Posts tagged with "inflammation"

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Twelve Health Benefits of Ginger

Many people get into homeopathy to assist with ongoing conditions. Although medication and advice from your doctor could make life more comfortable, adding all-natural remedies to your treatment plan could result in more significant results. Check out these 12 health benefits of ginger and how to use ginger for whatever ailments you must address.

1. It Helps With Nausea

You don’t have to be sick to feel nauseous. Pregnant women battle morning sickness and sometimes nausea is a side effect for people starting a new medication. Either way, adding ginger to hot tea or cold drinks will relieve your upset stomach if used in small amounts, like a quarter of a teaspoon. Large doses could cause stomach cramps.

2. It Reduces Cellular Inflammation

Inflammation results from many conditions, like illnesses and stress. Ginger will reduce or eliminate the inflammation and put your body more at ease. It was highly effective in a study regarding inflamed lung lining in asthma patients, so it will have the same cellular effects when ingested in a meal or drink. Ongoing cellular inflammation hurts your health and well-being, but Ginger can become a powerful dietary component in preventing discomfort by aiding your cells.

3. It Could Lower Blood Sugar

A study that followed participants who took 2,000-milligram (mg) supplements every day saw that ginger had positive effects on blood sugar tests for people with Type 2 diabetes. It may anchor your blood sugar in addition to your ongoing diabetes treatments. All-natural supplements are available at most pharmacies, but talk with your doctor before taking any to ensure it’s safe for medical conditions.

4. It Might Help With Weight Loss

Ginger often comes up in conversation with people who want to lose weight. A recent literature review found that it successfully repeated weight loss results in 14 studies. It could help rev your metabolism and get you back on track. Mix it into your shakes or make delicious ginger-focused recipes like chawanmushi. This Japanese egg custard uses a ginger sauce to diversify your flavor palette and make the keto-friendly dish an Instagram-worthy meal.

5. It Can Lower Heart Disease Risks

Heart disease is often a genetic condition, so you might not be able to avoid it altogether. However, if you use ginger every day, it might make the risk of developing heart disease early in life a less likely possibility. When it seeps into your bloodstream through your digestive tract, it improves your blood lipid levels and lowers your risk of heart conditions.

6. It Eases Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis affects the degeneration of your joints. It might come as a surprise that ginger can help with this condition as well. People with osteoarthritis in their knees experienced significant pain relief after using topical ginger ointments. Whether taken orally or topically, ginger could be a great addition to your pain treatment because it’s so effective at reducing inflammation that triggers pain.

7. It Comforts People With Digestive Problems

Some digestive problems occur because a person’s stomach lining becomes irritated. Ginger soothes any resulting inflammation to ease symptoms like cramping. It also tackles nausea, so sip on warm ginger tea to soothe digestive problems whenever they occur. You could also add ginger oil to a drink if you don’t enjoy the powder in your beverages.

8. It Might Prevent Cancer

When you buy ginger at the grocery store, it doesn’t look like something powerful enough to fight cancer. It’s always wise to follow your doctor’s advice for a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, but adding more ginger to your diet could help your outcome.

Researchers closely analyzed ginger’s effect on cancer patients and found that 6-gingerol destroys cancer cells when found naturally in the whole herb, instead of in oil or powdered form. The results will be much smaller than what happens during chemo treatments, but it can be an additional step for anyone fighting cancer or trying to stay in remission.

9. It Lowers Cholesterol Levels

What can 5 grams of ginger do for you? When taken every day, it might lower your cholesterol. Patients with hyperlipidemia who added that much ginger to their diet through supplements saw their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol drop by 17.3% throughout the three-month study. It’s helpful for people trying to improve their health alongside prescribed treatments.

10. It Relieves Menstrual Pain

The clinical term for menstrual pain is dysmenorrhea. People who experience this pain often take over-the-counter medications to feel more comfortable, but ginger can also help. Study participants who took ginger supplements had the same pain relief as those who took the painkiller Novafen.

This natural herbal remedy is perfect for anyone still in pain after taking the recommended amount of medication. Try it in a hot drink to soothe tense muscles that might be sore after reacting to long-term pain.

11. It Battles Infections

When you picture an infection, you might think about a cut on your arm or leg. Infections also happen inside organs, which is when ginger can help. People have always used it for its antibacterial properties, but a recent study proved that ginger oil treats internal infections when taken orally. Depending on how you would most enjoy the flavor, you could add it to meals, salad dressings, shakes, or hot drinks.

12. It Could Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

People who have Alzheimer’s have an abnormal buildup of protein in their brains. It creates a plaque that worsens memory loss and other symptoms. When those same people put more ginger in their diet, it eased their ongoing symptoms because the anti-inflammatory properties reduced plaque buildup.

Sometimes doctors recommend taking ginger supplements or using ginger oil when someone receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It can slow the progression and give people more time with their loved ones, if used in addition to other medications or treatments.

Learn the Health Benefits of Ginger

Anyone can learn how to use ginger to improve their wellness. First, you have to read about the health benefits of ginger to determine which benefits would help you the most. Then you can work with your doctor to supplement any medications or treatments with the proper dosage of ginger.

illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Best CBD Oil for Pain: Top Brands in 2021

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is obtained from cannabis plants. The natural cannabis molecule has been popular for decades, and since pain has increased the death rate, globally, everyone is looking for a solution from CBD products. The pain is brought about after a long day in school, at work, or through workouts. But this should not be your reality. Stay put and follow our guide for solutions. It’s advisable to consume the prescribed over-the-counter pain relievers for your tired joints or muscles, but there are organic and natural alternatives to consider.

