periods, like taking breaks from the news, practicing meditation and deep breathing, and using the extra time to boost your mind and your immunity with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. Ditch smoking and alcohol, but do video chat with your friends and family to feel more connected and vent your feelings – remember, it’s all about physical distancing, not social distancing.

References

What Can I Expect When I Take CBD?

By now, you’ve likely come across CBD at some point – and while it sounds interesting, perhaps you’re still not sure about what to expect in terms of how it will make you feel. Maybe you’re worried about feeling strange, or maybe you’re not sure about its safety or even how it works. With all the new information about CBD coming out since its federal legalization in 2018, it’s become more confusing to understand exactly what the experience of using it might be like for you.

In this post, we’ll break it all down, diving into what taking CBD means in terms of wellness, what to expect after trying it, and how to make sure it’s actually working. Read on!

What Does CBD Do?

The most frequent question first-time CBD users typically have is: Will it get me high? The straightforward answer is: No! Although CBD is often confused with its “sister” cannabinoid THC (the chemical in cannabis that does have psychoactive effects, which make you feel “high”), CBD has absolutely no psychoactive effects of its own. One of the effects that studies on CBD consistently reveal is that CBD gives its users a sense of mental clarity and calmer thinking.

According to studies published by Healthline, CBD oil can help people when they feel nervous or jittery as well as help those who feel blue or down, both in the long and shorter term. People also frequently turn to CBD as a natural alternative to help with physical pain or sleepless nights. It’s widely understood that all of these effects take place through CBD’s interaction with your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which helps keep things in balance (and, therefore, helps you feel your best).

What Does CBD Feel Like?

As we mentioned above, people who have taken CBD report the most common effect is an increased sense of calm, ease, and relaxation. WebMD notes that CBD’s calming effects are likely a result of the fact that, “cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function.” By preventing this breakdown, it is thought that CBD can help decrease perceptions of pain, increase mood, and boost overall mental function. Taking CBD is a bit like meditating – it can promote a sense of calm and reduce feelings of unease.

Furthermore, CBD has properties that can significantly help relieve physical pain. This is due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. As explained in a recent study, CBD has been found to have neuroprotective qualities that can help with inflammation by preserving the structure and function of your neurons so they can continue firing as they should. So if you’re looking to take CBD to help ease soreness, many kinds of topical balms and creams are available to apply directly to those areas that are aching and burning.

How Long Does It Take CBD Oil to Work?

If you’ve never tried CBD before, it might take a few times to feel its full effects before you figure out the amount and delivery mode that works best for you. A few factors are at play here: mainly your metabolism, weight, and your body’s ability to recognize CBD in your system and to allow it to work. In more formal terms, this process is called bioaccumulation. Essentially, it may take your body some time to build a response to the cannabinoid, sometimes up to a few weeks. However, some products are specially formulated to give you a more instantaneous effect: for example, the B GREAT Relax Shot is formulated with melatonin to help you get a better night’s sleep starting from the first time you take it.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the benefit of taking CBD continuously over time is that your body will become more responsive to its effects, so you can actually feel it for a longer time. Instead of taking CBD simply to address soreness for about 4 to 6 hours, you may experience relief all day.

The way in which you take CBD matters as well: studies show that ingesting CBD might take a bit longer for you to start to feel calmer or less tense (about one to two hours). On the other hand, if you take CBD oil via a tincture that you use to drop oil under your tongue, for example, your body skips the initial metabolization process and the CBD can enter the bloodstream more quickly.

If you’re ready to start your CBD journey, begin by thinking about what you’re looking for CBD to address, and choose a well-tested product that’s formulated to target your desired areas. Make sure that any products you purchase are transparent about their third-party lab testing and provide you with a COA (Certificate of Analysis) that shows exactly what is in the product. Then, pay attention to how you feel as you incorporate CBD into your routine, and adjust from there. 

