Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll probably have noticed CBD popping up in pretty much, well, everything. Pills, gummies, moisturisers, shampoo… It’s been kicking around for a while now, but if you’ve missed the CBD boat, here’s the 411 on the wellness world’s most popular plant derivative.
CBD vs THC
A lot of people will look at CBD and assume you’re talking about getting high on the sweet mary jane, but using CBD (full name: cannabidiol) is a far cry from smoking weed, which is great for those that have had a less than fab experience in the past.
First things first, no, unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high, but it CAN give you the buzz of weed, without the deep paranoia, outbursts of lol or turning mute for 3 hours. The hemp cultivated for CBD oil will always be high-CBD and low-THC. This basically means you can enjoy CBD without psychoactive intoxication, and whilst the THC in a joint, vape pen, or gummy might leave you feeling paranoid, CBD is actually an anxiolytic, meaning it can leave you feeling chill AF.
How do I use it?
Dosage is personal, so it’s really a case of choosing your own adventure. It’s also impossible to overdose, so you can breathe a sigh of relief if you decide to go too ham one day. The most common side effect is feeling drowsy, so time your doses well AKA don’t take it for the first time before a massive job interview or long drive.
There are SO MANY CBD products on the market right now, from lotions you rub on to capsules you swallow and tinctures you drop under your tongue. All these are made in pretty much the same way: By extracting CBD from a cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier, such as coconut oil.
When figuring out what dose floats your boat, try adding a bit more every three days or so and see how you respond. If you get to a point where you don’t feel any extra benefit (or feel worse), pump the brakes and dial it back the next day. The best time to take it is just before bed - especially if you’ve just started - that way if it makes you feel drowsy you can just cruise into a great night’s sleep and go a little less hard tomorrow.
What are the benefits?
CBD has been shown to be an effective pain reliever thanks to its effect on our endocannabinoid system, which regulates our mood, sleep cycle, inflammation, immune response, and much more. Feeling off balance? CBD has got you, and because it acts as a stress reliever, it can massively benefit the look and feel of your skin. A lot of breakouts can be attributed to mood fluctuations, and CBD can seriously help smooth out the cranky edges.
On that note, one of the main reasons people turn to CBD is to soothe anxiety. A lot of research still needs to be done on EXACTLY how it works, but in a nutshell, it blocks an enzyme called FAAH, which in turn increases levels of anandamide. For the non-scientists out there, this basically is THE neurotransmitter you’re looking for when you want a mood boost, and is aptly named after the Sanskrit word for joy. The upshot? CBD fires up our natural bliss molecule. Amen to that.
If you’re thinking about it, do your research on how, which and when. Everyone reacts differently, so it’s all about finding your own groove with it, and once you do, you’ll realise why everyone’s living for plant power.