Ketone Supplement Fundamentals

Originally authored by Nate MartinsDr. Brianna Stubbs and Brady Holmer • September 5, 2019

Evolution is likely the reason for ketosis

This process evolved to enable humans to survive long periods of time without food. Ketosis was a necessity, since without an external source of energy in the form of food, humans would have eventually starved. An evolutionary “work-around” maintained energy stores in the face of deprivation by producing molecules called ketones from the body’s own internal fat stores. 

These molecules are now known to have more benefits than just survival.

But today, we rarely encounter anything close to nutrient deprivation. Our food-plenty society and high-carb food options ensure many of us are well-fed. We never force our bodies to become “ketogenic”—meaning that it’s actively producing ketones. What a shame, since ketones have a variety of beneficial effects for cell signaling and metabolism.

How then, can we gain the benefits of ketosis? One way is to eat a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, a.k.a the “keto diet”, or to fast

Other avenues into ketosis exist, ways to “hack” evolution and enter ketosis without having to eat a low-carb diet or fast for days on end. 

This method involves the use of exogenous ketones (“exo” meaning “from outside”) in the form of supplements. Furthermore, these exogenous ketones and keto supplements can be used to deepen levels of ketosis and provide a fuel source under certain metabolic conditions like fasting.

What is Ketosis?

First, let’s talk about ketones. 

Ketones are the products of the breakdown of fats in the body. Under a state of carbohydrate depletion, blood sugar is reduced, insulin levels fall, glucagon and cortisol rise, and fatty acids (FFAs) are liberated into the blood through a process called lipolysis. The increase in blood levels of FFAs is then sensed by the body, and FFAs are then transported to the liver and used in the production of ketone bodies. Three ketones exist: Acetoacetate (AcAc), Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and Acetone. 

Being in ketosis simply means that you have elevated levels of ketones in your blood, usually agreed upon at 0.5mM. Typically, this means elevated AcAc or, more commonly and in greater amounts, BHB. 

BHB and AcAc are the ketones mostly referred to when talking about ketosis and, as we will see later on, ketone supplements

BHB is the ketone present at the highest levels in the blood of a body in ketosis.1 This is significant for two reasons. For one, BHB is more stable than AcAc, and can be transported through the blood to other organs and tissues much more effectively. AcAc can be spontaneously broken down when it’s in the blood, where it forms acetone—a metabolic “waste product” that we excrete in the breath. We can’t use much acetone for energy.

But this doesn’t make AcAc any less important. 

In fact, AcAc is the “parent” ketone body—it’s what the body produces first, when the body is entering ketosis, and serves as the precursor for BHB. AcAc produced in the liver is converted to BHB, and then shuttled out and delivered elsewhere. A small amount of AcAc does travel through the circulation to be used as a fuel source, just to a lesser extent than BHB.

Endogenous vs. Exogenous Ketosis

“Am I in ketosis?” This question has a straightforward answer. As mentioned, typically a blood ketone level >0.5mM signifies that the body is producing ketones (or is in ketosis, depending on the route taken).

Route taken? Correct. There are two ways to achieve ketosis—endogenously or exogenously. 

Endogenous ketosis (“endo” meaning within”) is achieved through a low-carb high-fat diet (i.e. ketogenic diet) or fasting, in which the body produces its own ketones. The stimulus is dietary carbohydrate restriction, and the response is that we start to burn fat, leading to (eventually) an outflow of ketones from the liver. Since diverse signaling pathways are activated in order to activate endogenous ketosis and in response to it, diverse physiological benefits also occur. 

In contrast, exogenous ketosis (“exo” meaning outside) is achieved through the use of dietary ketone supplements and/or intake of certain types of dietary fats. These supplements can boost ketone levels either directly (ketone supplements) or indirectly (MCTs) but either way, elevate levels of blood ketones. Ketosis achieved exogenously can occur even in the absence of a ketogenic diet or prolonged fast. Sounds too good to be true. 

Ketosis might be ketosis, but the profiles used to achieve endogenous and exogenous ketosis vary drastically, and therefore have different benefits. There is something to be said about triggering the body to naturally produce ketones vs. “artificial” induction of ketosis. In the former, you’re forcing the body to be “ketogenic” whereas in the latter, you’re in ketosis, but not “ketogenic.” There are benefits to both.

Exogenous ketones are an alternative to physiological ketosis, and can be used in diverse ways to achieve certain mind and body states, almost like ketosis on cue.

While supplements are only chemically synthesized versions of ketones, the structure and function are essentially the same.

But, structural similarities aside, exogenous and endogenous ketosis have varying effects on the body. For instance — exogenous ketone supplementation is likely best for those trying to meet the needs of a ketogenic diet, improve sport performance, or further increase ketone levels on a ketogenic diet or a fast. However, the health benefits of ketosis like increased fat metabolism, weight loss, and some of the other metabolic benefits might only come from lifestyle changes like fasting or a ketogenic diet.

BHB monoester and AcAc diester chemical compounds

Why Use Exogenous Ketones?

Before diving into the specific forms of exogenous ketones and the nuances of each, let’s discuss some of the general reasons one might choose to use exogenous ketone supplements in the first place. 

One of the primary reasons to use exogenous ketones may be to enhance the effects of your low-carb ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting regimen. These practices will likely have you in a ketogenic state already. To further enhance the benefits many people claim to feel when ketogenic/fasting— like mental clarity, sharpness, lower fatigue—exogenous ketones can be superimposed, which essentially means going “deeper” into ketosis. 

Exogenous ketones might also be a helpful aid to transition into ketosis when starting out on a ketogenic diet. 

Many cite the “keto flu” as a badge of honor one must experience when entering into ketosis. When the body is first adapting to a diet very low in carbohydrates, and not yet fully adapted to burning fat/utilizing ketones, you may experience symptoms like nausea, headache, weakness, irritability, muscle soreness, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. Using an exogenous ketone supplement during your transition into keto may mitigate some of these symptoms by ramping up the level of ketones in your blood to use as an energy source for brain and body. It may also improve energy levels early on in ketosis before adaptation occurs.  

And finally, whether endogenously produced or not, ketones have diverse signaling roles in the body that could benefit mental and physical health, metabolism, and longevity, as well as serving as a cellular energy source.

Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

MCTs aren’t ketones, but rather a type of fat molecule comprised of a glycerol bonded to three medium-length fatty acids (FAs) that are 6 – 12 carbons in length. 

Why are we talking about these then, if they aren’t ketones? 

Well, MCTs are actually pretty good sources for the body to breakdown and turn into ketones. When it comes to ketone production, not all fats are created equal, and longer isn’t always better. Size matters. 

The source of fat in MCT oil and other MCT containing fats (like coconut oil) is the most efficient type for producing ketone bodies. The medium chain fats go right to the liver, where they require less work to break down compared to long- and short-chain fatty acids. 

You can get your MCTs in two ways: through an MCT oil or powder, or by consuming a rich (and tasty) source of MCTs such as coconut oil. 

