In September 2019, Lauren Goss, an American triathlete, was banned for six months for using cannabidiol (CBD) cream to relieve pain in her ankle. According to her post on Instagram, the cream contained more THC than it was stated on the package, which resulted in the positive drug test. Lauren lost her sponsors and the right to participate in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, as well as other competitions for half a year.
CBD is a game-changer for professional athletes
Professional athletes often use medical cannabis in the form of various oils, lotions, tinctures, and creams to manage pain caused by different injuries and traumas. They think it?s better to take CBD products than painkillers because opioids are addictive in contrast to cannabinoids, according to the study conducted by a group of scientists from Missouri.
Look at the story of Floyd Landis, an American ex-professional road racing cyclist, who was disqualified for using drugs to enhance performance. Landis used opioids to reduce pain after a hip surgery. When he became opioid-addictive, he learned that cannabis-based products could help him to relinquish his bad habit. Thanks to CBD, Floyd Landis managed to get rid of his abuse. At the present time, he consumes CBD on a daily basis and finds it effective in relieving pain.
In his opinion, many sportsmen prefer natural means to soothe pain because they believe that CBD is much better than painkillers thanks to its relative safety and minor side effects. The former athlete even launched Floyd?s Fine Cannabis company in 2017 to allow other people to discover and try the wonderful properties of CBD products.
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The list of sportsmen who took CBD products to cope with pain and improve their sleep and well-being is long. It includes famous hockey players, Olympic athletes, golfers, surfers, NFL players, and others. For example, Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, former NHL players Riley Cote and Ryan VandenBussche, former NBA players Kenyon Martin, John Salley, and Matt Barnes, former NFL players Rob Gronkowski, Tiki Barber, and Steve Smith, as well as golfer Bubba Watson admitted that they consumed CBD products in various forms for medical purposes.
By the way, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) allowed professional sports performers to consume CBD as it contains less than 0.3% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), a psychoactive compound in cannabis providing a ?high?. Nevertheless, the example of Lauren Goss shows that there is still the potential for a positive drug test.
Joanna Zeiger, an American ex-triathlete, is currently studying cannabis. She had to call it a career due to severe nerve pain, which she experienced after the bike crash during the 2009 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Besides, she suffered from insomnia, nausea, and muscle spasms after the accident. At first, she was afraid to take cannabis because she didn?t want to become addicted. Finally, Johanna made up her mind and began to add small doses to her food. She felt much better when her sleep, nausea, and pain problems vanished.
This experience inspired her to investigate how many athletes consume cannabis-based products, how much, and for what reasons. Zeiger headed the Canna Research Group that conducted a survey among more than 1,000 adult sportsmen through e-mail and social media blasts. Athletes were asked whether they consumed CBD and THC products over the past two weeks and why. 1,161 athletes took part in this survey. The researchers found that 26% of participants had used CBD products in various forms during that time period, while 67% had tried them at some point previously.
About 61% of sportsmen took cannabis-containing products to manage pain, with 68% stated that CBD improved their physical condition. At the same time, participants reported that they became less anxious and slept better, which means that their emotional state also significantly improved.
Zeiger is going to find more resources to continue working in this field and conduct more research. Her next study will be focused on the issues of cannabis safety and efficacy in treating different health conditions. Joanna Zeiger plans to broaden her research target demographic to other social groups outside of the professional athletes? community in her investigations.
Professional athletes using CBD products are not alone in the group of risk. There are firemen, policemen, military officers, and the representatives of other professions who usually undergo the drug tests.
A scandal emerged at the Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico when the local policemen failed the pot tests due to THC found in their blood. The Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson, Shaun Willoughby, told that the employees took CBD products to reduce back pain, consequences of the surgery, or for other medical purposes.
According to federal law, all CBD products must contain 0.3% THC or less. However, gas stations or health stores often sell CBD products containing more THC than it is stated on the label. As a result, the employees, such as policemen, firemen, athletes, and other people who should regularly take drug tests have to refrain from CBD products to avoid the possible problems and not to lose their job.
Is there any way-out? Why don?t these people forget about CBD and turn to using conventional medicines? To answer this question, we need to figure out what is CBD, what effects and advantages it has, and, most importantly, how to use it properly without putting your career at risk.
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If you or your relatives are suffering from any above-mentioned disorders and want to try CBD to ease distress, you should take into account that some users experience side effects when taking CBD products. The most common side effects include diarrhoea, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, rash, decreased appetite, elevated liver enzymes, dry mouth, dizziness, mood changes, and others.
