There are some very intense realities to life, and one is that if you really want change, you need to really make changes. Though the addition of supplements may be useful, if you really want them to work, you might need to change other aspects of your life.
Supplements can improve your health, but if you really want them to work, you might need to change other parts of your life. The cannabis plant provides many compounds that can be used as supplements for sleep, weight loss, stress reduction, and more. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!
These days there are supplements for pretty much anything. You don’t eat meat and you’re not getting enough B12? Well, there’s a capsule for that. Not enough fermented foods in your diet and your guts are acting up? Take yourself a probiotic. Eating a diet full of omega-6 and you feel a little swollen, best to swallow down some fish oil. Overweight and trying to deal with it, maybe add some THCV into your diet.
A supplement is something that is added into a diet, generally to make the addition of something that is lacking, or for a particular purpose. Supplements generally contain “minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes” as well as other possible ingredients. They can come as tablets, gummies, capsules, tinctures, oils, powders, drinks, energy bars, and pretty much any other way to get something in you.
A lot of things can be used as supplements in a diet, although the term ‘dietary supplement’ is a specific term made by congress that rules out many compounds. Some supplements are taken specifically to obtain nutrients that aren’t being acquired in a regular diet. These kinds of supplements can be for essential nutrients which are not made by the human body, (and must be taken from the environment around), or non-essential nutrients which the body can produce, even if it can’t produce enough. Examples of essential nutrients are fats like omega-3, amino acids like lysine, vitamins like vitamin A and the vegan-loved B12, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Nonessential nutrients are those that can be made in large enough quantities by the human body, but for whatever reason are lacking. Nonessential nutrients include amino acids like tyrosine and L-cysteine, and vitamins like vitamin D and biotin. Another thing not produced by the body (though not considered a nutrient) is fiber, which many people also take as a supplement to improve digestive function.
‘Dietary supplement’ is a legal definition for what can be sold in a specific category, so not everything that acts as a supplement, is considered a dietary supplement. Insulin is a good example of this. It is most certainly supplemental, but not considered a supplement by definition. This is also legal, as insulin is in approved medications, and therefore can’t be marketed as a supplement.
Not all supplements were created equally, and this must be remembered. The supplements market is not regulated, and therefore, though the market is legal, what can go into products is not defined. This makes it a ‘know your labels’ industry, as cheaper brands might put in additives, use lesser quality materials, or sell you the wrong thing altogether. There is also the issue of chemicals used.
A supplement will contain several other ingredients not related to the actual purpose of the supplement. Think about the capsule it might be in, something put in it to keep it from spoiling, or whatever makes it that bright blue color. Depending on what you want to stay away from in life, picking the right supplements as per the desired ingredients, is also important.
Do supplements work?
This is a great question in life, and different people will give you different answers. The most honest answer is, sometimes it’s hard to tell. If a person isn’t taking something where they expect to see a direct effect, it might be hard to tell if there is one. There are a lot of factors that can complicate life, and its often hard to tell exactly what is causing each response.
Many supplements fit the bill for ambiguous results. If a vegan is taking B12 to make up for not ingesting animal products, and their energy improves, it will still be hard for them to rule out other factors that could’ve caused the improvement. Maybe they simultaneously also started getting more sleep, or inadvertently upped protein without realizing it, through a dietary change.
When a person takes an antibiotic to kill an infection, an improvement in symptoms will generally be related to that medication. If a person has an infected cut that won’t heal on its own, and then the application of hydrogen peroxide or alcohol decreases infection, the two are likely correlated. Does it mean they have to be related? No, but in general practice, they are.
If a supplement is taken for something that it can help with, it probably will. Think about people with diabetes. Technically, the insulin they take is supplemental because its not the insulin made by their bodies. We consider insulin a medication, not a supplement, because its in approved mediations, but this doesn’t change that its acting as a supplement.
Generally, taking insulin will reverse symptoms by temporarily solving the problem of not enough insulin produced in the body. For a Type I diabetic, insulin is actually an essential supplement, because the body isn’t producing enough. Whereas for Type II, its nonessential because there isn’t a problem with production, but rather with production being enough for an expanded body size (assuming the issue is weight). In the case of diabetes, the user will most certainly know if the supplemental insulin is working.
The above example is very different from a person supplementing with something like probiotics. In this case, the difference can still be incredibly intense, but it won’t necessarily be quite as direct, and can often take a long time for full effects. Probiotics can be very useful, and I personally attest to the difference it can make in the digestive tract when a person consistently takes a quality product.
Best way to make supplements work, is to change your life
This is not a desired headline for many people, but it’s still mostly true. Unless a supplement is always going to work for everyone, there isn’t a guarantee for effectiveness. Realistically, this is also relevant for the standard medical world. Think of how often we speak of antibiotic resistance… well, that denotes people not getting the intended effect of the antibiotic. Supplements might work better in some bodies than in others, but there is still a hard and fast truth to easy answers.
