cbd and hemp

(Or to put it another way: does CBD get you high?)

CBD (cannabidiol) is a healing and medicinal compound derived from hemp, the same plant that provides us with edible hempseeds and hempseed oil (an ingredient in a few of our kitchen dishes), as well as the fabric, canvas.

Hemp is also a close relative of the marijuana plant, and sometimes this creates confusion. Often, the confusion is innocent. Sometimes, however, the confusion is deliberately promoted by seedy CBD companies who try to make their products feel “sexier” by implying a connection to a street drug.

Let’s be clear, CBD and marijuana are entirely different.

Marijuana contains a substance called THC. THC gets people “high.” CBD does not.

Marijuana is a controlled substance. Illegal in some states, tightly controlled in others. However, CBD is legal to buy, sell, and use without any license.

Marijuana may be used irresponsibly or abused. CBD is not a drug of abuse. It is not addictive.

In fact, some preliminary evidence suggests that CBD may mitigate the habit-forming potential of certain addictive substances.

Yes, CBD can help with physical pain, and emotional agitation. But it’s no more likely to impair you than chamomile tea, or any other medicinal herb used for the same purposes.

Finally, responsibly produced CBD products will contain no significant THC.

Other retailers have chosen to keep CBD behind the counter, or in a locked case; or put an age limit on its purchase. We believe this plays up the allure of CBD as “forbidden fruit.” We are committed to treating CBD no differently than any other natural, health-promoting compound on our shelves.

So, what does CBD do?

There has been some exciting – but not 100% conclusive – research suggesting CBD can help in some serious disease states. I won’t get into that. If you want to look into the role of CBD vs. seizure disorders, strokes, and tumors, you can find the research – and passionate advocacy – on the internet. What I do want to talk about here are anxiety, agitation, and sleeplessness; and pain.

I have seen CBD work with some chronic or deep pain, especially fibromyalgia, nerve pain, and pain from spasms. If you’re exploring CBD here, start with 10-20 mg. See how it goes from there.

We’ve also had good luck with topical CBD. I’ve spoken to a few people who’ve used it for arthritis in the fingers. We have two people on staff who apply it to the lower abdomen for menstrual cramps.

CBD may also help with agitation, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Here, it’s a little more hit-or-miss. For some people, the benefits are profound. Others barely notice a difference. I still haven’t figured out a way to predict who CBD will work for.

Personally, if I were dealing with situational stress or anxiety, I’d still reach for a more traditional herb like kava or passionflower, or a nutrient like l-theanine. Or a combination formula. If I were dealing with garden-variety sleeplessness, I’d still reach for a more traditional remedy like valerian, melatonin, or ashwagandha. Or a combination formula. Where I do reach for CBD is when the anxiety or agitation is more of a baseline than a situation. Or simply when 2 or 3 of the old “tried-and-true” remedies haven’t worked.

I look forward to learning more about this new/old remedy, as more research comes out, and as I see how it works for people.

[Debra here — I typically take ashwagandha to smooth my ruffled edges but found that Hemp Fusion brand, Stress Formula (CBD and ashwagandha together), corrected an imbalance in my baseline.]