The more research that is being conducted on CBD, the more impressive this non-intoxicating cannabinoid becomes. While it would be irresponsible of us to declare it as a ‘cure all,’ the existing evidence is exceedingly positive. As well as working well to treat conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and anxiety, full-spectrum CBD contains a surprising number of vitamins and minerals.
Of course, this becomes less shocking when you realize that CBD is extracted from industrial hemp; a plant known for its variety of nutrients. Therefore, is it possible that CBD is capable of replacing traditional vitamin supplements?
The Vitamin & Supplement Industry
To say that the vitamin and supplement industry is booming is as big an understatement as saying the Grand Canyon is ‘kind of big’; the entire industry is worth approximately $37 billion per annum in the U.S., and the FDA doesn’t have the power to regulate it. To put things in perspective, the global industry is worth $132 billion, so America is responsible for almost one-third of the spending, despite having only around 5% of the world’s population.
However, cynics believe that the industry is a scam because we don’t need even half of what we consume – if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you definitely need fewer vitamin and mineral supplements than someone who eats mainly junk food. That being said, even those who are dubious about the market understand that the body needs additional nutrients to operate at maximum capacity. Below, we look at the vitamins & minerals we genuinely need, and see how CBD compares to your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
CBD Vs. Vitamins
This is one of the most important ‘additions’ to a diet because most of us don’t get enough from food or the sun. Vitamin D supports a healthy immune system, strong bones, and overall good health. If you live in a sunny area, you can get a decent amount of sunshine a day, otherwise, you need assistance. The RDA of Vitamin D is 400 IU, and most decent multivitamins will have that amount.
While shelled hemp seeds may have less than 10 IU per 100g, companies such as Hemp Traders fortify theirs so that they contain as much as 2,277.5 IU per 100g! If you purchase a high-quality CBD oil fortified with Vitamin D, you could get enough to avoid the need for a supplement.
Zinc is created by the body and is found in our cells. It aids the immune system by fighting off bacteria and viruses, and also helps makes the genetic material in our cells such as proteins and DNA. The RDA for men is 11 mg and 8 mg for women. 100 g of hulled hemp seeds contain 9.9 mg of Zinc, so if you include white meat, red meat, and dairy products in your diet along with CBD, you may have enough overall to meet your RDA.
Also known as retinol, Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant that is crucial for vision, and it also aids the growth of soft tissue and skeletal tissue such as teeth and skin. Our RDA is 900 IU for men and 700 IU for women. Since hemp seeds only contain 11 IU of vitamin A per 100g, it is safe to say you can’t rely on it for this particular vitamin.
Vitamins B6 and B12
All B vitamins play a vital role in a wide range of psychological and physical functions – among other things, hey aid in skin health, eye health, and general nerve function . B6 helps maintain a healthy nervous system, while B12 helps your mood, memory, heart, skin, and digestion system.
The RDA for B6 is 2mg, and for B12 it is 6 IU. 100g of hemp seeds contain 0.6mg of B6 and no B12 whatsoever, so unfortunately, CBD is not useful for B vitamin intake.
The most important of these are Omega-3 and Omega-6. We should consume these fatty acids in a 3:1 ratio, but in the average American diet, the number is closer to 25:1. As such, we consume too much Omega-3 and too little Omega-6 (though in some cases, people don’t eat enough of either!). Fatty acids offer dozens of health benefits, including improved brain and cardiovascular health.
The most useful type of Omega-3s are DHA and EPA, and your combined RDA for these is 250-500mg. Your RDA of Omega-6 is 17g for men and 12g for women (aged 19-50). 100g of hemp seeds contain 9 grams of Omega-3 and an incredible 28g of Omega-6, so if you combine CBD with oily fish a few times a week, you should get all the fatty acids you need.
These are living species of microorganisms, and we need them for improved digestion and a healthy immune system response. There is a wide range of yogurts that contain these healthy bacteria, but beware of the sugary versions as they more or less offset the benefits.
Although there are endocannabinoids in the gut and intestinal lining, CBD cannot replicate the effects of probiotics. However, you can use cannabidiol with probiotic yogurts to enhance the efficiency of absorption and digestion.
As well as being one of the most effective vitamins, Vitamin C is also one of the safest, primarily because it is almost impossible to overdose on it. It helps protect against deficiencies in the immune system, and also prevents eye disease, skin wrinkling, and cardiovascular disease.
The RDA of Vitamin C is 60mg a day but remember, the body doesn’t store this vitamin so you have to be consistent when consuming it. 100g of hemp seeds contains just 0.5mg, so it is not useful for this purpose. There are plenty of low-cost capsules and tablets that contain up to 1000mg of Vitamin C.
This vitamin has antioxidant properties and it functions as an anti-inflammatory, and it can even enhance the immune system. Also, there are suggestions that it protects against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia.
The RDA for Vitamin E is 30 IU, and 100g of hemp seeds only contain about 5% of what you need. As a result, you need to purchase a multivitamin or a special vitamin E supplement.
Along with zinc, these are classified as ‘essential’ minerals – especially calcium, iron, and magnesium. Calcium is essential for strong and healthy bones, magnesium relieves muscle pain and is excellent for heart health, and potassium benefits your nervous system and enhances muscle strength. Iron helps transport oxygen through the body, so if you have a lack of it, you will feel fatigued.
The RDAs are as follows:
- Calcium: 1000mg
- Magnesium: 400mg
- Potassium: 2000mg
- Iron: 18mg
Although hemp seeds have plenty of magnesium, they don’t contain enough of the rest to allow you to avoid taking the requisite supplementation.
Final Thoughts on CBD & Vitamins/Supplements
The range of cannabinoids found in a high-quality CBD product unquestionably helps improve your general health. However, while CBD does contain an array of vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t quite take the place of a premium quality multivitamin. If you combine CBD with a balanced diet, though, you will get a high percentage of what you need. There may be the odd ‘gap’ here and there, however, so take note of what’s missing and make sure to purchase the necessary products. Even though it doesn’t completely replace a multivitamin, CBD is vastly superior to most ‘herbal’ remedies on the market.