Hemp VS Marijuana
CBD syrup is exactly what it sounds like, a thick, sweetened mixture containing cannabidiol. These syrups are meant to promote relaxation and are particularly popular as a sleep aid.
For this reason, CBD syrups often include ingredients with calming and sleep promoting properties, such as melatonin and lemon balm. CBD syrups can be used on their own or they can be added to other beverages. They’re most commonly taken at bedtime to help you fall asleep.
Benefits of CBD Syrup
Scientifically speaking, CBD infused syrups can provide all of the same benefits as other CBD products. CBD is used to help with a wide range of conditions and symptoms, such as pain, nausea, digestive discomfort, insomnia, anxiety, depression, migraines, arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Having said that, the main intended purpose of CBD syrups is to help you fall and stay asleep, which is why they’re formulated with additional sleep enhancing ingredients.
There is some early evidence that CBD may help people with sleep problems. For example, a 2017 review paper of research done on cannabis and its relationship to sleep suggests that CBD has potential to treat insomnia.
In addition, a 2019 study by researchers from the University of Colorado examined whether CBD capsules containing 25 – 175 mg of CBD could help 72 adults suffering from anxiety or poor sleep quality. The treatment improved sleep in 67% of patients and anxiety in 79%.
This study highlights an important fact; CBD tends to enhance sleep indirectly, by reducing anxiety. This makes sense because research suggests anxiety is closely tied to insomnia and other sleep problems.
As a whole, however, research on the use of CBD for sleep is scarce. More studies are needed to say anything conclusive.
CBD Syrup vs CBD Oil and Other Products
Similar to capsules and edibles, CBD syrup is an oral form of CBD. This means the cannabidiol first has to go through your digestive system and the liver where an effect known as first-pass metabolism occurs before it can reach the blood and start having a beneficial effect. This method of administration has both advantages and downsides.
The key strength of oral CBD products like CBD syrup is that their effects last for a long time; as much as six hours or more. This makes them great for nighttime use because the effects last for about as long as you’re asleep. By comparison, CBD oil tinctures tend to last for about three hours on average, and vape oils have an even shorter duration of action.
Another advantage of CBD syrup is convenience. Whereas taking CBD oil can feel like a chore, syrup is easy to use and comes with a pleasant, sweet taste.
However, oral preparations such as CBD, syrup also have some downsides. Most notably, oral CBD is known to have the lowest absorption rate of any method of CBD administration; about 13-19%. This means only 13-19% of the CBD you take in the form of syrup or other ingested product will reach your blood where it can produce its benefits.
For this reason, you will need to use higher doses of CBD syrup to get the same effect produced by sublingual CBD oil tinctures and vape e-liquids.
Another downside of CBD syrup is that it can take a while to start working. If taken on an empty stomach, oral products take about 20-30 minutes to work. Meanwhile, if you ate, they can take an hour or longer to be felt.
This means you have to take CBD syrup well before bedtime if you want its effects to start working right as you’re falling asleep. By comparison, CBD oil takes about 10-30 minutes to work and the effects of vaping CBD are almost instant.
CBD Syrup: Factors to Keep in Mind
CBD Syrup Concentration
Just like CBD oil, CBD syrup can come in many different concentrations. For example, a 60 mL bottle of syrup from one brand may contain 60 mg of CBD, while another might have 500 mg.
This means some CBD syrups can have much more potent, pronounced effects than others. However, it’s important to remember that high concentration does not equal quality. If you want to buy the best CBD syrup, you have to consider many other factors besides the CBD strength.
CBD Syrup Flavors
CBD syrup contains sugar and is typically flavored with fruit blends such as grape and strawberry. Enjoyable flavor is one of the main reasons people choose CBD syrup over less pleasant products such as capsules and unflavored hemp oil tinctures.
CBD Syrup Nutrition
CBD syrup typically contains significant amounts of sugar such as high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners. Although it doesn’t provide a large number of calories, it’s always best to examine the label to see exactly what you’re getting, especially if you’re careful about your sugar intake.
CBD Syrup Pricing
CBD syrup tends to be more expensive than CBD oil. The easiest way to illustrate this is to divide the price of a product by its CBD content to obtain the cost per mg of CBD.
Syrups will usually have a higher CBD cost than tinctures. This is because CBD syrups contain other ingredients aside from CBD and require additional processing to be manufactured and remain shelf stable. For example, if a syrup contains melatonin, you’re also paying for that additional ingredient.
CBD Syrup Safety
Does CBD Make You High?
CBD is completely non-psychoactive, which means taking it in the form of CBD syrup will not make you high. In fact, research has demonstrated that CBD can counteract the negative cognitive side effects of THC, such as anxiety, paranoia, and cognitive impairment.
Even if your CBD product contains a legally allowed amount of THC (0.3% or less), this amount is not enough to make you high.
Does CBD Have Side Effects?
