‘The media has no doubt helped drive this popularity,’ says Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director at Healthspan. ‘However, the main drive is because people who take it experience the benefits very quickly, and “word of mouth” is a powerful thing. CBD oil also has such a wide range of benefits, reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, ensuring a good night’s sleep, reducing pain perception and improving general feelings of wellbeing. It therefore appeals to a wide range of people.’
If you’re after an absolutely premium product and aren’t too bothered about cost, you can go to the top end of the market. In this case it’s the Native Botanics CB1 and CB2 Full Spectrum oil, with a peppermint flavour. The peppermint hides the biggest issue with the high purity CBD oils – the incredibly bitter It’s not the cheapest, but it’s basically peerless when it comes to its reviews.
But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
It’s thought that CBD might affect your health by attaching to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system—a complex biological system involved in maintaining certain aspects of your health. Emerging research shows that endocannabinoids may play a role in regulating such functions as memory, sleep, and mood, as well as metabolic processes like energy balance. In addition, CBD oil may play a role in improving a variety of health conditions.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
Oils: CBD oils are the most potent and unprocessed form of cannabidiol. CBD oil is removed directly from the flowers, stalks and seeds of the hemp plant during the extraction process. The most effective CBD oils are full spectrum, which means that they include all compounds found naturally in the plant, including the cannabinoids (with trace amounts of THC), terpenes and essential oils. You can find CBD oils in a bottle with a dropper. This allows you to ingest the oil by using it by mouth.
This non-greasy formula is a lightweight counterpart to all those heavy hemp salves and balms that you tend to see on the market, so much so that you could use this every day on your entire body without worries about staining your clothes. Along with the Colorado-grown CBD oil, it has a lotion base made with aloe vera leaf juice powder (good for antioxidants), lactic acid (good for exfoliation), and other reputable skincare ingredients. Keep this by your shower and use it while your skin is still moist, warm, and soft for the best results.
‘CBD has proven anti-anxiety effects and may be helpful in depression, based on anecdotal reports,’ says Dr Gordon. ‘I use high CBD prescription cannabis medicine products as part of a mental health protocol with my patients suffering with anxiety and depression. The antidepressant effects of CBD have been shown in animal models, but we now need large, depression-specific studies in humans as the next step.’
Before I even checked the ingredients list and saw that cocoa seed butter was involved, my first impression was that this body butter smelled like chocolate, so much so that my stomach rumbled with hunger because it was 4pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Don’t the “whipped” descriptor fool you—unlike most body butters you’ve used, this formula is solid to the touch, a balm rather than a cream. But that might be exactly what you want if you’re looking for a CBD-infused treatment anyway—something that feels extra-nourishing and almost medicinal. Luckily, it smells incredible in a subtle, natural way, not like other body butters with artificial tropical fruit scents.
It’s believed that while CBD helps activate and regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, it also helps regulate the neural pathways that are responsible for withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. In early rat trials, those treated with CBD were less likely to exhibit anxiety-related withdrawal symptoms and drug-seeking behaviors after being exposed to cocaine. (40)
A group of specialists at the National Cancer Institute reviewed some experiments rhesus monkeys and rodents whose results implied that CBD has the capacity to inhibit the division of cancerous cells (especially in types of leukemia and lymphoma), to lower the probability of affected tissue to spread to neighboring tissues, and to increase the effectiveness of macrophage cells to attack cancerous cells.
Topical solutions: Topical CBD products include lotions, salves and lip balms. They are meant to benefit skin, joint and muscle health, and work when they are absorbed into the skin and through the dermal layers. CBD patches are also available for topical delivery of the compound. This allows the cannabinoids to be delivered directly to your bloodstream.
Oh, was I just talking about Girl Scout cookies? I prefer showers over baths—we all have an allegiance to one or the other—but we can’t ignore how many memes have come out of #bathbombs. It’s satisfying to watch them fizzle, they turn your bath into fun colors, and they claim to provide aromatherapy benefits, too. They’re also much tidier than traditional bath salt products; just chuck one in and wait!
The use of CBD is safe, with a few non-serious potential side effects. This is shown by the studies and that is what doctors and scientists say. Most CBD users do not experience any of these side effects. Even in very high doses of CBD there is no toxicity. However, everyone is unique and the body chemistry of each individual is slightly different.
Great points and thanks for the clarification. To be clear, THC products are not readily available to purchase online (legally), so anyone hoping to try the CBD oil trend will have to settle for these alternatives for the time being, until the FDA approves more variations. Many people who are new to CBD see these options as a good entry-point before they experiment with larger mg amounts, and the reviews online are strong. Still, you are correct that full spectrum CBD oils may ultimately be better once they are legally approved to sell online to everyone.
Scott Shannon, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado, recently sifted through patient charts from his four-doctor practice to document CBD’s effects on anxiety. His study, as yet unpublished, found “a fairly rapid decrease in anxiety scores that appears to persist for months,” he says. But he says he can’t discount a placebo effect, especially since “there’s a lot of hype right now.”