Part 2: The importance of transparency
(and why Allay rocks☺)
On Monday I introduced Sanjay Gupta’s ‘Weed 5: The CBD Craze,’ which investigated the benefits and drawbacks of the new and booming CBD industry.
The problem, Gupta argues, is a lack of proper regulation leading to mislabeled, and occasionally harmful CBD products. There is, in other words, a blatant lack of transparency and honesty in the CBD market.
So, what can the consumer do to combat this?
How it’s made: Extraction, explained
First, it’s important to understand a little about how CBD oil is made. This is because the extraction process has everything to do with producing a clean and toxin-free final product. Not all CBD is created equal! When buying CBD it is crucial that the consumer pay attention to the specific method of extraction used to ensure that their product is clean, safe, and potent.
It all starts with the plant. The first thing to pay attention to is whether your CBD product is derived from certified organic hemp. Hemp is a bioaccumulator- this means that is absorbs all of the chemicals, pesticides, and toxins in the soil at a faster rate than it is able to use or release them. If a CBD product is extracted from non-organic hemp, it's going to carry all of those toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides with it. Yuck.
“As far as we’re concerned, there is only one way to grow anything: organically and sustainably. Because our soil is some of the richest, most fertile in the west, and because our climate is ideal for growing compelling cannabis, we let nature do her job. Every cultivation choice is based on bringing forth the perfection that is already inherent in the plants and on our farm” -Siskiyou Sungrown, Allay’s source of high quality CBD oil
There are two main extraction methods that consumers should look out for; CO2 extraction and Solvent extraction.
Simply put, supercritical CO2 extraction uses cooled and pressurized CO2 to draw out CBD and other phytochemicals.
At certain temperatures, CO2 becomes what is known as a 'supercritical liquid.' This means that it has the properties of both a gas and a liquid. In this state, CO2 acts as a solvent passing through porous solids and dissolving materials. Producers are able to fine tune which phytochemicals and compounds are extracted by controlling the pressure and temperature of the CO2.
This method is generally safe and clean, although it does have a few drawbacks. Namely, if the cannabis plant isn't dried adequately before hand, the final product may contain carcinogens and rancid fats. This method is also costly, and requires a lot of energy.
CO2 extracted products also lack a number of helpful phytochemicals (or active compounds). Because this method can only extract oil soluble compounds, the range of phytochemicals it is able to extract is limited. But more on this later...
Ethanol extraction typically involves decarbonating the plant (i.e. heating the plant to remove carbon atoms), and then soaking the plant in solvent- usually ethanol or butane- to extract its active compounds.
This method has its disadvantages. For one, using a solvent such as butane can leave behind toxic and harmful residue if the solvent isn't completely evaporated. Ethanol, on the other hand, is a natural solvent which works just as effectively as butane without the risk of toxins.
Because this process extracts both water soluble and oil soluble phytochemicals, the final product carries a wider range of helpful compounds. This includes compounds such as polyphenols, which can prevent degenerative disease, boost brain function and digestion, and more! The final product is truly full-spectrum, containing in it more helpful compounds than its CO2 derived counterpart.
Extracting with a solvent also creates ‘esters.’ These are water-soluble organic compounds, which replace hydrogen with a hydrocarbon group (Clark 2004). Because these compounds are water soluble, they have much higher bioavailability (that is- they are easier for our bodies to break down and digest!). Oil-soluble compounds, on the other hand, need to be broken down by our bodies acids and enzymes, making them difficult to digest. Reduced bioavailability means reduced potency!
Allay believes that ethanol extraction is the best method to ensure a clean, potent, and pure product. Siskiyou Sungrown uses only USP grade organic cane oil as a solvent, creating a product that is truly full-spectrum!
“ [...] Ethanol extracts both water soluble and oil soluble plant constituents very effectively. Consequently, hemp oil extracted with ethanol is truly full spectrum, exhibiting the synergy of all available beneficial phytochemicals. The ethanol that Siskiyou Sungrown uses for extraction is strictly USP grade, certified organic cane alcohol”
Remember Jay Jenkins from the last blog? The young man who almost died after consuming entirely synthetic, mislabeled CBD?
