Recently, Roger Daltrey told USA Today that he uses CBD oil to wind down from the adrenaline of a live show and get some decent sleep after without having to use pills. Other singers, including Rihanna and Barbra Streisand, use it to keep inflammation of their prize vocal cords to a minimum. Olivia Newton-John finds it useful as she battles breast cancer. More and more of us are finding that CBD helps with sleep, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. But frankly, the subject can be a little overwhelming.
Naima Karp is an avid cannabis writer and activist who covers news within the cannabis industry as well as the use of cannabis for mental and physical health and self-care. Her cannabis content has been featured on sites such as The Chicago Tribune, Best Reviews, Dine Magazine, Dopecausewesaid.com, and Pursuit.ca.
We tapped her to break down some basics. [Note: CultureSonar does not endorse any particular CBD brand or product; any recommendations are based on Karp’s own research]
What is CBD?
CBD, aka cannabidiol, features over 80 active chemical compounds known as “cannabinoids.” CBD is the aspect of the cannabis plant that provides relief without the “high,” which instead occurs due to THC. People have been using CBD as a remedy since the 27th century BC.
The cannabis plant interacts in unique ways with a physical process known as the endocannabinoid system. This system balances us out during stressful periods, which is why cannabidiol is frequently used in healing, both mentally and physically.
Today, one of the most successful FDA approved CBD treatments is Epidiolex, a purified CBD oil medication created for two rare kinds of epilepsy.
Related: “Why Is Music Good for Your Brain?”
Benefits of using CBD
Whether it’s oil or a topical, CBD can be an effective treatment for stress and mental health problems, as it increases serotonin and anandamide in the body. The substance contains anti-inflammatory properties while it melts stress.
Other benefits include neuroprotective properties, improved sleep quality, chronic pain treatment, treatment for depression and anxiety, and a way to ease the side effects of chemotherapy.
CBD without THC can be found in the United States, but it’s important to purchase it from states where recreational or medical cannabis is legal. In non-legal states, industrial hemp is available but can suffer from quality issues. It is often unregulated and contains only a minor amount of cannabinoids compared to the whole-plant approach. We suggest broad-spectrum CBD products, which contain a range of both cannabinoids and equally-beneficial terpenes.
How to use CBD
CBD is extracted and added to topical items such as lotions, as well as oral products like sprays, oils, gummies, and other infused edible items. Bath products are also available. CBD isolate is a purified form of the substance, which comes in the form of odorless, colorless crystals. These are often added to beverages or edibles but are void of terpenes which can be beneficial for health. You can also inhale CBD via a vaporizer.
Inhalation and vape usage is suitable for acute symptoms that require a fast effect within a couple of minutes, lasting up to two or three hours. When orally ingested, CBD can last more than four hours but can take up to 90 minutes to kick in.
Plain CBD, or combine it with THC?
If you want a bit of a buzz and live in a legal state, experiment with CBD alone or in conjunction with THC. Both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol stimulate the creation of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. The two have a synergy between each other, and CBD can decrease the psychoactive potency of THC. It can stave off side effects such as fast heartbeat and anxiety, which increased amounts of THC can cause. Adding CBD to a THC “high” can prolong duration while decreasing intensity.
Choosing the right CBD product
Seek out trusted and lab-tested brands, since purchasing CBD products is kind of like finding your way around the Wild West. Always carefully inspect the product labels for dose, batch number, and manufacturing date. Avoid those with preservatives or artificial ingredients, GMOs, thinning agents, or corn syrup.
Items should also be verified as contaminant-free, which includes bacteria, mold, and pesticides.
Photo of cannabis plant via Wikimedia Commons