Your Acupuncture Practice & CBD: Should You Offer It?

Your Acupuncture Practice & CBD: Should You Offer It?

*Is CBD legal? Hemp CBD products are legal on the federal level (with 0.3% or less of THC) but may be illegal under certain state laws. Be sure to check your state laws before purchasing or selling CBD products, and keep in mind that nonprescription CBD goods are not FDA approved.

Pain, no matter where it is on the body, is a common complaint that many acupuncturists hear from their patients across the country.  Luckily, acupuncture can be very helpful to reduce or eliminate pain in some cases, but we want to know how do we amplify the healing and pain-relieving properties of acupuncture treatments even more?  Enter: CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is an alternative form of pain relief which reduces inflammation in the body. It is a type of chemical known as cannabinoid, which is found naturally in cannabis plants stimulate the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for a person’s mood, memory, and the experience of pain.

CBD may reduce:

  • Discomfort for arthritis, inflammation, sleep, anxiety, chronic pain, cancer pain, and more.

  • Pain

  • Inflammation
Acupuncturists and consumers across the United States are jumping on board and implementing the use of CBD (cannabidiol) products in their practice and daily routines as yet another means of supporting their health, and to help reduce pain.  
According to the Journal of Pain, chronic pain affects Americans more than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. CBD may be helpful to those who do not want the euphoric effects (“high” feeling) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but all of the benefits of the CBD. There are many promising studies, and many reliable and high-quality products on the market.
Most importantly, CBD offers a promising alternative to prescription opioids which further helps in the opioid epidemic across the US.

CBD for Pain Research

The research available on CBD for pain management is somewhat limited, but it is very promising. The surge of prescription opioid use leaves many patients, as we know, wanting to find pain relief in a natural way that steers away from the habit-forming prescription opioids and even over-the-counter drugs.
In a 2016 study titled, ‘Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in rat model of arthritis’, researchers concluded the CBD gel applied to the rats to have no negative side effects, and reduced pain and swelling. Another study from 2018, Cannabinoids and Pain, looked at CBD for fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and cancer pain. They concluded that CBD was effective for pain management without negative side effects.

Reading the CBD Label

When it comes to searching for the right CBD product, we, as acupuncturists, need to be diligent in educating ourselves in the terminology surrounding CBD products. Knowing what you’re reading on the label is crucial to offering the proper products for your patients.

Before considering adding CBD products to your acupuncture practice, it is important to know what you are looking for when deciding on your final product offerings.

Commonly Used Terms on CBD Products:

  • Cannabinoids – These are plant compounds naturally found in cannabis. Although CBD and THC are cannabinoids that are the most well-known, these are just two of the dozens or more of these chemicals found in cannabis.

  • Cannabis – the plant from which CBD is extracted.

  • THC – this is the cannabinoid which causes the “high” effects of cannabis.

  • Terpenes – the organic compounds responsible for the flavor and scent of cannabis.

  • Broad-spectrum CBD – this type of CBD contains all of the phytochemicals (cannabinoids) in the cannabis plant with no THC (or trace quantities of it).

  • CBD Isolate – The purest extract of CBD as it only contains CBD.

  • Full-spectrum CBD – contains all of the phytochemicals that occur naturally in the cannabis plant including terpenes, oils, and other cannabinoids as well as trace amounts of THC.
Acupuncturists armed with this knowledge will have an easier time finding the proper, high quality CBD product that is right for their practice.

CBD Product Cost & More

            Cost is an important factor when talking about implementing CBD products into your acupuncture practice. While some products can be pricey, there are also some affordable, high-quality products on the market. Most CBD goods have a price range of around $25 – $75, and can be upwards of over $100 depending on the potency of the CBD.

Pricing on CBD products for pain management and other uses can fall on any of the bullet points below:

  • $ – under $30

  • $$ – $30 – $100

  • $$$ – $100 – $150

  • $$$$ – over $150
Most importantly, remember that the high price tag does not necessarily mean the best product. The CBD merchandise must have all the components including potency, third-party ftesting, CBD source, and ingredients.
  • Potency & CBD Type:

    This is really a personal preference as to what works best with your practice, and what most of your patients are coming in for. If you have a lot of patients with low to moderate chronic pain or issues, then it may be best to keep more of the low potency CBD on hand. However, if you have a lot of patients with severe, chronic pain and health issues, keeping the high potency CBD products would better suit your practice.

    Additionally, the CBD type is something that will be up to you as a provider. If you don’t want, or cannot offer, THC, then you will want to look for products that say “THC-free,” “Broad-spectrum,” or “CBD isolate.” If you don’t mind trace amounts of THC, then look for products that say “Full-spectrum.” In the United states, the trace amounts of THC must contain less than 0.3% to comply with legislation.

  • Testing CBD Products:

    High quality and credible CBD product companies willingly share their third-party testing results. If they do not have this available on the website of the product you are looking to purchase, be sure to request a certificate of analysis by email before purchasing any products. There are two things that need to be checked when looking at the analysis. One, the cannabinoid profile to be sure the potency matches what is stated on the product, and two, the product is free of contaminants like mold and pesticides as well as heavy metals.

