If, by now, you have not heard about CBD, you must have been living under a rock! There is no doubt that it has become the latest health craze to arrive in the wellness industry, but is that all it is?
This article will highlight the myriad reasons why CBD, particularly in capsule form, is far beyond a fad. There are so many benefits that CBD may be able to provide that it is a struggle to fit them all into one article!
First, for those of you who have indeed been living under the aforementioned rock, we must briefly reiterate exactly what CBD is.
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant has an incredibly complex molecular structure and due to years of prohibition, funding for research has been a battle. That said, the last few years has seen a steep rise in research and we are finally starting to learn more and more about the 100+ cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant.
The two most active of these are also the two that we know the most about. The first of these is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This is the dominant psychoactive component of cannabis and is responsible for the ‘high’ often depicted in popular culture.
Cannabidiol (CBD) on the other hand is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it will not get you high. There are three main types of CBD that users should be aware of:
- Full Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum CBD contains a variety of terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids. It also contains trace amounts of THC, which must be below the legal limit of 0.2% in the UK.
- Broad Spectrum CBD – Broad-spectrum CBD is the same as full-spectrum CBD, but for the absence of THC. This is useful for those who are looking for additional health benefits but must undergo drug testing in their employment.
- CBD Isolate – This is pretty much as it sounds. CBD and nothing else. This is the purest form available and often comes as a powder or crystal.
What are the different types of CBD capsule?
Softgel CBD Capsules – These are essentially CBD oil encased in a specialized capsule, which is made of opacifier, water, gelatine and plasticizers. The advantage of soft gel capsules is that they can contain nutrients, such as CBD, that are not typically soluble. Softgel CBD capsules are also the easiest for your body to break down, such as those that you can buy from Cannacares.
CBD Capsules – Standard CBD capsules are very similar to softgel CBD capsules, but instead of containing a liquid they contain an actual pill. Due to this, the body is slower to break them down and they can often take over an hour to take effect.
CBD Tablets – CBD tablets, also known as CBD pills are a lot more straightforward. They are simply CBD compressed into a small round tablet that is easy to swallow. The downside of tablets is that you are only able to use CBD isolate, due to the nature of manufacture.
What are the benefits of CBD capsules?
It is clear that there are a wide variety of benefits associated with the use of CBD capsules. Below we will highlight a number of these.
There is no doubt that CBD is still misunderstood by large swathes of people who do not understand its concept. Many of you who use CBD will no doubt have been on the receiving end of a number of ignorant comments about ‘stoners’ or ‘wacky baccy’.
This is particularly hard to avoid when using a tricky delivery method such as CBD oil in tincture form, which can be difficult to drop under the tongue. Such unusual delivery is bound to attract attention.
This is an underrated aspect of CBD capsules and one that is oft-overlooked by those of us who do not have to worry about the opinions of others. A CBD capsule looks just the same as any other health supplement or medication that you may take and is highly unlikely to induce any unwanted queries. Attitudes are slowly changing, particularly in the UK, but for those who are still cautious of their use, then CBD capsules are the choice for you.
Great for Travel
More and more of us now live our busy lives on the go with regular traveling involved. This can often mean a struggle to keep on top of your own health and diet. As you may be aware, CBD comes in a variety of different delivery methods, but the two most popular are CBD oil and CBD capsules.
Anyone who has spilled a bottle of CBD oil over their belongings will know the unholy mess that this can cause. You will need an awful lot of luck to successfully clean that up! CBD capsules are quite the opposite. A tub of capsules is likely the most travel-friendly CBD delivery method available.
There is also the benefit of added discretion when it comes to international travel. Border guards can be incredibly inquisitive beings, so CBD capsules are far less likely to draw any questions when compared to other types of CBD product. That said, it is always important to check the laws surrounding CBD in the country that you are travelling to.
Ease of Dosage
Another common area of difficulty for many newer CBD users is the issue of dosing. It can be challenging to keep track of your CBD intake over time, particularly when there are so many other things that you have to keep up with.
CBD oil can be very difficult in this regard. The pressure you apply to the dropper, the strength of the CBD oil, the size of the bottle, and how long you hold the oil under your tongue all influence the dosage.
There are none of these worries when it comes to CBD capsules. They are already conveniently and equally dosed prior to purchase. Typically, capsules will come in prescribed dosages of 10mg-30mg. This makes keeping track of dosage a far less stressful task.
Ease of Consumption
Another common reason for the cessation of CBD use is the difficulty in consuming CBD. It is clear that dropping CBD underneath your tongue and holding it there for a minute is a very difficult task – particularly without a mirror!
CBD capsules are almost certainly the easiest form of delivery method to use. Simply pop one in your mouth and swallow with water – it really could not be easier!
Great for Sleep
One of the most popular reasons for using CBD is to improve sleep quality. I am sure you will all agree that tossing and turning in bed all night struggling to doze off is incredibly frustrating and can also leave you feeling run down and unproductive the following day.
Thankfully, initial research into CBD and its links to sleep is showing incredibly promising signs.
For example, one notable study published in 2019 by Shannon et al (Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series) investigated whether CBD possessed the capacity to improve sleep quality. 25mg CBD capsules were given to each of the 72 participants that were struggling with insomnia. The results indicated that two-thirds of participants reported both an easier time getting to sleep and a better quality of sleep.
CBD capsules are also a great option for sleep as they work slowly over an elongated period of time. CBD oil, for example, must be taken 4-5 times a day, whereas you typically only need to take it twice a day. This means that the effects of CBD are unlikely to taper off in the middle of the night and leave you struggling to get back to sleep.
May Reduce Anxiety and Depression
While more research is needed to definitively prove this, the early signs are very promising, and anecdotal evidence is growing by the day.
One thing we do know for certain is that CBD is a far better alternative to treating depression and anxiety than pharmaceutical medication such as benzodiazepines, which are highly addictive and have ruined countless lives.
A notable study conducted in Brazil in 2018 (Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test) simulated a public speaking test for its 57 participants. 90 minutes before this test, the participants were provided with a dose of CBD. The researchers declared that 300mg was the optimal dose and this significantly reduced anxiety during the public speaking simulation.
Effective Pain Relief
Pain relief is another area in which CBD offers a genuine and effective alternative to highly addictive prescription drugs, in this case NSAIDs.
There is evidence to suggest that cannabis has been used to treat pain as far back as 5,000 years ago – so that is some bank of anecdotal evidence to fall back on!
More recently, there have been plenty of studies that have investigated the effects of CBD in the context of pain relief.
CBD is believed to combat pain by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors in order to reduce inflammation, as well as interacting with neurotransmitters.
One notable study conducted on rats in 2017 (Cannabidiol Is a Potential Therapeutic for the Affective-Motivational Dimension of Incision Pain in Rats) found that a dose of CBD reduced the pain response to an incision.
Naturally, more human studies are required before any definitive claims can be drawn on CBD.
As always, it is important to conduct your own research into CBD if you are wishing to start using it. Why not reach out to your local CBD shop and ask any questions you may have. Furthermore, it is important to contact your doctor before starting, particularly if you have not used CBD before.