While there are now more CBD brands than you could try in a lifetime, for some, the taste and texture of the oils (or tinctures as they’re also known) are off-putting. As COVID-19 still holds the world in its grip, whatever stage of lockdown you’re in – in, out, or returning – you’re likely still feeling the impact of being cooped up.
After coming from humble hippy-dippy beginnings, CBD has quite quickly taken over the beauty and wellness industry with Forbes reporting earlier this year that 8 million people in the UK are buying CBD products, spending over £150m in the first four months of 2020 alone.
Fear not, we’ve got a round-up of CBD oil alternatives to help ease those aches and pains and bring you some peace.
Don’t like the taste or texture? We’ve got you covered
Cannaray’s Skin Cream is the perfect antidote to ease any aches you’ve got from a lack of exercise, or from working hunched over your laptop cramped in the corner of your kitchen. Infused with aloe, arnica, eucalyptus, shea butter, rosemary, and menthol, the light cream works immediately, cooling the area of your woes and relieving the muscles of all tension while also moisturising. Apply some to the shoulders and neck before going to bed for a restful, undisturbed night’s sleep.
Known as the purple coneflower, Echinacea has a long history of use by native Americans for cough, sore throat and pain, according to Dr. Rose. It houses a compound known as N-alkyl amides and interacts with the immune system, inflammation, and pain just like THC.
This native flower of China is more of a treasure, as it is rich with cannabinoids. “It’s involved with the regulation of signaling pathways of the ECS, which control the perception of pain,” says Dr. Rose. It has the ability to fight off inflammation in gout and other joint diseases, and also calms muscle spasms.
If you’re interested in CBD alternatives, here are some that experts recommend trying:
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“Clove oil contains a special terpene called beta-caryophyllene that’s also found in the cannabis plant,” says Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of B Nutritious and Daily Habit.
First, it’s important to understand the endocannabinoid system or ECS. You may be familiar with this relatively new term but still confused about what it is exactly. The endocannabinoid system is 600-million-years old, but only recently discovered in the late ’80s by a scientist researching the cannabis plant. What researchers found was an intricate and intelligent receptor-site system located throughout the body that’s responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles, mood, anxiety and stress, metabolism, energy, pain and inflammation, brain health and much more.
While it has nothing to do with getting “high,” the ECS is an incredibly important system that plays an integral part in the regulation, maintenance, and balance of optimal health and healing. “The ECS with its actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind,” says Dustin Sulak, DO.
How CBD Affects the Body
So, what do you do if you’re drug tested in your profession, but still want to experience the health benefits of CBD? You can either avoid the substance altogether or you can take a safe CBD alternative that works on your endocannabinoid system better than CBD alone.
Yes, that’s right. And you may already be familiar with some of these non-cannabis plants such as ginger, echinacea and clove oil. Non-cannabis plants can mimic the activity of cannabinoids but have a different structure called cannabimimetic compounds and may be more effective at activating the endocannabinoid system than CBD alone. This is especially great news for individuals who are unable to take CBD or who want to avoid the stigma of cannabis and hemp.
Now that you know a little more about how the ECS works, let’s dive into how CBD interacts with this system and affects the body. Your endocannabinoid system requires “activators” called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are produced naturally in your body, called endocannabinoids and others are derived from plants (like hemp or cannabis) called phytocannabinoids. These cannabinoids bind to receptor sites (CB1 and CB2) like a key does to a lock and may release an intricate cascade of neurotransmitters that communicate vital information to cells, tissues, organs, and glands critical to maintaining optimal health and homeostasis. However, scientists have discovered hundreds of non-cannabis and non-hemp plants that also contain healing phytocannabinoids that can activate and support the endocannabinoid system. This means you can achieve the same results with other options.