Also, bear in mind that if you take other medicines or have some chronic diseases, you must consult your doctor or another medical professional to check how CBD will interact with your medication. Do you still want to give it a try? Then, let?s see which types of cannabidiol you can find on the market. There are three main types of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
Types of CBD
Simply put, full-spectrum CBD consists of the whole plant?s compounds, including all cannabinoids, such as CBN (Cannabinol), THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), CBG (Cannabigerol), flavonoids, terpenes, fat acids, and waxes. CBD extracted from hemp contains less than 3% THC, while marijuana-derived CBD contains higher percentages. It has been proven that all these plant components combine their properties to produce so-called ?entourage effect? on the body. Full-spectrum CBD is usually gold or dark.
Take full-spectrum CBD, remove THC from it, and you?ll get broad-spectrum CBD that doesn?t lose its other cannabinoids, terpenes, as well as flavonoids. All these components found in the whole plant also create the so-called entourage effect when they work together to provide a greater therapeutic benefit. Broad-spectrum CBD oil can be dark or gold in colour, too.
This type will be ideal for those who are afraid to fail the drug tests because CBD isolate is 99% pure with no other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. This means that it?s completely THC-free and cannot cause a positive drug test. CBD isolate is produced in the form of white powder or crystals. When made as oil, the colour of CBD isolate is very pale gold.
Making CBD isolate
CBD is extracted from the hemp in the form of oil. To produce CBD isolate, it?s necessary to remove all other natural compounds of the hemp plant. In this case, CBD isolate will look like a powder or crystals. Non-toxic and safe CO2 is usually used to extract the hemp oil from the plant. Then, this concentrate is purified to take away chlorophylls, waxes, and other oils contained in cannabis.
Purification is followed by the winterisation and decarboxylation processes. In the course of winterisation, CBD crude extract loses plant waxes and lipids. Decarboxylation helps CBDA to turn into CBD using heating. After winterisation, the oil should undergo fractional distillation to get rid of contaminates, terpenes, and chlorophylls, as well as to separate CBD from other cannabinoids.
Then, manufacturers use the reactor to mix the fraction with a non-polar solvent. They heat the solution and cool it to precipitate out pure CBD crystals. This CBD precipitate should be washed with the above-mentioned non-polar solvent in the reactor to remove all possible contaminants from CBD. Isolate should be placed into a vacuum for 48 hours to clean it from all solvents that participated in the process of isolation. Finally, manufacturers get 99% CBD isolate, which is pure and free from any solvents.
How CBD isolate acts on your body
CBD isolate interacts with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, to have a certain effect on the body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for immune, peripheral nervous, and central systems of the human being. When CBD isolate enters your body, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors located in our cells. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system: cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptors 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are present in our central nervous system and brain, while CB2 receptors are located in our immune system.
When our body absorbs CBD isolate in any form, the substance begins to act upon both cannabinoid receptors. In contrast to some other cannabinoids that penetrate the cannabinoid receptors like keys fitting into locks, CBD isolate sits inside them imperfectly. Figuratively speaking, CBD isolate activates the receptors and doesn?t allow other cannabinoids or neurotransmitters to activate them.
A famous cannabinoid researcher, E.B. Russo, proposed a theory, called the endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome (CECD), that if our body incurs a deficit of cannabinoids, our endocannabinoid system won?t function properly. To make the endocannabinoid system work effectively and keep our organism balanced, it could be beneficial for us to take CBD isolate. According to Russo?s theory, the cannabinoids produced by our endocannabinoid system will be augmented when we take CBD isolate.
Thus, CBD isolate can help people suffering from various disorders feel better, as well as have a positive influence on the health of individuals by allowing their endocannabinoid system to function without any failures.
We are different, and cannabinoids have different effects on us. Some people felt less anxious and calmer when they took products based on CBD isolate while others were ?energised? and ?more awake.? Some consumers needed to take higher doses to feel relief while others took just a few drops of oil and were happy.
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The following factors determine how your body will respond to CBD isolate:
Your genes: Some individuals can have more cannabinoid receptors to contact with CBD isolate.
Your biological sex: CBD isolate and related cannabinoid products have more impact on women rather than men because of higher estrogen levels.
Your lifestyle and nutrition: Are you engaged in sports activities? How often? What do you eat and drink? How much? How do you cope with stress? The response of your body and endocannabinoid system depends on these factors.
Your physical condition and health: Your general health, chronic diseases, mood, and other similar factors also influence your sensitivity to CBD isolate.
Your weight and body composition: Are you tall or short? How much do you weigh? It?s typical that people with a higher body fat percentage need higher doses of CBD isolate and vice versa.