Companies aren’t always required to include all of the ingredients they put into their CBD. Manufacturers can add a number of different things to increase profit, including preservatives, non-cannabis derived terpenes, various food colorings, thinning agents, and more. A lot of this stuff can be harmful to your health. If a company isn’t transparent about what goes in to their final product, don’t buy it! A great way to make sure you’re being safe is to ask for the lab results of the final CBD product.
Radical. Transparency. That’s what we’re after here at Allay medicinals.
In my next post, I’ll give you all a quick recap of what this all means, and provide a succinct and easy-to-follow guide on how to buy CBD!
“CBD Oil Extraction Technique - Ethanol vs. Supercritical CO2.” CBD Oil Review, 2018, https://cbdoilreview.org/cbd-cannabidiol/ethanol-vs-supercritical-co2-extraction/#What-Is-Supercritical-CO2-Extraction?
Clark, Jim. “An Introduction to Esters.” Chem Guide, Sept. 2004, https://www.chemguide.co.uk/organicprops/esters/background.html.
Siskiyou Sungrown. “Ethanol extraction vs. CO2." Instagram, 27 Sept. 2019, https://www.instagram.com/p/B27OHaaFP3j/
Over the last year, CBD has exploded and has created a shift in the health and wellness communities as people everywhere are finding natural plant-based relief for their health conditions. Let's start to explore the amazing benefits of CBD for seniors and discuss the massive impact CBD can have on this group of individuals.
Today in America, there are over 46 million individuals who are 65 years of age or older.
According to the CDC, 49.6% of senior citizens suffer from Arthritis
Mental Health America found that 27% of senior citizens suffer from severe anxiety disorders that are significantly impacting their ability to function. As our senior population projected to outnumber the minor population (under 18) by 2035, we need to think of a solution, and quick.
So what is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, is one of over 60 cannabinoids found in the Hemp plant.
Like other cannabinoids, CBD can interact with receptors in our body's Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which research has shown is the catalyst behind the many effects of the Cannabis plant. It is also the reason psychoactive cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can induce euphoric or mind-altering effects on the user.
CBD is non-psychoactive; it will not make the user high while continuing to deliver the many health properties of the Cannabis plant. Because these benefits are uniquely aligned with the conditions generally afflicted by seniors, CBD is the solution to improving the health and lives of our senior citizens!
7 Health Benefits of CBD for Seniors
1. CBD can help manage pain
CBD's ability to alleviate a condition that nearly every senior deals with―pain and inflammation.
With nearly half of the senior population in the United States suffering from Arthritis and 75–85% of seniors suffering from chronic pain―this is, unfortunately, a common problem for most seniors in America.
Studies have shown that CBD can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain from conditions such as Arthritis, Joint Pain, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). By activating various receptors in the Endocannabinoid System, experts have found that patients treated with CBD experienced a "clinically significant reduction" in pain-related symptoms with little to no adverse side effects. As a natural alternative to traditional pain medications, CBD creates a compelling case for health care professionals and senior caregivers.
2. CBD promotes bone health
As our bodies naturally age, we endure a condition known as Osteoporosis. During Osteoporosis, our bones experience a loss of vital minerals and become fragile and brittle, making them more prone to breaking. Because of this, seniors can experience severe pain and fractures if they have a fall. With falls as the number one cause of death for men over the age of 60, and 33% of women and 25% of men older than 50 suffering from osteoporotic fractures, bone health is a severe issue for the older generation.
In addition to reducing inflammation and promoting cell repair, research has shown that the cannabinoids like CBD can help strengthen the bones and even promote the healing process if a fracture does occur.
While additional clinical trials will be needed to determine the viability of this application for the masses, the results thus far are auspicious.