Let’s be honest, most people take supplements to solve a problem, or improve their health in some way. Like taking those probiotics. It’s a great idea, BUT, if a person is going to continue with bad habits, the probiotics might not be very effective. If a person is eating a diet full of chemicals and processed foods, simply taking a probiotic might not be enough to counter or reverse years of internal damage and the continuation of what caused the damage in the first place. If you are concerned enough about your digestive health to take a probiotic regularly, you might want to consider a change to your life in the form of a better actual diet.
Another example is if a person is having problems sleeping, and attempting to remedy the situation by taking a CBN product. Expecting the CBN to work, despite ingesting caffeine and living by a schedule not conducive to good sleep, is a little off base. But if the person in question also takes caffeine out of their diet, gets some exercise, and works their schedule to be more conducive to a natural sleep cycle, that supplement might work way better.
To some, this takes away the idea of the easy answer, but realistically, easy answers don’t exist. The person with sleeping problems might require something more to help sleep, even despite making lifestyle changes. However, this doesn’t mean a certain amount can’t be achieved through those lifestyle changes alone. It also doesn’t mean the supplement absolutely will work if changes are made, but better overall lifestyle habits can influence overall supplement performance.
One of the biggest issues where supplements come into play, is weight loss. Everyone wants an easy answer, and no one wants to do the work. Whether the work means getting to the gym and working out, or establishing a healthy diet that promotes weight loss, (or more likely, both together) it’s incredibly common for people to try to cut corners with bad diets, and supplemental weight loss products. Compounds like ephedra, or the cannabis cannabinoid THCV, are examples of supplements used for dieting. However, if you pay attention to what goes on in the world of weight loss, you already know that if you want to lose weight, its not about the pill, it’s about making a change in your life.
If a person really wants to lose weight, they’ll probably need to start exercising. If a person really wants to improve their sleep, they’ll probably have to cut out caffeine and assess other aspects of their diet and schedule. And if a person with digestive issues really wants to improve them, taking a probiotic is great, but cutting out foods that are bad for the guts, will make those probiotics way more effective.
Very few people will take a supplement without the notion that it’ll do something for them. However, in looking for answers, it’s not uncommon to rely on something like a supplement without considering the realities of every other aspect of life. When looking to improve health, it’ll infrequently be done by simply popping a capsule, though that capsule can still be beneficial. If you want real change, the right supplement can certainly help, but the unfortunate reality is that you’ll probably need to change your life in other ways, if you really want to chase that positive result.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
Vaping Vitamins? What’s The Deal with This New Trend?
As vaping continues to gain popularity as a safer alternative to smoking, several companies are taking this wellness trend a step further by offering products that allow user to inhale vitamins, essential oils, and herbal supplements. But how effective is this? And is it even safe?
Vaping vitamins is definitely a new one, and despite almost no clinical evidence to back up efficiency, some people to claim that it works. Regardless, if you’d like to try to more potent vape products, you know where to go… remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for more stories like this, and to get access to exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and many more products! Plus, we have great offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, which will save you $$. Go to our “Best-of” lists to find them!
The rise of vaping
When vaping first came out in the early 2000s, it was marketed as a better option than smoking traditional cigarettes… and to be honest, the trend was initially a bit slow to take off. Fast forward almost 2 decades and by the end of 2021, there are now an estimated 56 million US adults who vape. In total, 52% of Americans report vaping at least occasionally, and about 9% claim to do it regularly.
As of 2018, 9% of U.S. adults said they “regularly or occasionally” vape. (Gallup, 2018) In the U.S., 27.5% of high school students use vape products. (The Truth Initiative, 2019) According to a 2019 survey, more than 5 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. (U.S Food and Drug Administration, 2019)
Nearly 1 million youth e-cigarette users use the product daily, and 1.6 million use it more than 20 times per month. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2019) Roughly 1 in every 20 Americans use vaping devices, and 1 in 3 users vape daily. (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2018) 8% of Americans report using vaping products in the past week. (Gallup, 2019)
20% of Americans ages 18 to 29 use vape products, compared with 16% of those ages 30 to 64, and fewer than 0.5% among those 65 and older. (Gallup, 2018) Young people ages 15 to 17 are 16 times more likely to vape than people age 25 to 34. (Truth Initiative, 2018) From 2017 to 2019, the percent of high school students who vaped in the past 30 days increased among 12th graders (11% to 25%), 10th graders (8% to 20%), and 8th graders (4% to 9%). (The New England Journal of Medicine, 2019)
Naturally, and as was the goal from the beginning, vaping has cut into the market of standard smoking products substantially. For the last few years, smoking rates have been at an all-time low, hovering around 15-16% of US adults. In 1974, this number was well over 40 percent. Youth smoking rates have declined as well. According to new data from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, teen smoking is down nearly 23% since 2000.
