Cordyceps Sinensis & Militaris Benefits (& Side Effects)

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The Benefits of Cordyceps Sinensis & Militaris (& Side Effects)

Alongside the potential benefits of Cannabinoids, one of the most exciting ‘up-and-coming’ well-being waves is that of the fungi (or mushrooms). Although, the are not quite as up-and-coming as you’d expect; Fungi has been used in Chinese traditional remedies for centuries and has been a centerpiece in the case for natural wellness long before it was fashionable. There is no doubt, that Fungi some extremely good for us, and few are quite as good as the Cordyceps Sinensis (also known as: Caterpillar Mushroom/ Fungus, Yatsa Gunbu, Yarshagumba, Keera Jhar or Dong Chong Xia Cao (Winter Worm, Summer Grass” in Chinese).

The Cordyceps Mushroom (as it is often referred to) isn’t really a mushroom, but parasitic fungi with a pretty grizzly origin story. In short, the fungi grow on (and in) the lave of insects and replace the host tissue and produce long stems which outgrow the host’s body. Weird right!? The image below shows two things- the host (yellow-y body of an insect) and the fungi itself (the long dark strand). This type of Cordyceps is known as a ‘fruiting body’.

The fungi and the rest of the insect remains is collected and ground up. Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a whole load of health issues: like fatigue, sickness, kidney function, and (of course) sex drive. The ‘fruiting bodies’ are extremely rare and cannot be grown artificially, which makes the natural Cordycups particularly expensive and rare- most of the extracts found are grown synthetically or elsewhere.

There are over 400 species of Cordyceps known, but popularity in the fungi has exploded due to two: Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris.

Like most things from the traditional and natural remedy world, science hasn’t caught up in terms of human trials. So while most of the evidence is based on Lab or Animal trials, it is clear to see that there is certainly very exciting potential!

So what are the benefits of Cordyceps? (a more detailed scientific study can be found here if you have the time, or love really, really in-depth scientific stuff)

 

Cordyceps

 

Physical Exercise – Cordyceps CS-4

One of the benefits of Cordyceps which has been explored in Humans is its ability to potentially increase performance during exercise, and use oxygen more efficiently.

It has been said that the fungi were discovered by Yak Herders in Tibet (the Folklaw is that yaks grazed on the fungi and became more energetic) and assisted the herders to higher altitudes where oxygen is hard to find. It has since been proved that Cordyceps can actually improve the use of oxygen by cells.

It is thought that the fungi can increase the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which delivers energy to our muscles. A study explored the impact of Cordyceps and exercise found that there was a potential for an improved VO2 max (your maximum lung efficiency/ fitness levels) showing that the fungi may help our body use oxygen effectively. The trial consisted of 30 adults who were given 3 grams of Cordyceps CS-4 (part of the Cordyceps Sinensis family) or a placebo for six weeks. Those who were given the placebo did not show any improvement, while those given the fungi showed a 7% increase in their VO2 max.

From what can be found in the studies, it does not seem as though professional athletes or sportspeople have been used in an experiment, so it is hard to say what impact the Cordyceps CS-4 a have on their ability to perform. It may be worth asking the 1993 Chinese women’s team at the national games broke 9 world records- their secret? Apparently Cordyceps. They won’t hurt right?!

There are other studies showing the same kinds of improvements to VO2 max, or an increase in other indicators used to measure physical performance which shows that this isn’t a one-off. With many things in the natural well-being world, the claims about natural remedies are often speculation or unsubstantiated; but this, is proven in modern science.

So, while Lion’s Mane is for the mind- Cordyceps is for the body!

 

Great for Your Liver & Kidney

Enzymes are essential to the way that you Liver works. There are some murmurings that the fungi normalizes liver enzymes and can inhibit steatohepatitis or retard cirrhosis. According to one study, patients who were suffering from post hepatic cirrhosis saw a dramatic improvement in their liver function after a 3 months trial of daily Cordyceps supplements. Second, to this, kidney function had also shown improvements after a 3-5g dose per day during another study exploring the benefits of Cordyceps Sinensis.

From the research we have come across, the studies have mainly been on mice – which so the same, or similar, results. As far as we can see, there are not enough human trials to say conclusively whether this can be substantiated… although the fungi were associated with kidney function long before modern science became interested.

 

Antioxidant

Much like its fungi cousin, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps have been found to contain high levels of antioxidants which are essential for our body to reduce the effects of ‘free radicals’. This fact alone means that the fungi may have an impact on a huge array of issues caused by ‘free radicals’.

There have been studies which showed that a regular supplement of Cordyceps has been found to increase the lifespan of a mouse by up to seven months, and increase the life cycles of fruit flies.

There is yet to be any evidence of whether or not Cordyceps has an ‘antiaging’ effect on humans, but we know that they contain plenty of antioxidants which are great for our overall well-being.

 

May Reduce Inflammation

Once again, while the effects in humans are largely unknown, some studies in labs and animals have found that Cordyceps may have huge potential as an anti-inflammatory.

Human cells produce proteins that are part of our body’s inflammatory response; when they are exposed to Cordyceps extract it is found that the production of the proteins is reduced. This can be backed up by a study which provided evidence that inflammation was reduced in the airway of the mice, and can help with inflammation of the skin when applied topically.

Both of these studies show potential and could lead to more in-depth studies that will help us know for sure whether Cordyceps can actually reduce inflammation in humans.

While there is little in the way of human research into the benefits of Cordyceps for humans, it is clear to see that these little fungi will be ideal additions to a healthy lifestyle.

