Healthy Living: CBD products explained

CBD comes in many forms and is claimed to help with both physical and cognitive ailments.

The Healthy Grocer in Camp Hill sells 40 different CBD products, saying it is “changing lives” and falls in line with the products they carry. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there are hemp-based CBD products and medical marijuana-based CBD products. 

The difference is hemp-based CBD products are unregulated while medical marijuana-based products are sold only in dispensaries to patients certified by a physician.

If you are purchasing from a dispensary, the dispensary is supposed to have a certificate of composition, according to Dr. Kent Vrana, chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine.

The certificate ensures the product has been tested so consumers know how much CBD is in the product and what other compounds are inside.

Hemp-based CBD is not regulated, so consumers can not be sure what is inside the product.

“CBD itself is one molecule. CBD is CBD is CBD,” Vrana said. “The trouble is the oil contains perhaps a hundred other compounds. It could contain pesticides. It could contain heavy metals and you just do not know.” 

Not all CBD products work the same or treat the same ailments. 

Vrana says CBD taken orally is destroyed before it gets into your system from the stomach and liver but oil put under your tongue is absorbed right into the blood vessels under your tongue and gets into your system very quickly. 

As for the treatment of inflammation, Vrana says CBD has an activity that decreases inflammation, so a cream with CBD oil may be best used on an arthritic joint to reduce the inflammation. 

But for treating pain or depression or sleeplessness, Vrana says more research is necessary. 

He says Pennsylvania is leading the nation in terms of planning for research and hopes to see more studies where patients are given a placebo or a CBD product so researchers can assess if it helped or not. 

J.D. Weigle, assistant manager of The Healthy Grocer, wants consumers to figure out what the targeted ailment is and then decide which product will best suit their need.

Weigle says, “if you’re looking for something to support a healthy mood and healthy relaxation, a full spectrum extract is going to be what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to address a physical issue… a distillate or isolate may be more effective.”

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