Our latest expert health briefing explores the science behind CBD hemp extract with special guest Maggie Frank, National Educator at PlusCBD™ Oil, along with Swanson Health's Lindsey Toth, Senior Registered Dietician, and Elena Nekrasov, Director of Regulatory & Science.
If you missed it, check out the recording and transcript below!
Lindsey: Hello and welcome to Swanson’s Expert Health Briefing. I’m Lindsey Toth, Senior Registered Dietitian with Swanson Health Products and I’m excited to be moderating today’s session.
Lindsey: The experts joining us today are Elena Nekrasov, Swanson’s director of regulatory and science, along with Maggie Frank, the National Educator at PlusCBD™ Oil – a leading manufacturer of CBD hemp extract products. Maggie speaks regularly on topics ranging from stress and wellbeing, to sleep, nutrition and supplements. Together, these experts have nearly 30 years of combined experience in nutrition, wellness, and supplements, and have a lot of knowledge to share with you today in the topic everyone is buzzing about – CBD hemp extract.
Elena: Hi everyone, this is Elena and we’re glad you could join us to learn about this emerging area of wellness. Welcome, Maggie!
Maggie: Hello Lindsey and Elena, thank you for having me!
Lindsey: Before we dive in, Maggie can you share a bit more about your passion for wellness and today’s topic?
Maggie: Absolutely! I’ve dedicated the last 15 years of my life helping people reach their ultimate health potential and, in that time, I haven’t come across anything as exciting as hemp-derived CBD. The emerging research is showing that it has a broad range of applications, and for those it works for, it provides profound benefits with very little concern of risk.
Lindsey: That’s fantastic. Like you, I have personally experienced and heard so many firsthand stories of how CBD hemp extract is changing lives. In fact, my parents who are in their 60s are both avid users!
I also want to share a bit more about the PlusCBD™ Oil’s line of CBD hemp extract products. As many of you know, Swanson Health Products prides ourselves on being the trusted source for total wellness since 1969. And with that commitment, we’re one of the first to offer high-quality CBD hemp extract. That’s a big responsibility, so we’re honored to have found a partner like PlusCBD™ Oil who is committed to purity, potency, and transparency for lab-tested assurance of quality.
Elena: And to add on, from what we see across the landscape, PlusCBD™ Oil is one of our valued partners who is offering a wide assortment of formats to help our customers find new ways to expand their health journeys.
Maggie: Thank you, ladies – I feel privileged to educate people on CBD hemp extract and proud to work for a company whose standards, quality, and passion for making the world a better place mirrors my own.
Lindsey: Wonderful, with that introduction…let’s get started!
CBD hemp extract is one of the hottest wellness trends right now, but what should you look for across the products? To start out, let’s give our listeners a strong foundation for what hemp is and the key vocabulary they need to navigate this supplement space.
Elena: That’s so important Lindsey. Not many people know that hemp is an herb and what the differences are between terms like ‘CBD’, ‘hemp extract’, and ‘marijuana’.
Lindsey: Absolutely, it can be very confusing. Let’s start with “what is CBD hemp extract?” Maggie – can you maybe share an overview?
Maggie: Yes! CBD stands for cannabidiol, a molecule within hemp plants. You can find the CBD molecule in extracts taken from the hemp plant, ingredients known as CBD hemp extracts.
Elena: One point to add here is that those are non-hallucinogenic extracts that include not only CBD, but also many other beneficial plant compounds.
Lindsey: That’s an important point, Elena – and something many of us are weary of when trying this new wellness product. Maggie how should our listeners think about the hemp plant family?
Maggie: Great question, Lindsey. CBD hemp extract is derived from the hemp plant, a member of the cannabis plant family and sister to the marijuana plant. The key difference however is that hemp and marijuana are not the same plants.
There are two natural compounds found in the plants of the cannabis genus – one is cannabidiol, or CBD, and the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC —the hallucinogenic component of the plant.
Elena: Actual levels of THC is the key here. Marijuana has higher amounts of THC while the federal definition of hemp is that it only contains less than .3% of THC by dry weight. This is why hemp is non-hallucinogenic, unlike marijuana.
Lindsey: This is very helpful, and it’s important to know how these different plants and compounds differ when considering if CBD hemp extract is right for your health goals.