 

May Support Immune System

Our immune system is our body’s layered defense against invading pathogens which can cause us harm. When a pathogen breaks through our physical barriers (like the skin, or into the digestive system) our body triggers its defensive mechanisms and an immune response is activated to protect us from a life-threatening infection; this includes the production and activation of a number of cells to hunt down and battle the infection.

Cordyceps Sinensis has been used as a natural treatment for infections long before modern science understood exactly what the fungi can do. In animal trials, it was found that Cordyceps Sinensis protected mice from the proliferation of bacteria by activating macrophages, and enhanced the activity of natural killer cells (which are both parts of the immune system).The fungi also has been found to promote cellular and humoral immunity which is part of the ‘adaptive immune system’ by aiding the production of a whole range of other cells that at are used in an immune response.

Our immune system lives on a delicate balance, and can sometimes be overactive and attack cells that are part of our body. The naturally occurring Cordyceps Sinensis has been found to also regulate our immune system, and reduced the body’s response to a transplant in mice.

While all of these studies have benefits of Cordyceps in mice, human trials are yet to show promise. While the fungi has been used in traditional natural remedy prescriptions, modern science need to understand further the real impact of the fungi!

 

Happy Gut, Happy Body

The secret to a healthy body is certainly what is given to the gut. After all, food is the most important factor in modern well-being. Not only do we use the food to fuel our bodies, but to absorb essential fatty acids, phytochemicals and nutrients to ensure the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Our gut plays a huge role in protecting our body from pathogens that invade our body through our nose or mouth. If our gut isn’t working

While the fungi have not been found to have a direct effect on the immune system, a hot water supplement of Cordyceps Sinensis improved the balance of happy bacteria (Lactocbacillus) in the lower intestinal tract of mice which can help prevent harmful levels of deadly bacteria like Salmonella or E.Coli.

Our Gut is a delicate ecosystem, and while human studies into the gut-boosting potential of the Cordyceps fungi it is clear to see that the fungi is pretty great for our well-being.

 

Cordyceps Side Effects & Drug interactions

As trials develop in humans, we will start to learn more about the side effects of Cordyceps but there is very little evidence that there are any negative side effects of the fungi at low doses. It is also very safe to assume (certainly after centuries of use in Chinese medicine) that it is non-toxic. There are however, a number of key individuals who should avoid taking a Cordyceps supplement:

  • The pregnant or nursing: While there is very little evidence to suggest that Cordyceps are not safe to use during pregnancy or breast-feeding, it may be best to stay on the safe side
  • Auto-immune Diseases: As discussed above, there is potential for the fungi to increase the activity of the immune system, which may in turn increase the symptoms of Auto-immune issues.
  • Bleeding or Surgery: Cordyceps may slow the clotting process. If you already have a bleeding issue, or are about to go into surgery, it may be best to avoid the fungi too!

There is also some important information about the potential interactions that Cordyceps may have with drugs:

  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar)
  • Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
  • Prednisolone

 

Conclusions

After decades of being used in Chinese medicine, it is pretty clear that there is a use for the Cordyceps fungi. While human trials on many of these benefits are light, its use over hundreds of years tells us that it is pretty damn good for our body. What we know for sure is that Cordyceps CS-4 can increase physical performance (& stamina) in humans and has been backed by science. Otherwise, the lab and animal testing show promise as a great food supplement to support our wider well-being.

Lion’s Mane Benefits (& Side Effects)

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Benefits of the Lion’s Mane (& Side Effects)

The more that you look into it, the more you can see that mother nature has produced some rather amazing substances that help our bodies thrive. While there is ongoing research into the benefits of Cannabinoids (particularly CBD & THC), we started our own exploration of other sources of natural well-being; after all, what we eat has a huge impact on how well our bodies work.

After some digging (not literally) we came across one of the most overlooked, yet powerful, natural remedies which many have been cringing at for years. Yes, that well-being trend is fungi (or mushrooms).

For most of us, mushrooms are weird, squidgy, and squashed things that you stay away from because they look, funny and could be harmful. At a closer look, these sprouting fungi are way more beneficial than what meets the eye! The world of fungi is truly a rabbit hole of amazing discoveries that are not yet fully understood…. but let us start small today with one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms in the UK; Lion’s Mane.

So today, we are going to be discussing the benefits of the Lion’s Mane Mushroom (also known as Hericium Erinaceus in gibberish) and why these fungi are particularly special?

What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?

Lion’s mane mushrooms are unlike any mushrooms you can buy at the supermarket- they are large white shaggy growths that look a lot like a Lion’s Mane (hence their name). They grow in spines and are often found on hardwoods in England, North America, Europe and Asia. The fungi have been used for traditional medicinal purposes for centuries in India, China, Korea and Japan but until recently have been largely unknown to western well-being.

The Lion’s Mane mushrooms themselves are often eaten raw (it apparently tastes like crab/lobster), cooked, dried (and ground into a powder) or steeped as tea (huge tradition of medicinal tea in China). What is most interesting to us, is that the Lion’s Mane extract is sold as an over-the-counter health supplement which is mostly to do with the bioactive substances found in the mushroom; many of which can have profound benefits to our cognitive function, our heart health, and digestive system.

So let us delve deeper into what potential well-being benefits the Lion’s Mane Mushroom possesses (and what are the side effects of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms)

May Support Cognitive Function

One of the most interesting and widely-studied benefits of Lion’s Mane mushroom is it’s potential to enhance cognitive function and brainpower. Although there have been very few human studies, it was found that the mushroom acted as a nootropic and improved memory, recognition, and cognition for mice.

