The public health crisis and economic concerns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic – and not knowing how long they’ll last – can compound the stresses of daily life.
During this tumultuous time, consumers may turn to cannabis-infused food and beverages in the hopes of reducing stress, calming anxiety and promoting sleep.
Jen Palmer, director of education for Charlotte’s Web, manufacturer of cannabidiol (CBD) gummies, oils, capsules and topicals, recently spoke to Cannabis Products Magazine about the things consumers should consider when they choose CBD products.
CP: What is it about CBD that makes it helpful for stress relief?
JP: Stress can be detrimental to sleep and can interfere with our ability to concentrate and feel grounded. Full-spectrum hemp extract can be beneficial for supporting a sense of calm and focus, and to support sleep.
CBD and other phytocannabinoids produced by the hemp plant all support the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of receptors located all over the body, and it supports and helps balance all the systems of the body, such as the nervous system, cardiovascular system and immune system.
CP: Does CBD being full-spectrum or isolate make a difference?
JP: Yes, there is a vast difference between a full-spectrum hemp extract versus a CBD isolate. A full-spectrum hemp extract offers more than just phytocannabinoids; in addition to CBD, CBN, CBG and more, it also provides terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids and phytosterols. This medley of plant compounds works together to support the actions of CBD, a synergistic phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
In contrast, a CBD isolate only offers CBD and no other supporting compounds. This distinction explains why a person needs to take a much higher serving size of CBD isolate, as compared to using a full spectrum hemp extract, which offers benefits to the endocannabinoid system far beyond CBD.
CP: How can consumers know if using CBD is right for them?
JP: Not everyone necessarily needs CBD, because the body produces compounds called endocannabinoids which also support the endocannabinoid system. Unfortunately, many common, everyday factors, such as poor diet, aging, chronic stress and environmental toxins (such as pesticides and plastics) impair production of endocannabinoids. Therefore, many of us need to supplement our diets with phytocannabinoids to help keep the ECS running smoothly. If you have a sense of feeling out of balance, give full spectrum hemp extract a try for a few weeks, to determine if you can benefit from it.
CP: How can consumers know which method is right for them?
JP: Charlotte’s Web offers an extensive line of products to fit into anyone’s daily routine. There is a new line of topical products that include a gel, cream and balms. Topical products provide benefits locally to the area where they are applied.
We also have gummies which not only taste delicious, but also include additional functional ingredients for even more benefits. Some of our customers like using the oils because they offer versatility in serving size, and some people prefer the convenience and consistent serving size of a capsule. The form of CBD that you use is mostly dependent on personal preference
CP: What’s the benefit of taking CBD in an edible form (like gummies)?
Gummies are an easy way to get started with a CBD routine, plus they taste delicious. Charlotte’s Web gummies are vegan, made with fruit and vegetable-based flavors and colors. They aren’t too sweet, and they also contain functional ingredients for specific benefits.
Charlotte’s Web Calm Gummies contain hemp-derived CBD, L- theanine (an amino acid to support relaxation) and lemon balm (a calming herbal extract) which makes a great addition to a daily routine. A serving size is two gummies, which provides 10mg CBD. These can be used throughout the day as needed.
Charlotte’s Web Sleep Gummies offer 10mg hemp-derived CBD per two gummies, plus 3mg melatonin, to support a sense of calm and restful night of sleep. They are also delicious with a natural raspberry flavor.
CP: How can CBD help consumers currently in quarantine or while they’re sheltering in place?
JP: The current quarantine is causing most of us to have stress and anxiety for a multitude of reasons. Our current living conditions are unavoidable, so how we manage the situation is what matters most. Hemp-derived CBD is an excellent addition to the other actions we take to cope with stress, such as meditation, exercise or taking a hot bath.
Additionally, some companies such as Charlotte’s Web offer online shopping for ease.
CP: How can manufacturers of CBD products communicate responsibly with consumers during this time?
JP: CBD is not a cure-all, and any manufacturer that presents it that way is one that should be avoided.