CBD: My Thoughts, Research, and Recommendations
If you’ve been awake for the past year and anywhere around the wellness scene, you have now heard of CBD. It is everywhere and in everything. Because of that, and the overwhelming feeling of being pushed a product every which way I turned, for a long time I decided to just ignore it. I tried one brand at the very beginning of the movement, didn’t feel a difference, and hence gave up on them all. I’m someone that gets overwhelmed by abundance and too many options, and it was clear to me that the CBD market provided just that. A thousand questions were flowing through my mind… How was I supposed to know which brand was legit? What is the difference between CBD & Hemp oil? What am I supposed to feel? Should we all just get high instead? After about a year or writing off all CBD products, it became extremely clear that, if all the claims were true, it was something I could definitely benefit from. Not only did I have notoriously high levels of anxiety (a baseline that is nowhere near “normal”), but I was also struggling with some pretty severe headaches after my concussion last year. Everywhere I turned and every time I mentioned these two large factors of my everyday life, someone recommended I try CBD. So, at first extremely unwillingly with dragged my feet, I bit the bullet and began my research, which then led me to one of my new favorite brands and a now essential staple of my everyday life: Beam. Before I get into the company, its products, and why I love it so much, let me start off by answering some of the questions regarding CBD that I had myself.
What is CBD? To answer that, lets first look at the cannabis plant (aka “weed”). Cannabis is made up of two main things: Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive portion, and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive portion. CBD is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant, one of its many cannabinoids, and a naturally occurring substance. By being a non-psychoactive, it provides the medical benefits of marijuana without the “high” we know and associate to smoking pot. Within CBD, there are two forms: full-spectrum, which could include other cannabinoids that have the so-called “entourage effect”, meaning they are more effective all together than alone, and isolate, which is 100% CBD. When looking for a CBD product, you can ask if it is either full-spectrum or isolate. CBD products can vary in physical form, which can also have an effect on how quickly they enter your bloodstream and how long the benefits are reaped. The main forms are through a vape pen, a tincture, an edible, and a topical lotion.
What does CBD really help with? CBD is said to impart a feeling of calmness and relaxation. By removing your body from that “fight or flight” response, it provides the mellowness of a “high” without the psychoactive portion. Medically, it is said to help with epilepsy, seizures, pain, inflammation, anxiety, Crohn’s disease, and many other ailments. Personally, I find it helps with my anxiety when taken on a daily regiment and with my headaches when taken at the onset of one. I have heard people find assistance with their sleep regimens, but I personally did not find it to help me.
What should I look for when buying CBD? First and foremost, it is extremely important to find a brand that is third party lab tested. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products, there are unfortunately brands out there that are making false claims. So much so, that a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 26% of CBD products tested contained lower doses than the bottle stated. In order to test the brand’s label accuracy, a third party comes in to do the testing and provides it’s stamp of approval. Of course, Beam is third party tested, so have no fear! Another piece of research you should be seeking out when choosing a CBD brand is the Certificate of Analysis (COA): a document done by a separate laboratory that shows the quantity of various cannabinoids in a product. If a brand does not disclose their COA, that is a red flag to steer clear. To take a look at Beam’s document, email hello@beamtlc and they will send it over to you!
Is this stuff legal? Recently, President Trump signed a new Farm Bill that made hemp farming federally legal. However, while complaint with federal legislation, it is still left to the states to create their own policy. If complaint within the state’s laws, it is legal to grow and use hemp products, including CBD. Fortunately for me, it is legal in the state of New York, but you can check your own state’s legislation here.
So, why did you choose Beam? Good question. As I said, I was very hesitant to enter the CBD world because I found it all to be somewhat of a hoax and advertising/marketing play. Once I was finally convinced to give it a try, I did my market research. I reached out to brands, had conversations about their specific products, and tried my fair share. After many of conversations, there were none that compared to the product that Beam offered. On a high level, it is 100% THC free (it undergoes a patented process to remove even the small trace amount of THC), made with organic, pharmaceutical-grade full spectrum CBD, and third-party tested to ensure the right concentration of cannabinoids is present. On a deeper level, my love for Beam comes from the brand’s story and my personal ability to relate. The two founders, Matt Lombardi and Kevin Moran, are both former college and professional athletes (Matt in hockey and Kevin in baseball) who suffered from injuries that led them to pursue different paths of their lives. While they were no longer playing sports professionally, wellness and fitness still played a large role in their everyday living. When they were first told about CBD, they felt they were looking for a product that they were unable to find so, they ended up creating one of their own. Beam is a Boston-based company that offers a topical lotion, an energy bar, and a tincture called The One, which comes in three potencies (500mg, 1000mg, and 1500mg).
Personally, I take two drops of the Beam 1000mg tincture every morning and I have found that is what works best for me, but everyone is different! It takes some trial and error to figure out your own sweet spot but, once you do some experimenting, it is a great tool to have. Since I love Beam so much, I am ecstatic to also offer you a discount on their products!
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This post was sponsored by Beam Organics LLC