It has been found that there are two compounds that are produced in Lion’s Mane which stimulate the regeneration and growth of neurons, and help the production of new pathways in the brain: Hericenones and Diterpenoil Erinacines.

Our cognitive function would not be the same without them. Our brain is like a muscle- the more you use your muscles the stronger, faster, and more resilient they become; our brain works in a very similar way during a process known as Synapse Potentiation. This is the process of the pathways in your brain growing and becoming stronger each time they are used. It is why our ability to learn, solve complex problems and ability to remember details improves when we push our brainpower.

In addition, there have been links drawn between Lion’s Mane as a potential preventative measure to degenerative brain issues in older adults. A study found that cognitive functionality and memory was improved for elderly adults while taking a Lion’s Mane supplement, and then disappeared when the supplement was stopped.

Potential for Nerve Recovery

The more you learn about the body, it seems the less you really know. We often take for granted how complex our body actually is. Our nervous system is such a delicate and important network that sends signals from the brain, to the rest of the body.

While there have been almost zero studies for humans, animal studies have shown that a high dose of Lion’s Mane extract could potentially aid the repair, and growth of nerve cells. The recovery from a nerve injury was found to increase between 23-41% in rats.

It is hard to say whether this actually translates into humans, but the findings are certainly very interesting and bring up a lot of questions.

Digestive & Immune System Support

A happy gut is a happy body. It is a fact. The old saying – ‘Listen to your gut’ – has never had so much forgotten meaning. It is an absolute fact that our gut plays a huge role in the well-being of the rest of our body, and our mind. After all, it is where our body gets the fuel to survive.

Arguably, the cause of a vast array of modern illnesses is caused by our diet of overly fatty, salty, sugary, and processed foods.

A number of studies have looked into the benefits of Lion’s Mane supplements, for the digestive system. They found that the mushroom may help to protect our natural ‘good bacteria’ balance and the health of our gut. Lion’s Mane has been found to reduce the levels of a bacteria called H. Pylori which is a known cause of stomach ulcers. The mushroom extract was also found to protect against alcohol-induced ulcers during animal trials. Interesting, but still better things to come.

There is also speculation as to whether or not Lion’s Mane Mushroom can actually reduce inflammation in the lower digestive system, helping many cope with intestinal and bowel problems. The jury is still out, but some studies have shown than a ‘Mushroom Complex’ (containing lots of mushrooms) can aid against inflammation in the lower digestive system.

Finally, the Mushroom has also been liked to improving our body’s response to pathogens that enter our body in the nose, and mouth by increasing the activity of our digestive immune system. This is found to be due to its ability to keep our gut bacteria balance happy. In animal trials, a mouse infected with the deadly salmonella bacteria lived up to 4 times longer while given a Lion’s Mane extract.

It is important to note that most of the studies included here were not completed on humans; more research is needed!

Inflammation & Oxidative Stress

Every single day of our lives, we experience some level of inflammation. It is a completely natural part of our body’s immune response to potential damage.

While inflammation can be helpful, chronic inflammation can cause some serious well-being issues. Continued inflammation can be caused by what is called ‘oxidative stress’ in the body, which is when your body has more ‘free radicals’ than antioxidants (these are what prevents the free-radicals from damaging your cells). This makes antioxidants very important to ensuring that our body is working normally, and healthily.

Research has shown that Lion’s Mane has the fourth highest levels of antioxidants out of 14 mushroom species studied and is recommended as a potential antioxidant supplement. While the benefits of Lion’s Mane in humans is still undergoing research, studies in animals have been found to be very promising.

Mental Health

As part of its ability to help regenerate cells in the hippocampus (deals with mood in the brain) and it’s anti-inflammatory potential, Lion’s Mane is seen to have mild benefits for improving depression and anxiety. While mice have been the only test subjects for major studies, a human study had found that the mushroom extracts had lowered the anxiety and irritation levels in menopausal women. In animal studies, it was found that the mushroom made changes to the Hippocampus, which when dysfunctioning is the cause of mood disorders.

Mental health is a very serious subject to discuss for us, and we take almost everything with a pinch of salt. What we certainly know is that the benefits Lion Mane holds for our brain function makes total sense. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that regular consumption of Lion’s Mane has lead to a ‘greater clarity’ in mind. While once again, human studies need to be extended, the benefits of Lion’s Mane on mental health could be a huge discovery in regards to natural well-being alternatives.

Lion’s Mane Side Effects & Drug Interactions

Lion Mane extracts have been used in traditional remedies for centuries, so it is fairly safe to assume that the mushrooms are not harmful to humans at any level. Even in high doses, there is no evidence that there can be a toxic or harmful buildup in our body – in saying this, detailed human studies need to be done to discover the real effects of a high dosage.

There are however, a few groups of people who need to be careful when consuming these mushrooms; like all fungi, there is a potential for an allergic reaction. So if you have a sensitivity to mushrooms, you should consider avoiding Lion’s Mane.

For the same reasons, anybody who suffers from a respiratory condition (like asthma), or a bleeding issue should speak to a medical professional, or avoid the mushroom. This advice also extends to those who are nursing or are pregnant, have low blood sugar levels, and those who are due to have surgery.

From what we can find, some people experience nausea & vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.

There are also no known drug interactions when taking Lion’s Mane.

Conclusions

Across the board here, human studies to determine the benefits of Lion’s Mane are thin, however, we can say for certain that the mushroom has been a key feature in plenty of traditional remedies. So while the jury is still out on whether or not the Lion’ Mane benefits can be substantiated, we know for sure that the mushroom is pretty damn good for our health.