Top 5 CBD Oil Brands for Pain

How Do We Identify The Best CBD Oil Brands

To get the right CBD oil, you need to use several evaluating criteria. In response to the demand for CBD, the majority of people have turned to sell this product to help users meet their health conditions. Do keep in mind that counterfeit products can jeopardize your health. Therefore, consumers are advised to be mindful of the kind of CBD brands they select.

CBD oil extracted from hemp contains limited or almost no THC. This type of compound results in psychoactive effects. If you don’t take a keen interest in what you’re purchasing, there are high chances you’ll end up buying products that contain large amounts of THC from certain brands. You don’t get to reap CBD health benefits, causing undesirable side effects.

Most people who have experienced the tinctures claim it is one of the best CBD products in most countries. Researchers are still carrying out more studies that support its potential benefits. The following are some of the criteria you’ll need to follow before purchasing to get the best CBD oil for relieving pain.

CBD type

CBD comes in different types; isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum extract. Isolate CBD has CBD as the only active ingredient. Then the broad-spectrum and full-spectrum have CBD compounds and other elements, they incorporate various ingredients which makes them more effective than the isolate. However, people tend to react differently to these extracts.

  • CBD isolate: this is a pure form of CBD.
  • Full Spectrum CBD: Contains all-natural phytochemicals that are found in hemp plants like other terpenes, oils, and cannabinoids. Moreover, there is limited tetrahydrocannabinol (THCs), which are psychotropic compounds that have a “high” effect.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD-they Contains phytochemicals found in cannabis plants that contain less or no amount of THC, similar to full-spectrum CBD. However, some products contain very small amounts of THC.

Studies show that THC, along with CBD, produces an entourage effect, combining the two cannabinoids is more effective than taking them individually. Simply put, full-spectrum products are much more useful for pain relief than isolate CBD-only products.

Hemp Source

Hemp can be grown anywhere in the world under any climate condition. Meaning that brands can source out these plants from anywhere across the world. Note that the only way to get the best and high-quality CBD oils is from the US or EU. These areas have controlled farming practices, the soil used has no insecticides, pesticides, or other chemicals that might cause harm to consumers’ health.

Ingredients

When searching for a good CBD brand, look at its sources and how honest it is with the ingredients used during manufacturing. If the company you are following no longer publishes such information, it’s a red flag.

Let’s assume you are looking for a product that cures joint pain. Find good quality CBD oil. However, it is advisable to fix the pain relief process with additional ingredients such as the essential oil Arnica. Also, warming or even cooling ingredients such as menthol can provide a sensation of dullness

Extraction Method

The extraction method involves the use of some solvents to extract CBD and other compounds from the hemp plant material. Carbon dioxide is the gold standard for the production of CBD.

The CO2 solvent used turns the gaseous state into a liquid and penetrates the plant to extract CBD. Eventually, CO2 is extinguished, leaving a viscous oily extract. Other extraction methods include alcohol (tincture) or olive oil. During this process, avoid CBD oil made from butane. This solvent is cumbersome and can leave toxic residues on the oil floor if not handled properly.

Potency

The more the potency the faster the effects. These types of CBD oils are measured in milligrams to give a clear indication of CBD contained in the dosage. One of the advantages of CBD oil is that consumers can adjust the amount according to their needs; you can either choose to adjust or reduce it according to your preference.

A stronger CBD yields greater benefits, but consuming either a lower or an average amount of CBD gives new users more flexibility in adjusting their dosage gradually as per their needs, taking strong CBD in huge amounts may lead to harmful and unnecessary side effects to the consumer.

Brand Reputation

A well-trusted brand should ensure customer satisfaction, it adds more value to your company. The more satisfied your customers are, the higher the value of the industry. Not everyone is happy with a reputable brand, so, to get the right response, read on customer reviews.

Therefore, take a look at the brands that have a 5-star review if you’re considering buying the best CBD oil for pain. For customers’ expectations, ensure your products are of high quality, offer the best customer experience and safety.

Transparency

The CBD market is growing so fast leaving people confused on which brand to trust. To ease this situation, it’s advisable to choose the companies that offer information regarding the ingredients used to manufacture their products, farming practices, laboratory results, extraction, and manufacturing.

It’s the transparency, and honesty that attracts customers to purchase again and again. Otherwise, the lack of releasing the right information to the public will damage your brand. Transparency is key in every business; it attracts positive reviews and discussion.

Customer Service

Note that customer service is the key to a successful and most trustworthy business. In addition to providing the highest quality products, you need the best, most welcoming, and engaging team of professionals to take care of your customers while they shop. Customers will not return if they don’t get help or have their questions well-answered.

Guarantee

If a brand’s website does not contain shipping, return, or even a refund policy, then that brand is not for you. There are many brands around the world and the competition is fierce. Therefore, to attract more customers, brands need to stand out. Most companies offer discounts and rewards programs, which are the brand’s main promotional activities to improve the overall customer experience and satisfaction.

Website Experience

Due to the recent pandemic, most companies are digitized. Therefore, most of the customers are buying CBD oil online. So, you need to make sure your site experience is first-class to make the user experience enjoyable and smooth during online shopping.

So, make sure your website is accessible on all platforms and devices that can easily navigate.

