Now that CBD has become mainstream, it’s important that consumers understand what they are purchasing and how these products can benefit them.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Hemp and marijuana are both Cannabis plants and both contain CBD and THC. The key difference is a hemp plant contains no more than 0.3% of THC – the part of the cannabis plant that will get you high.

Humans all have an endocannabinoid system, and in this system, we produce our own cannabinoids – or endocannabinoids. Our bodies have two receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors help balance our endocannabinoid system.

It’s when this system is out of balance that CBD products can be very useful. Bringing our bodies back into balance doesn’t normally occur overnight. With chronic conditions, CBD products should be used consistently for a minimum of four to six weeks.

CBD has been shown to have positive effects on inflammation, which can be the root cause of many disorders. Those who suffer from maladies from arthritis to inflammatory bowel issues have found CBD oils, edibles or capsules to be beneficial in reducing their inflammation and pain.

When starting any of these products, it is suggested to “start low, go slow,” taking the product twice daily.

It is recommended to contact your physician when starting these products. There are some pharmaceutical medications that should not be taken with CBD. There are a couple medications that will prohibit CBD from working.

CBD topicals can be used for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, sunburn and even bug bites. Itchy, dry or painful skin conditions respond well to topicals.

CBD in hemp oil is recommend over coconut oil, which will clog pores. The soothing effects of the CBD and the omega fatty acids found in hemp oil are truly helpful with skin conditions. These products should not be used on broken skin.

Another area where CBD can be helpful is with serotonin levels. Serotonin has been called “the happy chemical.” As a neurotransmitter, serotonin helps with our overall mood and wellbeing.

CBD products have had positive effects on keeping this naturally occurring chemical compound from dropping. In doing so, it can be beneficial for those who suffer from headaches and mood disorders.

CBD products can be taking in conjunction with traditional headache medications; however, it is always recommended to consult with your physician first.

Cynthia Groff, CCMA is the owner of Sativa Health Products on Hilton Head Island.