Ready to B GREAT? Check out our line of products — which uses 100-percent full-spectrum hemp to help soothe tense muscles, calm your mind after a long day, hydrate your skin, and more. And if you want to find answers to other common CBD questions (like whether or not it will show up on a drug test), by checking out the article 6 of Your Most Common CBD Questions, Answered

References:

6 of Your Most Common CBD Questions, Answered

CBD’s move into the mainstream has been truly remarkable. However, despite its growing popularity – CBD is projected to be a $16 billion industry in the United States by 2025, according to The New York Times– a lot of confusion still exists about CBD oil and similar products. So don’t be discouraged if you’ve got a laundry list of questions about what CBD is and what it can do for you. If you’re a first-time CBD user, start by learning the basics and weeding out the myths so you can incorporate CBD into your routine with confidence. 

To help you get started, here are six of the most common FAQs about CBD, answered.

1. Can CBD Get You High?

No. CBD won’t make you high. 

This is a common assumption and a valid concern. CBD is one of hundreds of compounds in the hemp strain of the cannabis sativa plant. It’s not psychoactive, and therefore, it cannot get you high. Users of CBD don’t feel intoxicated in any way. A different compound found in the marijuana strain of the cannabis plant, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is psychoactive. Products that do contain THC can cause users to feel high. 

Depending on the laws in your state, commercially available products might contain CBD only, THC only or both. Consumers who want only CBD (and not THC) must be vigilant about the products they purchase to ensure the products contain a negligible amount (0.3 percent or less) of THC. B GREAT’s entire product line contains only 100 percent full-spectrum hemp, which is third-party lab tested and verified to contain less than 0.3 percent THC. We guarantee that none of our products will cause you to get high. 

2. Will CBD Make You Fail a Drug Test?

If you have an upcoming job interview or your employer often issues random drug tests, you may be worried that a CBD product could get you in trouble. Don’t be. 

According to independent publication CBD Central, CBD is highly unlikely to make you fail a drug test. Plus, tests for CBD are not a normal part of drug screening. Typical drug tests detect THC, so if you have consumed a CBD-only product with zero (or trace amounts of) THC and have not taken any other drugs, the chances of failing the test are extremely low. This is another reason it’s important to choose a CBD product from a trusted company. 

3. How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

No exact answer exists to the question of how long CBD stays in your system. 

The length of time varies, depending on how much CBD you’ve consumed, how frequently you’ve used it, and which mode of delivery you chose (for example, drops of oil under the tongue, a topical skin cream, or a drinkable shot will all move through your system differently). It also varies depending on your own body chemistry, particularly your body weight and metabolism. Even the experts disagree: Some say it stays in your system for three days, while others report it’s closer to six days or as long as a few weeks.

Know that the length of time CBD stays in your system is different from the amount of time you’ll usually feel its effects. Most CBD users feel the effects for around two to six hours, depending on the dosage. The way you take CBD – whether you use drops under your tongue, consume an edible, or apply topical lotion – all affect how quickly you feel its effects and how long they last. For example, users who take drops under the tongue experience typically feel the effects within 30 minutes, whereas it may take longer for those taking capsules, as they take more time for your stomach to digest. (Want to learn more? Check out our guide for What to Expect When You Take CBD.)

4. What Is the Difference Between Hemp and CBD?

The simplest answer here is that there is not much of a difference between products labeled “Hemp” and those labeled  “CBD.” 

Much of the confusion around CBD and hemp products is about the two different strains of the cannabis sativa plant – the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. These two plants are in the same family, but they’re not the same. The hemp plant, the source for B GREAT’s CBD products, contains high levels of CBD and other beneficial components, including vitamins, terpenes, ketones, and fatty acids. The hemp plant contains 0.3 percent or less of THC (the psychoactive ingredient that makes you high). The marijuana plant contains both CBD and high levels of THC.

B GREAT products are made from full-spectrum, non-GMO hemp grown in Kentucky and Tennessee. Our full-spectrum hemp products use the whole plant and include CBD plus a wide range of other nutrients, as opposed to products labeled “CBD isolate” which only include pure CBD without the other beneficial compounds. These components all work together to help your body metabolize CBD more efficiently. 

That said, There’s a big difference between CBD oil and regular hemp oil, aka hempseed oil, which is made from crushed hemp seeds. In recent years, CBD oil and hemp oil have been used interchangeably on labels (partially because of confusing and conflicting FDA regulations), so most products that include “hemp oil” on the label will give you all of the benefits of CBD. That said, hemp seed oil is essentially a cooking oil, and it doesn’t offer the wellness benefits of CBD oil. If a product is labeled “hempseed oil” it will likely not produce the calming effects of CBD that you’re looking for. 