The experience customers get through your site is very important. You don’t have to go through multiple pages to get the information you need. A great website is about striking the right balance of images and text. An important aspect is providing an engaging and relevant customer experience that makes it easy to buy, now and in the future.

Best CBD Oil for Pain Relief In 2021

Constant pain can cause trauma; such as arthritis, chronic pain, general soreness muscle cramps. This guide will provide you with a variety of options for ending the pain. CBD oil is great for pain relief. Change the world and solve the pain.

#1 Fab CBD: Best Overall

Sometimes FAB CBD oil changes slightly over time. This includes full-spectrum products containing mixtures of terpenes and CBD; phytochemicals produced from the hemp plant. It is psychotropic-free with less than 0.3% THC. Consumers can take the oil by itself, or rather, add it to drinks or food. Its simple ingredients has MCT oil as the carrier oil.

Hemp Source

Hemp products are naturally and organically grown in Colorado. They contain a unique blend of cannabinoids and terpenes.

CBD type

For consumers who are interested in whole CBD extracts and terpenes, FAB offers a comprehensive full-spectrum CBD oil.

Lab Results

ProVerde Laboratories provides third-party results for FAB CBD. However, you can get the required information online.

Strength

In each CBD oil serving, it has four potencies ranging from 5-40 mg per serving with five premium flavors, namely natural, vanilla, peppermint, berry, and citrus. Consumers have a wide selection to choose their preferred tincture.

Verdict

Be aware that THC tests may fail while using these products. CBD metabolizes and might end up giving false-positive tests. Therefore, you consume these products at your own risk.

#2 Medterra CBD: Most Popular

Medterra offers a blend of MCT oil and 99 % CBD in a 1-oz container. Each serving of this CBD tincture contains markers to measure its versatility and accuracy. Suppose you are looking for CBD oil with zero THC, then Medterra’s CBD isolate will be great to avoid failing a drug test? These products are U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. The reviews of a customer are usually based on average efficiency, delivery time, and price.

Hemp Source

This CBD oil is derived from Kentucky, USA. Medterra’s unflavored tinctures are manufactured with 99 % pure CBD extract and organic MCT oil.

CBD Type

It has a combination of isolate and broad-spectrum extracts.

Lab Results

This brand utilizes Green Scientific Labs and ProVerde Laboratories to test the products and offer third-party results online.

Strength

They have 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 3000 mg per dropper. You can start your dosages from 16 mg to 100 mg in each serving.

Verdict

This brand is safer, easier to use, and much more affordable. There are approximately 30 servings of this CBD tincture, and it can either be taken during the day or at night.

All Mediterra tins, regardless of the concentration, are packaged in 1-ounce bottles, each containing 1 ml, converted into 30 organic materials. The dropper has a measuring screen (0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1ml), providing a flexible and precise serving size.

#3 CBDistillery: Best Variety

A group of Colorado natives founded this brand in 2016 with consumer’s best interest at hand. The founders released the emergence of overpriced, inferior CBD products that saturated the market. They offer high-quality, US-grown, reasonably priced, and hemp-derived products to ensure they offer premium products. The brand has several strengths; this allows consumers to personalize the dose to help prevent drowsiness after taking it during the day.

Hemp Source

The product is grown and sourced from the US. CBDistillery has its products manufactured through the U.S. Hemp Authority-certified non-GMO industrial hemp and using natural and organic farming practices.

CBD Type

It carries full-spectrum products.

Lab Results

CBDistillery products go through the third-party test lab Proverde. They provide their details or rather Certificates of Analysis for every product online. All the CBDistillery products are third-party tested, this is to make sure the quality is topnotch and give consistent serving sizes.

Strength

Buyers can select strengths that range from 33 mg to 83 mg each serving,

Verdict

CBDistillery is a great brand where you could purchase high-quality, chemical-free products.

#4 cbdMD: Best Broad-Spectrum

cbdMD oil tinctures are the best quality, CBD-derived oil. The consumers tend to enjoy the benefits of their superior broad-spectrum CBG and CBD in every oil.

The tinctures are passionately crafted via a top-notch manufacturing process, the hemp is grown and sourced from the USA. CBD oil turns out to be very expensive, though other brands will sell them cheaper. But with this brand, you will get value for your money.

It’s safe to use CBD oil drops every day with their easy-to-use droppers that help to adjust CBD intake.

Hemp Source

The hemp plant is grown and sourced in the US.

CBD Type

You can select the strengths from 10 mg, 25 mg, up to 100 mg of CBD for each serving., they offer four flavors – mint, berry, orange, and natural.

Lab Results

On cbdMD’s pages, you will easily access third-party lab results from SC Labs; you just need to click “COAs” on the tab.

Strength

Its broad-spectrum CBD oils

Verdict

The brand’s CBD oil tinctures have the best quality that is hemp-derived. You should take this golden chance and shop with them to have a superb experience with their products that are crafted with care.

The brand claims that their CBD oil tinctures provide multiple health benefits that you cannot experience with other products. For example, the oil is packed in a bottle with a rubber dropper, thus making it easily discreet and transportable while on the move.

In addition, the tinctures don’t need any preparation, making it great for a quick consumption.

#5 CBDPure: Best Value

This brand was started in 2016 for a simple mission, to ensure it offers the best CBD oil. More so, it’s reputable and offers third-party test results and a 90-day money-back guarantee. CBDPure is among the most transparent companies in the market.

