In the last year, CBD has taken the nation by storm. Everyone is talking about how CBD may help with emotional balance, pain and more. It’s in gas stations, grocery stores, and even the last-remaining video rental stores. So what is it all about? Who can it potentially benefit? And more importantly, is it safe? I’ll answer several of these questions and share what I’ve learned so you can make an educated decision about whether it’s right for you or your family.
I have the benefit of having access to several training sessions surrounding this new phenomenon. The truth is, CBD may help, but it has existed for as long as plants have existed. It’s only in recent news that it has gained so much hype. And part of the reason it’s become more of a hot topic is pure politics. Some changes in federal regulations made it more possible for distribution. But at the end of the day, emerging studies show that CBD may help you in a multitude of ways.
Why it’s gaining attention now…
The short answer about why it’s popular now – is that the government realized the value that the hemp plant may have for our country. Hemp is a plant that grows easily under harsh conditions and the plant material has many uses that may replace the need for products from trees which would prevent unnecessary deforestation. Because the plan grows well under harsh conditions, and grows more quickly, than trees, it has amazing potential for sustainability efforts.
As a result of the need for sustainable production of the hemp plant for that particular purpose, the way was paved for use of the oil from the plant. With the interest from government initiatives surrounding other parts of the plant, regulations began to change. This paved the way for CBD, even when products contain trace amounts of Tetrahydracannabinols or THC. In fact, the federal government created a law that mandates that all states deregulate CBD that contains small amounts of THC.
The thing is that many people who may wish to try CBD as a wellness tool, are not willing to bring THC into their body. I am one of those people. Whether you’re someone who faces drug testing at work or whether you wish to abstain from cross a line with a controlled substance, there are very few options to use CBD without risking THC exposure. Thankfully, I found a product where I don’t have that worry.
What is a cannabinoid or cannabidiol and how does it work . . .
Before we get too far into the nitty gritty, let’s take a look at what CBD is.
Our body has receptors all throughout our body. The purpose of those receptors is to bring our body in balance (homeostasis). In essence, when our body is stressed, our body releases chemicals and hormones to respond to that stress. The stress may be injury, illness, inflammation or a response to emotional stress or fear. The body is meant to be in balance. So after a response to a stressful situation, our body is designed to come back to a balanced state. In order to do that, our body releases a cannabinoid to do that.
The problem comes from our body’s prolonged state of stress. With prolonged stress of any kind, our body struggles to maintain balance. Our bodies are not designed to be under stress all the time. Makes sense right?
So CBD is a plant-based version of a cannabinoid (cannabidiol). Just like we would take a calcium supplement if we need more calcium in our diet, CBD presents as an opportunity to support our body with a plant-based option to support the body’s response to stress. So there you have it – this is the theory behind why CBD is being studied for all kinds of medicinal uses and why CBD may help for a variety of conditions.
In fact, a prescription drug was recently approved by the FDA as a treatment for children with seizure disorders containing CBD.
So what’s the difference between the CBD you see in stores and a prescription drug that’s undergone testing to be labeled a “drug” by the FDA? Controlled studies and strength of the active CBD component, largely. The medicinal content of CBD in the new prescription drug is astronomically higher than any product you’ll find at a local health-food store. You’re comparing hundreds to millions of particles.
However, the undeniable potential that CBD may have in the wellness industry still has people turning to it as a potential tool in their wellness arsenal. And that’s why it’s being studied all around the world for it’s potential health benefits.
A word of caution…
Although CBD may help and present a lot of hope for the future of wellness, there are a couple things to know.
First, CBD has not been tested on humans yet regarding whether it is safe for ingestion. For that reason, the FDA is starting to crack down on companies who are promoting or selling products that are labeled to be drank or eaten, when they contain CBD. Often, people assume that if they see a product in a store, it must be legal and/or safe. That is not always the case. The effects of CBD on our body’s digestive organs is uncertain.
Second, and perhaps even more importantly in my mind, the hemp plant is a cleansing plant. When the hemp plant grows in soil, it pulls out and draws in impurities and toxins from the soil. You can imagine the amazing benefits this plant may have for farming and sustainable practices in fields. But what happens to those impurities and toxins when they are drawn into the plant? They stay in the plant. CBD comes from within the plant.
Would you eat a plant known to contain toxins? I wouldn’t. For that same reason, I wouldn’t use CBD unless it was procured from a hemp plant that was grown under organic farming methods.
Unfortunately, because CBD is not yet recognized as a supplement or a food-grade substance, there are not yet regulations in the United States for obtaining organic certification.
However, a farmer can use organic farming methods, even if the farmer cannot seek organic certification. This is where knowing your product’s roots and trusting your chain of supply for the product you buy becomes so important.
What I’ve tried and loved …
There are three different types of CBD I have tried. First, I have purchased a tincture from a company I trust (regarding their sustainable farming methods and clean sourcing). I have applied that sublingually, allowing the contents to absorb into my blood stream without swallowing the tincture. In other words, I am not drinking it and therefore, I am bringing it into my body and bypassing my digestive tract).
I have also tried a muscle rub. Wow has that been a game-changer for me. I have struggled with pain-points in my body throughout the last decade and recently had a surgery on my spine. Using that balm when I have sore muscles, nerve irritation and pain has been a life-changing addition for me. I rub some on my back and hip joints daily to support my body’s response to stress in that part of my body.
Last, I have used CBD applied topically to my body for its calming properties and effects. This is another option that has been a wonderful additional to my collection of natural products. I absolutely love the scent and the calming effects I receive when I use that product.
After doing a lot of research, finding my own comfort level with testing out the product on myself (and later my family), I have come to love my CBD products. Although I don’t have medical studies to cite to for the individual product claims – my story involves finding a great deal of relief. My experience has been that CBD may help you because I have experienced relief from minor aches and pains when I’ve applied it topically. I’ve also experienced a calming effect from applying CBD sublingually if I’m feeling anxious at bedtime.
I wouldn’t buy many of the products I see on the market. Please be careful when purchasing from any company that doesn’t have a reputable supply chain. But in the end, I have been very happy with adding CBD to our natural arsenal.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for you or your family, you can find out more about what I use by reaching out to me. Although the jury is still out on the medical claims that can be made about this trending product, the possibility exists that CBD may help you. However, please be careful to purchase from a source you trust.
Like many natural options available today, there are many competitor products that claim to be the real deal. In the end, you get what you pay for. And not every brand’s quality is created equal. So do your homework and know what you’re buying. I hope you find the same success and happiness with your choice as I did.