Heard of CBD? Let me tell you about it
By Kail Rose
I’m sure you’ve seen it: CBD is the trending topic in the health and wellness world these days. Taking over my social media feeds, the news, brunch and happy hour conversations and just about every health and wellness blog in existence. I recently found it being promoted front and center at the checkout of my friendly neighborhood corner store, along with an (overly helpful) employee, who didn’t hesitate to mistake my quick glance at the label for a desire to hear an eighteen-minute diatribe on the what, where, how, why and when of the miracle of CBD in all its’ glory. I have a long-suffering ex-military friend who swears by its’ general ability to solve all of life’s problems, and a crazy aunt who recommends it for, well, everything including earaches, stubbed toes and a clogged kitchen sink.
Ok, CBD, you have my attention.
Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is a compound extracted from the Cannabis plant. It is available in a myriad of forms; at its purest, often extracted and added to a carrier oil such as hemp or coconut, or infused into an endless variety of edible options; honey, candy, chocolate, cold brew, carrot cake, etc. You dream it, I’m sure they’ve made it. And it’s probably tasty. It’s popular as a salve or cream and can be smoked or vaped. Die-hard devotees can purchase CBD products for their pets, too. Because my cat really does look like he needs more restful sleep and a break from the anxieties of the world. To round out the trifecta, you can also invest in CBD beauty and wellness products such as shampoo, mascara, soap and toothpaste. In case you’d like to also bathe in, soak in, brush with, and then wash your precious CBD down the drain. And you can acquire all of this legally.
Legalization of CBD in Texas technically happened back in 2014, but its’ sweeping popularity across the U.S. seems to have taken hold in the past 12 months. CBD technically exists in a legal “gray area;” vague marijuana prohibitions at the federal level conflict with state legalization, but this hasn’t really stopped anybody. Most will tell you it’s no priority for prosecutors and police at any level and sits pretty squarely in the “stuff you can buy legally” world. You can even have it delivered next-day, courtesy of Amazon.com.
CBD itself possesses no psychoactive qualities and will not get you high. There are over 100 active compounds found in the Cannabis plant, but we generally recognize CBD and THC most frequently. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound responsible for that psychoactive "high" sensation. CBD is the innocent little sister to THC, hanging out alongside THC in your regular, run-of-the-mill cannabis plant - providing a number of the same therapeutic benefits but none of the legal implications.
Like THC, CBD acts on the Endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Many praise CBD as an all-natural alternative to prescription medication. It’s proven medically useful for pain management, seizures, insomnia, anxiety and depression and even to counteract the symptoms of withdrawal. It's been shown to reduce the symptoms of cancer treatment and may even have cancer-fighting properties. It is anti-inflammatory and acts neuroprotectively in disorders such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. It is FDA-approved and widely recognized in the medical community as a powerful and useful medication.
● CBD in pure form will not show up on drug tests for THC. They are two different compounds.
● As states have begun to legalize CBD as a medicinal compound, statistically opioid prescriptions and corresponding issues with opiod addiction have dropped substantially.
● CBD is proven to act on the brain's receptors for serotonin; a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior. Read: you can appease your happiness neurotransmitters, for the better, with a natural compound that isn’t a cocktail of man-made chemical pharmaceuticals with a list of 87,000 terrifying potential side effects.
● CBD has been shown to reduce the adverse effects of THC; things like sedation, sleepiness, intoxication and disordered thinking. Which may or may not be a problem for all of us.
So after doing this research, curiosity got the better of me and there was nothing left to do but try it myself. I’ll be the first to admit that I stress a little too much and sleep nowhere near enough. It was time to try out the anti-anxiety and sleep-boosting qualities of CBD. In order to remain scientifically rigorous, I decided to try two different versions; pure CBD suspended in hemp oil, and CBD honey in my evening cup of herbal tea. My dear friend at the local corner store was over the moon when I arrived and announced my intentions.
I selected a non-GMO broad-spectrum 250MG CBD suspended in hemp seed oil, which delivers about 17 MG CBD per dose sublingually. Read; shake the bottle, draw out 1ml, drop it under your tongue and hang out for 30 seconds. It didn’t taste all that great and the oily texture was a bit unpleasant. I went about my regular routine, curled up with a purring kitten and a good book and was out like a light. This is remarkable, because bed is usually the place that I suddenly remember every little thing I forgot to do, or need to do, or just don’t actually need to stress, overthink, analyze and re-analyze for four angst-ridden hours. I awoke the next morning a full fifteen minutes before my alarm and my Snooze button looked at me like some kind of monster. Not a terrible start to this little experiment.
The next evening, I tried a teaspoon of the 250MG CBD honey with my bedtime herbal tea. This version was less obnoxious, sans greasy texture. I'd had an on-and-off nagging tension headache since noon, which is normal for the stress-head that I am. In about 25 minutes, it was gone. Entirely. I went to bed, slept like a log, and awoke to find my alarm Snooze button had given up hope. I may now be a morning person.
This grand and flawlessly scientifically rigorous two-night experiment surely proves the merit of these CBD claims. Or… not. But I liked it, it worked for me, and I might be a fan. I’ve kept it up for a few days and I’m sleeping well, stressing less, and my Coffee-addicted alter ego is now seriously questioning my devotion to the coffeehouse lifestyle. As a textbook chemical-phobe who will happily spend twice as much to avoid GMOs and non-organic food, I like knowing that there’s an all-natural alternative available. I am almost pathologically wary of pharmaceuticals that seem to come with an endless list of side effects, drug interactions; potential death, disease and displeasure. I’m all for an option that isn’t man-made; one that makes you happy, helps you sleep, gets rid of my headaches and calms me the fuck down. So here you have it, folks; "C-B-D” ...Can't Beat Dat.
Disclaimer: This was not written nor vetted by a medical professional. If you are considering trying CBD for medicinal purposes, we recommend following your physicians advice on dosing, usage and interactions with other medication.
Hailing from Austin TX, Kail Rose is a blogger for Texas Inked, Wanderluster supreme, addicted to coffee & live music and photographing absolutely everything she comes across. She once fangirled inexplicably meeting Ice Cube backstage at ACL. She’s also a photographer and writer for music & travel blog dRiFFt, and a devotee to the art of asking everyone about their tattoos, after she’s asked to make friends with their dog first.