Elena: Another common term that listeners may see is ‘full spectrum hemp’. Full spectrum CBD hemp extracts come from the hemp plant and deliver the complementary benefits of plant terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids – all working together to power your wellbeing.
Maggie: Terpenes are powerful organic compounds that play a unique role in how hemp benefits the body. They give plants their scent, just like flavonoids and carotenoids give plants their color. These are all part of a diverse group of phytonutrients, or plant chemicals, derived from nature.
Lindsey: Thank you, Elena and Maggie, those are important elements to define as we explore hemp. Another common question I hear about CBD hemp extract is “how does it work?” Can you explain that for our listeners?
Maggie: I get that question ALL the time! So, it all starts with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system maintains homeostasis and keeps our bodies functioning optimally by adapting to change.
Lindsey: The endocannabinoid system is a critical player in our health and wellness, right?
Maggie: It certainly is. In fact, it’s involved in the direct regulation of appetite, metabolic health, pain and inflammation, and thermoregulation – the process that helps your body maintain its core temperature. Even something as important as the pressure within your eye, called intraocular pressure, is tied to the ECS.
Lindsey: Those are such important pieces to balance our everyday wellbeing. Is there anything the ECS doesn’t do?
Maggie: The ECS is powerful. It also regulates sensation, muscle control, motivation, memory and learning, and mood. What’s even more incredible is that we make cannabidiol-like compounds in our brains.
Lindsey: You’re referring to endocannabinoids, correct?
Maggie: Yes, endocannabinoids. They act like ‘messengers’ and communicate within your body via cannabinoid receptors. There are two types – CB1 receptors in the brain and central nervous system and CB2 receptors in the nervous and immune systems. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors bind with cannabinoids and work with enzymes in the body to complete the physiologic system for life.
Elena: And there’s the endocannabinoid tone, which is a gauge of how the ECS is functioning.
Maggie: That’s right, Elena. The overall function of the ECS is influenced by lifestyle factors like diet and fitness, but how abundant the endocannabinoids and the receptors are within your individual body.
Lindsey: So, are there things we can do to impact our endocannabinoid tone, and improve overall health?
Maggie: Absolutely. Getting enough essential fatty acids and adequate exercise is a first step. Eating an array of spices, herbs, probiotics, and adaptogens to maintain a healthy gut biome is another way to boost endocannabinoid tone.
Elena: For those who may not be familiar with adaptogens, they are time-honored herbs that help offset the physical and mental effects of stress. Some examples are ashwagandha root and holy basil.
Maggie: Thank you, Elena – that’s exactly it. Managing stress levels has a direct tie into endocannabinoid tone. Lastly, and this is where hemp CBD comes in, supporting the ECS with phytocannabinoids can help boost tone.
Lindsey: That’s great, Maggie. And you shared that a recent study from the National Institutes of Health suggests that modulating ECS activity can have multiple benefits for human health. Can you talk a
Maggie: Yes, there is a growing body of work that suggests there are health benefits to paying attention to the endocannabinoid system.
Lindsey: So, put simply, CBD hemp extract works in the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system to maintain your overall wellbeing. It’s amazing the incredible potential CBD hemp extract has for supporting our health.
Maggie, while cannabis can be traced back to medicinal use as early as the 1800s, it has gained widespread popularity more recently, which has many of our listeners are asking, “is it safe?”
Maggie: The safety profile for CBD is strong, and recent advances in cannabinoid administration is building confidence in the safety of hemp-derived CBD.
Lindsey: What is considered when evaluating the safety of CBD hemp extract?
Maggie: Safety of an ingredient is measured in a number of ways. Studies of hemp-derived CBD and its effect on humans and animals have not shown a negative impact to food intake or people with certain health conditions.
Elena: The potential impact on physiological and psychological functions are other important areas to monitor.
Maggie: Yes, they are, and studies have shown that physiological parameters like heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature are not affected by hemp-derived CBD. Further, continued use and doses of up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans and had no negative impact on gastrointestinal, psychomotor, or psychological functions.
Lindsey: That’s encouraging as we consider the potential benefits of CBD hemp extract. Are there other considerations our listeners should keep in mind when navigating the array of options out there?
Maggie: Indeed, there are. The source of CBD hemp extract and the farming practices play a tremendous role in the ‘feel’ and benefits of a supplement.