It widely explains every single stage in processing CBD oil and offers easy access to lab test results information for every batch produced. It has a golden color, an indicator of the level of quality, to show that the manufacturers did a great job extracting filtration from excess plant material and chlorophyll.

Hemp Source

The hemp is organically grown and sourced from Colorado and Washington farms.

CBD Type

Full-spectrum organic CBD product.

Lab Results

Here at CBDPure, we believe in complete transparency regarding exactly what is in every bottle. Every product batch is tested three times, once at harvest, once at our production facility, and once by an independent third-party laboratory.

Strength

It comes in 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1,000 mg packed in a 60ml container. The lowest potency is 3.3 mg of CBD each serving; it is great for people with mild pain as a first-timer.

However, the difference between the three options is felt in their potency; the more the strength of your oil, the more CBD is found per serving. Each potency is derived from a similar full-spectrum hemp plants.

Verdict

There are so many selections based on the product you want, this has confused many users, but with this brand, you get some customer service that explains the kind of oil to use for your health conditions. Their goal is to offer the best CBD oil for pain.

Cheap Vs. Premium CBD Oils

Cheap CBD oils could turn out to be of low quality, thus leading to adverse side effects. Also, they end up not fulfilling all your medical needs. Premium products are of high quality and manufactured for customer satisfaction.

Pain Relief with CBD Oil: How Does it work

When you consume CBD compound, it interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) widely spread throughout your body, mostly concentrated around the nervous system. Note that the ECS consist of chemicals and inter-related receptors.

Besides boosting ECS, it assists in preserving anandamide, a naturally occurring molecule, which plays a big role in regulating inflammation that brings in the analgesic body effects, namely pain relief.

Unlike THC, Cannabinoids don’t act directly on your nerve receptors. When consumed, it indirectly prevents specific psychological functions; for this reason, the compound has minimal impact on your body’s chemical balance.

Though various CBD types are full-spectrum, they contain very few traces of THC that have less impact on your body. According to federal law, any legal CBD product must not contain THC levels above 0.3% by weight, which is the right amount to offer users the entourage effect, heightening the experience and impact.

How to Properly Dose CBD Oil for Pain

When it comes to CBD oil for pain, most people will talk of CBD drops and how the dropper is helpful and an easy benchmark dose-measuring the dosage other than counting. Mostly, consumers make use of the actual dropper that is often 1 milliliter.

While dosing, keep in mind that the oil is delivered in the form of tinctures. First, pour a few drops of your desired CBD oil as mold in place for at least 60 seconds. The time duration allows the blood vessels under your tongue to absorb the product, after which you swallow your CBD oil. You can mix CBD oil into your drink and food as well.

There lacks a clinical consensus on CBD dosing, though the prudent way is to generally begin low and gradually increase as per how your body reacts. The rule of thumb claims that one should take between 1 to 6 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight; for instance, a woman who weighs 140 pounds can consume 14 to 84 mg of CBD. You could increase this amount or frequency as time goes by.

However, the dosage is personal, so the amount that would work for you might be too much or too little for someone else. If in doubt, it’s advisable to kickstart with a small dose as you increase, gradually. Suppose you don’t feel the effects, don’t take more since it takes longer for the CBD to react.

Here are some of the aspects that you should consider to know the amount to consume:

  • Bodyweight
  • Health condition
  • The body chemistry
  • CBD concentration per drop

Other Known Benefits of Using CBD Oil

Sleep challenges

According to increasingly scientific research, CBD properties will potentially offer medical benefits to various conditions, for instance, treating sleep-related problems and temporarily relieving insomnia.

Blood pressure

Recent research claims that CBD helps to boost heart health. In 2017, a study concluded that CBD is key when it comes to reducing blood pressure. Also, it’s potentially therapeutic to help treat cardiovascular conditions; it lowers cardiac inflammation.

Bones

Also, is some promising research, CBD helps to preserve bone density and improves bone fracture healing. These two are a concern to the majority of people.

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is one of the adverse kinds of chronic pain described as stinging, burning, and sharpness. Neuropathic pain impacts people differently from one person to another. The pain makes it hard for you to pin down; no clinical treatment has been discovered for nerve pain.

A Study in 2017 was conducted to examine the effectiveness of hemp-based treatment for multiple sclerosis-related and neuropathic pain. Around 50-70 % of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) had excruciating pain. Ultimately, CBD oil for pain works on nerves too. However, consumers should be cautious with its potential side effects.

Inflammation

CBD is known to combat inflammation. A 2013 study done by an Institute of Digestive Disease, China, claimed that mice injected with CBD had anti-inflammatory effects. Generally, there are various views regarding CBD oil, especially in alleviating inflammation and pain resulting from joint pain and arthritis. The majority of individuals have found a solution after dealing with the inflammation through CBD.

Back Pain

Globally, back pains are the major cause of disability. These debilitating pains affect billions of people, leaving the majority to learn how to live with that challenge. With these pains, it has never been any easier. The best thing is that CBD oil for pain is an effective alternative to help relieve this kind of pain. CBD is easy to use, inexpensive, has minimal side effects, and promises the best solution for back pain. Suppose you need the best CBD oil for pain. Look at our top picks recommended above; they work well.

