Why I Chose VALO Living CBD as a Physician
By Michael Jonesco, DO, Sports Medicine Expert
Valo Living Medical Director
As anecdotal success spreads and science begins to support its safety and efficacy, the use of CBD is skyrocketing. CBD can be found essentially anywhere from your grocery pharmacy to the golf course clubhouse. As a sports medicine expert, I have mixed feelings about CBD as a physician with regard to its ubiquitous presence. The FDA does not identify CBD as a drug, rather a supplement. As such, CBD products are not subject to the typical scrutiny pharmaceutical drugs undergo. In other words, the contents of these products may not be what they say. The concentrations are not regulated and more importantly, there may be many contaminants that are not listed on CBD labels. (This is how many athletes get popped for positive drug tests – by taking supplements with prohibited additives not listed!)
When it comes to CBD as a physician, I feel it is especially important to know about the product you are ingesting for several reasons. First of all, if you concentration is wrong it could either make your supplement ineffective (too low) or potentially toxic (too high). Given CBD is found in the cannabis plant along with THC (the active component of marijuana) the risk for side effects, or perhaps worse, testing positive for marijuana on a drug test is a concern I have if you are buying any CBD “off the shelf”. Frightfully, labeling inaccuracy is so common that only ~ 30% of CBD products actually label their CBD concentrations accurately! Furthermore, some companies try to hide their concentrations of product, hiding the actual concentration or dose per individual dose, leaving consumers to wonder “How much CBD am I actually getting daily?” For these reasons, and many others I felt obliged to share the following post, providing guidance on how to pick your CBD and ultimately why I chose to work with Valo Living.
Hemp vs Marijuana derived CBD
Believe it or not, many states do allow marijuana-derived CBD to be bought and sold over the counter. Hemp-derived CBD comes from a plant that contains at most trace amounts of THC. However, even this can be detected on some drug tests. For this reason, I recommend a CBD oil that is certified 0% THC, or 100% THC Free. While CBD is not regulated by the FDA, EVERY batch should receive a certificate of analysis (COA). Ideally done by a 3rd party, the COA should verify the contents and clarity of the CBD product (see below). Keep in mind, when searching for CBD products many folks find hemp seeds or hempseed oil. Hemp seeds do NOT have a significant amount of CBD (typically found in the floral part of the plant, not the seeds or roots). This is why Amazon, which doesn’t sell CBD products, can and will sell hemp seed products which do not contain CBD.
Spectrum and CBD
On every CBD label, you will find the phrases “full-spectrum,” “broad spectrum” or “Isolate.” This can be confusing, as from a marketing perspective the FULL spectrum may seem most appealing. Or maybe the isolate, as it would be the purest form of CBD. However, I recommend to my patients a “broad spectrum” product, which would NOT include the THC (as Full spectrum would) but would include other important compounds called terpenes and flavonoids, which contain other therapeutic and health promoting effects. Furthermore, when working together, CBD, flavonoids and terpenes work more effectively, which is known as the “entourage effect.” CBD is just one of over 100 cannabinoids that can facilitate our endocannibinoid system. Broad spectrum products may also list CBDA, CBN, CBG or CBC. Their presence is fine, but the products main ingredient should be CBD. Ideally, a CBD product you purchase can provide the details of CBD potency, breakdown these terpenes and flavonoids, and include the presence of THC and/or pesticides identified in their product. If you cannot find these easily, beware!
Like anything you put into your body, you want to know where it’s from. You don’t just pick an apple up of the street and eat it and you shouldn’t just grab anything that lists CBD on the label and use it. The more you know about the farm and the way CBD is grown, extracted, and manufactured the better. CBD that is grown 100% organically reduces the risk pesticides make their way into their product. I prefer larger well-established farms, as you can imagine the growth and processing of CBD can be incredibly expensive and many smaller farms have to cut corners to keep up, sacrificing quality of their products.
CBD can be distributed and delivered in several ways. Orally (pill form or an edible “gummy”), sublingual (tincture, a droplet under the tongue), or topically (a rub or salve placed on the skin and absorbed systemically). There are advantages and disadvantages to each, so I like the option of picking for the individual ailment or patient. In general I love topical for local pain that is close to the skin. I prefer oral tablets to manage more systemic inflammation, immunity, or mood, given the better absorption by the gut.
In Closing, CBD as a Physician…
When Mike and Brenda, the founders of Valo Living, approached me about joining their team at Valo Living, with regard to CBD as a physician, I was skeptical about hitching my reputation to a single CBD company. However, I did my homework. I reviewed Valo Living’s product in great detail and found they are a 100% THC hemp-derived broad spectrum product. They are committed to quality, not only partnering with the largest U.S. CBD farm (based out of Colorado), but also listing links to the specific COA (certificate of analysis) of their product so their consumers can see the exact values of CBD, THC, terpenes and even pesticides found in their product.
Perhaps most importantly, while discussing this opportunity with the folks at Valo Living it is clear our care philosophies aligned. While many CBD companies try to impress consumers with famous athletes that take their product, ValoLiving approached me, a physician and scientist, for my expertise and guidance on how to make the biggest impact on patient wellness. The goals we discussed were not about the number of products sold or dollar signs. The goals were about improving their product and reach to people who sought relief for ailments that limit their full potential: the exact reason I do what I do. I appreciate their transparency, their knowledge, their commitment giving their clients the best experience, and most of all, and their passion for wellness.