What if we told you that a daily dose of quality CBD oil, or a daily CBD capsule, could replace every single one of your daily health supplements or multivitamins? Would you be surprised? Would you be excited? Would you believe us?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but we can’t tell you that — at least not yet, anyway.
For one, there’s not nearly enough research on the subject to make a claim of that magnitude. And for another, it’s probably simply not true. While there are loads of different vitamins and essential minerals out there that we need for a healthy functioning body, each one of them has their own unique and distinctive properties – CBD oil can’t just come in and replace every single one of them.
That being said, it is true that CBD shares a lot of functional similarities with many of these popular daily supplements. For example, it’s well known that it contains more powerful antioxidants than those that found in vitamins C and E. Also, you may or may not have noticed that some companies have started labelling their CBD-based products as “health supplements.” What does this mean? Are they implying that CBD really can work as a replacement for daily multivitamins and essential minerals?
In this article, we’ll try and get to the bottom of this confusing debate, and see what’s actually going on in terms of CBD as a daily health supplement.
First Things First: What Are Supplements, and Why do People Take Them?
People take supplements because they want to be healthy – it’s as simple as that. They want to be healthy, but they don’t want to give up lovely vices such as drinking, smoking, eating junk food, etc. So, they take daily doses of minerals and multivitamins with the idea that they can pack in all the nutrients they need, without having to do any of the hard work.
Here’s a list of 10 of the most popular daily health supplements that people take:
- Probiotics. Probiotics are actually species of living microorganisms, and people take them for a variety of reasons, including for digestion and a healthy immune response system. Yogurt is chock full of them, but they’re also widely available in once-a-day capsules.
- Protein. In addition to helping build muscle, a lot of people take powdered protein supplements as actual meal replacements, in order to help them feel full so they don’t go off on unhealthy eating binges.
- Omega 3 acids. Omega 3 acids are known for dozens of different health benefits, including cardiovascular health, brain health, and skin/hair/nail health. They are found naturally in certain fish and seed (flaxseed) oils, but are also extremely popular as capsules or gels.
- Whole food nutrient concentrations. Perhaps not as common as some of the other daily supplements, whole food concentrations take the dehydrated form of a bunch of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, and condense them down into a nutrient-packing powder that you can eat separately or add to smoothies.
- Multivitamins. These once-a-day capsules usually include several vitamins (like C, D, and E) and essential minerals all packed into one powder.
- Vitamin C. Like Omega acids, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that has a bunch of different health benefits, the most popular of which include immune support, cardiovascular health (improves artery health), and healthy skin and hair.
- Vitamin D. This is one of those vitamins that can be hard to acquire through foods, so it has become a very popular daily health supplement. It’s most significant functions include improving cell health, increasing energy levels, and (in more rare instances) combating neurochemical deficiencies that lead to depression.
- Turmeric. Turmeric is most commonly taken as an anti-inflammatory supplement, and is popular among diabetes sufferers and obese individuals.
- Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc. These three very essential minerals aid mostly in bone health, but are also important for a healthy metabolism and have even been thought to aid in stress relief.
- Spirulina (and other blue-green algae). This blue-green algae organism is a living species that is believed to be a “super food” for humans, as it is incredibly nutrient dense and packs loads of protein, natural B vitamins, iron, and copper.
Comparing CBD to Popular Daily Health Supplements
Now that we know the general function of some of the most common daily health supplements, we can compare the functions of CBD to each one and see whether or not it may work as a viable replacement.
CBD vs. Probiotics
While endocannabinoids are known to be highly prevalent in the gut and intestinal lining, CBD does not carry out the same functions as digestive probiotics. However, one of the key issues with probiotic supplements is that they can be difficult to absorb into the intestinal wall. Since CBD is known to be absorbed at natural receptors in the gut, though, it is thought that taking CBD oil along with probiotics will drastically improve the level of probiotic absorption.
The verdict? While CBD can’t act as a replacement for probiotics, it can dramatically improve their effectiveness by helping the living microorganisms reach the inner lining of the gut.
CBD vs. Protein
Of the myriad different health benefits that CBD has, muscle-building and satiety (the feeling of being full or nourished) is not necessarily one of them.
The verdict? CBD would likely not make for an efficient protein supplement replacement.
CBD vs. Omega 3 Acids
CBD and Omega 3 acids share many of the same functions, the most significant of which include the ability to reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular and brain health, and lower the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Also, both have been well-known to aid in cognitive health (including memory, awareness, and brain performance).