The MCTs include caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12). Of these, caprylic acid (C8) is preferred for ketone production, and optimally what you should look for when purchasing an MCT oil supplement. Lauric acid is the MCT found most abundantly in coconut oil (about 50% of the total MCTs). 

Because of its efficacy, we selected pure C8 a part of the base (along with prebiotic acacia fiber) of H.V.M.N.’s MCT Oil Powder. It’s 100% natural, real food, harvested sustainably and carefully purified into pure C8. No additives, no artificial ingredients, zero net-carbs. It’s a great source of MCT without all the other junk you might find in inferior products.

Benefits of MCTs: What Does the Research Say?

Though marketed as a supplement, one benefit of MCTs is that they’re derived from all natural food sources. For those who are “anti-synthetic,” you have nothing to fear from MCTs. 

A powerful benefit of MCT ingestion, like ketone supplements, might be appetite suppression.

MCTs might help blunt hunger and help with calorie and portion control, thereby indirectly helping you adhere to a diet and thus meet your body composition goals.

One study demonstrated that acute intake of MCTs led to reduced food consumption at lunch while also reducing the blood glucose and triglyceride response to the meal.2 Interestingly, MCT oil also has a “satiating” effect that is not observed with coconut oil.3

MCTs might directly aid in weight loss as well, outside of general satiety. 

This action might be due to the fact that MCT oil supplementation can increase energy expenditure, fat oxidation, metabolism, and thermogenesis (body heat production) which leads to a lower body weight and more fat loss over time.4,5 Furthermore, MCT supplementation might have metabolic benefits like lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing lipoprotein particle size.6

Disadvantages of MCTs: What Does the Research Say?

Large amount of MCTs, like any supplement, have been reported to cause gastrointestinal side effects.7,8 

This might be an issue, since in order to raise blood BHB to adequate levels to reach ketosis, a high amount of MCTs (and even more coconut oil) must be consumed. Remember, MCTs must be metabolized first before they become ketones—they don’t directly elevate blood ketone levels. Most studies show that MCT consumption elevates blood BHB to levels around 0.5 – 1mM.

Let’s not forget about calories. One downside to coconut oil and MCTs is that they’re fairly calorie-dense, so it’s important to keep track of your macros and calories when using supplements. Compared to ketone salts and ketone esters, MCTs result in much lower levels of ketosis, but they may be a more cost-effective and approachable option for new keto dieters. 

Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil for Ketosis

MCT oils and powders are the most concentrated sources of MCTs and thus might be your best option if you’re hoping to get into ketosis. MCT oil also has different proportions and types of MCTs compared to coconut oil; with a bit more C8 (caprylic acid) and a bit less C12 (lauric acid). 

There is evidence that the satiating effect of MCTs might be more potent when they come in the form of a concentrated MCT oil compared to coconut oil.3 If you’re looking for something to help with appetite suppression or a small snack that will “tide you over” more effectively, search for a high-quality MCT oil or powder.

However, in terms of taste and versatility, coconut oil takes the keto-cake. You can use coconut oil in virtually anything, from cooking veggies and meats, to adding in smoothies and protein shakes. The options are endless (and delicious).

Ketone Salts

They’re not something you sprinkle on top of your roasted vegetables or use to season your stew. 

Rather, ketone salts are a supplement that comes in powder form, to be mixed (traditionally) in some type of liquid for consumption. Ketone salts contain a ketone (usually BHB) bound to a mineral salt; usually sodium, potassium, calcium, or magnesium or an amino acid like lysine or arginine. 

Ketone salts are one way to raise blood ketone levels. Studies have shown that ketone salt ingestion can elevate blood BHB levels to around 0.6 – 0.8mM (i.e. ketosis).9,10

Benefits of Ketone Salts: What Does the Research Say?

Ketone salts aren’t a new “invention.” They’ve been around for quite some time, and early studies of these ketone supplements were conducted in children with metabolic disorders, where they showed efficacy in inducing ketosis and an improvement of symptoms like better cardiac performance and cognitive function due to better ability to oxidize fatty acids.11,12 

Similar levels of ketosis around 0.5mM have been observed in rats given BHB ketone salts. Health benefits such as improved blood glucose, beneficial changes in lipid biomarkers and fat mass, and reduced anxiety-like behavior were noted in multiple different studies.13,14,15

Disadvantages of Ketone Salts: What Does the Research Show?

Compared to other ketone supplements, ketone salts might not deliver as much “ketogenic power”—meaning they don’t elevate blood BHB to levels as high as other products. 

For example, one study showed that blood BHB was raised to around 1mM following ketone salt ingestion, while the same amount of BHB provided from a ketone ester raised blood ketone levels to 2.8mM.16 The salt also provided a greater amount of the L-isomer of BHB as opposed to the D-isomer. While not going into the deep end of structural chemistry, L-BHB is like a mirror image of D-BHB (like your left and right hand). They are what is known as optical isomers. While structurally similar, L-BHB may not have the same pattern of metabolism nor the benefits that D-BHB has. 

The concept of optical isomerism.

Another disadvantage with ketone salts has less to do with the ketone element, and more to do with the salt. 

Typically, you’ll need about 50g of BHB in a ketone salt to mimic nutritional ketosis. Given the formulation of many salts, this would require an intake of about 5,800mg magnesium, 9,600mg of calcium, 11,000mg of sodium, and 18,800mg of potassium. Needless to say, these values are above and beyond any recommended daily allowance for humans.

Excessive salt intake may come with health concerns such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in some individuals.17 Regardless, the high dosage of minerals that would accompany the ketone dose consumed with a salt make this form of supplementation less than practical.

And finally, ketone salts may have no benefit for athletic performance and, in the worst cases, actually impair it.18 

In one study, oral BHB salt ingestion prior to exercise actually led to a 7% decrease in high-intensity cycling performance.10 Even though the participants were in ketosis and oxidizing fat for fuel, they reported massive GI side effects which inhibited optimal performance. This isn’t uncommon; two more studies (one in athletes) reported gastrointestinal side effects in 68% and 50% of participants.18 

So, should anyone use ketone salts? And, if so, who?

These supplements might be best for those already on a ketogenic or very-low carbohydrate diet and looking to further increase ketone levels—since this would require a lower dose of ketone salts and prevent many of the side effects seen with higher doses.

One final point. Many ketone salts on the market aren’t FDA approved as a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) food ingredient. Make sure to do your research before buying any supplement. 

Ketone Esters

While ketone salts are solids, ketone esters come in liquid form and usually contain one of two ketones; BHB or AcAc bound to a ketone precursor such as butanediol or glycerol. 

The word “ester” refers to the specific chemical bond (an ester bond) which attaches the two molecules. The two most popular formulations of ketone esters are the D-BHB monoester and the AcAc ketone diester. Each of these has its own effects. 

D-BHB Monoester (HVMN Ketone Ester)

The BHB ketone monoester (R-1,3-butanediol-R-3-hydroxybutyrate; BD-BHB) was first invented through a DARPA program called “Metabolic Dominance, with the intent of being used primarily to enhance the endurance and performance of US Soldiers. Through years of research with Oxford University, and the NIH, this ketone supplement can now be purchased and consumed by anyone as H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester

In contrast to the BHB salts, the BHB in the ketone monoester is all of the D-isoform. When the ester bond is metabolized, D-BHB is released into the blood along with the ketone precursor butanediol, which is eventually metabolized into D-BHB in the liver. 

