Hemp oil, or CBD oil, is a hot topic these days as it’s now legal in all 50 U.S. states. I was a skeptic of it for quite some time, even when a few of my early clients said they were taking it. It took a small relapse in my ulcerative colitis to prompt me to look into this oil, as it can be anti-inflammatory, aids in detox, calms the body, and much more. I’ve been on hemp oil for four months now and have seen first-hand how beneficial it can be for so many reasons and for so many health conditions.
In this post, I’d like to start off explaining how hemp oil acts on our endocannabinoid system, how this can benefit your entire body, and the criteria you should use to choose the hemp oil you decide to take (because there are a lot of fakes out there!)
Why Our Endocannabinoid System Matters
We’re not taught in high school science class that our body has an endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptors, but it does and it’s crucial to our survival. Endocannabinoids are actually neurotransmitters that bind to our cannabinoid receptors and get expressed in our central nervous system, including the brain, and the peripheral nervous system. This endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating many physiological and cognitive functions in the body, including fertility, pregnancy, appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, and more. Endocannabinoids can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, so along with them making us feel more positive mentally, they have the potential to positively impact our entire bodies.
One specific endocannabinoid receptor is also involved in the regulation of immune system functions, so those of you with autoimmune conditions like myself, listen up!
Put more simply, because of its blood-brain transmission, it has the ability to help to positively influence our “fight or flight” state. Most all of us today are guilty of running around in a semi or full-on fight or flight mode (something I was guilty of for eight years straight!) which deprives us of our other mode of operation, “rest and digest”. For those of you with digestive health conditions, this is really important to balance out, otherwise it’s going to be super hard to have normal digestion! Because of the way in which hemp oil enhances our natural endocannabinoid system, it can actually help the body switch from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest). Here are some great resources on how CBD/hemp oil can specifically aid digestive health if you’d like to really nerd out on it!
This may help us to better manage stress and anxiety, which can go a long way towards improving your overall health. I know for me, as soon as I began addressing my mental health and my stress head-on (a mixture of meditation, energy work and hemp oil supplementation) my digestion improved, inflammation reduced, and my entire body felt like it finally released and relaxed. For my clients, adding hemp oil to their hormone, thyroid, liver, or digestion protocols helps them go through their protocols faster, and with bigger benefits, because of how the hemp oil helps with cellular absorption. This is because some hemp oils can even help to “detox” our cells from all the “junk” we’re exposed to, from glyphosate to air pollution to poor diet to toxins from bacteria and other microbes. So as our cells get “cleaned” by these certain hemp oils, there’s more room to absorb nutrients and take in the supplements we’re on to address digestion infections, inflammation, hormone dysregulation, low or hyper thyroid function, and more. In fact, I learned recently that there are ten times more endocannabinoid receptors in the body than hormone receptors. That’s how important it is to be working on our endocannabinoid system!
These days, we’re all overloaded with chemicals, so the more we can help our bodies detox through the endocannabinoid system, as well, of course, as via digestion and liver detox work, is better our bodies can return to normal function.
Health Conditions Hemp Oil is Excellent For
Like with any supplement, I can’t go about making specific claims as to any “cures” or “fixes”, but I’d like to speak to how hemp oil has helped me personally in my digestive health and mental health journey.
Like I mentioned earlier, it was a short flare-up of my ulcerative colitis (due to a histamine issue, which I’ve written about here) that prompted me to go in full-on anti-inflammatory mode. My stomach was the size of a basketball and I was in daily pain for about a month. I was already taking my staple anti-inflammatories, including curcumin and cod liver oil, but I felt like I needed to try something new to really give my body a boost. And so began my hemp oil research phase.
As soon as I landed on the hemp oil I felt was most potent, therapeutic, clean, and cost effective, I ordered it and began my new journey. During this flare, as what happens with most people, my anxiety was ultra-high, and so one of the main benefits I realized almost instantly was how relaxed and calm I felt with just the first dose. My shoulders relaxed, my mind stopped racing, I was able to take full deep breaths, and I even slept better! That next morning, I woke up calmer and more centered and had one of the most productive days in a long time! This is all to say, by using hemp oil to support your endocannabinoid system, you truly can influence your body to shift into the rest and digest state.
After being on it for a few days, I noticed a big difference in inflammation. My stomach was flat again, I didn’t feel internal inflammation (for me, that’s categorized as pain when I moved my abdomen) and my brain even felt clearer (because we also get inflammation in the brain!) If you haven’t yet read the book Brain on Fire, it’s a must-read.
So for me personally, I used it to address my anxiety, IBD and to support detoxification. I’ve talked to others who use it for similar and different conditions, but point being, because the endocannabinoid system has such far-reaching effects in the body, taking hemp oil to support this crucial system may positively influence a number of health-related conditions.
How to Choose a Legitimate, High-Quality Hemp Oil (and Stay Away from the Fakes!)
If you’ve gone to Google to search for hemp/CBD oil, you’ve seen how many thousands of brands are out there. It’s overwhelming! Which ones actually work? Which ones are “snake oil” in disguise?
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to supplement brands and quality (ask any of my clients!) so I really did my research before jumping on board the hemp oil train. I asked around my network, read reputable blogs, and read between the lines of each hemp/CBD oil company. I analyzed the strength, cost per volume, mechanism of delivery, how quickly it works, and much more. I would show you the chart I developed to track all of this but it’s quite overwhelming! This is all to say, after a few weeks of research, and having tried several brands in the process, I landed on the one I felt most confident in. To help you figure out which kind of hemp oil is best for your body, I’ll walk through the most important criteria you should be looking for.
