I’ve been on a “breaking stigmas” kick lately and this is a new one for me. If you talked to me a year ago about this topic, I would have been part of the problem not the solution.
I was in a different place, different mindset and still fairly uneducated on the differences between THC (stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (stands for cannabidiol). I was under the (false) impression that marijuana was only for people interested in getting high, binging on their favorite foods and sleeping all day on the couch. Because that’s what’s portrayed in movies, by the media (sometimes), and it’s how the kids I grew up alongside in school and in college used it. No one at those stages in my life or in my social circles was talking about the medical benefits and applications of it.
And those are longtime stereotypes. I am sure I’m not the only one guilty of thinking that, no matter how untrue it is. It’s funny how grounded we can be in some areas of our lives, but in others, we submit to believing falsities for whatever personal reasons, grudges or pre-conceived notions we may have.
But, things change. You grow up, mature, educate yourself. For me personally, I was at a breaking point in my life where I needed some answers to some serious ongoing problems. For the past few years I had been battling constipation, poor gut health and inflammation in my body as well as INTENSE anxiety. I’m pretty high-strung to begin with (Type A peeps & introverts, ya feel me?), but my gut issues amplified my anxiety tenfold. I was anxious about food and eating, and anxious about my anxiety, and it became a deep, dark downward spiral.
But I refused to go on any sort of anti-anxiety medication. I didn’t believe that industrialized pharmaceuticals were right for me. Natural remedies like essential oils, herbal teas, and meditation and yoga weren’t enough to keep the creeping anxiety at bay long term and so I started seriously considering a natural, plant-based solution: CBD.
Quick disclaimer that I am not a certified anything (…yet), so I’ll be citing credible sources throughout the article. I’ll also keep this fairly high level.
First, the basics. Cannabis is derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa), or commonly known as the marijuana plant, and other “street names” like weed, kush, pot, ganja, and so on! There area ton of different varieties just like there are different varieties and families of plants and flowers. There are more than 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids. THC and CBD are two types of cannabinoids found naturally in the resin of cannabis sativa.
THC is what most people are familiar with when they think of smoking pot and getting high, and that’s because THC is the psychoactive part of the plant.
According to CBD Oil Review, CBD has the same chemical formula as THC, but the atoms are arranged differently. These slight variances give them different characteristics and effects on the body. As a result, what CBD lacks in psychoactive effects, it makes up for with its ability to relax the body, and reduce inflammation and anxiety. CBD actually counters the cognitive effects of THC.
It’s also why THC is considered an illegal substance. Many in the industry claim that CBD is technically legal across ALL 50 states in the U.S., as long as it contains less than 0.30 percent of THC, but at the Federal level, it’s still considered a Schedule 1 drug and state laws on CBD/hemp vary across the country. So long story short: it’s complicated.
(There’s a really good podcast I recently listened to with Dr. Michael Ruscio and guest Dr. Chris Meletis where they do a deep dive on the benefits of CBD.)
Yes, that says “edibles” and this ain’t your cousin’s boyfriend’s homemade THC pot brownies that put you on your ass, and left you staring at the ceiling and laughing at the cat for four hours straight.
This is small, professionally & medically measured doses of CBD (also commonly referred to as microdoses) that work quietly in the background of your daily activities to help you manage your pain, anxiety, inflammation, etc. You can even use this topically to help alleviate pain.
And they come in a variety of forms. It’s actually pretty incredible what’s available today! I live in San Francisco where marijuana in all forms is legal to buy and consume. Currently, I think only Colorado and California have totally legalized recreational use of marijuana, and it’s limited use in Nevada as well. Also, in DC, its legal to grow up to a certain amount, but you can’t sell it. You can, however, give it away! So there have been a lot of pop up juice delivery shops, where you order a $30 cold-pressed organic juice that also happens to come with a gift: some bud! And then there’s a small but growing list of states that allow medicinal use/administration via a qualified licensed healthcare provider.Availability has also been a big contributing factor for me to embrace the benefits of CBD. Before moving out here, I was vaping marijuana every night to help me shut off my mind and fall asleep, but I never wanted (or could) use it during the day because of the mind-altering affects. I actually don’t really care for the way THC makes me feel so CBD is a much better option for me personally.
CBD oil is a dietary supplement and an excellent source of nutrients that can be safely consumed by kids and adults as part of their daily diet, according to one CBD hemp oil brand, Elixinol. Unlike “cannabis oil” (generally referring to high THC oil), CBD hemp oil is legal (debatable, I know) and is not psychoactive.
You can go to a pot store, which is called a dispensary, and it’s not your dark grungy head shop what I know you’re most likely picturing. I’m guilty too! But man these places feel like boutique clothing stores.
When you enter you show your ID, and you don’t have to be from a state that’s legalized it, just have a valid ID or form of identification and be of legal age.
They put your name in the queue and you wait for the next available “bud tender” (like bar tender) to call you to the counter. There’s a menu of available items which include some of the following:
It’s nuts how normal and luxurious the whole experience feels. The place we go to in SF (Apothecarium — Castro) has crystal chandeliers, funky wall art. Plush chairs and couches, and merchandise for sale. The first time we went there was an elderly woman next to us placing an order, and people bring their dogs inside. So wild.
At the end of the day we have to do what’s best for our bodies, mentally and physically. I can’t tell you how life changing this has been for me. I would lay awake at night with my thoughts and worries and fears, not being able to stop my inner monologue, worrying, worrying, worrying.
CBD has totally eliminated that. I use a tincture of CBD oil and coconut oil that has an 8:1 ratio of CBD to THC from Care By Design during the day. I take a few drops in the morning before I leave for work and that’s it. It probably lasts about 4-5 hours but that’s enough for me. I also don’t use it every day. Sometime I forget or I don’t feel the need to take it.
And then in the evenings I’ll have a square or two of chocolate around 7:30 or 8 p.m. or take a high CBD gummy from Valhalla Confections. Sometimes I’ll do an herbal tea from Kikoko. I like the Sympa tea for pain and anxiety and the Tranquil tea for relaxation and sleepy time!
The tincture starts working pretty quick because it’s absorbed via my mouth and saliva, but the gummy usually takes an hour or so. They say typically 60-90 minutes for an edible to kick in because your body has to digest it first and that takes time.
I let it dissolve under my tongue for as long as I can so that it can go directly into my blood stream vs. through my digestive tract.
And it stops the noise, almost like someone placed a calming spell on my body. It’s not intrusive, I don’t get a head high or experience psychoactive effects. But I sleep like a baby, and no brain fog in the morning.
It’s also helped significantly with my chronic inflammation and digestion because it relaxes my muscles and relieves chronic tension.
Is this for everyone? Probably not, and that’s OK. I’m not pushing an agenda here, I am simply sharing my story, and educating those that are interested in learning. I do think it’s an important topic and conversation that has real-world implications that impact the broader pharmaceutical and medical community as well as tangible benefits, not just for the economy, but also for people who are looking for an alternative solution. It’s already been a fairly effective for relieving chronic pain for those with arthritis and cancer, etc. but if you ask me, that’s only the tip of the CBD iceberg.
Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