Side Effects of Using CBD Oil

Before you start consuming CBD oil, remember that your health should be a priority. So, you should know the possible challenges and risks of consuming the product. Fortunately, hemp-based products don’t have adverse side effects. The World Health Organization acknowledges its safety and lacks dependence on cannabis-based products. In short, CBD oil has relatively low-risk effects. Some of the common side effects that might be dose-dependent includes

  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

Other effects like drowsiness could be fatal if you are operating and driving heavy machinery. Therefore, after consumption, it’s not advisable to go. Suppose you are driving and feel like sleeping; you should pack and get some sleep to avoid risking your life and others. However, to avoid some of these side effects, you should consult the doctor on some other supplements or medication; CBD makes them less effective.

Some supplements and medications warn users against grapefruits; you should not get any closer to CBD products in such a scenario. For instance, some medicines have cholesterol drugs, like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and many others.

A study on mice claimed that CBD might increase liver toxicity if you consume it in huge quantities.

Will The Oil Make You Feel High?

CBD can also be derived from a cannabis plant, though it doesn’t create the same “high” or overly euphoric THC or marijuana due to its psychotropic effects. Instead, it makes you feel anxious or relaxed but with no highness if you opt to consume CBD-infused oil.

Unlike THC, you will not get intoxicated or hallucinate just because you take CBD products. However, there is a possibility of adverse side effects if the ingredients’ quality was not up to standards.

However, consuming CBD with THC-rich cannabis products, cannabinoids will lessen the level of highness you get from the THC. Please talk to the experts before taking any supplements, and be sure of the brand that sells high-quality products.

All you need to do is read the labels to be certain that the product has been tested through a third party for its quality. If not, it might not be legitimate, so I avoided it.

What About the Drug Test?

CBD oils are ingested. Thus, they enter the bloodstream. THC is detected in urine for up to two weeks or more, but it depends on the number of times you often consume it or frequency, plus the amount or dosage you take. It might leave your bloodstream after five hours, but the substances the body creates from THC can even show up for more than seven days.

Some types of CBD, such as full-spectrum products, have traces of THC. Therefore, there is a possibility that it would show up after a drug test. However, you can avoid these products; you can try and reduce the CBD intake.

Can You Legally Carry Oil in the USA?

Although parts of the world have not legalized CBD, most manufacturers need to be above the legal age, which is 18 years, to buy their products. Therefore, before purchasing any CBD products, you should check the local laws so as not to be caught on the wrong side. After purchasing from an online store, you must confirm if the brand is allowed to ship in your country and what the law says about it.

CBD products that are hemp-derived are not categorized in Schedule I drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act anymore, though they are still considered legal grey zones. However, some changes are underway on state and federal levels that ultimately clarify the regulations and laws related to CBD-derived products and sales. Besides, the products are widely spread online and in every state. So, if you need to use CBD, check on your laws.

Final Thoughts

The best CBD oil for pain brings many medical benefits, such as relief from various levels and types of pain. The lion’s share of the services is a result of CBD interacting with the endocannabinoid system. When the product alters pain transmission from your nerves to the brain, it improves your life quality naturally and safely and relieves pain. It’s paramount to choose a reputable CBD brand that offers top-notch quality products. That’s the only way to acquire the most from CBD’s analgesic properties.

This guide is great to give you a better understanding and sufficient knowledge regarding CBD oil. You can as well use our top recommendations to help you relieve pains.

NB Pure illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels) for 360 Magazine

Summer Tips for Melanoma Prevention

Protect yourself from melanoma without becoming deficient in vitamin D

By Leah Johnston, RDN

Don’t be so quick to overlook concerns around melanoma just because it’s often viewed as preventable. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers and the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, there is a conflict between how we prevent melanoma and how we ensure we are getting enough vitamin D. Sun exposure is the main source of this essential vitamin, but it’s also the primary culprit in the formation of melanoma. With May being Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s time to take notice and learn how we can protect our skin while still absorbing enough vitamin D.

The Stats

Cases of melanoma have been rising over the last few decades, especially among young adults, as it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among people aged 25 to 29. According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, one person dies from melanoma every hour of every day. The American Cancer Society reports that the risk for getting melanoma is approximately 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Blacks, and 0.6% (1 in 167) for Hispanics. While fair skin poses a higher risk, darker complexions are also at risk.

How Melanoma forms

Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin and give skin its brown or tan color. It’s when melanocytes start to grow out of control on the skin’s top layer that cancer can develop and then spread to other parts of the body. Usually appearing as a brown or black spot or mole, melanoma is most commonly found on the chest and back for men and legs for women. It’s best not to ignore any irregular spots you may find on your skin because this cancer can also appear in other colors or patterns. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds can damage DNA in cells and significantly increase the risk of melanoma. Early detection is important for effective treatment.

Tips for melanoma prevention:

  • Use a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen all year when outdoors. This will help protect against sun damage, which can occur even when the sun might be hiding behind a cloud.
  • Limit sun exposure during the middle of the day when the UV rays are at their peak. Instead, plan outdoor time for the morning or later afternoon to lessen the risk. 
  • Opt for a spray tan over laying out by the pool. If you love to have a tan, spray tans are a safer option and will help protect the longevity of your skin.
  • Schedule annual skin exams with a dermatologist. This is especially important if you have fair skin or immediate family members who have had melanoma, such as a parent or sibling.

The importance of Vitamin D

What doesn’t vitamin D do? Known as the sunshine vitamin, the human body absorbs an inactive form of vitamin D from the sun, food, or supplements and converts it into an active form of vitamin that it can use. In its active form, vitamin D plays many roles in the body.

