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What you need to know about CBD and mental health

Written by Laura Yee 

Most people suffer from stress, anxiety, depression or PTSD at one time or another. Just look at the proliferation of CBD products offering relief. Someone is buying all these pills, oils and gummies.

But do they actually work? Does science to back up the claims? How do you choose the best product?

1. Consider the research

Fortunately, consumers can expect better guidelines in the years ahead. Just as the interest in CBD has exploded in recent years, so has research. Past studies supporting CBD benefits have been small. But approval of the federal 2018 Farm Bill, which essentially legalized CBD hemp, has paved the way for larger studies. Countless types of research, from epidemiological to double-blind studies with stricter protocols, are in the works.

Last year, researchers analyzed 23 studies to determine the effectiveness of full-spectrum (whole plant) cannabis and found that CBD-containing compounds “were helpful in alleviating psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment in patients with a variety of conditions.” They included schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder and ADHD. Evidence to support efficacy for insomnia, anxiety, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder was not as strong but researchers were quick to note that larger scale studies need to be done.

Here’s the thing about this type of study. It’s basically gathering existing data and the results are only as substantial as the study itself. In other words, the studies consist of limited participants. The long and short of it: studies to date support anecdotal evidence. Approach CBD with eyes wide open.

2. Choose reputable products

Look at CBD labels the way you would for food labels before purchasing quality products. Does it list all the ingredients? Is it organic? Is the product certified by reputable organizations?

For CBD products, a Certificate of Analysis is crucial. A COA will tell you exactly is in the product—it’s full transparency.

3. Choose the product that best meets your objective

Are you taking CBD for overall good health or are you looking for help with an ongoing condition? Whether it’s palliative or a problem that pops up occasionally (sports injury or occasional insomnia), the delivery of CBD matters. A pill will take longer than a tincture (typically CBD oil) because it takes longer to reach the blood steam. A tincture will be quicker if you take it sublingually (under your tongue). CBD oil is not water soluble but if you find one that is, and has high bioavailability (works faster), relief would be quicker.

4. Remember that not all CBD is created equal

All products with hemp CBD is legal and can be purchased online or in stores versus CBD from cannabis that can only be purchased at dispensaries and in states where cannabis is recreationally and medically legal.

You’ll see terms like isolate and full-spectrum as well as varying amounts of CBD that might be as low as 100 or as high as 2000. Massive difference, right? Look at whether the amount is per bottle or per serving and don’t fall for the more is better syndrome. Water soluble CBD with high bioavailability can be more effective at 2.3 mg of CBD per serving than 2000 that’s not.

If this information has your head spinning, you’re not alone. The net net of it all is CBD is worth trying for mental health. You just have to proceed with caution and common sense. 


This post was written by Laura Yee with Blend Your Health for Red Belly Honey. Laura has been an editor, reporter and content director in the health, wellness, food and cannabis space over the last 20 years.

Red Belly Honey is a delicious, one-of-a-kind honey that bees infuse with CBD, a non-psychoactive compound from hemp. Through a patented method known as BeeFuseTechnology, the bees are offered a hemp and nectar blend, producing the world’s only full-spectrum hemp honey. This ruby-tinged proprietary food mixes with the bee’s belly enzymes, combining the antioxidants and antibacterial properties of honey with the benefits of hemp. It’s the ultimate superfood.

Read more at redbellyhoney.com.

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