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Healing Hemp vs. Questionable Chemicals — A Comparison of CBD and OTC Meds

Many Americans think nothing of taking a few over-the-counter pain relievers to get rid of joint stiffness or backaches. In fact, recent stats suggest nine out of ten Americans say they use OTC pills regularly. They couldn’t sell these OTC pills if they weren’t safe…right?

While OTCs may not be as potent as prescription opioids, they aren’t risk-free. When they’re misused or abused, OTC pills can have significant drawbacks, or “pharm effects."

Thankfully, new all-natural alternatives have been entering the OTC marketplace. Arguably, CBD is the most popular and widely available “alt OTC” in the US market. When you understand the potential risks associated with traditional OTCs, you’ll see why so many Americans are trying this fascinating hemp cannabinoid. 

What Are the Risks of Taking OTC Pain Medications?

Generally, doctors split OTC pain relievers into two groups: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. The big difference between these drugs is that NSAIDs reduce inflammation, while acetaminophen temporarily increases the brain’s pain threshold.

While both of these chemicals work well at moderate doses, doctors have raised concerns over their long-term health effects. In the case of NSAIDs like ibuprofen, researchers are most concerned about their impact on gut health. Studies strongly suggest NSAIDs could increase the risk of ulcers and stomach bleeding. New research also shows NSAIDs may reduce beneficial bacteria in the gut and trigger kidney issues

As for acetaminophen-based OTCs like Tylenol, scientists are worried about the long-term effects on liver function. According to the FDA, acetaminophen can cause liver damage, especially if you take too much. Harvard researchers also point out that you need less acetaminophen to cause liver issues versus ibuprofen. 

Using CBD vs. OTC products — How Is Hemp Better?

Given these OTC-related health risks, it’s no wonder patients are interested in all-natural alternatives like CBD. Unlike OTCs, hemp-derived CBD works by influencing the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). Although scientists are still researching the ECS, there’s solid evidence it plays a major role in influencing our mood, sleep patterns, and achy muscles.  

With each passing year, there’s mounting evidence that taking CBD internally can help manage common issues like joint stiffness and backaches. Case and point: one study out of Cornell University found that dogs who took CBD pills had a greater reduction in arthritis symptoms versus “placebo pups.”

Also, there’s little evidence CBD has adverse effects on gut health—especially when compared with OTCs. A recent study out of Israel suggests CBD may reduce symptoms associated with IBS. 

To enhance this gut-soothing effect, we’ve included a dose of pure peppermint oil in our Mellow Mint Drops. For the greatest benefit, let this tincture sit under your tongue for a few moments before swallowing. This nifty trick gives your sublingual glands enough time to absorb CBD directly into your bloodstream.

Could CBD Interact With Other Medications? 

If you’re already taking prescription medications, then you must speak with a doctor before adding CBD to your daily life. Although scientists are still learning the ins and outs of CBD, this cannabinoid could compete with other pills. So, if you’re on an OTC regimen, it’s crucial to speak with a physician before using CBD. Please keep in mind that CBD is being studied heavily by scientists and doctors, so there is still so much we don’t know about its effects.

Also, remember that our CBD topicals cannot penetrate your bloodstream. Instead, products like Aspen’s Maximum Relief Salve get absorbed by the skin’s cannabinoid receptors. These CBD topicals may be a good option for patients who want to experience CBD’s effects without altering their medication routine. 

All-Natural CBD vs. Over-The-Counter Products: What’s The Right Choice For You? 

While OTC pills can work wonders in small, doctor-approved doses, we’re dedicated to getting rid of pharm effects and offering only high-quality, all-natural solutions for you. If you had the option to relieve your stiff joints with all-natural ingredients, wouldn’t you do so? 

CBD offers many of the benefits of OTCs with a lower risk of side effects and dependency. As a bonus, we only use all-natural secondary ingredients in our products. 

Anyone searching for an OTC alternative without all the nasty chemicals should seriously consider switching to one of our hemp-derived CBD products! Our new CBD Gummies offer an easy way for you to chil and ease any stress without worrying about pharm effects.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting a new dietary supplement program. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural constituent of hemp oil.**

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We’re excited to turn our passion into impact by partnering with the Arthritis National Research Foundation (CureArthritis.org) to fund research and discover a cure for the 54 million Americans suffering from the chronic, debilitating pain of arthritis!

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