Bone Health: Vitamin D and calcium work together to maintain bone health and density. Calcium cannot be absorbed into bones without the help of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can result in bone softening, known as osteomalacia, and muscle weakness. Osteoporosis can also be associated with vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of calcium absorption. Both osteoporosis and melanoma affect older adults making it essential to couple melanoma prevention strategies with vitamin D supplementation.

Immunity: Recently, researchers have been investigating a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. While this research is still in its infancy, scientists have been finding that low vitamin D status may result in the increased severity of symptoms and higher mortality rate. More research is needed in this area.

Inflammation: Research has shown an association between vitamin D status and inflammation-related autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D also helps to regulate insulin levels for diabetes management.

Depression: People with depression are more likely to have low vitamin D levels. A 2011 study found that women who ate more foods rich in vitamin D had a lower risk of depression than women who got less vitamin D in their diets. Vitamin D has also demonstrated the ability to improve the symptoms of depression.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 mcg (600 IU) for most children and adults up to the age of 70, according to the National Institutes of Health. Adults who over 70 need 20 mcg (800 IU) daily.

Tips for getting enough Vitamin D:

  • Get outside but be strategic. As previously discussed, the best time to be in the sun is in the morning or later afternoon. Plan your days to limit your exposure to the midday sun.
  • Add at least one vitamin D rich food into your daily diet. These may include fortified dairy and non-dairy beverages such as milk or orange juice, fortified cereals, salmon (wild caught contains more than farmed), sardines, and egg yolks. Wild mushrooms or those that have been treated with UV light are a good plant source of the vitamin. 
  • Take a daily Vitamin D supplement. This may be particularly important if you live in regions of the world that are further from the equator, such as the Midwest. If you struggle to remember or don’t enjoy taking pills, NB Pure has a Vitamin D3 supplement in the form of a spray for the utmost convenience.
  • Have your doctor check your vitamin D levels at least once a year. Getting an annual physical is important for your long-term health. Ask your doctor to make sure they check your vitamin D levels at that visit.

The sun may be the main reason for the increasing rates of melanoma, but it’s also our number one source of vitamin D. It is possible to protect yourself from developing melanoma and ensure that you are obtaining ample amounts of vitamin D to prevent the consequences of a deficiency.

Perfect Hydration illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Hydration Benefits

The best ways to hydrate & the benefits of alkaline water.

We all know that water is foundational to our well-being. Our health and our life depend on it. Yet, an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, a figure that is exacerbated by the constant consumption of caffeinated beverages, alcohol and diets high in sodium. We’ve all experienced fatigue, irritability, headaches, or a foggy mind from dehydration. So why not pay more attention to how we hydrate? The simple act of drinking refreshing alkaline water, monitoring consumption, and developing better hydration habits can boost energy, support skin and immune health, and so much more. Here’s how you can get started.

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water has a higher pH level, typically 8 or 9, as opposed to regular water which taps out around 7. Water with a higher pH can help balance the acid in your body, support a healthy immune system, keep things moving, and ultimately achieve a more premium state of hydration. For these and many other benefits, alkaline water has been deemed the go-to water option in achieving optimum hydration.

One brand we recommend is, Perfect Hydration (pH) Alkaline Water, which has a pH level of 9.5 and a unique blend of electrolyte minerals, without the sodium and chlorine used by most other water brands. Ultra-purified and ionized, pH’s 9 stage-filtration process also results in an incredibly crisp and refreshing taste, making it easier to consume higher quantities of water at a time.

Who should drink alkaline water?

Short answer – everyone! Alkaline is safe to drink at all ages and stages of life. Over the past year as many people transitioned to work from home due to the pandemic, alkaline water has become a popular choice for consumers looking to support their immune health, particularly those increasingly seeking solutions that can be easily incorporated into their daily routines.  

Alkaline water has also been adopted by many top tier athletes – including Julian Edelman (NFL Wide Receiver), Alfonzo McKinnie (NBA Player), Livlo Golding (Fitness Expert), Summer Fenton (Professional Snowboarder) and Sierra Blair Coyle (Professional Rock Climber) – who have all partnered with Perfect Hydration to keep their bodies in a peak, hydrated state for ultimate performance. Any athlete knows that water consumption to replace sweat loss is essential in thermoregulation and preventing cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and more.

In the hot, summer months, hydration becomes even more important. Avoiding products with high sugar and sodium levels is key among health-minded individuals who are swapping complicated, sugar-dense beverages with functional beverages that serve the body.

What Alkaline Water Can Do For You

Beyond hydration and immunity, alkaline water is believed to have properties that aid in:

  • detoxifying the body
  • weight loss
  • cancer resistance
  • colon-cleansing
  • reducing bone loss
  • reducing headaches and inflammation
  • stress management
  • improving metabolism and digestion

Size Matters

In attempting to keep the body in an optimum state of hydration, consuming adequate quantities water is key. Recommended daily intake of water ranges from about 11-16 cups or 88-128 oz. But the average intake among Americans is about 3.9 cups per day, indicating that small sips from a glass throughout the day just isn’t enough. Keeping a liter or more on hand at all times allows you to track the amount of water you are consuming to ensure your hydration goals are met.

Perfect Hydration recently launched a 1.5 liter bottle and one-gallon bottle at select Ralph’s stores in southern California and CVS stores across the US. These new sizes are flying off the shelves as consumers call for function, value and convenience in every water product they purchase.