Absorption and Bioavailability
Powders, crystals, liquids, oh my! Which one is best?? That was my first thought when I began researching the options. When I learned that most hemp oil products have on average 6-10% absorption, meaning by the time its reaches your blood and cells, only 6-10% of what you took is available, I started taking a harder look at how different hemp oils were delivered. This brings me to my next set of criteria.
Hemp oil isn’t cheap. So to imagine that 90-94% of what I was buying would soon end up in the toilet was discouraging. Most powders and crystals, unfortunately, are in this statistic. I use a lot of liposomal supplements in my practice, which are smaller, more potent particles that have higher permeability into the cells (meaning higher absorption) so I came across a hemp oil that had liposomal delivery! I’ve done liposomal B vitamins, liver detox supplements, glutathione, you name it and instantly noticed a benefit over regular delivery mechanisms.
The brand Quicksilver Scientific actually has a patent on their unique liposomal delivery system which makes their supplements superior to many others out there, so I use them often in my practice. Come to find out, the founder of Quicksilver, Chris Shade, partnered with this hemp oil company, PrimeMyBody, to offer the same liposomal delivery with the hemp oil. It’s also called nano-enhanced (a word you may have heard floating around, but these guys do it right), meaning it’s micro-emulsified into the smallest particles to increase uptake in the body. I totally respect and have seen firsthand how awesome the Quicksilver products are, so I instantly knew this hemp oil was going to be gooood. In fact, they’ve reported a 93% absorption rate.
This was way more economical than wasting my money on low-absorption oils.
Quality of the Hemp
Just like you try your best to choose organic over conventional foods, the quality of what you supplement with matters, too. I found in my research that many hemp/CBD oil companies didn’t disclose at all on their websites what the oil is made from, where, and how. I found this sketchy, so I quickly moved on. The PrimeMyBody hemp oil I ultimately went with went above and beyond to explain their level of quality.
While organic certification of hemp oil does not yet exist, PMB goes the extra mile to source from the best national and foreign sources and also does rigorous testing for microbes (bacteria like e.coli, yeast, mold), metals, pesticides, and herbicides both when the product is received in the lab and again in the final product. You’d be surprised how often mold shows up in many generic hemp oils! If you’re really curious, they put out a Certification of Analysis that shows the purity levels. And if you’re wondering, they also don’t use any chemicals during the refinement process, making it cleaner all around.
I also learned along the way that the ingredients hemp oil can be mixed with can seriously alter its effectiveness and potency. I’ve seen some with xantham gum in it, which is not an effective emulsifier, and can cause the oil to fall apart in oil and water, rendering it nearly useless to the body. The liposomal products from Quicksilver Scientific, who I mentioned earlier, use an emulsifier called phosphatidylcholine (sunflower oil) to stabilize the small oil droplets in their supplements. Because the same proprietary method is used for the PrimeMyBody hemp oil, I also had high confidence that the oil would be stable, faster absorbed in the body, and more reliable. Phosphatidylcholine, as a bonus, is a highly beneficial nutrient that is a choline source, which is beneficial for cell membranes, liver, and even brain function. It’s an awesome nutrient!
And, of course, you probably don’t want any trace amounts of TCH in your hemp oil, so be sure the brand you choose fully filters that out!
Another major factor for me was the cost-value comparison of hemp oil. This became especially important to me as I began to learn how little most hemp oils are absorbed in the body. Bottles can cost anywhere from $50-$150, and if 90-94% of them go to waste, that’s a huge waste of money! I mentioned above that phosphatidylcholine is used in PrimeMyBody’s oil. To be clear, this is not a cheap ingredient, but compared to other hemp oils on the market, the price for PrimeMyBody’s oil was very similar to others but with much higher quality ingredients. I loved how accessible it was price-wise! You can bet in my nerdy spreadsheet I was working in I compared things like how many ounces in each bottle, the estimated absorption rate, quality and cost of ingredients, and the ultimate cost-value of each. PrimeMyBody pretttty much blew the others out of the water.
There are a LOT of options out there when it comes to choosing a hemp oil. Some are fakes, some are legitimate, and only a few are really stand-out brands. I did my research because I care what I put in my body and I want to be as well-informed about these things as I can for my clients — because a lot of them ask! To be clear, I am an affiliate for PrimeMyBody so I do get a bit of a kick-back when you purchase through me, but I chose this brand because I quality-tested the heck out of it and use it personally with lots of success. As a bonus point, hemp oil works great paired with low dose naltrexone (LDN) which I’ve written about before, as a clear endocannabinoid pathway leads to more rapid utilization of LDN in the body, so they’re a perfect duo.
If you’d like to purchase this hemp oil, you can do so here: thrivebyfood.primemybody.com . The first order is at retail price, but after that you can set up a monthly auto-ship order and save $30 per bottle.
If you’re practitioner, coach, or have a network of people you’d like to recommend this oil to, you can enroll as an affiliate here enrollpmb.com/thrivebyfood and recommend away! I’m happy to jump on a call with you if you have questions about the affiliate program or oil. Book a call with me here (serious affiliate inquiries only, please!)
Any other questions? Please leave them in the comments below – I’d love to hear what else you’d like to learn!