The same goes for the Lion’s Mane side effects – it seems that every experience may be different, and based on either a sensitivity to mushrooms or personal experience.

Is It Safe To Drive on CBD?

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Is It Safe To Drive While Taking CBD Oil?

 

The ability to drive is often the source of our livelihoods, freedoms, and happiness. The freedom that a vehicle can give us cannot be underestimated in our modern society.

Cannabis is most commonly known as a prohibited recreational drug that is used for people to get ‘high’. This notion is being challenged as an understanding of the plant is unlocked through research and this ‘evil’ or ‘harmful’ plant is starting to be known for it’s wide range of beneficial wellbeing outcomes.

As there is a rise in the use of Cannabis-derived products, there is also a concern that these products can either affect your ability to drive or, for those who are professional drivers and are subject to regular drugs tests, cause you to fail a drug test and lose your job (or worse, your licence).

So- Is it safe to drive while using CBD? Let us answer this question and clear up all of your worries.

 

CBD & Driving

In short, yes – it is completely perfectly fine to drive while taking CBD.

As you may be aware, THC is the cannabinoid compound that is responsible for the rush of euphoria that is known as a high. Other side effects of THC can be drowsiness, lethargy, interrupted motor skills, lack of spacial or time awareness, and in very extreme cases the worsening of mental health issues (such as anxiety, depression and more). It is worth noting that THC has huge potential for modern-day well-being, but it should be treated (like everything) with respect and caution.

It is for all of these reasons that consuming THC rich cannabis (the currently illegal stuff) can severely affect a person’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery when consumed in large (or concentrated amounts).

CBD however, is almost the antithesis to THC, and works completely differently. CBD is not psychoactive and has not been found to cause any harmful adverse psychoactive side effects or affect our ability to coordinate our movements. In short- CBD will not affect your ability to drive.

There are some of our products which do contain a small amount of THC, and there is a very good reason for this. Full-spectrum CBD oils/or paste are considered as the ‘best’ CBD products that can be purchased based on a natural process known as the ‘Entourage effect’. This is when the cannabinoids (and phytochemicals) work together to regulate and enhance their benefits. There is an argument that suggests THC is essential to maximize the impact that CBD has.

Each of these full-spectrum oils, however, contain less than 0.2% THC which is the current UK legal limit. At this level (as long as you take the recommended dose), while the THC is still active inside your body, it is certainly not enough to impact your motor skills or ability to drive.

 

Drug Tests

If you are a professional driver or are somebody who is regularly drug tested for their occupation, there is a worry a CBD oil that contains even the smallest amount of THC will cause a fail in a drug test. The implications of this can be huge- it can mean the loss of your license, your job or a potential criminal charge. Scary stuff right?

Well, even though it is very, very unlikely that our products will contain enough THC to cause a positive result in a test, it is not unheard of and we cannot guarantee that THC will not be detected. Therefore, a full-spectrum CBD oil may be completely off the table.

It is for this very reason that we have produced a THC free angelic CBD oil range or CBD sprays. They are designed to contain 0% THC and still contain a broad-spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and natural hemp phytochemicals (to ensure the synergetic benefits of the plant can be achieved). These are ideal for those who are regularly tested, drive professionally, athletes, or those who simply do not wish to consume THC. A lot of time and effort has gone into the formulas to ensure that the  CBD is as effective as possible, without the presence of THC.

So, you can get your daily dose of Cannabinoids without the worry for it impacting your future!

 

Driving this to a conclusion

Sorry in advance for the awful pun… but to bring this journey to an end we can clear up that it is absolutely safe to drive while using a CBD oil and while full-spectrum oils maybe a little too risky for some, there are THC free options to ensure that you can stay calm and drive on!

If you are here to try some CBD then you may certainly be interested in our range of full-spectrum (contains THC) oils & paste: 5% / 500mgs Dina, 10% / 1000mgs Diablo & 1000mgs CBD paste. For those who like it strong, or without THC we have the 15% / 1500mg Dian, 20% / 2000mgs Deity, the 2.5% Cherub, 5% Virtue & 7.5% Ophanim!

 

THC Free CBD Oil & What are the Benefits?

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THC Free CBD Oil & What are the Benefits?

THC is the cannabinoid that makes Cannabis notorious. It is the ‘bad’ one of the Cannabinoid world down to the fact that it is among the few Cannabinoids which are psychoactive (means that it alters your state of mind). THC is the cause of the ‘high’ that people experience when smoking/ ingesting (currently) illegal Cannabis. For that very reason, THC has been prohibited by the Misuse of drugs act 1971 which means that it is illegal to possess or consume substances containing THC.

As time has passed, and more research has been completed we see that THC has been largely misunderstood and actually does have a wide range of benefits for your well-being (so long as it is taken with caution of course). For instance, our full-spectrum products contain a very small amount of THC (less than 0.2% which is the legal amount)- and those who try them can really feel the difference. This is partly down to what is called the ‘entourage effect‘. There is a big argument for including THC in a CBD oil formula!

But for some, even this small amount of THC maybe a little too much- particularly for professionals who are regularly drugs tested (like police, athletes, drivers etc…), or those who simply do not want to consume any THC whatsoever. In all honestly, while we would suggest that the full-spectrum oils are more effective, sometimes it is just not worth the risk!

That is why a THC free option is a good thing to have- but what actually are 0% THC CBD oils and what are the benefits?

What is a THC Free CBD oil?