Your individual tolerance: Are you a beginner? It?s obvious that you?ll react to CBD isolate differently than people taking CBD-based products regularly.
The response of your body and the CBD isolate effect also depend on the method of delivery.
Best ways to consume CBD isolate
The sublingual method is the most popular, convenient, and fastest way to consume CBD isolate. You can put a couple of drops of CBD isolate oil under your tongue, hold for about 30 to 60 second, and then swallow. In this case, the product will be absorbed into your bloodstream directly through capillaries. This method allows you to manage the dosage and effectively absorb the product. The effect will last for about 2 to 6 hours.
A guide on how to use your CBD isolate sublingually:
- Measure out the required amount of CBD isolate
- Place CBD isolate under your tongue
- Allow CBD isolate to dissolve in your mouth
- Leave CBD isolate under your tongue for more than 60 seconds (or longer)
- Swallow CBD isolate
The oral method is another most popular way to take CBD isolate products in the form of capsules or mixed with other foods and drinks. Cannabidiol is administered by mouth and goes directly to the digestive system. Before CBD isolate enters the bloodstream, it initially reaches the digestive tract and the liver. As a result, most CBD product?s effects can be lost before they are absorbed by your body. That?s why sublingual preparations are more popular than oral ones. Oral CBD products need a longer time to begin to influence your body. If you take CBD isolate when your stomach is empty, you?ll feel the effect within 30 minutes. If you eat something, it will take one to two hours to improve your condition. At the same time, the oral method offers you one important advantage: a long-lasting effect (about 4 hours and even longer). The oral way also lets you control your CBD isolate dosage.
Tips on how to use your CBD isolate orally:
- Take kitchen scale to measure out the required dose of your CBD isolate
- Put the measured amount of CBD isolate into your food or drinks and mix. Note that CBD isolate powder dissolves and mixes smoother than crystals/slabs
When you use the inhalation method, CBD isolate quickly absorbs into your bloodstream through your lungs. Put CBD isolate to your e-liquid, vape juice, or vape oil contained in your vape device. This way of delivery allows you to feel an instant effect. This is great news for consumers suffering from pain and sudden anxiety attacks and who require immediate relief. Moreover, the vaping route absorbs even quicker than when taken sublingually.
The vaping method is also very convenient for users because they can take their vapes while travelling or commuting and use them when they need instant relief. Besides, consumers like using this inhalation method since they can add tasty flavours and create big vapour clouds. However, this way has also disadvantages. The effects of CBD isolate are short-term in this case and last just about 1?2 hours. If you inhale your CBD e-liquid to reduce pain, for example, you will need to take one more dose in a short period of time. You also need to spend additional money to buy a vaping device and know exactly how to use it. Consumers usually apply cartridges, e-liquids or use disposable vape pens.
As a rule, e-juice is made from thinning agents: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). There are electric coils in the vaping devices that heat these liquids. The feeling and consistency of the vaped liquid depend on the PG/VG ratio. Note that some vaping devices are compatible with a certain PG/VG level; that?s why ask the manufacturer or carefully read the instructions.
Compared to VG, CBD isolate dissolves much better in PG. When you make a mixture, firstly put the required amount of CBD isolate in a PG fluid and dissolve it there using the heating and shaking method. Then add this liquid to a high VG blend. Avoid using too much CBD isolate because it can recrystallise and clog the vaping tanks.
If you are an experienced CBD consumer, you can also use a dabbing method. In other words, it is the flash vaporisation of CBD isolate. In this case, CBD isolate is exposed to very high temperatures using the dabbing rig. As a result, a user inhales the produced vapour.
Like vaping, dabbing allows our body to immediately take CBD isolate and feel relief. Note that dabbing is not an affordable method because dabbing rigs are quite expensive. The price starts at $50 and higher.
A guide on how to use your CBD isolate using the dabbing method:
- Take a dabbing rig, pour water into the housing, and measure out the required dose of CBD isolate into the cap dabber (wand). It is recommended to start with very small amounts until you get the feel of the inhaling and dabbing process.
- Heat nail to 150?200C.
- Heat the nail for 20 seconds. Allow it to cool for 40 seconds to reach the approximate temperature. If the nail is glowing red, it is too hot. When CBD isolate is exposed to overly high temperatures, it loses effectiveness and potency.
- Install the cap dabber/wand on the hot nail and slowly inhale the produced vapour. Rotate the dabbing wand to ascertain it is all vaporised.
