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The organic-food business is booming: About 70 percent of Americans buy organic food occasionally, and nearly one quarter buy it every week, according to the Hartman Group, a market research firm. For most of us, the reason is simple: We want natural food that’s better for us and for the environment, says Samuel Fromartz, author of Organic, Inc. But buying organic can cost you — as much as 50 percent more — so read on to know when it’s worth it.

What is organic food, anyway?

Though organic food can be produced with certain synthetic ingredients, it must adhere to specific standards regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation (a form of radiation used to kill bacteria), or biotechnology. Animals on organic farms eat organically grown feed, aren’t confined 100 percent of the time (as they sometimes are on conventional farms), and are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.

Is organic food better for me?

Organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food, according to some research. The reason: In the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, plants boost their production of the phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds. Some studies have linked pesticides in our food to everything from headaches to cancer to birth defects — but many experts maintain that the levels in conventional food are safe for most healthy adults. Even low-level pesticide exposure, however, can be significantly more toxic for fetuses and children (due to their less-developed immune systems) and for pregnant women (it puts added strain on their already taxed organs), according to a report by the National Academy of Sciences. Pesticide contamination isn’t as much of a concern in meats and dairy products (animals may consume some pesticides, depending on their diet), but many scientists are concerned about the antibiotics being given to most farm animals: Many are the same antibiotics humans rely on, and overuse of these drugs has already enabled bacteria to develop resistance to them, rendering them less effective in fighting infection, says Chuck Benbrook, Ph.D., chief scientist at the Organic Center, a nonprofit research organization.

Is buying organic better for the environment?

Organic farming reduces pollutants in groundwater and creates richer soil that aids plant growth while reducing erosion, according to the Organic Trade Association. It also decreases pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass; in some cities, pesticides in tap water have been measured at unsafe levels for weeks at a time, according to an analysis performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). (To find out about the safety of your tap water, visit the EWG website.) Plus, organic farming used 50 percent less energy than conventional farming methods in one 15-year study.

When is it worth the splurge?

If you can afford it, buy local and organic, recommends Fromartz. Farmers’ markets carry reasonably priced locally grown organic and conventional food; to find one in your area, go to localharvest.org. If you can’t always afford organic, do spend the extra money when it comes to what the EWG calls the «dirty dozen»: peaches, strawberries, nectarines, apples, spinach, celery, pears, sweet bell peppers, cherries, potatoes, lettuce, and imported grapes. These fragile fruits and vegetables often require more pesticides to fight off bugs compared to hardier produce, such as asparagus and broccoli. Download a list of produce ranked by pesticide contamination at foodnews.org, an EWG website.

When shopping for organic foods, always look for the USDA seal on any kind of packaged food. For meat and dairy, this seal ensures you’re getting antibiotic- and hormone-free products. When buying meat or produce that isn’t packaged, look for a sign stating that it’s organic, or ask the store clerk.

Does organic food taste better?

Anyone who loves organic food is going to say the taste is better than fruits or veggies that have been treated with pesticides — but is it true? According to a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the higher antioxidant levels in organic produce might actually enhance its organoleptic qualities — a.k.a. its aroma, taste, and even the sensation in your mouth as you’re eating it. Pretty cool, huh? Visit https://www.clevescene.com/sponsored/testofuel-reviews-can-it-help-you-build-the-body-of-your-dreams-39365324.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil comes from the Cannabis plant and has become a popular alternative therapy for a range of conditions over the past few years. People report using CBD oil to help reduce pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

Due to the prohibition of cannabis and associated research restrictions, there are limited evidence from human studies to support the benefits of CBD oil. However, with the legalization of cannabis in some regions around the globe, research in this area is gaining momentum.

CBD is just one of many different molecules unique to the Cannabis plant. CBD oil generally contains low levels of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that produces the ‘high.’

People report using CBD oil for a variety of medical conditions without experiencing the intoxicating effects of THC. Generally, most people tolerate CBD is well and experience minimal serious side effects.

Unlike THC, CBD does not bind readily to cannabinoid receptorsTrusted Source. These receptors are key components of the human endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in the central nervous system. Check the latest vaprzon cannabinoid products.

Endocannabinoids are signaling molecules that help regulate various processes, such as pain, memory, mood, immunity, and stress.

CBD does, however, interact with other receptors, such as serotonin and opioid receptors. It might also boost levels of naturally occurring endocannabinoids, which may explain its seemingly broad range of uses.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Keep reading to learn about some of the possible benefits of using CBD oil.

1. Epilepsy
close up of a pipette of CBD oil which may have health benefitsShare on Pinterest
Scientists need to carry out more research to understand the benefits and risks of CBD oil.

The first CBD-based medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved was Epidiolex. Doctors prescribe Epidiolex to those who experience seizures due to Lennox-Gastrault or Dravet syndrome, which are rare types of epilepsy.

Epidiolex underwent rigorous human studies before the FDA approved it as a treatment for these two conditions.

According to an article in MoleculesTrusted Source, scientists do not know precisely how CBD helps control seizures. One theory suggests that CBD influences a receptor involved in seizure activity called transient receptor potential vanilloid.

A review of completed and ongoing clinical trials indicated that adding CBD to common antiepileptic drugs may be appropriate in treatment-resistant epilepsy in infants, children, and teenagers.

For more information and resources on CBD and CBD products, please visit our dedicated hub.

2. Pain and inflammation

Researchers have investigated the pain-relieving effects of CBD. A small 2020 randomized, placebo-controlled trialTrusted Source investigated the use of topical CBD oil on people with peripheral neuropathy of the legs.

In this small study, participants with peripheral noncancer neuropathic pain received either 250 milligrams (mg) of CBD total dissolved in 3 oz of oil) or a placebo.

After 4 weeks, the researchers noted a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in those using CBD oil. Participants did not report any side effects.

Although the results of this small trial are positive, it involved just 29 participants, so researchers need to conduct more investigations to confirm the results.

Another study reviewTrusted Source demonstrated that a 1:1 combination of THC and CBD sprayed in the back of the mouth (a pharmaceutical product called Sativex) might be effective for noncancer related chronic pain.

However, the researchers do not know which of the two compounds had the most significant effect. Also, the follow-up period for this study was 15 weeks. Scientists must carry out further research to confirm whether long-term pain control is possible.

This spray that contained both THC and CBD may also have anti-inflammatory properties. An earlier studyTrusted Source on people living with rheumatoid arthritis showed that Sativex reduced the Disease Activity Score-28, which demonstrates a decrease in inflammation.

These studies show the potential effectiveness of CBD on pain and inflammation.

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