Posts tagged with "joint and back pain"

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HEMP VS. CBD

On the shelf, both hemp oil and CBD oil look very similar. They are both extracted from industrial hemp plants grown in the United States, and they both claim to have the same purported health benefits? Which one truly offers you more with each serving? 

Although they look and sound similar, each designation refers to a completely different product. Here’s why you should consider choosing CBD oil over hemp oil

Hemp Oil May Be One of Many Products

Unlike CBD oil, hemp oil may refer to one of many different products. The designation “hemp oil” is given to oils collected from industrial hemp plans, or crushed hempseed plants. 

In this circumstance, “hemp oil” is a closer match to traditional CBD oil than hempseed-based “hemp oil.” A tincture or capsule derived from hempseeds contains only trace amounts of cannabidiols (the good stuff from CBD oil), and are primarily used in cooking oils, beauty products and paint. 

Hemp oil derived from hempseeds is noted for a completely different set of health benefits. Comparable to chia seed oil and flaxseed oil, hempseed oil is noted for a high concentration of proteins, fatty acids and amino acids. These compounds are all noted for their health benefits: Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils are good for joint health, while amino acids and proteins may help reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease. 

Where Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Differ

Even if you do find a hemp oil derived from natural plants, it may not necessarily be the same as CBD oil. Because hemp oil is often derived from hempseeds instead of specially-grown domestic Cannabis sativa plants, it may not contain all the benefits of CBD oil. 

Organic, full spectrum CBD oil are extracted from the full hemp plant. Leaves, stalks and flowers are processed to extract all of the cannabidiols out of the plant. In turn, users may receive the benefits of full cannabidiol, which have been documented in several peer-reviewed case studies. 

And while full-spectrum CBD oil does contain a trace amount of THC – the compound that creates the traditional “high” of cannabis – it’s not nearly enough to give you that feeling. The industrial limit for THC in full-spectrum CBD oil is 0.3% by dry weight, which is not enough to register on most drug tests, nor is it enough to give you that funny feeling. 

While CBD oil is safe for everyday consumption in most people, you should always discuss adding any product or regimen with your doctor. By going over your current medications and plans for CBD oil, they can help you decide if it’s right for your lifestyle. 

Should I Use CBD Oil or Hemp Oil? 

If you’re looking for an alternative to olive oil in cooking or baking, Hemp oil offers health benefits, and can often be found at natural foods stores. However, Hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same thing. 

If you are looking for potential health benefits from an oil that can be used orally or topically, then CBD oil is always your best bet. Before buying and product, make sure it actually contains the full spectrum cannabidiols, instead of just hemp seeds. 

Navigating Healthcare

Navigating our healthcare system can be challenging, especially when you are not feeling well.  One of the biggest questions that patients face is deciding whether their symptoms warrant a trip to a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, or the emergency room.

For most health problems, your primary care doctor—usually a family doctor, internist, or pediatrician—is often in the best person to provide the first line of advice for health concerns.  These primary care physicians are equipped to handle most chronic health problems and minor complaints. Examples of conditions that can be managed by your primary care physician include muscle strains/sprains, joint and back pain, coughs and cold symptoms, minor burns and injuries, headaches, and stomach and intestinal problems (as long as the patient can drink fluids normally).

Many primary care physicians are able to perform procedures like joint injections and drainage of abscesses, dress wounds, and provide referrals to the right specialist if needed.  Most primary care offices can order blood tests, and many can perform immediate rapid tests for pregnancy, urine infections, strep throat, and influenza. Some even offer x-rays on-site.  

An advantage to seeing a primary care physician is that your regular doctor usually knows you and your medical problems best and is able to provide follow-up for your medical conditions.  If you’re having a hard time finding a primary care physician, you can ask your friends or family for recommendations, check with your insurance company to see who is in network, or search for your area on this physician mapper.  

Urgent care clinics include walk-in clinics which may be associated with a retail pharmacy or hospital system. They are most often staffed with nurse practitioners and physician assistants which means that you are unlikely to see a physician. Examples of complaints that can be managed by an urgent care clinic include straightforward conditions like colds, influenza, minor sprains/strains, minor skin cuts, and minor burns (not to hands/feet/genitals/face). Urgent care facilities often have access to an x-ray machine and can diagnosis and splint (but not cast) a fracture.  They may also have access to some of the more common blood tests. An advantage of urgent care is that they are often open on weekends and after hours when your primary care physician may not be available.

The emergency department (ED) should be reserved for true emergencies. Examples of

complaints that should be seen in the ED include chest pain, shortness of breath, stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking or weakness on one side of the body, fractures where there is bone outside of the skin, fainting, severe headache, and inability to keep down liquids. EDs are always open but can be the most expensive option when it is not a true emergency. When you go to the ED, you may see a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.  It’s important to be aware that not all EDs have physicians working on-site. When you or your loved one in sick, you should ask the credentials of the clinicians who are taking care of you and know that it is okay to ask to be seen by a physician.

Rebekah Bernard MD is a Family Physician and the president of Physicians for Patient Protection.