The ketone monoester provides the highest levels of blood BHB (around 3 – 6mM) which is achieved rapidly (usually within 30 minutes of ingestion).

And levels stay elevated. Blood BHB following BHB monoester ingestion is ~1.1mM after 4 hours and ~.7mM after 8 hours.16 

 It’s also salt-free, permitted by the world anti-doping agency (WADA), and to date has been shown to be relatively side-effect free at normal doses (meaning no stomach aches!).19,20

Research on HVMN Ketone

To date, many studies have been done (with more in the works) on the BHB monoester in HVMN Ketone Ester. Several of these studies have looked at the effect of ketone ingestion on athletic and physical performance. 

Consumption of HVMN Ketone Ester has been shown to improve endurance exercise performance by 2% – 3% when taken before exercise with carbohydrates.19 In addition to boosting performance directly, HVMN Ketone Ester enhances recovery by boosting post-exercise muscle glycogen replenishment20 and raising post-exercise activation of genes involved in muscle protein synthesis.21 In each case, HVMN Ketone Ester was consumed with either a source of carbohydrates or carbs and protein.

In the most recent study of HVMN Ketone Ester, chronic intake of ketone ester during a period of endurance training overload blunted many symptoms of overtraining, revealing a heretofore unseen potential for this supplement in athletes.22 Athletes were able to go harder in training because they recovered more effectively. 

BHB monoester might also have some metabolic benefits. 

Exogenous BHB lowers blood glucose levels23 and has also been shown to have an appetite-suppressant effect, lowering the desire to eat—this may be related to the reduction in ghrelin (the hunger hormone) after BHB ingestion.24 Many people claim that a ketogenic diet also has many similar effects on satiety. 

Acetoacetate Diester 

The second type of ketone ester is the acetoacetate (AcAc) diester (1,3-butanediol acetoacetate diester)—a sodium-free precursor to the ketone acetoacetate. Compared to the BHB monoester, AcAc diester results in lower blood BHB levels (about 1mM) and may result in a few more side effects. Most common among these are gastrointestinal related issues.25 

Research on Acetoacetate Diester

The AcAc diester has much less data to support or refute its use when compared to other ketone supplements. 

In terms of athletic performance, results are inconclusive or non-existent. One study showed that ingestion of a 1,3 butanediol AcAc diester before a 31 kilometer cycling time trial actually impaired performance around 2%. However, this wasn’t likely due to the athletes being in ketosis, but rather the side effects. Several of the study’s participants complained of gut discomfort that likely put a hamper on their ability to perform.25 

More research has been done in the area of neurological health. Studies have shown that ketosis achieved with an AcAc diester is able to delay the onset of seizures from central nervous system toxicity in rats26 and lead to lower seizure activity and improved brain plasticity in a mouse model of neurological disease.27 

The research is pretty convincing in favor of the use of AcAc diester to treat neurological conditions and benefit cognition, while less supportive of its use for exercise performance.

Blood ketone levels of HVMN Ketone, MCT and ketone salts

General Benefits of Exogenous Ketones: How do They Compare to Nutritional Ketosis?

The blood levels of BHB that can be achieved through nutritional ketosis (ketogenic diet or fasting) are likely similar to those you can achieve using certain exogenous ketone supplements: about 1 – 3mM. In this regard, your “level” of ketosis might be the same. 

However, achieving endogenous ketosis has unique benefits that aren’t achieved with exogenous ketone supplements. One of these is in regards to “fat burning.” 

When you achieve endogenous ketosis, you’re using your own body fat as a fuel, and this has several metabolic and health-related benefits. 

But, with exogenous ketones, you actually decrease adipose tissue lipolysis (breakdown) and FFA availability—essentially the opposite of what happens when you’re in a ketogenic state.

Thus, exogenous ketones likely have little to no benefit in terms of fat burning and weight loss.

Most exogenous ketone supplement protocols involve taking one “large” bolus of ketones. While this raises blood ketone levels rapidly, it’s not really what happens “naturally” when the body is in a ketogenic state, where blood ketone levels rise more gradually. 

It’s unclear what this might mean in terms of metabolic signaling, but there exists a difference in the two ways to achieve ketosis. 

Choosing the Best Ketone Supplement

While several different ketone supplements are on the market, what you choose may depend on your individual goals. Let’s take a look at which types of supplements might benefit specific groups of people.

Considerations for Athletes

If you’re not ready to commit to a ketogenic diet for your training regimen, but are curious about how ketosis might impact your performance, exogenous ketones might be your go-to experiment. Several athletes and sports teams are now using exogenous ketones as a way to fuel performance. 

The main thing to consider is the proper time, situation, and adaptations required for exogenous ketone use. How you strategically employ exogenous ketones might make all the difference. 

Since BHB monoester (H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester) is cleared by WADA (meaning it’s not a “performance enhancing drug”), athletes can rest easy in this regard. 

A majority of the positive research for exogenous ketones lends support to H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, where benefits have been shown for endurance performance, enhanced adaptations to training, and in the prevention of overreaching syndrome. Another aspect is cognitive performance; we’ve heard many anecdotal responses that athletes who use H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester for training experience a feeling of being “locked in” mentally, too.

Some smaller studies on MCTs suggest they might benefit endurance exercise performance28 and enhance gene expression and mitochondrial biogenesis.29 

Data on other supplements such as ketone salts and AcAc diesters is less compelling and in most cases, negative.

Consideration for General Health

The support for exogenous ketones in non-disease states is more in the anecdotal stage right now. 

Anecdotal reports include claims of enhanced mental clarity, alertness, energy, and productivity.

None of these claims has been scientifically tested yet. While the theoretical basis might be sound, you’ll have to wait for some trials—until then, experiment for yourself.

A huge role for exogenous ketones might be in dietary adherence, whether that means eating less, eating better, or sticking to a low-carb or ketogenic diet. 

Exogenous ketones suppress appetite,24 and might help reduce certain food craving or obliterate those “hangry” feelings. If you’re into fasting and not opposed to consuming ketones on a fast, ketone supplements might help you get through an extended no-food period. Even better, they might deepen your fasting-induced state of ketosis. 

Are Exogenous Ketones for You? 

Whether you are an athlete looking to boost performance through exogenous ketones, or simply out to harness to power of ketones for better mental or physical performance, there are several questions you should ask before buying and using a ketone supplement.

First, what is your goal? And what level of ketosis do you need to achieve to accomplish those goals? Consider if you want constant low levels of ketones in your blood, or a larger level for a shorter amount of time (for a competition, for example). 

Are you looking for something inexpensive? Something palatable? Maybe something that can be integrated into meals and/or other supplements? Or perhaps, even a post-workout smoothie? What about the side effects? If you have had stomach issues with other kinds of supplements in the past, this should be taken into consideration. 