A CBD Oil which is THC free is exactly what it says on the tin. Or is it? Technically, it is extremely difficult (pretty much impossible to be honest) to irradicate all traces of THC from a hemp-based product. So most of the time, even a 0% THC oil does contain either THCa or THCv which are not psychoactive. The only way that you can completely eradicate THC is by having an isolated CBD formula, which is not acceptable for human consumption according to the FSA (& the Cannabis Trades Association).

What makes a CBD oil THC Free, is a THC level of less than 0.0%. Most of the THC free CBD oils on the market do contain the previously mentioned raw THC molecules (THCa & THCv) but they usually only account for about 0.02% of the formula, which is bearly even detectable in the bottle (nevermind once it has passed through your body). It makes these products ideal for those who are regularly tested for controlled substances.

 

The Benefits of 0% THC?

Although there are many (maybe most people) in the CBD industry have a strong stance on the benefits of THC, there are many of us who would just prefer that there is no THC present at all. Particularly if you fall into the category of a being a police officer, teacher, professional driver or a professional athlete.

While you would be very unlucky to test positive while using a full-spectrum CBD oil, there have been instances where THC has been detected while being tested. It is very, very rare (and often it is found that the product contained more THC than was advertised) but for obvious reason, a negative on a spot-test cannot be guaranteed. There are too many variables to consider. 0% THC CBD oils contain such a low level of the raw THC compounds that it is bearly traceable in the bottle and will not be detected in a drug test. So they just give you that little bit more confidence that you can get your daily dose of CBD, without getting yourself accidentally into trouble.

Secondly, to be able to achieve a THC free CBD oil, the hemp plant must be refined down to a distillate, which only contains the cannabinoids & other valuable oils (like Terpenes). During this process, the plant matter, which is what gives hemp its strong ‘acquired’ taste, is removed leaving a substance that has very little flavor at all. Our THC free CBD oils have been produced with MCT oil (from Coconut) which in itself is almost tasteless. It makes them ideal for those who do not like the hempy flavours that put many off!

Is THC Free CBD Oil for you?

If you came here to see if you can find yourself THC free CBD oils then you have come to the right place. We have produced a range of low, and high strength CBD oils THC free! You can find them in our store 😀

How Long Does CBD Stay in the Body?

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How Long Does CBD Stay in the Body?

When you are taking CBD, it should be considered as a long-term change to your lifestyle. Cannabinoids are used to maintain your internal balance (by supporting the Endocannabinoid System). But what happens if you forget to take your CBD? How long does the CBD actually stay inside of your body? Well, this is a question that we ask ourselves all of the time, so we decided to do a little bit of research and see what we could find!

So, how long does CBD stay in the body?

Absorbing CBD

There are lots of variables that will affect how long CBD stays in the body; one of which is the process of absorption. This can be affected by a whole load of different things, like the method of consumption, the type, and the quality of CBD that you take (does it contain chemicals, heavy metals etc.. or poor extraction method).

As our body is mainly made up of water, and CBD is found in the form of an oil, it is particularly difficult for us to easily absorb Cannabinoids. The compounds must go through a couple of processes before they can be fully accepted and interact with the Endocannabinoid Receptors, and this really depends on which processes the CBD has gone through before it enters our bloodstream. For instance, if you take your CBD in the form of a capsule, it must go through the digestive system which is significantly less effective than taking the CBD oil sublingually. Other aspects that can affect the bioavailability of CBD are your body weight, metabolic rate, and whether you have eaten (if you take CBD on an empty stomach it is metabolized quicker).

All types of CBD have different levels of bioavailability which can affect how long CBD remains in the body.

How much & often do you take CBD?

This may be obvious, but the more CBD that you consume, the longer it should remain in your system. It just depends on how quickly your body can get through the dose.

Secondly, as your body gets used to using phytocannabinoids it uses them more effectively. It is why we also suggest to start low and slow if you’re new to CBD. The longer that you use CBD the more you get from it! If you’re an occasional user of CBD it is more likely that it will clear from your system quicker.

So, how long does CBD stay in your system?

Honestly, it is hard to say. All of the factors above can have an impact on the length of time it takes your body to use the CBD. Some estimates suggest that it can take between 2-6 days for your body to use up all of the CBD but that may vary wildly. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done to ensure that we know exactly how long CBD stays in your system.

What is the Difference Between CBD & CBDa?

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What is the difference between CBD & CBDa?

What is CBDa?

CBD is one cannabinoid out of a family of 113, and much like everything else in nature, cannabinoids come in a whole lotta shapes and sizes. 

You may have noticed that we have started to launch full-spectrum CBD products, which contain weird and wonderful acronyms like CBDa, CBDv, THCa, THCv, CBG, CBGa etc… and on and on. To understand how and why these oils and pastes do what they do, you need to understand just a little bit about the different types of cannabinoids. There is an argument out there that including a mixture of ‘raw’ cannabinoids (the ones found in our Dina (5%), Diablo UK made CBD Oil (10%) & Tenedor (paste)) into your diet has a much bigger positive impact on your well-being.

Unless you have a chemistry degree, where all of these cannabinoids come from can get a little confusing. I will try and keep it as simple as I can.

We also must stress, that CBD & CBDa products are to be sold as a food supplement and should be taken as part of a balanced diet. We cannot make any medical claims or claims of medical benefit. Also read about the endocannabinoid system!  

CBD vs. CBDA -What is Raw CBD Oil?

Cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDa, is one of the main cannabinoids that are produced on the leaves, stems and flowers of certain cannabis varieties; like Indica, Sativa or Hemp. In very simple terms, CBDa is the raw form of CBD that can be found in the plant. This is often why you will see CBD oils that are described as ‘raw’ – it is simply down to the fact that they contain CBDa.  