Currently Trending…

The alkaline water industry is catching on to consumer’s desire for packaging beyond plastic, pushing beverage leaders to think about their sustainability practices. This year, Perfect Hydration is launching their premium, enhanced water in 16.9 oz. recyclable aluminum cans to meet the growing demand for functionality, hydration, and sustainability. They are also converting their 1-liter, 1.5-liter and 1-gallon bottles to post-consumer recycled plastic (rPET) as a part of their commitment to serve the wellness of consumers and the health of the planet.

Unlike other brands that mine water sheds and mineral springs, pH uses US-based renewable water sources. They don’t have to ship water to or from remote locations across the globe, which means lower carbon emissions as a result of less freight. In addition, Perfect Hydration’s current bottles are made of BPA-free, 100% recyclable PET-1, which is the most commonly recycled plastic on the planet.

Perfect Hydration is also an Official Supporter of the American Red Cross, offering $250k in donations that benefit disaster relief and blood services programs. 

Their model proves proper hydration can be achieved in tandem with eco-conscious and community-based efforts.

A Bright Future

It may not surprise you that global sales and consumption of alkaline water continues to steadily rise, with sales growth consistent at more than 40% per year since 2013, according to a report by Zenith Global. Its benefits are wide reaching, and the crisp taste has consumers coming back for more.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Drug Law Article for 360 MAGAZINE

How Marijuana is Becoming More Popular in Pop Culture

Cannabis in pop culture isn’t exactly a new concept. You’ve probably heard plenty of songs and seen a variety of movies where people talk about weed. However, the influence of this substance on pop culture might be bigger than you’d think. It turns out that almost half of all the US hip-hop and R&B songs in the industry have some mention of cannabis. Historically, people have largely referenced marijuana in the same vein, connecting it to lazy stereotypical stoner types. This concept is something that many people appreciated several years ago, but it’s quickly becoming outdated in a world where scientific research is beginning to demonstrate the potential of this natural substance for medical purposes. As the benefits of marijuana continue to be researched and proven, people seeking a natural healing process have obtained a medical marijuana card in order to get relief from pain, anxiety, and depression. Things are beginning to turn a corner in the pop culture landscape, but it’s a slow process, and we have a long way to go. 

The Changing Presence of Cannabis in Culture

Say the word marijuana to most people and they’ll think of old-fashioned stoner portrayals that represent anyone who uses this drug as lazy and under-educated. Over the years, the way that we view this product has been mostly negative, thanks to the way that television and movie producers used the drug to represent a very specific kind of character. Today, studies indicate that pop culture is referencing weed more than ever before, but the general attitude to it might be changing. 

We’re beginning to see the substance from a new perspective on the television and movie screens, because the attitude of the public is changing. These days, it’s becoming much more acceptable for people to use natural products like marijuana for the treatment of various conditions. You can get your Nevada medical marijuana card in a matter of minutes online from NuggMD, with a quick and easy process that only bills you on approval. It’s part of everyday life for a lot of individuals. As laws around the drug continue to change, so too do the opinions of the people who view this product as a pop culture icon. 

Taking on a New Light

Scientific study and access to more data about the benefits that the right strain of certain substances can have on particular diseases is leading to a more educated community. We know today that there’s more to this plant than we originally thought, and many experts believe that it could be the key to managing some very serious and life-changing conditions. The people who use marijuana today aren’t just college kids looking to pass time or get high between classes. 

Although there are still many states that offer the product recreationally, it also has much more important benefits that are worth considering too. Not only is cannabis a great medicine, but it can also be a product that helps to relieve anxiety and reduce inflammation. People are even discovering new ways to experiment with the product in the form of CBD oils and various edibles. The landscape is beginning to evolve, and soon, the demand for a new view of weed in pop culture will be greater than ever.

Cannabis illustration by Rita Azar for use by 360 magazine

Improving Life Quality with CBD

There are many different things that contribute to our quality of life, and sometimes you may find that your life quality starts to wane as a result of these things. For instance, things such as not getting enough sleep, being in pain, or always feeling low can all have a negative impact on your quality of life. They can also affect key aspects of your life such as your focus, your work, relationships, and health among other things.

The good news is that there are solutions that can help with these problems, and this includes the use of CBD products. CBD has gained a lot of positive press and popularity over recent years, and changes in legislation have made these products even more accessible. You can also choose from many different products to suit your needs such as CBD oil or CBD edibles. Many people take CBD because it makes a stark difference to their life quality, and in this article, we will look at how CBD does this.

Improvements You Can Look Forward To

One of the reasons CBD has become so popular is because it can improve your quality of life in so many ways. Some of the ways in which it can help to achieve better life quality are:

Improving Your Sleep

One of the things that CBD can help with is improving your sleep, and this in turn can then improve your health and quality of life. Lack of sleep can have a huge negative impact on your life, so you need to get the right amount of sleep on a regular basis. By increasing serotonin levels, CBD can help to regular your sleep patterns, which means you can look forward to plenty of rest to recharge your body and mind.

Dealing with Pain and Inflammation

Many people take CBD oil for pain, as it has been proven to be an excellent painkiller as well as a very effective anti-inflammatory. Many believe that it could become a big player in the future of painkillers, and many have found it to be hugely effective. So, if you have problems with pain and inflammation due to injuries or health conditions, this could prove highly beneficial. Reducing pain and inflammation will help to boost your quality of life considerably.

Helping You to Relax

When you find it hard to switch off and relax, it can leave you feeling really stressed and uptight. This can then impact your general health and your mental wellbeing. CBD is a great way to help you to unwind and relax, which can then benefit your overall wellbeing and improve your quality of life as a result.