Although a huge step in the right direction, these numbers don’t necessarily indicate a drop in tobacco or nicotine use entirely. Let’s be realistic, humans have been documented using tobacco for over 8,000 years, that’s not going to stop any time soon. On the contrary, this data simply represents a shift in the way people are using these products.
And because vaping is touted as being somewhat healthy, other industries are looking at how to manufacture vapable products for consumers. In cannabis, vaping is one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry. Live resin, distillate carts, disposables and similar products are taking over the market. Based on data from industry analytics firm Headset, legal states like California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have seen sales of vapor products jump by over 20% in 2021, and that number is steadily rising.
Vaping vitamins is one of the lasted trends to play off the vaporizer industry. Promoted by companies as a “better alternative to shots and pills”, more and more people are wondering if these little pens filled with vitamin cocktails can do anything to benefit their health. There is no tobacco, nicotine, or cannabis in these vapes, simply flavored vitamin mist. Most often, you’ll find them filled with vitamin B12, but a few brands are offering other compounds and blends such as melatonin and caffeine.
It’s not very widespread just yet, but enough so that a handful of companies are selling them online, in their own stores and other online marketplaces like Amazon. I have not been able to find any storefronts that carry these products but that could change at any time. Some of the common names you may hear in this industry are Breathe, VitaminVape, VitaStik, BioVape, NutroVape, and Monq.
“Like so many concepts that catch on in wellness circles, companies that sell these products take something with a veneer of scientific backing or credibility, couch it in language that sounds healthy, and then sell it to you via a marketplace with very little regulation or oversight – a familiar concept in the cannabis industry, especially when it comes to the alternative products market.”
About B12 in the human body
Vitamin B12 is a substance has many health benefits to humans, but we do not produce it naturally. It’s vital to ensure that numerous different bodily functions operate as they should – like the forming red blood cells, synthesizing DNA, and promoting proper neurological functioning. B12 is present in many high protein foods like meat, milk, fish, and eggs, which is why vegans may be “deficient”. Older adults and people with gastrointestinal problems or low immune systems may also be more inclined to develop B12 deficiencies.
That said, true B12 deficiency is actually quite rare, many people only incorrectly believe they are clinically deficient. For the most part, this is not a condition that can be self-diagnosed and feeling low on energy and out of focus are not the only qualifying symptoms.
“B12 is a drug, essentially,” says Dr. Ron Crystal, the chair of the genetic medicine department and a practicing pulmonologist at Weill Cornell Medicine & New York Presbyterian. “If you’re deficient, your doctor should prescribe what you should be doing. If you have normal levels, adding more doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t help,” he says. “The concept of just taking vitamin B12 to increase your energy and so on is a myth.”
Because the symptoms of B12 vitamin deficiency are so wide-ranging, this “myth” has been further propelled by celebrities, wellness bloggers, and regular people who claim that B12 is a miracle cure for lack of energy. If you’re old enough to remember that show The Simple Life, there was an episode in which Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie got B12 shots in their buttcheeks (definitely help push the trend forward). Madonna and Justin Timberlake also claim to get B12 injections and IV drips.
As far as prescriptions or treatments go, it’s typically given via injections, nasal sprays, or gels. And it’s important to note that there is such thing as too much B12, which can lead to various side effects including but not limited to rashes, acne, increased blood pressure, discolored urine, and facial flushing.
Is it effective? Or safe?
Companies claim it is safe (of course), but there is not a lot of evidence to back up these claims. As a matter of fact, the only existing research they have to reference are dated back from the 1950s and 1960s. Add to this, those studies used a “cool mist” which is completely different from a heated vapor. To date, there are still no real studies on vaping vitamin B12, or any vitamins for that matter.
“To me, [using vitamins and nutrients] is a marketing ploy to sell this product and make it look healthier. Consumers associate vitamins with health,” Regan Bailey, a nutritional epidemiologist at Purdue University, told Scientific American. “These products might be completely safe, but they might not be. We know literally nothing about the safety or efficacy of inhaling vitamins.”
Typically, when you take vitamins orally, the enzymes in your stomach and coon break it down into smaller chemical compounds that can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. You can also take them nasally, via a cool mist inhaler. In this scenario, the components would be absorbed by the epithelial cells that line the nasal cavities and airways.
It may sound healthy and beneficial, not much is really known about this new trend of vaping vitamins. It’s likely pretty safe (although that cannot be said with 100% certainty), but it seems like it could be a waste of money if your body is not properly absorbing the compounds. If you feel like giving it a try, by all means, go for it. But me personally, I’ll probably hold off until more research becomes available.
If you’ve tried vaping vitamins, of if you’d like me to review any specific products, drop us a line in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
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