  • Check the Source:

    Look for United States grown hemp. The U.S. has agricultural standards which hemp is regulated by meaning that it is trustworthy in maintaining the THC limitation requirements.

  • Check the Ingredients:

    CBD is not found in hemp seeds which is important to remember when looking at a product. Rather, look for goods that contain hemp extract. If the product you’re looking at lists only hemp seeds, hempseed oil, or cannabis sativa oil, this is not what you want to purchase as the CBD product will not likely work properly.
Ultimately, if these things meet the proper standards, then cost can be considered afterward as to what works best for your practice budget.

Popular CBD Companies & Products

            The list of CBD companies shared below have a wide range of products available. They have many products from gummies, to cremes, to oils, to CBD for pets. They are all made by extracting all the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, and are then mixed or diluted into products for topical use or ingestion. Please note that ACE is not affiliated with any of these companies, but did research to share products that meet the criteria we have laid out above.

CBD Product Companies:

  • Vertly – Handcrafted right here in the US in Northern California, where plants are collected and extracted for up to a month for potent high-quality CBD skincare products. The test results and ingredients are provided on each individual product page.

    • Price – $ – $$$ (price ranges depending on the product)

    • Products – Muscle Soak Bath Salts, Relief Lotion, Cooling Recovery Spray, Glowing Face Serum, Soothing Floral Face Mist, and Lip Butter.

  • Lazarus – Handcrafted organic hemp in the US in Oregon, and pride themselves on “keeping the prices down and potency up.” They grow and harvest organic hemp, have transparent testing on each product, and then get additional transparent third-party testing before it gets to the customer. Their packaging is made from biodegradable and recycled materials to boot.

    • Price – $ – $$$ (price ranges depending on the product and potency)

    • Products – CBD Tinctures (varying potencies and flavors), CBD Capsules (varying potencies), CBD for pets, Topicals (varying potencies and scents), Hand Sanitizers, and Merchandise. A mix of THC-free products and Full-spectrum.

    • Free shipping on orders over $25, 60% off for veterans, disabled, & low-income or 15% off your first purchase when you subscribe.

  • Thrive Flower – Handcrafted in Philadelphia, PA with 100% non-GMO organically grown hemp that is third party tested with results and ingredients on each product. They offer free 2-3-day shipping on orders $75 and over.

    • Price – $ – $$$ (depending on the product and potency)

    • Products – 1000mg CBD Pain Relief Salve, 300mg CBD Lotion, 500mg Muscle Gel, CBD Dog Treats, CBD Flower, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Pets, CBD Vape Pen, and Full-spectrum CBD Oil Tincture.

  • Charlotte’s Web – Handcrafted in Colorado and Oregon with third party testing results readily available on their site. Additionally, they are a Certified B Corporation which means they meet the “highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”

    • Price – $ – $$$$ (depending on the product and potency or bundle)

    • Products – They have a ton of products, but the categories available are CBD oil, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD topicals, CBD bundles, CBD for Dogs, and CBD Isolate. They also offer Bulk CBD and logo merchandise.

    • They offer rewards points, military/veteran discount, and a subscription service that offers savings as well.

  • Hemp Bombs – Handcrafted in the U.S., and are transparent with their third-party testing results. Their products were featured on many news platforms, and offer various CBD topics to be educated on in their blog. They are known for their great flavored and effective products.

    • Price – $ – $$$$ (depending on the product and potency or bundle)

    • Products – Just like the company above, they offer a huge variety of products. The categories available are CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD oil, CBD lollipops, CBD vape e-liquid, CBD topical pain rub, CBD essential oils, CBD patches, CBD bath bombs, CBD lotion, CBD beard balm & oil, CBD tattoo ointment, CBD heat relief spray, CBD lip balm, CBS relaxation shot, CBD syrup, CBD for pets, and CBD gift bundles.

    • They offer reward points for purchases, and free shipping for orders over $75.
All of these companies as well as most reputable CBD companies on the market offer a wholesale option, meaning you would apply to be a retailer of their products and get wholesale pricing as well. If you look into the companies above, you will find many acupuncturists and alternative care providers that are already retailers with these companies making products available in their practice for patients to continue support at home. This would be a great option for an acupuncture practice if you decide a certain CBD product would be a good fit for your patients to keep costs lower and quality high.

There are wide variety of CBD products out there at various price points and strengths, but what is most important is to keep in mind the patients you see most in your acupuncture practice. Should you keep more low potency CBD on hand or high potency? Do your acupuncture patients come in more for chronic pain or sleep issues? These are all things to consider when looking for CBD goods to sell, in addition to getting a quality product.

Acupuncture Treatment & CBD

            At the end of the day, do what is best for your acupuncture practice. CBD offers a wide variety of benefits that patients may benefit from. Most CBD companies will be completely transparent about their product lines and are eager to help you choose the right product for your needs. This makes finding the right fit for your patients and your practice that much easier. CBD could be the missing link that takes your acupuncture practice to the next level in healing.

*No CBD products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and there is no government agency that regulates CBD products for potency, effectiveness, or safety. The only CBD product approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, a medication for epilepsy.

To learn more about Cannabis, and earn 4 CEUs/PDAs, click here.

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