Maybe you want to achieve the benefits of ketosis without making a change in your lifestyle, like adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet or becoming a regular intermittent-faster. That’s fine, too—these practices aren’t for everyone, but ketosis can be. 

All it takes is a well-formulated exogenous ketone supplement and obviously, a bit of attention paid to maintaining a generally healthy diet and exercise regimen. Your nutrition strategy is an investment in your life. 

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Days to Hours: How Has Surgery Gotten Faster In Recent Times

doctor having operation

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Surgery is a relatively new form of science, compared to a lot of the work which goes on in labs. Before the advent of electronics capable of measuring vital signs, chemicals which can render someone unable to feel pain, and widespread information sharing, a huge portion of those going under the knife wouldn’t have come out from the otherside. Even as this field developed, though, many procedures would have taken an extremely long time. This has changed in the modern world, with routine operations often taking mere minutes, and some of the hardest of them only taking a few hours. Of course, though, how exactly has this field managed to get so fast?


In the past, a lot of surgeons would have to make an educated guess at where they should start with certain procedures. With x-rays and other types of imaging only giving a broad picture, it was incredibly difficult for people to make an accurate guess as to where an operation should start, and it would take a lot of time to figure out where the problem was. Nowadays, though, a planned operation is far smoother. With the technology to see inside people in great detail, doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals can just about do perform their procedures with their eyes closed.

Non-Invasive Tools

There are a lot of medical procedures which used to involve opening someone up and getting past organs, fat, and other tissues, just to solve something relatively simple. With the way that the human body is built, different parts will often get in the way of what the surgeon needs to access. Companies like Medtronic have been changing this, though, creating tools which enable many operations to be performed without cutting someone open at all. Options like this are great, as they not only improve the time in which someone is being operated on, but will also speed up their recovery, too.

Improved Knowledge

The medical field is always expanding, with new minds being put to tasks which have been explored for decades. With this ever-increasing well of knowledge, modern surgeons have an edge over their traditional counterparts, and this can make their job move a lot faster. Many of the procedures they are performing will have been done thousands of times. There will be resources available to them which make it easier, and advancements in the procedures being used can be spread between hospitals like never before. A new world of medical science is being opened up, and this makes the job of a surgeon all the easier.

Reading this should leave you feeling a sense of calm about your next visit to the hospital. While many people go through their whole lives without an operation, you can never predict what might happen in the future, and this makes it worth learning about the field now. As time goes on, this will only improve, though you should never put off a surgery when you need it, and should feel confident that the people working on your body know exactly what they’re doing.

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How To Beat A Migraine

Pixabay. CCO Licensed. 

Migraines are severe headaches that many people suffer from frequently. They can be triggered by all kinds of factors from stress to a break in routine and they can often be debilitating. Knowing how to beat a migraine can help you to get on with your day and not suffer as long. Here are just several popular ways of beating migraines.

Turn the lights off

Bright lights can often make migraines worse. Consider lying down in a dark room for an hour or two and see the effect it has. Wearing shades may also be able to help if you’re unable to lock yourself in a dark room.

Use the right painkillers

You can also use painkillers to fight a migraine, however you need to be careful of which painkillers you use. Certain painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen should never be mixed together and you should read instructions as to how often you can take painkillers. Never drink alcohol while taking painkillers as it can be deadly.

Drink some coffee

Weirdly, some people get migraines as a symptom of coffee withdrawal. If you catch the migraine early enough, drinking some coffee could be enough to stop it in its tracks. Obviously, this is not a long-term solution and you may want to consider slowly reducing your coffee intake. 

Use hot and cold treatments

The heat and the cold can both help to ease the pain of a migraine. In the case of heat, a hot bath could be a great form of pain relief – the hot bath water will stimulate nerve endings and could result in a pain-numbing endorphin rush. As for cold treatments, applying an icepack or bag frozen vegetables to your head for short periods could also work.

Consult a doctor

If you’ve got concerns about your migraine or need help getting to the cause, it could be worth possibly consulting a primary care doctor. Such doctors may be able to come out and meet you wherever you are. There are also medical phone lines that you can ring for advice if you don’t need a doctor to visit you.

Consider holistic therapy

There are lots of forms of holistic therapy that many people use for migraines. A massage you’re your local spa clinic could be one way of numbing the pain. You could also try looking into acupuncture, which involves using tiny needles in pressure points to relieve pain. On top of these forms of therapy, there are many herbal medicines and natural painkillers that you can try such as ginger. 

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Hemp vs Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

Originally posted on APRIL 2, 2019 in CBD EDUCATIONCBD NEWS

hemp vs marijuana

It seems like you see the letters CBD everywhere today. You almost forget that not long ago, CBD products weren’t legal in America. What makes CBD legal comes down to its plant source. Following the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and marijuana are classified as two different substances under the Control Substance Act. That’s because the effects of hemp vs marijuana are very different. This contrast is thanks to how marijuana and hemp affect a network inside of our body, known as the endocannabinoid system. Let’s discuss the differences between hemp and marijuana.

Hemp vs Marijuana: A Difference in Genetics

While hemp and marijuana effects differ, the two plants are siblings from the same family. Marijuana and hemp are both species of the Cannabaceae genus. There are two predominant plants in the Cannabaceae family. They are Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.

Due to it’s sturdier frame and huskier exterior, present-day hemp evolved from Cannabis sativa. Their short and stocky frame cause hemp plants to grow closer together than marijuana plants do, maxing out around 4 inches apart.

Thanks to the hardiness of their fibrous stalks and close proximity to other plants, hemp can withstand many climates. The durability of hemp allows them to reach maturity within 108 to 120 days.

While hemp is just one species of the Cannabaceae genus, marijuana, on the other hand, can be cultivated as either Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa. That’s where it’s pickiness stops.

To best grow marijuana, you’re going to need warmer climates and more space. These cannabis family members also like breathing room–upwards of six feet between plants! Hey, maybe space is a bit of a good thing. After all, marijuana matures quicker than hemp, as these plants are ready for harvest within 60 to 90 days.

Another glaring difference between hemp and marijuana? Hemp plants are male. Whereas, marijuana is female. Maybe that’s why they mature quicker than hemp plants!

Hemp Effects vs Marijuana Effects

One last difference in the hemp vs marijuana debate might just be the most important. It involves how compounds within these plants interact with our endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system relies on a series of receptors located throughout our body. These receptors regulate everything from our mental health to hormone production to appetite.

Research indicates hemp effects are very beneficial to the system. The plant is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids. Hemp effects also include antioxidative and anti-inflammatory benefits. This wide range of qualities is why CBD oil is popping up in everything from beauty lines to supplements to skin care.

Additional research confirms many of the benefits of hemp effects can also be achieved to some degree by marijuana as well. However, there’s one significant difference between how hemp affects the endocannabinoid system vs how marijuana affects it. This primary contrast is that marijuana triggers a psychoactive effect on the endocannabinoid system.