CBD is considered an exceptionally safe substance. Indeed, positive research findings prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to report in 2018 that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
The only side effects associated with taking CBD in any form, including as a syrup, have been minor. These include tiredness, sleepiness, lightheadedness, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and dry mouth. Experiencing these effects is common when taking high doses similar to those used in clinical research studies.
How to Use CBD Syrup
CBD syrup is fairly simple to use. It can either be added to your beverage of choice or taken on its own.
Although you can use it at any time of the day, most CBD syrups are formulated to enhance sleep, which means they are best taken around bedtime. Besides, many formulas include melatonin, which should not be taken during the day.
Also, keep in mind that CBD syrup takes some time to start working. If you take it on an empty stomach, the effects of CBD may be felt within 30 minutes. However, if you’ve recently eaten, it can take as long as an hour or more.
Finally, be sure to read the label to know exactly how much CBD is present in a serving. If there’s no clear information, divide the total amount of CBD by the volume of the bottle. For example, a syrup that contains 300 mg of CBD in a 60 mL bottle has a potency of 300/60 = 5 mg per mL.
Since syrup is usually dosed in tablespoons, which are equivalent to 15 mL, this means one tablespoon of this particular syrup will contain roughly 15*5 = 75 mg of CBD. Use this information to help figure out your dose.
Choosing a CBD Dosage
It can be difficult to choose the ideal CBD dosage regardless of what kind of CBD product you’re using. There are simply too many variables to recommend a dose that will work for everyone.
These factors include body weight, the severity of your condition, the type and potency of your CBD product, and even your body chemistry. A difference in just one of these factors can completely change your CBD dosage.
As such, we highly recommend that you consult a healthcare professional before using CBD syrup or any other CBD product. Doctors can help you choose a dosage that works best for your particular needs and also discuss potential drug interactions between CBD and any medications you may be taking.
In cases where you’re unable to get a doctor’s recommendation, you should always start with the lowest possible dose of CBD. With a syrup, we recommend starting with as little as half a teaspoon. Wait for at least 30 minutes to an hour to see if your dose is sufficient. If you don’t feel anything, you can gradually increase your dose until you start experiencing relief. Once you find the dose that works, stick to it.
Lastly, it may be helpful to consider that the average person takes about 10-50 mg of CBD one or two times a day.
CBD Syrup Storage
All products containing CBD, including syrups, should be stored in a cool, dry, dark area to prevent the cannabidiol from degrading.
Buying High-Quality CBD Syrup
You should always be careful when purchasing CBD products. Because the market is largely unregulated, there are many low quality, ineffective products being promoted.
We recommend doing your due diligence and researching different products and brands before choosing to buy a CBD syrup. In particular, there are four factors to keep in mind when shopping for CBD products: third party testing, the type of extract used in the product, the hemp source, and the CBD extraction method.
Third Party Lab Testing
When it comes to buying CBD products, third party testing is the most important factor. Third party tests are performed by an independent laboratory to confirm that a company’s product contains as much CBD as it claims, as well as safe THC levels.
These tests prevent companies from selling products with low or even non-existent CBD levels. Also, third party tests can provide other useful information, such as whether the product contains any pesticides or heavy metals.
All in all, third party tests confirm that a CBD product is safe and effective. Always look for these tests on the product page or a separate section of the company’s website. Missing tests are a major red flag.
Type of CBD Extract: Full Spectrum vs CBD Isolate
The type of CBD extract used in a CBD syrup matters as well. Most CBD products contain either full spectrum hemp extract or CBD isolate.
Whereas isolate only contains CBD, full spectrum extracts include all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals found in the whole hemp plant.
Research shows that full spectrum CBD preparations are more effective than isolated CBD, requiring, smaller doses and having fewer side effects.
Most CBD syrups are formulated with CBD isolate because it’s easier to mix. If you want to get the most benefits out of your product, look for a whole plant, full spectrum hemp formula.
Since CBD is isolated from hemp plants, the source of this hemp is important as well. High quality hemp should be non-GMO, organic, and grown without pesticides.
The State of Colorado grows the best hemp in the United States, although Oregon and Kentucky also have well developed hemp industries. In addition, European countries, and particularly those that are members of the European Union, are another great source of hemp.
Always look for information stating where the hemp was grown. Similar to third party testing, this information helps protect you from buying a low quality and potentially harmful product.
Last but not least, the way CBD is extracted from hemp also affects product quality. The two safest, most effective CBD extraction methods make use of supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol extraction.
The CO2 method extracts CBD and other beneficial compounds from hemp without damaging them or leaving behind harmful solvents. Although not as expensive and advanced, ethanol extraction is also an effective way to extract CBD and other beneficial compounds from hemp. When not done perfectly, the ethanol method leaves some traces of solvent in your CBD extract.
Be sure to check the product page or company website to see which extraction method they use.
Disclaimer: CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. We recommend consulting with a qualified doctor when taking CBD, especially if you already use other medications. The information on our website is intended to provide educational information about CBD and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction.
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