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Supplements: What are they, and why are they important?

Supplements: What are they, and why are they important?

June 04, 2020

Your questions about health supplements answered. And where hemp extract lies on the wellness product spectrum.

Dietary supplements and vitamins make up a massive industry that first took off with their emergence onto the mainstream consumer market in the 1940s. Taking supplements has grown increasingly common, notably fish oil, probiotics, melatonin, and calcium, B vitamins and vitamin C, D, and E among others. According to an annual survey commissioned by the Council of Responsible Nutrition, an estimated 77% of Americans consumed dietary supplements in some form in 2019.

Hemp extract, a derivative of the hemp plant containing chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, has been a more recent addition to the front lines of the wellness and supplement industry since the legalization of industrial hemp in 2018.

Hemp extract’s classification by the FDA continues to change, as specific cannabinoids such as cannabidiol begin to be tested and considered for use in prescription medications.

According to the FDA, “a dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient, intended to supplement the diet.”

Dietary ingredients refer to: 

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Herbs or botanicals
  • Amino acids
  • Enzymes, metabolites
  • Concentrates or extracts

Supplements come in many forms including:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Softgels
  • Gelcaps
  • Liquids
  • Powders

Now that we know what a dietary supplement is. Here are a few more details used to classify supplements by the FDA, and clarify their use to consumers.

What supplements don’t do:

  • Substitute for a healthy, balanced diet
  • Claim to cure, treat or prevent disease or illness

What supplements may do:

  • Help consumers get necessary vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their diet

The debate about whether dietary supplements are necessary or good is at the least subjective. Further clinical trials would be needed to provide conclusive evidence on the benefits of certain supplements. More so, your individual health and diet needs will determine whether supplements would be beneficial to your wellness. For example, many vegans may choose to take B-12 vitamins, which are commonly found in fish, meat, and dairy products.

However, current research suggests hemp extract does not have adverse effects when combined with most other supplements, though it may potentially benefit other supplements’ effectiveness.

Hemp extract is known to contain a number of beneficial cannabinoids, fatty acids, and other compounds that could have broad applications including skin, brain and heart health, nervous system benefits, and chronic pain. Epidolex is the first FDA approved drug containing cannabidiol (CBD) and has shown to reduce seizures in two forms of epilepsy. 

At Hyalolex, our research led to the development of Hyalolex “Drops of Clarity,” a specific combination of THC and another molecule, intended to alleviate various symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s including short term memory loss, anxiety, and insomnia. As well as potentially prevent the build-up of plaque in the brain that disables neurological function related to the disease.

As it was only recently enabled, research on the benefits of hemp extract is still a work in progress in providing conclusive evidence. That said, we are optimistic about its prospects. Approximately 64 million Americans used hemp extract products in 2018. The leading motives for consumption being chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

Should you be interested in trying hemp extract as a daily wellness supplement, tinctures may be an excellent method as they allow for a more controlled dose, and easy integration into daily life when taken sublingually or added to, for example, a beverage. Always consult your medical doctor before integrating new wellness supplements into your diet.

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