The verdict? While CBD and Omega 3 acids perform many of the same exact functions, it is unclear whether one may substitute for the other in terms of a daily supplement. Also, it is unclear whether it or not it’s beneficial to take both of them at once. What is clear is that CBD offers more versatility in terms of other therapeutic health benefits (including pain relief, antioxidant capabilities, etc).
CBD vs. Whole food concentrates
Simply put, CBD does not contain the essential nutrients that are found in fruits and veggies like apples, bananas, spinach, carrots, etc.
The verdict? It is not a viable replacement for daily whole food concentrate supplements.
CBD vs. Multivitamins
Multivitamins are important because they (usually) contain essential elements that we cannot get through strictly eating food. And of course, even though CBD shares some functional similarities with vitamins and minerals (such as antioxidative properties), it alone does not contain these essential elements.
The verdict? CBD is likely not a recommended option for replacing multivitamin supplements, even though it shares many of the same health benefits.
CBD vs. Vitamin C
The main health benefits of vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) include improving the immune response, acting as a powerful antioxidant, and aiding the connective tissue development of bones, blood vessels, and skin cells. While CBD is known to perform all of these same functions, there are certainly no studies out there showing that it can be a viable “replacement” for vitamin C.
The verdict? Even though CBD oil performs the same functions as vitamin C, it is unclear whether or not it can fully replace vitamin C supplements. It is not advised that an individual take one over the other.
CBD vs. Vitamin D
One of the most well-known functions of vitamin D is that it helps to absorb calcium, which aids in bone health and development. To our knowledge, there has not been a single study on CBD oil that shows it to aid in calcium absorption.
The verdict? CBD should not be considered a viable alternative to vitamin D supplements.
CBD vs. Turmeric
Like we mentioned earlier, the main reason why people take turmeric (active ingredient curcumin) is for its powerful antioxidative properties. However, the antioxidants in CBD oil have long been known to be more powerful than those found in vitamins C and E. For this reason, it may be possible that CBD could function as a viable replacement for turmeric supplements, although there is no clinical data to back this up.
The verdict? Given that turmeric is taken for its antioxidant properties, CBD could potentially be used as a viable replacement supplement, though it’s important to understand that this is not a recommendation, and there is no actual clinical data on the subject.
CBD vs. Essential minerals (Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc)
Essential minerals are “essential” for a reason: they cannot be found anywhere else. Also, it’s relevant to consider that most of these minerals are actual chemical elements, meaning that they cannot be broken down into smaller subunits. Of all the functions that CBD performs, it certainly does not contain essential minerals like Ca, Mg, Zn, Cu, etc.
The verdict? CBD oil does not contain essential minerals, and should not be used as a replacement for Ca/Mg/Zn etc supplements.
CBD vs. Spirulina:
Being that spirulina is generally taken as a nutrient-packing supplement with loads of protein, vitamin B, and minerals like iron and copper, CBD oil probably isn’t a practical replacement.
The verdict? Probably not a viable replacement supplement, given that CBD is not chock full of protein and nutrients like spirulina is.
The Bottom Line: Should CBD as a Health Supplement be a Viable Daily Option?
The bottom line is that yes, CBD is definitely a great option to take as a daily health supplement. This is true for a variety of reasons, including its use as a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, pain-reliever, antiemetic, and neuroprotectant – it has long been shown to improve cardiovascular, brain, digestive, and metabolic health. However, don’t be under the impression that it can replace every single other supplement out there, or make up for not eating healthy foods — because that’s simply not the case.
Also, make sure you understand that none of this aforementioned information should be taken as clinical data or as clinical health recommendations. Like we said earlier, there is simply not enough studies on CBD as a health supplement for anyone to be making significant claims or suggestions on the topic. What we’ve done is simply used the sparse amount of information at hand to do a general comparison between CBD oil and some of the most popular daily health supplements out there on the market.
So in conclusion, are manufacturers incorrect to be labeling their CBD products as “health supplements?” Absolutely not. CBD offers an incredibly wide-ranging list of therapeutic benefits, and individuals would likely be wise in taking a small daily dose of the cannabinoid, whether it be via oils, edibles, or even smoking/vaping.
Should the manufacturers be advertising and marketing CBD as a natural “replacement” for other important health supplements, though? Probably not.