5. What Does CBD Oil Taste Like?

CBD oil is usually diluted with a neutral-flavored carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Flavorless versions are just that, flavorless, and some consumers find them okay, while others do not. Some versions are flavored to make them more enjoyable, for example, with honey or citrus flavors. B GREAT’S RELAX and FOCUS shots are passion fruit flavor and are some of the best-tasting on the market. Consumers who choose CBD oils that don’t taste great can try to disguise the flavor by adding them to a juice or smoothie, but there’s no need for that with B GREAT products. Our citrus-flavored oil tastes delicious and is ready for immediate consumption, no blender required!

6. Is CBD Legal in My State?

Yes! CBD is legal in all 50 states. 

That said, know that in states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, some CBD products also contain THC. So be sure to read all labels and product descriptions carefully. Note that because CBD is considered a supplement rather than a medication, it’s not regulated by the FDA. This is another reason to stay vigilant about the source of your CBD products. Always choose CBD products – like B GREAT products – that contain less than 0.3% THC (the legal limit), are third-party tested for quality and accuracy of ingredients, and manufactured in FDA-registered facilities. 

References

Why CBD Works: Introducing Your Body’s Endocannabinoid System

By now you’ve likely heard of CBD and the multitude of benefits it has for health and wellbeing. It’s in everything from pain cream to after-shave lotion, and for good reason. The natural cannabinoids found in high-quality CBD products are hard to beat for supporting the nervous system and reducing aches

But with all the hype, we have to ask ourselves, “How exactly does CBD work?” 

Enter the endocannabinoid system or ECS. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Despite having evolved in vertebrates more than 500 million years ago, the ECS wasn’t discovered in humans until the 1990s when scientists identified a “new” signaling molecule functioning behind-the-scenes called an endocannabinoid. 

These natural, cannabis-like molecules, which we call cannabinoids, are made on-demand from lipids in our cell membranes and function as messengers all throughout the body. Super versatile, cannabinoids have the ability to bind to everything from skin and muscle cells to the immune system, GI, nervous tissue, and even the heart and brain. That means the ECS  plays a role in learning and memory, eating, sleeping, emotions, and our protective mechanisms. So not only can the ECS support well-being, but the perception of well-being, as well.

The Role of CBD

How does CBD fit in? While our bodies produce natural cannabinoid molecules, recent research has linked many chronic diseases with endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome. Essentially, the body may produce fewer natural endocannabinoids due to stress, diet, or other lifestyle factors. CBD can help fill in the gaps by literally binding to cannabinoid receptor sites such as CB1 and CB2 receptors found all throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, shifting the body back into balance for a host of health benefits.

Choosing the Right Product

So maybe CBD does live up to the hype. Even so, it’s hard to know what kind of product to choose.

Topical vs. ingestible? Broad-spectrum vs. full-spectrum? The key is to look at your particular goal. 

Since CB1 receptors are most concentrated in the brain, research has shown that the ingestion of CBD products can be particularly beneficial to the nervous system, GI, and endocrine system. CB2 receptors are particularly concentrated in the skin and smooth muscle, so topical applications may be beneficial for soreness or irritation. Either way, new research is showing that full-spectrum products that contain not just CBD, but also a variety of terpenes, fatty acids, and other phytonutrients, are more effective than CBD isolate products. Plants hold a variety of phytonutrients that can help incorporation into the body, and taking out the supporting characters just makes for a less effective product. That’s why here at B GREAT we are committed to producing all of our products using full-spectrum CBD that adheres to a rigorous 5-star standard.

As one of our lesser-known and lesser-appreciated systems in the body, it’s no wonder there’s still a lot of confusion around the endocannabinoid system. But as this behind-the-scenes player interacts and underlies all the other systems in the body, clearly supporting the endocannabinoid system’s function plays an important role in health and wellbeing. 

Ready to give CBD a try? Check out B GREAT’s selection of products, all designed to help you feel great, look great, and be the best version of yourself. 

References

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