While marijuana can create a euphoric feeling throughout the body, hemp doesn’t have the same effect on the endocannabinoid system. Farm Bill-compliant hemp can’t get you high. The reason for such a variance in cannabis experiences comes down to two molecules–CBD vs THC.


What gives plants their distinct attributes are the network of chemical compounds within their DNA. In the Cannabis sativa family, the significant differences between plants come down to plant-based compounds known as cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are molecules formed within the oils of the cannabis plant. They are also behind the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

As the prefix implies, cannabinoids are closely associated with the cannabis family. While other plants do have cannabinoids, none has an abundant supply as members of the Cannabaceae clan. Research indicates that the hemp plant has at least 113 cannabinoids known to humankind.

Think of cannabis plants like men and women. Both genders have estrogen and testosterone in their system. The difference in these levels is what causes one person to grow the characteristics of a male like facial hair or traits of a female such as the growth of breast tissue.

In hemp vs marijuana plants, instead of estrogen or testosterone, their molecular structure depends on the ratio of CBD vs THC.

What Causes Marijuana Effects?

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is the THC molecule that gives marijuana its psychoactive or intoxicating characteristics. The THC molecule binds on cannabinoid receptors, creating a euphoric-like feeling on the system.

Under the Farm Bill, hemp plants must have 0.3% THC or less. Due to its low concentration of THC, hemp effects are not psychoactive.  

What Causes Hemp Benefits and Effects?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is predominant in hemp plants and the primary reason for the effects felt from hemp. It works in unison with the other cannabinoids in hemp to help bring homeostasis (balance) to our system.

Unlike THC, the CBD molecule doesn’t bind onto many receptors. Instead, it stimulates stressed receptors, causing a calming-like effect on the body.

CBD can’t get you high. In fact, due to its molecular structure, CBD can even counteract unwanted marijuana effects.   

A History of Hemp CBD Benefits on Ancestors

Back before plants were classified by species and family, our ancestors learned about herbs through trial and error. They would use plants for sustenance and eventually, for medicinal purposes. One of the earliest texts known to humankind is a Hindu work known as The Vedas. This ancient record referenced cannabis as one of the Five Essential Plants.

ancient hemp history

When our ancestors migrated, they brought this versatile plant along with them. Chinese emperor Shen-Nung seeped the leaves in a tea to experience hemp effects such as pain relief. Egyptians used cannabis to treat sore eyes. Romans applied hemp extracts to heal sores on both humans and horses.

Our ancestors who went west took hemp along for the journey. As America started colonizing, parts of the country even valued hemp as an acceptable form of payment!

Cannabis was so commonplace that in the 1800s it was an ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines. The plant even landed itself on a list of medicinal herbs in the 1850 US Pharmacopeia.

In 1850, science hadn’t evolved to the point where scientists could differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Cannabis the species was classified like one plant, and this would come to be detrimental in the hemp vs marijuana battle.

Hemp vs Marijuana and Prohibition

In the early 1900s, America was cracking down on mind-altering substances. This change in philosophy caused the country to ban cannabis. During this time, nobody was able to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. They couldn’t figure out that one plant will cause the psychoactive side effects, while the other won’t. Since no one could distinguish between the two, the cannabis ban affected both plants.

With prohibition, companies removed cannabis as an active ingredient in their over-the-counter remedies. Consequently, the masses became deprived of the CBD benefits from ingesting hemp products.

Figuring Out the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

In the 1960s, scientists finally discovered the THC molecule. They realized this cannabinoid interacted with the body, fostering the high associated with marijuana effects.

Simultaneously, pharmaceutical companies started to grow. With the industrial revolution, companies began mass-producing medications in the same laboratories that were performing studies on these drugs. With our ever-growing reliance on pharmaceutical remedies, hemp-based care and studies seemed a thing of the past. Therefore, the need to distinguish between hemp and marijuana seemed unnecessary.   

While conventional drugs have a place in wellness, many come with a laundry list of side effects. Just watch one commercial and your head will be spinning. These unfavorable effects led many to look toward a more natural form of therapy that had our ancestors’ approval.

In 1996, medical cannabis became legal in California. However, the groundswell behind the hemp movement didn’t swing into full gear until 2012. This was a landmark year where numerous states voted in favor of medical cannabis. Even then, it wasn’t until 2014 the differences between hemp and marijuana were recognized legally. Still, the laws surrounding cannabis can be tricky and make knowing the difference between hemp and marijuana more crucial than ever.   

Hemp vs Marijuana and the Law

In 2018, Congress signed a new Farm Bill into law. A provision in this legislature saw the differences between hemp and marijuana finally recognized.

Farm Bill Opportunity swiss army knife

Photo Credit: USDA Website

The new Farm Bill reassigned the cultivation of hemp under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) instead of the Department of Justice. With this change of oversight, hemp became reclassified under the Controlled Substance Act.

During prohibition, the Controlled Substance Act classified both hemp and marijuana as cannabis. Unfortunately for those who wanted hemp CBD benefits, all species of cannabis were classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance. That categorization held hemp in the same regard as opioids and meth. It’s also a reason for the long-standing stigma surrounding cannabis products today.

Thanks to the new Farm Bill, which was signed with a hemp pen by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, hemp is currently a schedule 5 substance. While recognizing the differences between hemp and marijuana was vital for CBD legality, it doesn’t make all forms of CBD oil legal. Let’s take a look at the difference between hemp vs marijuana-derived CBD Oil.

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana Derived CBD Oil?  

CBD derived from hemp plants compliant with the Farm Bill is legal in all 50 states. That’s because these hemp plants have less than 0.3% THC in their genetic makeup. Therefore, companies can use these plants to extract CBD oil without worrying about creating a formula with psychoactive properties.

Almost one-fifth of the states in our country recognizes recreational marijuana. Based on the guidelines of those states, extracting CBD oil from marijuana plants is legal. Therefore, products in states where recreational marijuana is legal may have a higher concentration of THC than the 0.3% in government-mandated hemp. Consequently, these products may cause psychoactive side effects for the person who is using them. Furthermore, the products may become illegal when they cross state lines.

While hemp got a pass during the new Farm Bill, marijuana did not. If you are purchasing CBD oil in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, check out the label. Make sure the CBD oil comes from hemp instead of marijuana.

To further complicate the situation, states which recognize medical marijuana but not recreational, also allow the extraction of CBD oil from marijuana. Medical marijuana cardholders should always have their card inside their wallet, especially when they are traveling with CBD oil. That way, if you do purchase a product in compliance with your state’s medical marijuana program, you will be in accordance with local laws in neighboring states too.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil Benefits

You must be asking yourself, why bother making CBD oil with marijuana if the plant is illegal on a federal level? That’s because there are therapeutic benefits to the THC molecule. In fact, all 113 cannabinoids in the hemp plant (including THC) are rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and other micronutrients. Though THC found in CBD products is below .3% and not nearly enough to get you high, having a small amount can still provide benefits.

hemp vs marijuana products

The primary objective of cannabinoids is homeostasis (balance). They enter the bloodstream in search of angst-ridden receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. Based on the cannabinoids interaction with the stressed-out receptor, the balance gets restored throughout the network.