It is not until this CBDa is decarboxylated, does the compound turn into CBD (which is what all the fuss is about these days). Decarboxylation is a fancy word for when carbon dioxide and hydrogen are removed from the CBDa compound- thus slightly changing the properties of the cannabinoid. More often than not, this process occurs naturally as the plant ages, is exposed to light and heat from the sun, or when it is burned- like when it is smoked or put in the oven. The same process happens for almost all of the cannabinoids. 

The most amazing example of this change is within THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol. The acid precursor of THC is…. you guessed it, THCa. While THC is known, and used, for its psychoactive properties, THCa is not psychoactive at all. The decarboxylation process must take place before you get any psychoactive reaction.

CBD & CBDa both share similar properties, but work slightly differently just as the differences between THC & THCa above. 

What does CBDa Do?

The main difference between the two CBD’s is the level in which they have been researched. We know far less about CBDa than we do about CBD.

CBD was discovered in 1963, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that researchers learned how cannabinoids worked with the body. It is due to this, that we know very, very little about how CBDa works – there is also very little understanding as to whether the raw acid forms of any cannabinoid actually binds to either of the cannabinoid receptors. 

If you are going digging, try not to search for ‘CBDa but instead look for information on the Endocannabinoid System.

All I know is after trying both, I can certainly say that I like the food supplements which contain CBD & CBDa better and there are thousands of people who say the same. 

Where Do I Find CBDa?

CBDa can be found mainly in ‘raw’ CBD products. These include raw hemp extracts, raw CBD oils or ‘whole plant’ products like CBD flowers or whole plant juices.
 
It is safe to say that tinctures, oils and pastes with a mixture of CBD & CBDa are becoming more, and more popular by the minute. We are currently offering tinctures with 500mg, 1000mg, 1500mg & 2000mg of CBD & CBDa with free shipping across the UK (even in Glasgow or London – Available for Wholesale too).

Will I Build Tolerance To CBD?

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Will I Build Tolerance To CBD?

Our body is very special. We as a species have survived due to our ability to adapt to almost anything nature throws at us. Whether it is a change in environment, living conditions, or diet, the human body can adapt and overcome its challenges. It is why our body builds up a tolerance to a lot of substances.

An example being Coffee- our body gets used to the stimulation, so over time we need more to get that ‘Good Morning’ buzz. So does that mean that when we take a food supplement like CBD it becomes less effective over time, and we need to take more and more? You may now be asking ‘Will I build a tolerance to CBD? Let’s clear this up for you.

 

 

CBD Tolerance

Usually, building a tolerance to a substance is considered a positive thing and all of us experience our body’s ability to adapt every day.

Given how frequently CBD is consumed, it makes sense to assume that the body will react in the same way it does with substances like tea, coffee, or sugar. Factor in the various different ways that CBD can be taken (edibles, tinctures, oils, capsules, and topicals), and it is a perfectly valid concern. However, before we can answer whether the body builds a tolerance to the effects of CBD, we first need to explore how tolerance works.

Understanding How Tolerance Works

There are three main categories of Tolerance: Cellular, Metabolic and Behavioral.

Tolerance at a Cellular level suggests that the cells become less responsive to a compound. This is why our body gets used to a stimulant on a biological level- substances like coffee become less effective over extended use.

Secondly, Metabolic tolerance is where the body metabolizes the substance much more quickly and effectively. Metabolic tolerance is partly the response that enables the human body to get used to drinking alcohol- extended chronic use of alcohol actives enzymes in the live which metabolize the alcohol much more effectively.

Finally, behavioral tolerance is more of a psychological tolerance where we become attuned to the disruption a drug causes. For instance, it is very easy to get used to the feeling of intoxication and therefore it does not affect our performance so much. Tolerance can certainly be made up of one, or all of the tolerance levels- and the ability to adapt to a substance varies between person to person.

Cannabinoids & Tolerance

Cannabinoids are a strange one. It seems as though the two main cannabinoids (THC & CBD) are complete opposites in the way they work in our bodies. For those who are heavy THC users, they start to build up a tolerance to the compound- cellular tolerance and behavioral tolerance are very common with smokers. It is why many people have bad experiences when their tolerance to THC is low. Over time the cannabinoid receptors become almost desensitized and are less willing to bind with the compound.

Strangely, any evidence of CBD tolerance has not been found. There is some evidence to suggest that it accepted the same and can encourage the absorption of other cannabinoids. Although there is still a lot of research that needs to be completely, and there are a lot of variables that haven’t been taken into account, for now, it seems as though the body does not build a tolerance to CBD. Which is great because once you have found your sweet spot, you can keep that does steady.

It is suggested that the benefits of taking a regular CBD supplement improve over time and the longer that you take the supplement, the more able your body is using the cannabinoids effectively. So if you’re asking the question ‘Will I build CBD Tolerance?’- the answer right now is, no, quite the opposite.

The Benefits of Co2 Extraction

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The Benefits of Co2 Extraction of CBD

If you go onto a search engine and look up ‘CBD oil‘, there are thousands of companies selling ‘the best CBD oil’. Just because we say it is the best, it doesn’t mean that it is. While we may hesitate to wildly claim that what we provide is the ‘best’, we can certainly say that some production methods that are scientifically better than others; one of those processes is CO2 Extraction.

So, let us answer the question: what is CO2 Extraction and why does it produce a better CBD product?

