NOURISHMENT

A Hemp Expert Answers Burning Questions About CBD

By Rachelle Mahoney

CBD industry trailblazers, the Stanley Brothers made their mark with “Charlotte’s Web” hemp, named for young Charlotte Figi whose remarkable story was first featured by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and garnered global media attention.

In 2012, the Stanley Brothers—Jesse, Josh, Joel, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Austin—were growing proprietary CBD-rich hemp genetics, which would set the stage for meeting little Charlotte. Their story helped to change perceptions, laws and inspire researchers around what one beneficial plant can do for health and wellness.

These hemp genetics evolved into their now-famous CBD products and kick-started their industry-leading Colorado-based company CW Hemp, well-known for its premium CBD.

Today, the brothers sell Charlotte’s Web hemp oils, supplements, balms and creams. All Charlotte’s Web products are CBD-rich, hemp-based and created in a lab registered by the Food and Drug Administration following third-party-verified Good Manufacturing Practices.

Their plants are non-GMO (genetically modified organisms), and they don’t use any harmful herbicides or pesticides. In fact, they weed by hand and use natural predators like ladybugs to eliminate aphids and other beneficial insects and microbes rather than using harmful chemicals that could be absorbed by the plants and ultimately by humans.

“That’s a very important process for us because quality is everything. Especially when something is misunderstood, the quality has to be the very top level,” says Jesse Stanley, co-founder of Charlotte’s Web. “Transparency around manufacturing practices is crucial for consumers attempting to navigate this exploding supplement market. You have to earn customer trust every day.”

For Stanley, the cannabis industry is a necessary, but not necessarily new, one. Stanley points out that the earliest forms of medicine were plant-based—and replaced in turn by faith, supplementation, pharmaceuticals and antibiotics as humankind acquired knowledge and understanding.

Today, we recognize that plants like cannabis and hemp have even greater wellness potential than we might have understood centuries ago. “We’ve come full circle,” Stanley says. “And I’m excited about this time. I think cannabis and CBD in particular are revolutionizing the way people are taking charge of their health. Our life expectancy is increased, but health and wellness issues have also increased. It doesn’t make sense. We have to get back to caring for our bodies better, eating better, exercising more and taking botanical, natural supplements.”

24Life asked Stanley to explain CBD, hemp, supplements and medical marijuana.

24Life: What is CBD?

Jesse Stanley: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a beneficial plant chemical, also known as a cannabinoid, found in cannabis plants. Hemp is just one type of cannabis, and marijuana is also a type of cannabis. The difference between marijuana and hemp is the levels of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, which is a different type of cannabinoid that can be intoxicating. Breaking it down, on average marijuana contains 17 percent THC, while hemp contains less than one-third of 1 percent of THC and is rich in CBD.

A lot of people confuse hemp as just being used for fiber and textiles and things like that. Our country, and many countries, have been built off the industrial use of hemp. This is not something new. In 2012, hemp was legalized for agricultural use and marketing research.

24Life: What is the difference between CBD and medical marijuana?

JS: Medical marijuana products can have elevated levels of CBD as well as THC. THC is still a federally illegal substance that has been legalized in certain states. Our products are high in CBD and considered a dietary supplement, so it’s a perfectly legal product that anybody can get shipped to any state.

24Life: What does CBD do for the body, and why does it work?

JS: CBD is reaching a fever pitch in the broader supplement market because of its ability to deliver a sense of calm in our crazy world. People are using it to help deal with everyday stresses. It also helps to support sleep and focus. And people with active lifestyles are using it to shorten their exercise-induced inflammation recovery time. A quick internet search will bring up a large amount of testimonials for various reasons.

CBD works with our endocannabinoid system, which was discovered in 1994. This is a vast and vital receptor system in our bodies, which regulates what we call homeostasis, or balance, for good health. Our bodies create certain endocannabinoids, which work with these receptors in the immune system and central nervous system. Hemp produces phytocannabinoids, which stimulate this system to help with homeostasis for balance in our bodies.

For an athlete, balance is everything. It’s like starting a race at your optimal position, and cannabinoids can contribute very heavily to that—making sure that your body is in its optimal position. I played college basketball, and I understand what it’s like to look for an option that helps you to recover faster, naturally. We’ve found a lot of athletes are using our products to do just that.

24Life: Topical vs. oral CBD—which is best for what?

JS: Infusions or capsules are great for a daily regimen. I’m a healthy individual, and I take the Everyday Plus, which is an infusion. I treat it like my vitamin C. It’s something that I do every day, morning and night. Whereas the balms, I would use it in a more localized way.

24Life: How do we know CBD actually works and isn’t just a fad?

JS: There’s plenty of research out there, including more than 20,000 peer-reviewed studies on cannabis.

There’s excitement in the research community. The word is getting out, and I think that the phenomenon contributes to some anecdotal evidence that there’s something here, that something has to be researched further. We want the research to be done, and we hope that it will be done in the upcoming years here in the United States.

24Life: Should I be taking CBD daily, and if so, how do I know how much to take?

JS: I’m a big guy. I’m 6 feet 5 inches tall, 210 pounds, and I follow the product guidelines on our product. So I take a full dropper in the morning and a full dropper at night.

Charlotte’s Web works naturally with your endocannabinoid system. I like to think of it as the operating system for a computer. Its purpose is to provide balance to critical biological functions. When you don’t update your system, operating becomes difficult. Imagine cannabinoids, which are found in hemp and also in our own bodies, as the electricity that lights up the whole system. Many people find that adding plant-based cannabinoids like CBD to their daily supplement routine helps support peak mind and body balance. And I believe that cannabinoids are an everyday daily supplement that we should be taking.

24Life: How will I know when it’s working—when will I start feeling the effects?

JS: Some people see results straight out of the gate, and some people don’t. This doesn’t mean that hemp extract isn’t working. We believe it means you either might not have found your perfect concentration or you are not giving it enough time. We recommend four to six weeks. It’s really important that people take the product consistently and treat this like a dietary supplement.

Often, we hear that when customers stop taking CBD, they recognize the effect. I notice the difference in my concentration, my energy levels and my sleep.

It’s not a silver bullet, but it is a very helpful tool in an arsenal of tools that you should be using to care for your body.

24Life: Is CBD addictive, or could you “overdose”?

JS: No. And there’s no euphoria with it.

The views expressed in this article are those of the party interviewed, and not necessarily those of 24 Hour Fitness and 24Life. Always consult your health care provider before undertaking changes in your diet or fitness regimen.


Photo credit: Courtesy Charlotte’s Web

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Author

Rachelle Mahoney

Rachelle (Cihonski) Mahoney is an editor, writer and everyday fitness fanatic who loves running, yoga, BODYPUMP and trying the next crazy cool new fitness class. (Pilates on a surf board? Count her in!) A graduate of Biola University, Rachelle is a San Francisco Bay Area native and was previously the managing editor of a lifestyle magazine, where she also wrote about fitness, food, people and fashion. She is a Les Mills certified BODYPUMP instructor. While Rachelle loves getting her sweat on, she mainly exercises so she can enjoy all the amazing foods her husband cooks up in the kitchen—but the happiness endorphins are definitely an added bonus!

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