Cannabinoids love homeostasis so much they try to accomplish this task as efficiently as possible. Studies suggest cannabinoids have a beneficial effect on one another. Dubbed the entourage effect, cannabinoids exhibit a natural synergy. This unique interaction is what makes the benefits of CBD oil possible for millions.  

Not all CBD oil is created equally. To know you are getting all of the cannabinoids, make sure the label says words such as:

  • Full-Spectrum
  • Broad-Spectrum
  • Whole-Plant

These labels indicate all parts of the hemp plant including its leaves, stems, and seeds were used during the extraction process. This means the formula is enriched with a load of nutrients which subpar, fly by night companies may leave out.

How to Get CBD Oil without the THC Molecule   

There are many reasons for someone to be skeptical of purchasing a product with THC. For one, you may have a sensitive endocannabinoid system. Others may be afraid of unknowingly breaking the law. If this sounds like you, you can still experience the benefits of CBD oil.

At Made by Hemp, we produce phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil without any THC. While the THC molecule does exhibit therapeutic benefits, it is not necessarily needed in CBD products, though as highlighted above can prove beneficial. 

CBD products made with CBD isolate are THC free.

Hemp vs Marijuana Uses

With marijuana being abundant in THC, it is mostly used for its psychoactive properties and medicinal benefits. States with laws allowing for both recreational and medical marijuana have laws for when, where and how to use these products.

Hemp, on the other hand, has historically been used for more industrial purposes like clothing, biofuel, food products, paper, and more. With the recent rise in popularity as a supplement, CBD derived from hemp is making this plant popular again, and helping companies like ours to educate more people on the benefits of hemp vs marijuana as a supplement.


Now you know the difference, spread the word! Help others to understand this important concept about the difference between hemp and marijuana. There are many epidemics going on in the world today such as deforestation, sickness and disease, opioid addiction and more which more studies and research could provide insight into how the hemp plant and its constituents could prove important in these issues and more.

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Magnesium Glycinate: Supplement Guide

Originally authored by Jamie Witherby • Posted on on June 11, 2019 • 7 min read

You know those nights. The ones you wake up in the middle of, clutching your knees to rock yourself back asleep. It’s not a nightmare that roused you. It’s something much, much worse: leg cramps.

The pain is sudden, searing, and seemingly out of your control. But those calf contractions could be trying to tell you something. Muscle cramps are frequently a sign of magnesium deficiency in healthy adults.

In this article, we’ll discuss what magnesium is, why it’s crucial for optimal health, and how pairing it with glycinate makes it the ideal supplement form.

Meet Magnesium

Scoring an atomic number of twelve, magnesium (Mg) is a silver-white metal from the alkaline family. Its strong-yet-lightweight structure, high melting point (1,202°F), and brilliant white flame make it a hot choice for alloys in the aerospace industry, especially gearboxes for helicopters and other aircrafts.

Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element on the planet and the fourth most abundant cation (positively charged ion) in our bodies.

Over half of our magnesium lives in our bones, another quarter in our muscles, and the rest in our soft tissues and extracellular fluid (fluid outside the cells).4

You also eat this metal every day. Or at least you should. Magnesium is a critical cofactor for over 300 enzyme systems, including synthesizing proteins, regulating blood pressure, and controlling blood sugar levels. You probably didn’t know you were so dependent on this mineral, but you can’t do much without it; it’s required for aerobic and anaerobic energy production. Want to keep your healthy bone structure? Magnesium. Need to synthesize some RNA? Magnesium. Care to maintain nerve and muscle function? Magnesium.5 You get the picture. It’s an understatement to say magnesium has some pretty crucial health benefits.

Unfortunately, it’s not as abundant in our diets as it should be. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that up to 68% of people in the United States are magnesium deficient. Knowing which supplement to take is hard

Magnesium Deficiency is Everywhere

Before we dive into the problems of magnesium deficiency, let’s review some foods that are great forms of magnesium. Spinach, Swiss chard, and other dark greens are a saturated source of your daily magnesium. Go nutty with almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews, too. Fiber-rich choices include beans, legumes, and filling whole grains. And the food that really puts the “yum” in magnesium? Dark chocolate.

But even if you’re eating all your leafy greens and fibrous beans to get the essential nutrient, the declining magnesium levels in the soil they were grown in puts you at risk for magnesium deficiency.6

Magnesium levels in soil are declining because of modern farming practices;6 overuse of the soil disallows it from restoring its natural mineral content before being used to grow food again. By the time vegetables are washed and transported, their meager magnesium content is laughable.7

Other produce processing techniques can strip away the food’s magnesium levels, like bleaching whole grains and overcooking greens.8 Even common medications such as antacids, antibiotics, and diuretics can affect the body’s ability to absorb magnesium or increase your renal (kidney) excretions of the precious mineral.3

The good news? The metal can be found in regular old drinking water—up to a tenth of your daily magnesium intake. The bad news? Purification practices are a little too efficient, so most of the magnesium content never even crosses your lips. But stick with water for a better chance of getting your recommended intake as coffee and alcohol increase your body’s demand for it.3

an image of a field, someone cooking, and a basket of grains showing that magnesium is being stripped from our food based on modern farming practices

Hypomagnamesia Symptoms

If you’re worried that you could have low magnesium levels, here are some medical conditions and symptoms of magnesium deficiency:4

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Asthma
  • Impaired exercise performance
  • Irregular heartbeat

Take another look at the list—how many of these have you experienced just in the past month or so?

The problem with identifying hypomagnamesia (magnesium deficiency) is that it tends to be asymptomatic until levels drop dramatically. And even when the symptoms are present, they can easily be attributed to other factors.

On the flipside, if you’re worried that you may be getting too much magnesium from your diet, fear not; your kidneys can take care of any excess magnesium.3

Magnesium Sufficiency for Overall Health

Sufficient magnesium intake has numerous benefits. Grab a handful of spinach and a piece of dark chocolate for good measure, and let’s discuss the positives of supplementing with magnesium.

Restored Rest for the Magnesium Deficient

Let’s return to our list of hypomagnamesia symptoms. One of the big ticket items is sleep disturbances. Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to improve sleep quality in individuals with low magnesium levels.9,10

A 2002 study found that taking magnesium before bed led to an increase in slow wave sleep, which is the deepest phase of sleep characterized by delta waves and non-rapid eye movement (NREM). If you’ve ever been caught sleepwalking, you can thank slow wave sleep for its zombie-style effects on your muscles.10

Reduced Inflammatory Stress

Unfortunately, those sleep disturbances come at a greater cost than dark circles under eyelids and general crankiness. Inadequate sleep is associated with increases in multiple inflammatory biomarkers.9 These proteins or enzymes are the biomarkers that point to systemic inflammation. One of the most infamous inflammatory biomarkers is the C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an effective predictor of cardiac morbidity. As you lose sleep from a lack of magnesium, these CRPs increase, meaning you’re inflamed.11

Persistent inflammation can lead to serious chronic inflammatory systemic diseases (CIDs), such as: rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus—an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly perceives healthy tissues as a threat and begins attacking them.12 Of course, these serious disorders have complicated etiologies based on genetics as well as environment.