Consumers can put CBD isolate directly on the skin to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The topical method is relatively slow and begins to have an effect on the body within an hour. In this case, CBD effects last for three hours and longer. When you use your CBD products topically, they will act only on the area where you applied them, such as your back, knees, legs, or hands. It?s the best way to solve skin problems, such as redness or acne, or combat joint and muscle pain. For this reason, athletes prefer this CBD consumption method.
You can easily prepare your own topical CBD product: add some CBD to your lotion, cream, ointment, roll-on, massage oil, lip balm, or gel. Some manufacturers produce transdermal CBD patches that, according to companies? promises, will deliver cannabidiol into your bloodstream continuously. Note that there is not much users? feedback that these patches penetrate into the skin deep enough to reach general circulation.
A guide on how to use your CBD isolate topically:
- Put CBD isolate into your favourite body cream;
- Mix thoroughly;
- Apply CBD isolate infused cream on your back, knee, or hand and massage.
Storing your CBD isolate
If you use CBD isolate in the powder form, you don?t need to store it in the refrigerator. Store it at room temperature instead. To preserve the potency of your product, keep it away from sunlight or extreme heat.
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Calculating your CBD isolate dose
One of the most important advantages of the pure powder CBD isolate is that you can easily measure the required amount. How much CBD isolate should you take to experience its effects? To answer this question, you should consider your health condition and consult your physician or any healthcare provider.
There is no concrete answer to how much CBD isolate products you should take. Everything depends on your needs and condition. When it comes to products containing CBD isolate, there is no ?one dose fits all.? We strongly recommend you to start with a small dose of CBD isolate and gradually increase it if required.
When calculating your ideal dose, take into account your sex, height, and weight. What fits you may not fit another person. This means that you should work out your own optimal dose when you start taking CBD isolate products.
Guide on how to determine the best dose for you:
- Always start with a low dose (5?10 mg) to check how your organism responds;
- Take the same dose for several days to give your organism time to adapt to CBD;
- If you do not feel desired results, slowly increase the dose by 5?10 mg at a time. Give your organism 2?3 days to respond with each increase and then raise your dose further, if required;
- Keep a record of your dose and note down your feelings every day;
- Do not increase your dose dramatically;
- Reduce the dose if you feel any discomfort;
- CBD isolate can have a subtle effect, which does not make you ?high?;
- When you start consuming CBD isolate products, consult your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and take other medicines because CBD may not be compatible with other drugs.
What benefits does CBD isolate offer?
High-quality CBD isolate contains 0% THC by definition, which means that you will never feel ?high? when taking it. If a CBD product has even a trace amount of THC, there is a risk of failing a drug test. If you regularly undergo drug testing, CBD isolate is a much better choice compared to full-spectrum CBD products.
- Easily measurable doses
It is very easy to calculate the dosage of CBD isolate. It is best to weigh out CBD powder using a kitchen scale. As for CBD edibles, creams, and tinctures, their total weight contains a certain percentage of cannabidiol. It is difficult to accurately measure how many drops of CBD oil you need in comparison to adding the necessary amount of powder to one application of the cream.
- Easy preparation of homemade CBD products
The crystalline and powder form of CBD isolate allows users to customise products according to their needs and wants. For example, you can mix CBD isolate with food and beverages, add it to a carrier oil to make CBD oils or tinctures, add to e-liquids, and mix with creams and lotions.
- CBD isolate affordability
CBD isolate is cheaper than CBD oils, edibles, and tinctures if you compare price per CBD milligram. For example, CBD isolate in the form of crystals or a powder costs approximately $25-$40 per gram of CBD in the USA. The price of an oil or tincture with the same quantity of CBD can be twice as much.
- No taste/odour
This property is extremely useful when you want to add CBD isolate into your food and do not want it to spoil your dish or change the taste.
In the opinion of Marcel Bonn-Miller, a global clinical scientific director and an adjunct assistant professor at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, if you take pure CBD, it?s pretty safe. Furthermore, CBD isolate dispels doubts and plays down fears of professional athletes and law enforcement officers regarding cannabidiol consumption. It also has antioxidant, anticonvulsive, anti-inflammatory, and other effects that allow relieving a great number of conditions and disorders.
Verified by a Healthcare Professional
Anastasiia Myronenko is a Medical Physicist actively practicing in one of the leading cancer centers in Kyiv, Ukraine. She received her master?s degree in Medical Physics at Karazin Kharkiv National University and completed Biological Physics internship at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Germany. Anastasiia Myronenko specializes in radiation therapy and is a fellow of Ukrainian Association of Medical Physicists.
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Alphagreen and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The information and products presented on this site are not intended for medical use nor do they make any medical claims. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a pre-existing medical condition, are pregnant and/or are breastfeeding, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or another health-related program.
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