Boosting Your Mood

We all feel low from time to time, but some more often than others. If you fall into the latter group, it can really affect your life. However, CBD can boost serotonin levels, which can then boost your mood. This then has a positive impact on your life quality.

These are some of the ways in which CBD can help to improve your quality of life.

CBD: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs?

In the modern world, our first approach to treating an illness is to find the most suitable pharmaceutical drug, which we typically get either over-the-counter or on prescription. However, while these medicines are normally effective, they can unlock a whole new box of issues, including dependency and side effects.

Becoming reliant on medication can be mentally unsettling, and nasty side effects like nausea and dizziness typically require further treatment, leaving patients on a cocktail of pharmaceutical-grade drugs before they know it.

In the case of opioid painkillers, dependency may even be life-threatening, with the risk of overdose frighteningly high. In 2016, abuse of prescription opioid painkillers and recreational opiates accounted for more than 40,000 US lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This cycle of illness, drugs, side effects and more drugs is wearing thin with many, and combined with the new wave of medical cannabis science, a clear divide has formed between those who favor prescription drugs, and those who’d rather take natural, plant-based medicines.

From a historical perspective, medicinal cannabis use makes perfect sense, with the herb being used for millennia across the world, but particularly in Africa and Asia.

Technological advancements have greatly developed our knowledge of cannabis, and scientists now know which compounds are responsible for various effects. For example, the psychoactive “high” mostly comes from a therapeutic cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, numerous other cannabinoids have medicinal properties, sans the hallucinogenic effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most studied and seemingly most useful non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and the market for CBD products has exploded in the 2010s, thanks in part to the relaxation of laws surrounding non-psychoactive hemp.

CBD over opioids
Opioid-based painkillers like Tramadol are now regularly prescribed for chronic pain, with stronger synthetic drugs such as fentanyl available on prescription for the most extreme discomfort. These drugs are designed to interact with opioid receptors in the opioid system. The pain relief from these drugs is substantial, however sustained use leads to increased tolerance, stronger doses and addiction.

However, CBD may be helpful for chronic patients, and also those who have ended up dependent on opioids, as the cannabinoid seems to exhibit anti-addiction properties by interfering with pleasure-reward mechanisms.

By elevating concentrations of anandamide in the body, CBD is promoting a neurotransmitter that works to ease both physical and mental pain. How CBD tackles addiction is less clear, but some evidence indicates that CBD is active in the opioid system.

Not all pain is the same – for example, some chronic pain is persistent and always at a similar intensity, whereas the worst effects of inflammatory and neuropathic pain tend to come from flare-ups.

For internal neuropathic pain, CBD vape oil and e-liquid treatment is ideal, because the relief comes very quickly. Meanwhile, lingering pain is economically and perhaps more efficiently managed by orally-consumed CBD products (e.g. capsules, edibles, coffee).

Experimenting with gels, creams and balms infused with cannabis or CBD is a novel method of coping with localized pain. These ensure that the cannabinoid receptors in the affected area are directly activated.

If you’re unsure where to start searching for the right CBD product and form for your pain or you simply can’t decide with the long list of options, you can click here to learn more.

CBD: the new anti-inflammatory drug?
Immune system response is still not well that understood, and this has made it difficult to control. Researchers have struggled to find ways of influencing inflammation, but studies into the endocannabinoid system have found that immune system response is accessible via cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids look to signal a stoppage in inflammation, after a wound has fully healed or an infection is neutralized.

This discovery may be crucial, as the current leading class of anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) are known to cause concerning side effects, including stomach ulcers.

The best CBD product for inflammation depends, unsurprisingly on the type of inflammation. Internal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which could be exacerbated by endocannabinoid deficiency, respond well to both CBD vape juice and CBD edibles, or even tincture oils.

For osteoarthritis, a form of inflammation which affects the joints, CBD creams and other topicals are likely to produce better results.

CBD’s promise as an antidepressant
Cannabinoid research is providing genuine hope for antidepressant researchers, after decades of stagnation in medication development. The current situation with depression medicine is far from ideal, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) slow to show benefits – for up to 40 percent of patients, these drugs may not even work at all. And then there are the side effects to contend with, which range from drowsiness to impotence. Depersonalization and derealization have also been anecdotally reported with SSRIs.

However, a glut of promising studies on CBD and the brain have found that the ECS could be important in correcting off-balance brain chemistry. The CB1 receptor modulates many variables, mood being one, and the bond between anandamide and this receptor is important for good mental wellbeing. Factors outside of the ECS also affect mood, but the potency of anandamide as an antidepressant makes the link with the CB1 receptor an essential one.

Some of the most exciting research on cannabinoids has been on their neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties. Studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and cannabinoid treatments, which are associated with depression, have demonstrated that CBD is able to repair these regions of the brain, by restoring neuronal circuitry and helping to form new brain cells.

A 2018 study on rats carried out in Brazil showed that CBD was effective from the first treatment and for up to seven days after the last dose at blocking synaptic proteins which damage neuronal circuitry in the prefrontal cortex. Meanwhile, CBD-initiated neurogenesis in the hippocampus helps to regrow the brains of adult rats with depression. These results have not yet been replicated in humans, but rats are used for such studies because their brains are similar to humans. General memories and our autobiographical memory are stored in the hippocampus.

The only CBD products that aren’t suitable for managing depression are topicals, as the cannabinoids remain in the skin, and do not reach the brain.