CBD: Hype or Help

CBD: Hype or Help | Growing Up Herbal | I finally decided to dig into all the CBD hype that’s going around and to see what I thought about Cannabis myself. Here’s what I found out!

I’ll admit that I’ve been pretty intrigued by all the cannabinoid (CBD) hype that’s been growing over the past year or so. I mean, everywhere you look there are messages about CBD products and how amazing they are, and while I tend to be skeptical of products labeled as “miracle cures” for seemingly every ailment and human condition under the sun, this one has caught my attention. Not because I believe it works as well as everyone claims, but because at this point in my life, I have a better understanding of plants and how they work in the body—meaning I recognize that CBD oil products are made from a plant, and therefore, must have some chemical responses in the body. 

At first, I tried to ignore the CBD hype and all of the amazing claims out there mainly because I didn’t have the time or brain space to thoroughly research it properly. So I acted like an ostrich, stuck my head in the sand, and tried to ignore it all. However, it doesn’t look like CBD products are going away any time soon, and after people close to home started asking my opinion on it, I decided it was time to pull my head out of the sand and find some answers.

Cannabis & Its Benefits

CBD: Hype or Help | Growing Up Herbal | I finally decided to dig into all the CBD hype that’s going around and to see what I thought about Cannabis myself. Here’s what I found out!

Like I mentioned earlier, when I started this journey down the CBD oil path, I knew very little about this product. I knew that CBD products were made from the Cannabis sativa plant, but I also knew that Cannabis was the same thing as marijuana. What I didn’t know was where the difference lay between the two.

After some research, I learned that Cannabis is called hemp if it contains less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and marijuana if it contains more than 0.3% of THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gives you that high feeling, and CBD products contain such low amounts of it, that they will not get you high.

Cannabinoids are believed to be responsible for a variety of health benefits from decreasing inflammation and pain in the body to reducing anxiety and seizure activity in the brain. There are many other associated benefits, and while some scientific studies support these claims, many studies are lacking for others.

I’m not here to tell you all about all of the health benefits of CBD products, but if you’d like to learn more about what CBD may be able to do for you, as well as the studies that support these claims, here are some helpful links to sites I respect.

  • Mind Body Green’s, Hemp Oil: Everything You Need To Know
  • Healthline’s, 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects)
  • Medical News Today’s, Hemp Oil Benefits List
  • Wellness Mama’s, CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) & Why It’s Not What You Think

If you do decide that CBD products are a fit for you, but you’re overwhelmed with the choices available, let me let you in on a little secret that will help you narrow down your search for the perfect company or product.

Not All CBD Oils Are Created Equal

CBD: Hype or Help | Growing Up Herbal | I finally decided to dig into all the CBD hype that’s going around and to see what I thought about Cannabis myself. Here’s what I found out!

There are certainly a lot of companies offering CBD products these days. Unfortunately, not all of these products are created equal. 

You see, Cannabis sativa contains around 483 compounds, 60 of which are cannabinoids (Brenneisen, 2007), and these compounds are responsible for many different actions in the body, but for some reason, many folks want to ignore all of this plant chemical goodness and focus on the cannabinoids alone.

As an herbalist, I know this is a no-no. I mean, if I’ve learned anything about herbs over the years, it’s that when you take specific chemicals from a plant and isolate them, you basically make a drug out of the product. Instead, herbalists choose to use whole plant extracts to gain the benefits of the entire plant, not just a select few phytochemicals!

With that said, if you’re looking for a high-quality CBD product, you’re going to want to go with one that extracts as many of the phytochemicals from the hemp as possible, including the cannabinoids. Most times, this is referred to as a full spectrum extract.

After learning this and looking around for a good brand, I decided to give Native Remedies CBD oil a try.

Native Remedies offers a high-quality, full-spectrum CBD oil that is third-party tested. It’s made from organic hemp and is combined with hemp seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, stevia (for sweetness), and orange essential oil (for flavor).

The only downside that I found with this product is that they use CO2 extraction to remove all the THC from the hemp, which means there is no THC in the end product.

Again, as an herbalist, I’ve learned that whole plant extracts are the best and most effective. This is because some plant chemicals act as buffers to other plant chemicals, making unwanted side effects less common. It’s also known that some plant chemicals act as synergists when combined with other plant chemicals, making them more effective. From what I’ve read about the benefits of hemp, this combination of THC along with the other cannabinoids and phytochemicals in the plant seems to have this type of synergistic effect, making the end product more effective.

Now I’m not saying that without the THC, the product isn’t effective. Remember that there’s only 0.3% of THC in hemp in the first place, but I do think that it’s best to leave the THC in the plant material, and therefore, in the final product.

How CBD Oil Has Worked For Me

I’ve been using Native Remedies CBD oil consistently for a few months now, and while I don’t have any major health issues to notice any improvement in, I have noticed some positive nervous system results from this product.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you’ll know I’m a Type-A with an ESTJ personality and a pitta-kapha constitution. That means I have a tendency to get stressed easily, and while I’m learning how to manage stress when it comes my way (and oh, it’s bound to come!), it is a constant battle to keep my stress levels in a good, healthy place. I also have a tendency to be a doer and control-freak, which obviously leads to more stress, as well as overwhelm and eventual burnout.

So, when I first started using this CBD oil, I did my best to consistently use it twice a day, every single day. Like I said, I didn’t notice any major changes right away. Perhaps I had less inflammation in my body, but that’s not always something you notice right away. However, what I did start to notice is that when I felt stress creeping up on me, I could take a dose of oil, holding it under my tongue for 20 seconds or so, and after a bit, I felt a bit calmer—as in my headspace was a bit clearer and I could think through my stress instead of letting it overwhelm me and blowing up.

CBD: Hype or Help | Growing Up Herbal | I finally decided to dig into all the CBD hype that’s going around and to see what I thought about Cannabis myself. Here’s what I found out!

Eventually, I learned that hemp is energetically warming, and as a pitta-kapha, I tend to be warm enough. So in an effort not to throw myself out of balance energetically, I switched from taking it twice a day to only taking it when I feel stressed and overwhelmed. I start with one dose, and after about 20-30 minutes, if I don’t feel any better, I take another one. So far, it’s working well for me for that purpose, but it’s no longer something I take on a daily basis. In fact, I’m only taking it 2-3 times a week, if that. 

While I don’t think that Cannabis or CBD products are a miracle cure, I do think they can be beneficial for some individuals and can really provide some improvements on the wellness spectrum. If you’re like me, and you’re curious about CBD oil and would like to try it out to see how it benefits you, I’d definitely recommend a company like Native Remedies. They’re even offering Growing Up Herbal readers a 15% discount and free shipping when you use discount code HERBAL2019 at checkout.

Are you interested in learning more about Cannabis and all the CBD hype from an herbalist’s perspective? If so, I’d highly recommend my friend Caitlin’s post, The Truth About Cannabis. It’s excellent and definitely something to keep in mind if you’re thinking about using these types of products on a regular basis.

REFERENCES:

  • Brenneisen R. (2007). Chemistry and Analysis of Phytocannabinoids and Other Cannabis Constituents. In: ElSohly M.A. (eds) Marijuana and the Cannabinoids. Forensic Science And Medicine. Humana Press.

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