3. CBD can improve quality of sleep
Sleep disorders like insomnia are a condition suffered by individuals of every age; they are widespread for seniors. Experts suggest that this is due to the shift in sleeping patterns as one gets older, along with the chemical imbalance caused by medical conditions and prescription medication.
Because sleep is the period that our body flushes out toxins and restores itself, conditions that prevent sleep are incredibly harmful to seniors.
To alleviate their sleeping disorders, most seniors will turn to sleep medications. While these may temporarily solve one problem, they create an even bigger problem in the long run.
By combatting the conditions that are causing sleeping disorders, such as stress, anxiety, restlessness, and general unbalance in the body, CBD can calm the user and naturally promote a healthier sleep problem for seniors. More importantly, it can prevent the need to take harmful sleeping medications.
4. CBD can combat addiction
Studies have shown that CBD can not only alleviate conditions that often involve harmful medication, but it can also help combat the dependency on that medication.
Findings from a 2018 study revealed that CBD could help combat addiction by preventing relapses. In the study, researchers found that after administering CBD once a day for seven days, patients no longer displayed "addictive behaviors," and it deterred the patient from relapsing for five months. As seniors decide to switch from harmful medications to natural plant relief, CBD can help combat and alleviate the withdrawal and relapsing behaviors that will arise during this process.
5. CBD can improve heart health
According to the American College of Cardiology, heart disease is the most common condition amongst older adults and the #1 cause of death for this age group.
Cardiac dysfunction is made manageable with CBD Millions of Americans suffer from various cardio-related illnesses and conditions, with heart problems continuing to be one of the leading causes of death in the developed world. While this unfortunate trend shows no sign of abating anytime soon, it is growing increasingly apparent that CBD treatments can make cardiac dysfunction more manageable for the patients who must grapple with it.
That is according to one study, at least, which speaks highly of the healing power of CBD when it comes to solving cardiac dysfunction and helping patients deal with oxidative-nitrosative stress. Patients who continue to doubt the healing abilities of CBD oil should thoroughly review said studies and the opinion of a growing body of medical experts who are increasingly championing medicinal cannabis.
Based on the research from recent studies, CBD may be an effective and natural treatment for high blood pressure. A 2017 study treated ten men with one 600 mg dose of CBD and found that it reduced the resting blood pressure of the subjects. In this same study, researchers also administered stress tests to determine the effects CBD had on the subject's stress response and found that the subject has exhibited a lower blood pressure increase than average.
In addition to reducing high blood pressure, studies found that the antioxidant properties of CBD may help reduce cardiac inflammation and can deter cell death caused by oxidative stress.
The researchers in charge of the study believed that the results "strongly suggest that it [CBD] may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, cell death, and fibrosis."
By reducing blood pressure and deterring inflammation and cell death in the heart, CBD can significantly improve overall heart health and serve as a preventive measure against severe health conditions.
6. CBD can deter neurodegenerative diseases
Because CBD can interact with receptors in our brain and central nervous system, experts believe CBD could be a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Multiple Sclerosis. While it is still early to make a conclusive assessment, the studies below have shown some promising results
As more clinical trials are conducted, the evidence will become more and more evident. In the future, CBD could become one of the primary treatment methods for seniors suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
7. CBD can improve mood and alleviate mood-related disorders
While we all deal with mood swings, as we start to experience the significant changes associated with getting older―like the decline of health, disabilities, or the loss of a loved one―these mood swings can often become significantly intensified.
Prolonged, they can lead to significant health problems, with a high chance of the individual developing a mental illness if they feel that they are disconnected, neglected, isolated, or lonely.
Based on the findings from numerous studies, CBD may help alleviate this condition.
By interacting with the receptors involved in regulating our mood (such as the Serotonin and Adenosine receptors), CBD can alleviate stress, calm the mind, and improve cognitive functions. These three things combined, significantly contribute to its current situation and may have a significant impact on one's mood.