First, outdoor agricultural hemp is far preferred over indoor cloned hemp. Not only does outdoor-grown agricultural hemp require 80% less water and uses solar power to grow, it sequesters CO2 and is helpful to our environment.
Elena: That’s so true, Maggie. Indoor grown hemp can carry a significant carbon footprint and put unnecessary strain on water and power supplies. Outdoor grown hemp is far more sustainable to meet growing demand.
Maggie: And, based on where the hemp is grown and how it’s extracted, each product has its own personality. Put simply, this means that one CBD hemp extract product claiming 10 mg of hemp-derived CBD can feel different from another just based on the farming practices.
Lindsey: Wow, it’s amazing the impact the farming and sourcing practices can have on your end product.
Maggie: You nailed it, Lindsey. And ultimately, this is how we can assure we’re delivering the highest-quality, full spectrum hemp extract that Elena mentioned earlier. We want the purest, optimally grown hemp plants to derive the richest form of extracts possible.
And that’s also why PlusCBD™ Oil is a proud member of several organic and natural sourcing associations committed to sustainable hemp production.
Lindsey: So, when selecting a CBD hemp extract, it’s even more important to look for assurances of certified quality and potency. This is why Swanson Health has such a strong commitment to transparent labeling, which is a value we share with PlusCBD™ Oil, right Maggie?
Maggie: Yes, full traceability from seed to shelf is our commitment for our PlusCBD™ Oil products. As you can see, we take that pledge seriously at every step of the supply chain so that from harvesting hemp seeds to laboratory testing of our finished products, we can assure users of quality and potency.
Lindsey: And I really love that you include a QR code on every package so users can see the certificate of analysis, assuring the batch and ingredients have been tested for potency and levels of THC less than 0.3%.
Maggie: That’s right. We believe that consumers should know the exact mg of CBD they are taking in their product.
Elena: It truly is key when you’re considering a CBD hemp extract product.
Maggie: Absolutely. And we help consumers find the product that is right for their needs with colors to show strength and intensity. Our gold formula, for example, is standardized to offer the most concentrated form of CBD oil that we offer.
Lindsey: That is super helpful, Maggie. Reading the labels for CBD hemp extract is an important element of feeling confident in what you’re putting into your body. For those who are new to CBD hemp extract, a common question I hear is “how much should I take?” How do you think about dosage and formats to support overall wellness?
Maggie: I do get that question often and the beauty of CBD hemp extract is that I cannot answer how it will make you feel, how much you need, and what the sweet spot is to experience a benefit. It is all individual and luckily, it is safe to experiment and discover what works best for you, across doses and the variety of different formats that exist out there.
Elena: How you feel from CBD hemp extract truly does vary. Since all people present various needs in their endocannabinoid system differently, promoting homeostasis will mean something different for each person.
Maggie: Exactly. And some people see immediate benefit, while others need a few weeks or months to notice a change. My dose, or ‘sweet spot’, will differ from yours Elena or Lindsey. That’s because every body utilizes cannabinoids differently based on health factors, diet, environment, and stress levels.
Lindsey: That makes so much sense. So where should someone start who is interested in trying CBD hemp extract for the first time?
Maggie: My advice is to start low and build slow. We’ve developed a titration schedule that can be used as a reference guide to developing a regimen.
Lindsey: How will someone know if they’ve taken too much, or increased their dosage too quickly?
Maggie: You may notice nausea, dizziness, or increased bowel movements if you take too much CBD hemp extract or take a form that is absorbed too well. The negative side effects can be extremely mild or unpleasant, depending upon the individual.
Lindsey: So people should try the product and perceive the impact in their bodies to sense added benefit and discontinue or reduce dosage or frequency if they feel unpleasant side effects like you mentioned.
Maggie: That’s correct.
Elena: Bioavailability may or may not be a term our listeners have heard before. It is essentially the amount of a substance that enters your blood stream when introduced to the body and therefore is able to have a benefit. So highly concentrated, or standardized, forms of supplements typically have stronger effects for users.
Lindsey: Interesting, so trying various formats becomes even more important then. A few ways to test CBD hemp extract is with topical balms and oils, because you can control the dosage. Oils can be added into every day foods and beverages to gauge effect. For instance, I drop a few drops of peppermint CBD oil in cocoa for a warm and relaxing treat to beat stress at the end of a long day.