 

What is CO2 Extraction

The process of Supercritical CO2 extraction uses pressurized gas (CO2) to extract specific compounds from a substance or its raw form; for instance drawing out a phytochemical from a plant.

CO2 is a “tunable solvent” which makes it extremely versatile for creating products by controlling temperature and pressure through a system of storage tanks, heaters compressors, extractors, and contenders. It allows manufacturers to extract light essential oils which are much more valuable than the heavier plant matter and lipid content.

In the cannabis world, this method can be used to extract Cannabinoids and terpenes, but otherwise, it can be used for producing coffee, teas, perfumes, and spices.

In very simple terms- this is how this process works (for the science geeks among you):

  1. A vessel is filled with plant matter (often called ‘biomass’)
  2. The system is pressurized (75 pounds a square inch) and the temperature is reduced to -69°C. The CO2, that we all know and love as a gas, turns into a liquid. After the gas is liquified, the temperature is increased to -32°C and the pressure is eased so to make the gas ‘supercritical’.
  3. The compounds are pulled from the biomass into another solution (in the separator). The solvent (CO2) is boiled out of the solution and evaporated so that the condensed liquid is stored in an accumulator. A sample is then taken to keep track of the extract quality
  4. The system is then depressurized and realized back into separator 2.
  5. The extract is collected

 

(Stolen from edenlabs.com)

 

Other Production Methods:

To give a little bit of reference to why CO2 is considered as superier, there are 2 other main production methods: Using a solvent & the Olive Oil Method:

 

The Solvent method

Solvent extraction methods involve the use of ethanol, propane, butane or another alcohol to extract the phytochemicals. The benefits of solvent extraction is that is fast, and easy to do and is very inexpensive. Which is great for a profit line, but not so great for the consumer. The solvents used are flammable which makes the process particularly dangerous. The method also only extracts cannabinoids and chlorophyll which gives some CBD products that really bitter taste. To add to this, the solvents dissolve the plant waxes which is a nutritious and beneficial ingredient in the hemp plant- therefore, the quality of the products are affected.

Not only are the products themselves of poorer quality, but the method can also be dangerous for a consumer. When the process is completed (you will learn more about the process in the next section below) the solvent leaves residue in the product which can be toxic. In a recent study- traces of petroleum residue and naphtha hydrocarbons were found in some CBD products produced by using the solvent extraction method. Now that is both scary and shocking!

 

The Olive Oil Method

The Olive Oil Method is one loved by those who create homemade CBD oils and is the most cost-effective and most simple. You can try this at home! You start by decarboxylating the Hemp Plants and flowers to turn the CBDa to CBD (or any raw cannabinoid into the active ingredient). This process was done traditionally with Olive Oil but you can add almost any oil you like. You would then add the plant matter to the oil and heat again over some time; this can be done over the hob or in a slow cooker for a couple of hours. The plant matter naturally infuses into the oil.

The issue with this method is that the oils created are not very concentrated and are often inconsistent; it is hard to measure the concentration of any cannabinoid. Plus the fact that the extraction is perishable and doesn’t last as long as alternative methods.

 

The Benefits of CO2 Extraction

If you have made it this far, well done. I myself writing this would have glazed over. But once you understand the benefits of a process like this, then it is easy to see why the CBD products that are produced this way are far superior.

Not any old cowboy can do this at home- Be safe in the knowledge that a professional who knows what they are doing is producing your CBD. All of this equipment, knowledge, and attention to detail requires a lot of skill and education. There are a few ways that you can make your own CBD oil at home – for instance, putting decarboxylated Hemp flowers into a slow cooker etc… but they are never quite right and the levels of cannabinoids are almost impossible to measure. It is fun experimenting but when it comes to serious CBD oils, it is always best to leave your well-being in the hands of a professional.

No Chemicals or Toxins- CO2 extraction does not use any kind of harmful chemicals that are flammable or petroleum-based solvents. It means that when the process is completed, the solvent (being CO2) turns back into gas and evaporates. It leaves no trace or residue which can taint the final product; meaning that what is left is cleaner and purer.

Safer & Cleaner Products- As you can imagine, a hemp plant that has been plucked out of the field may have spores of mold, residue or insects living in/ on the plant. No matter how hard you try, this is just part and parcel of growing something. The CO2 extraction process ensures that all of the unwanted bacteria, insects or other unwanted nasties are destroyed. So compared to

Greater control- You can either have as refined or as raw as you like. For instance, you can produce a raw plant matter rich paste (like our own hemp paste) or distill the product down to a distillate which only contains cannabinoids (which what our MCT blends use). By changing the temperature and pressure of the machines, you can have greater control as to how your product is produced.

 

The Benefits of Water Soluble CBD

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The Benefits of Water Soluble CBD

 

It is very clear that CBD faces some challenges; whether you are new to CBD or have been taking it for years, the same issues pop up time, and time again. The common issues are:

  1. CBD is considered to have relatively poor bioavailability (it’s hard for them to be efficiently absorbed by the body)
  2. The taste- we shall say nothing more
  3. Droppers can be fiddly and awkward to fit into your daily routine
  4. Lack of clarity around the dosage

 

All of these issues are faced by almost every single user of CBD- combine that with the fact that everybody’s experience using CBD will differ, somehow makes it a difficult well-being supplement to ever feel completely satisfied with. We’re not bashing the conventional ways of taking CBD, because they have their own charms and benefits, but we think that Water Soluble CBD is going to change things up a little bit.