Studies continue to show that CBD can effectively alleviate mood-related disorders. Over time, this can take a severe toll on their mental, physical, and psychological health.
Seniors everywhere can benefit from CBD, whether it’s an oil or a topical it is always best to speak a medical professional before attempting to self-medicate. Please share your stories and reach out to us with any questions. We have a FAQ page on our site and you can always purchase our organic whole plant product online.
Don’t leave home without it!
Let's face it, travel takes a severe toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Thankfully, CBD is one powerful holistic support that will help you thrive during your trip.
Many people experience severe anxiety while traveling. Travel disrupts your routine and requires careful coordination -- even if you're going somewhere relaxing. Some people also deal with acute stress in planes or cars, or when visiting crowded, busy places like airports.
CBD can naturally improve your mood, relieve your anxiety, and help you de-stress. With a topical CBD product, you may notice your mood improving, and the minor traumas of a stressful trip affecting you less. We find a dime to quarter size rubbed on your temples or your wrist's can bring some relief within in minutes.
Reduces Swelling & Inflammation
Some travelers notice increased swelling while on the road. Using caffeine to stay moving, filling up on salty snacks, and changing your hydration patterns will affect how your body retains water. Long periods spent sitting on planes or in cars causes blood and lymph to pool in your feet, ankles, and legs.
CBD can relieve inflammation and its adverse effects, including redness, swelling, and pain.
What's more, by rubbing ALLAY topical CBD product on any swollen areas, the massage action will gently flush out excess lymph and water while the CBD works.
For many people, travel means dry skin. Recycled air in airplane cabins, plus hyperactive A/C in hotel rooms and cars, leaves your skin ashy and itchy. Topical CBD products like oils and lotions don't just help you stay calm, collected, and healthy -- they keep you moisturized, too. It’s also great for bug bites and sunburns.
The next time you're heading out, be sure to pack one of our travel-friendly CBD topical's in your bag. They're small enough to get through the TSA checkpoint (and they're perfectly legal!) -- but they're powerful enough to help you feel your best, wherever you go.
Whether you're a professional athlete or want to get in a workout like a pro, you can take advantage of the many benefits that CBD can bring. When you integrate CBD into your pre- and post-workout routine, the results may offer you more significant benefits by addressing issues that are common among athletes. Here three key benefits that CBD brings to athletes.
Reduces Swelling and Pain
It’s no secret that you can experience swelling from a sports injury or even from exercise. But with the help of and CBD, you can keep the swelling at bay. Swelling is often a result of inflammation, and Allay can help in reducing inflammation by using anti-inflammatory components to stop the activity that promotes the inflammation. CBD is also useful in managing the pain that can come with a swollen ankle. Thanks to CBD’s ability to tap into the brain’s endocannabinoid system, managing pain from exercise or a sports injury is doable.
Enhances Your Sleep
As an athlete, your body needs rest to regain its energy and have time to develop and get stronger. CBD assists in stopping the reabsorption process of the chemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP). You need carbohydrates for energy, and adenosine triphosphate helps deteriorates as your brain burns these carbohydrates. However, the more ATP you have, the calmer you get. Thus, CBD helps induce sleep, as well as stay asleep longer. Allay ’s properties also encourage deep sleep by releasing elements, such as glycogen and melatonin, that are needed for deep sleep and body functions during sleep.
Reduces Recovery Time
Inflammation is a major issue for some athletes during a workout or competition. Some find the discomfort so painful that they have to step out of the race. Fortunately, CBD can help reduce inflammation in joints and muscles. It works by binding to your CB2 receptors to help calm down your body’s response following a hard workout. This allows for a reduction in the discomfort you may feel so you’re able to complete the exercise and keep to your training schedule.
Whether you’re focused on enhancing your athletic performance or practice as a professional athlete, you can keep exercise-induced injuries, sports injuries and other ailments at bay with the help of Allay’s organic, non-toxic product line. Shop now or check out additional resources at Allay CBD, to take advantage of its many benefits.