You can probably guess an initiative: taking magnesium can reduce the inflammation.

A 2010 study with sleep and magnesium-deprived adults found that supplementing with magnesium improved sleeping patterns and decreased the amount of CRP biomarkers found in their plasma. Their levels of inflammation went down, and which has been associated with a reduced risk for developing CIDs.9

an illustration of a book, a runner's good and a lightbulb, showing all the benefits of magnesium glycinate

Putting the Glycinate in Magnesium Glycinate

We covered magnesium, but we haven’t even talked about the other half of this powerful combo: glycinate.

Glycinate is the salt form of glycine, a non-essential amino acid that plays an essential role in both the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS). Glycine is considered to be a non-essential amino acid because the body naturally produces it, but research says our metabolic demands are higher than our abilities to produce it.13 Once chronic, glycine deficiency can lead to impairment of nutrient metabolism and impairment of nervous system function.14

Raise Your Inhibitions: Glycine in Nervous System Function

Along with gamma-Aminobutyric acid, glycine is one of the main inhibitory transmitters of the CNS. Glycine activates brain and spinal cord receptors to allow chloride into the CNS, which will inhibit the cells. Inhibition is imperative because it allows precise thoughts, movements, and attention to alter or stop a neurological response, all of which are required for normal motor and behavioral functioning.15 Glycine may also play a role in the synchronization of our circadian rhythms to influence our internal clocks.16

Bounce Back with Glycine: Tissue Treatment

Glycine is a precursor to the production of the ingredient in skin-tightening products: collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue component providing structure for your skin, cartilage, and tendons. Because glycine is so tiny (the smallest amino acid), it’s able to fit between the tight intersections of larger amino acids forming the collagen proteins. This flexibility is part of what gives your skin that youthful bounce.17

Better Sleep with Glycine

A 2006 study observed that glycine can also greatly improve sleep quality.16

But this amino acid doesn’t promise to put you to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow or induce the deepest REM cycles. Instead, glycine has a greater effect on how you’ll feel once you get up.18 Glycine ingestion can alleviate fatigue, increase liveliness, and generate a clear-headed feeling upon waking.19

One of the possible mechanisms for ushering you into dreamland is glycine’s thermoregulatory effects.

Glycine can lower your body’s core temperature, which is one of your body’s natural mechanisms in preparation of sleep.20

Bonus round: glycine is considered safer than traditional sleeping drugs. Even relatively high doses yield no serious side effects.19

An image of Yawn by HVMN, showing how magnesium and glycinate together help you sleep

Magnesium + Glycinate are the The Perfect Pair

Magnesium glycinate is an organic magnesium salt created by combining magnesium with the amino acid, glycine.

Combine one sleep-improving mineral salt with a sleep-improving amino acid and you get—a sleep improving supplement. But it’s the details that matter. Taking magnesium in the glycinate, or salt, form is correlated with better absorption of magnesium than other common supplement forms, such as magnesium oxide.21

When you’re looking for a magnesium supplement and want to experience all the benefits of magnesium in the most efficient way, you could look for two different supplements, remember to take both before bed, inevitably forget and miss out on the benefits of supplementing with magnesium and glycinate together. Or simply take Yawn.

Yawn is a non-habit forming sleep aid featuring magnesium glycinate, L-theanine, L-glycine, and melatonin for increased sleep quality and a calming effect.

Remember that the glycinate will also help you enjoy more clarity and less fatigue when it’s time to get up, allowing you to start the day refreshed and ready to go. And because Yawn uses the most bioavailable form of magnesium, your body will be able to absorb it more easily and enjoy more of its effects.22

Magnesium glycinate supplements are usually taken in doses from 100mg – 400mg with no severe side effects reported. A high amount of magnesium is recommended for pregnant women.23 Some minor side effects include gastrointestinal issues such as bloating and diarrhea. As always, discuss your desire to begin magnesium supplementation with your healthcare professional for appropriate medical advice.

A Powerful Duo

Magnesium is an essential mineral the body uses for a majority of its basic functions, including producing the energy it takes to read this article.

Modern food processing makes it very difficult to consume the necessary daily amount, causing roughly two-thirds of the American population to be magnesium deficient, so you may need to keep an eye on your magnesium intake. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to health problems such as chronic inflammatory systemic diseases (CIDs).

The mineral and amino acid combination of magnesium glycinate can reduce the chronic disease-causing inflammation and health conditions and provide a better overall sleep experience without the adverse effects of other sleeping aids. While supplements can compensate for lack of training, using one to optimize recovery can help with better performance.

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Say Goodbye To Your Everlasting Backache!

There are many pain related moans and groans that people like to have. If anything, we’d say that one of the hot topics as you start to get older is how much you ache and how horrible you feel. Anyone would think that we’re 80 years old with the types of ache and pains that we have. And if we were to pick a most common complaint, it would definitely be back ache. Back ache can seriously be crippling, and it can happen for so many different reasons. It could have been a childhood sports injury that’s not finally showing its true colours, or it could even be weight related, which is one that a lot of people forget about or don’t associate with back ache. But one thing we do know, is that backache can simply be life changing, especially as we start to get a little older. It can stop us doing some of the things that we seriously know and love, and it can even lead to depression!

Image Source

Small Causes That Are Easily Solved

Backache is something that we usually just get on with, simply because we accept our fate and believe that’s how we should live our lives. But there are some small causes that you could easily address, and then your back ache would just melt away. So the first is your posture. Your posture is going to have changed now you’re in the working world, and one of the ways it changes is because the majority of us are slumped over a desk at work. So this might sound a bit extreme, but there are back braces that you can buy off Amazon that pull your shoulders back, and straighten out that spine. Definitely something worth considering, especially if you look in the mirror and you can see that years behind a desk have created a little slump!

Serious Issues That Need Addressing

Some back problems go a little bit further than slumping over in the chair. Some of you will be suffering with the pain that you are due to serious issues, you’ve just been putting it down to poor posture, or the fact that everyone else seems to have backache too! So if you know it’s not your posture, and you know that the pain is getting more severe as time goes on, then a spinal specialist is who you need to see. Even if you have a consultation and they say it’s nothing serious, they’ll be able to give you the best recommendations that will give you the best outcome!

Simple Daily Changes!

One daily change that you can make, is starting the day with a good stretch. We’re actually meant to stretch daily, but do we? No. Stretching allows those muscles and joints to open up, not just in your back, but all over your body. The more flexible you are, the less stiff you’re going to be, and the less pain you’re going to feel! There are plenty of stretching routines specifically for the back that you can try!

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Hemp Oil Uses: The Complete Guide

Originally posted on on SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 in CBD PRODUCT INFO

hemp oil uses complte guide

We live in a society that is constantly reaching for the next level of peak health and appearance, using only naturally effective methods. 

No pressure, right? 

Despite this never-ending climb, one little plant is paving the way for people to reach their health and wellness goals: hemp. Hemp oil is a nutty and flavorful oil that is extracted from the stalks or seeds of the hemp plant. There are different uses for each type of hemp oil, each offering its own array of uses and unique wellness benefits.