 

CBD Oils & Bioavailability

Scientifically, one of the biggest issues with CBD is its ability to be absorbed into the body. CBD oil really should be taken sublingually (under the tongue), and that is down to the fact that this is the most effective way for CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream. But in this process, there is still a lot that is wasted and ingested via the digestive system/ liver (with is even less effective). If you do not take CBD correctly, at best you do not get value for money, at worst if it may do nothing for you.

The issue is that our bodies are made up of 60% water- and when CBD is extracted from the plant it is in the form of an oil which cannot be easily defused into our bloodstream (oils actually resist being absorbed-  which is why oil sits on top of water).

It is mostly an oil taken sublingually that is considered to be much more effective than a hemp seed oil capsule, or topical cream- or a CBD mattress cover (Sadly, those exist). Most of the CBD that you are ingesting is either damaged or wasted.

So, how can you overcome CBD’s natural resistance to being absorbed? Well, some bright-spark has produced a water-soluble CBD formula which bucks this trend!

 

Benefits of Water Soluble CBD

So, in theory, if CBD could be made water-soluble it can be way more effective, right? Yes. So long as the CBD is actually soluble in water. There are key players in the CBD manufacturing industry who produce ‘water-based’ products using what is referred to as a Nanoemulsion. Which isn’t particularly good for us. It isn’t actually water-soluble- more ‘water-compatible’. It is like Mayonnaise- the oil and water are held together by egg- rather than actually infusing together.

There are some who have actually cracked it and have produced a solution that is completely water-soluble. How this is done is currently under lock and key (usually to protect the interests of the company’s intellectual property). Once we know, we will share it with you.

But that is all well and good for a lab-coat, but what are the actual benefits of Water Soluble CBD in practice?

Greater Bioavailability (up to 10x more effective than traditional methods)

Down to the fact that the cannabinoid molecules are suspended in an active state in water they can be absorbed much, much more effectively. Water-soluble products are up to 10 times more effective than the traditional methods. This is not to say that they are any better or worse. During the process of production, a lot of the ‘other cannabinoids’ have been removed along with the natural plant matter. It means that the water-solubles do not have the same levels of natural plant matter than a whole plant oil, or paste.

Much better taste!

To be fair, some people don’t mind the taste of hemp- it lets them know that they are actually taking something (writing this, I am an avid paste guy and I am the same)! It is very easily foreseeable that there are many people out there that are put off by the taste, and can make the whole experience unbearable. Water-soluble CBD is very easy to consume and has a very slight sweet herbiness but almost unnoticeable in something that has a flavour (like juice or coffee). So, think away from the long face and get a water-soluble!

Easy to Use & Dose

A CBD oil with a dropper can actually be a little bit of a pain. Honestly, I could do without the dance in the mirror trying to count your drops, for it to spill down the side of your face, or on the side of the bottle. It takes a little bit of practice to count the drops and effectively dose the oil, hold it properly under the tongue and do it all while late for work. With the water-soluble CBD, you can simply get your drink of choice and drop 1-4 drops in without thinking about it again.

Easy to slip into your routine

The last of the major gripes about CBD is that it can be a little difficult to slip into your routine. We’ve all been there- you’ve forgotten to take your CBD today. What is so fantastic about the water-soluble CBD is you can very easily add it to your morning cup or coffee, your water bottle at work, your lunch cup of whatever (soup if you wanted to), or your herbal tea in the evening before you head off to bed. Water-soluble CBD also only needs to be consumed once per day too! Easy peasy.

What is CBE (Cannabielsoin)

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What is CBE (Cannabielsoin)?

 

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of Cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant. So many in fact that we are finding new ones all the time. So, when we came across a little cannabinoid that we didn’t know about, we decided to do a little digging.

This cannabinoid was Cannabielsoin or CBE for short.

 

What is CBE?

In 1973, researchers found this compound but didn’t know anything about it. Although it had been mentioned, scientists didn’t even know its molecular structure until 1983. CBE is a cannabinoid which seems to be derived from CBD via a process of synthesis or metabolism. Although CBE is found naturally in the cannabis plant, Scientists used CBD to create CBE in a lab – this would be the first time a cannabinoid would be created by biotransformation. After a number of more years researching this compound, they found that CBE is a metabolite of CBD- this means that it is an end product of CBD. Much like CBD too, CBE is non-psychoactive.

As a side note – which isn’t really relevant but quite interesting – in 2008, Chinese archaeologists found a tomb said to be 2700 years old which was said to contain a large amount of cannabis (somebody’s mummy loved a joint… get it!?). Dad joke out of the way: when scientists tested the ancient cannabis, although CBC, CBL and CBN where the most abundant – CBD & CBE were also found.

 

What Are The Benefits of CBE?

There have been few studies done on CBE but there is still a lot we need to learn. In short- researchers found that CBE had a ‘negligible’ effect on the well-being of Mice, and did not seem to show at least the same potential as CBD or THC. In saying this, these studies were not very conclusive and there is still an awful lot left to learn about the actual role of CBE in the cannabis plant – or the human body. While you may have never heard of CBE, you are likely to have taken some if you take a full-spectrum CBD oil or product.

While science has not gotten to the bottom of the CBE mystery, the theory is that CBE is a part of what is known as the Entourage Effect; this effect in itself is somewhat of a mystery to modern science. The Entourage effect is a synergistic effect caused by all of the active ingredients in cannabis: from a wide range of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and healthy plant fats. When all of these active ingredients are combined, they work to enhance and regulate each other. It is a phenomenon not very well understood by science.

 

So, while we still can’t get to the bottom of this new cannabinoid, we know a little more than we did before. As research develops we are sure to find new cannabinoids and understand them more.

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