I introduced you to PEA and its many proven health benefits in a previous blog. The question often comes up of how PEA compares to CBD. The battle of the three-letter acronyms starts here! PEA stands for Palmitoylethanolamide, and CBD stands for Cannabidiol. We can see why they are shorted to three-letter acronyms from their names. This blog will break down the differences between these two popular supplements and provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision as to which one is right for you.
Round 1: Why do people take CBD?
According to a recent article published in November of 2021, the number one reason people shop for CBD is to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains (77%). The other top reasons for use were chronic pain (75%), stress (73%), and sleep (71%). In addition, some stragglers use CBD to increase their general wellness and improve their overall health.
The issue arises when you look for the science for using CBD for these health concerns. While most CBD products available in the marketplace contain between 5mg and 25mg per dose, the research with CBD indicates that doses between 200mg and 600mg per day are required to be effective. Most people only consume the small single-dose and fall well short of what the science says is effective. It makes you wonder if there is a powerful placebo effect attached to CBD use.
Why do people take PEA?
While there aren’t specific statistics about why consumers reach for PEA, it can be assumed it is due to the clinical research completed with PEA and its effectiveness for specific health concerns. This means that people seek PEA for use with joint health and discomfort, headaches, manage mild to moderate osteoarthritis discomfort, help speed muscle recovery due to physical activity, improve physical performance and promote more restful sleep. We can see there are significant similarities for use between CBD and PEA.
If you recall from my previous blog, the preferred brand of PEA is Levagen®+. Levagen®+ is preferred for a few reasons. First, it is significantly better absorbed and has impressive research proving its benefits for those mentioned in the above paragraph and clinically proven doses too: Osteoarthritis study- 300-600mg per day, Exercise recovery- 167.5mg daily, Joint pain- 350mg daily, Headaches- 525mg daily, and Sleep- 350mg one hour before sleep.
What’s the difference?
Simply put, the difference between the two is proven effectiveness and the doses provided. Unfortunately, most people couldn’t afford to take the required dose of CBD to obtain a benefit.
Round 1 winner: PEA
Round 2: Safety
Round 2 is quick in this battle as there are several potential safety issues with CBD consumption and none with PEA. In addition, there are numerous possible drug interactions with the use of CBD. While studies with CBD at doses up to 200mg per day appear safe, there are concerns with adverse reactions such as diarrhea, elevated liver enzymes, sedation, hypotension, lightheadedness, and dry mouth. Keep in mind these are for the higher dose of CBD and not the low dose of 25mg. On the other hand, there are currently NO adverse events, side effects, or interactions when using PEA, making it a clinically proven winner of round 2.
Round 2 winner: PEA
Round 3: What Does Natural Mean to You?
What appears to be a tie in round 3 isn’t. Why? Because initially, both ingredients come from plants; CBD comes from cannabis (Hemp), and PEA comes from plant and animal sources such as chicken egg yolks, olive oil, safflower, soybeans, and peanuts. The battle changes when we learn that the body also naturally produces PEA in response to pain, inflammation, and stress. CBD acts more like a drug to the body, while PEA should be considered natural support to a supply that can often be diminished under prolonged periods of pain, inflammation, and stress.
Round 3 winner: PEA
Round 4: Approval by Government
Yes, many companies are selling CBD products, yet to date, CBD is still not “approved” by the FDA. CBD is approved as a prescription drug for children with seizures. Other than this, CBD hasn’t been formally authorized to be used as a dietary supplement. PEA, on the other hand, is legal and regulated globally.
Round 4 winner: PEA
Match Decision: Unanimous Decision for PEA
In a battle that lasted 4-rounds, PEA is a unanimous decision winner. This blog is not intended to put CBD down. If you are already consuming CBD and feel like it provides you some benefit, do what you think is suitable for your body. Keep in mind that in Round 2, we learned that there are some potential areas of harm when taking CBD while there are none with PEA. You may want to add PEA (Levagen®+) to your supplement program as it will provide clinically proven benefits for the areas in which most take CBD. Since PEA is often considered the “generic” name for the supplement, you should make sure you use clinically proven Levagen®+.
Levagen+ is not your typical PEA ingredient because it uses patented technology (LipiSperse®) to make PEA get into your circulation better. While PEA is excellent at what it does (reduce pain and inflammation), it is not easily absorbed into the body or available for use in the body. By using LipiSperse® technology, the amount of PEA getting into your circulation doubles (actual was 1.75 times more available). The more PEA that can get into circulation, the more potential for helping you achieve the results you need from taking PEA. Therefore Levagen®+ is a preferred form of PEA.