Maggie: Right, once you understand how your body reacts, you can try higher dosages of capsules and softgels, or try snacks and edibles like gummies.
I like to keep the citrus punch gummies in my bag on the go for a delicious way to enjoy CBD hemp extract!
Elena: My husband and I love to exercise, so we’re both big fans of the extra strength balm.
Lindsey: There are so many uses!
This has been a really informative overview of what CBD hemp extract is, how it works in the body, and considerations for shopping this exciting new dietary supplement category.
Lindsey: Next, our experts will answer a few questions submitted by Swanson Health customers.
Lindsey: First up: Why are oils added to the CBD hemp extract capsule and softgel products?
Elena: Great question. CBD hemp extract is often combined with oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil to offer the added benefits of essential fatty acids.
Maggie: And if you recall how the endocannabinoid system works, those essential fatty acids are helpful in promoting a healthy tone and support hemp extract as it is metabolized and interacts with enzymes in the body. It’s all part of making the CBD hemp extract bioavailable for those who take the supplements.
Lindsey: I have a follow up question about blends—there are often other ingredients added to CBD to create combination formulas to help support wellness and health areas like sleep and stress. How does that work exactly?
Elena: Some of the best sleep and relaxation ingredients, like valerian root, gamma aminobutyric acid (or GABA), magnesium, and L-theanine, are combined with CBD hemp extract to promote sleep. As you all know, sufficient sleep is important for daily recovery and to keep your immune system functioning optimally.
Maggie: Next to sleep, daily stress is a top complaint among wellness seekers. Stress can affect your health in surprising ways and it’s also be tied back the ECS. Our immunity, digestion, heart function, and more is all tied into stress and sleep levels.
Elena: Right and this is where combining adaptogens like ashwagandha and bacopa monnieri can really elevate the benefits of CBD hemp extract.
Lindsey: I’ve also seen that there are other popular combination formulas out there with joint nourishing ingredients like turmeric and Boswellia—these are great ingredients in particular for active bodies and for our bodies in colder weather, right?
Elena: Yes, and I’ve noticed tea tree oil, menthol, and arnica montana are now being added to topical balms and roll on formulas to amplify the CBD hemp extract with ingredients which have been trusted for centuries to promote joint and muscle comfort.
Lindsey: Next up, something I’ve heard a lot of buzz around—are oils better than capsules?
Maggie: Not necessarily, it depends on your needs. Some people prefer oils because they don’t like swallowing pills, and others want complete control over customizing their dose, which oils can easily provide. Gummies are also a good option for people who want fewer pills to swallow. How you take it is less important than choosing the option you’re most likely to take consistently.
Lindsey: I couldn’t agree more, a consistent routine really is key to good health. Okay and final question—is it safe to purchase CBD online?
Elena: Yes, absolutely. As long as you buy from a trusted source or company that guarantees quality testing, like PlusCBD™ Oil products and Swanson Health.
Lindsey: Great questions today everyone! You can learn more about CBD hemp extract from our experts at swanson.com and shop our wide selection of high quality PlusCBD™ Oil products at swanson.com/cv-sciences
Lindsey: And that concludes our time together today. Maggie and Elena, there are truly so many exciting possibilities for CBD hemp extract to elevate the supplements we’ve come to trust from Swanson Health and I very much appreciate your expertise on the topic, as I know our audience does as well.
Maggie, thank you for joining us today and sharing so much powerful education to our listeners. We’re proud to partner with PlusCBD™ Oil to offer quality, trustworthy CBD hemp extract products.
Maggie: It was my pleasure, Lindsey! And a thank you to Elena for adding her insights along the way. This is truly an exciting time for CBD hemp extract and the potential to help us all achieve a balanced, better version of ourselves.
Elena: Thank you, Maggie!
Lindsey: Thank you to everyone who joined us today. Stay in touch with us at Swanson.com and visit us on Facebook or Instagram at Swanson Health to let us know what you thought.
We’ll see you next time!
About PlusCBD™ Oil
PlusCBD™ Oil is a pioneer in the world of CBD hemp extract with scientific experts leading the way to cutting edge hemp research and product innovations.