Three powerful uses for hemp 

Hemp oil’s benefits are so bountiful and unmistakable that scientists studied it in-depth even while it was banned in most of society, including the U.S. Thankfully, the 2018 Farm Bill completely cleared the air and legitimized hemp’s legality by separating it from its notorious cousin, marijuana. Both are from the cannabis family, but hemp doesn’t get you high. 

There’s no doubt more benefits will be discovered, but for now, let’s jump into what hemp oil has already proven.

Hemp seed oil uses for cooking 

Hemp seed oil offers a healthy alternative to vegetable oil, canola oil, or butter. 

Its delicious nutty flavor makes it perfect for sautéed vegetables or meats, salad dressings, or dipping in bread. The main reason for swapping popular oils for hemp seed oil, is because of the wellness benefits it offers. It’s very high in essential fatty acids (EFAs), with a perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. As the name suggests, EFAs are essential for human health.  

hemp oil food cooking

Another nutritious benefit of hemp seed oil is its content of insoluble fiber, protein, and array of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. These nutritional benefits make hemp a great choice for anyone, including vegetarians and diabetics. Aside from being extreme healthy, hemp seed oil is a delicious and flavorful alternative to vegetable oil and butter. 

There is one catch. Using hemp seed oil to cook has some limitations. Mainly, it can smoke at low temperatures, so it should not be used for frying or deep-frying. 

The other thing to keep an eye out for with hemp seed oil, is if it is being sold as either hemp oil or CBD hemp oil. Hemp seed oil does not contain cannabidiol (CBD) like hemp oil does. Therefore, hemp seed oil is much less expensive than CBD hemp oil or commonly referred to as CBD oil. 

CBD hemp oil uses for health 

Hemp oil is a loose term often used to talk about oil from any part of the hemp plant. It’s vital to distinguish the different types, so this next one is typically called CBD hemp oil or more commonly, CBD oil. 

hemp oil cbd use

Oil extracted from the mature stalks and flowers (NOT the seeds) of the hemp plant contain an incredible compound called cannabidiol, or CBD for short. CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System to support a healthy balance throughout the body. Studies have shown it has potential for concerns related to anxiety and inflammation, with virtually zero side effects

The benefits of CBD hemp oil don’t stop there. It’s also packed full of important vitamins and minerals that are important for your daily regimen. Most CBD oil supplements also feature the therapeutic benefits of plant terpenes

It’s worth noting the potential medical uses for CBD hemp oil that are being studied. CBD research topics include inflammationanxietyPTSDsleep, and much more.

Popular types of CBD hemp oil products

CBD hemp oil can be added to your diet in many ways, such as ediblespure extracts, and even flavored tinctures. Edibles are available as gummies, chocolates, and more. Pure extracts are straight CBD hemp oil with no added ingredients. Finally, tinctures are liquid extracts from the hemp plant and come in many flavors. These liquid drops are a great way to enhance your diet and supplement your nutrition. 

If you are just starting out with CBD hemp oil, our CBD Oil Buyer’s Guide is a helpful place to figure out which product type to start with. 

Hemp oil uses for skin 

Believe it or not, the benefits and uses of hemp oil are not limited to food or supplements. Hemp oil is becoming increasingly popular in cosmetics including lotions, shampoos, sunscreens, lip balms, and other skin products

hemp oil skin uses

Hemp oil is rich in vitamins A and E, which act as antioxidants that heal the skin. It also contains fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated, and calcium to keep it smooth. For these reasons, it’s becoming wildly popular for rashes and dry skin. We’re starting to see hemp seed oil added to products like moisturizers and lips balms as well.

However, it’s still fairly uncommon to find skin care products made with CBD hemp oil. The skincare benefits of CBD are nothing short of amazing, particularly for inflamed muscles and joints. 

With so many amazing vitamins, minerals and compounds, CBD hemp oil is a natural defense against dry, aging or sore skin.

Where does hemp oil come from?  

Hemp oil can come from the seeds, stalks, or flowers of the hemp plant. Depending on which part it’s extracted from, it creates different types of hemp oil. 

Hemp oil that comes from the seeds is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and EFAs. It does not contain cannabinoids, like CBD. 

When hemp oil comes from the stalks or flowers, it contains a blend of cannabinoids (CBD, CBDa, CBN, CBC, CBG), terpenes, and other phytonutrients.

Difference between hemp oil and CBD oil 

Sometimes there’s a major difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, and other time they mean exactly the same thing. It’s all about the context. 

Hemp oil can refer to the oil extracted from any part of the hemp plant, even though we know there’s a huge difference between them. Both are, technically, “hemp oil.” It makes sense to use this term in either situation, but then how do we know what we’re actually getting? 

If you buy a “hemp oil” salve with the hope it’s going to soothe sore muscles, fingers crossed it contains CBD or the benefits probably won’t meet your expectations. Find out how many milligrams of CBD or “hemp extract” are in it before buying. 

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil vs CBD Isolate 

Hemp oil can be considered “full spectrum” or sometimes called “broad spectrum” when it contains not only CBD, but also all the other plant parts in hemp.

CBD isolate is what you get when all plant matter and “full spectrum” characteristics are stripped away, leaving only CBD. CBD isolate should not be considered hemp oil, though it may be derived from hemp because it is only CBD and does not contain the other plant nutrients.  

Make sure you do your research on the product to verify if it is in fact CBD oil or hemp seed oil. If you’re looking for a CBD oil salve, it’s a good idea to ask the manufacturer for lab test results to verify how much CBD is in it. 

Hemp oil benefits 

Hemp oil is considered a superfood thanks to its wide scope of nutritional and health benefits. Keeping in our important theme of separating the two types of hemp oil, let’s look at the benefits of each separately. 

First up is hemp oil from the stalks of the plant, which contains several uniquely powerful compounds. 

This type of hemp oil offers the benefits of cannabinoids. A wide range of cannabinoids can be present in hemp oil, like CBD, CBDa, CBC, CBG, CBN. By a long-shot, however, CBD is the most abundant of the group. Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system to support important functions in the brain, central and peripheral nervous system. This system aims to keep us in homeostasis, so it must have a tight hold on inflammation, anxiety, and stress. 

Another benefit of hemp oil comes from the terpenes. While that may be an unfamiliar word, you’re most likely already familiar with their benefits. Terpenes are found in all plants, they are the reason for the benefits popularly associated with essential oils, like peppermint oil (terpene = mentha piperita). 

Not only do terpenes attribute to the plant’s aroma and flavor, the therapeutic properties play a major role in the benefits of hemp oil. When cannabinoids and terpenes are working together, they enhance the benefits in what’s known as the entourage effect.

Bottom Line 

Hemp oil is a natural product that offers a multitude of uses to support health and wellness. This versatile oil can be used in cooking, supplements, or skincare and provides a multitude of added nutrition. With so many different options for use, hemp oil can easily become part of a nutritional program that can help users improve and maintain their overall health.

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