Cannabidiol (CBD) has been making headlines in both the media and medical field, but what is it and why is it suddenly so popular?
CBD is non-addictive substance found in the cannabis sativa plant (marijuana) and hemp plant. While CBD boasts many potential therapeutic benefits, it won’t get you stoned in isolated doses. The compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is what causes people to feel ‘high.’
CBD and THC react differently in the body and therefore, induce different responses. While there are trace amounts of THC found in CBD, CBD oil can provide users with similar benefits associated with marijuana without the psychoactive side effects or the red flag on a drug test!
Why Consider CBD?
As a natural compound, CBD is appealing to people looking for certain treatments but don’t want a pill or prescription.
Common conditions associated with CBD supplementation include chronic pain, anxiety, depression, poor appetite, and inflammation/autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Preliminary reports show CBD can provide relief of common digestive issues such abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea for those who suffer with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) or Crohn’s Disease.
There are also a strong associations between CBD and the treatment of epilepsy & seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and chemo-induced nausea. For women struggling with PCOS and/or menstrual cycle discomfort, CBD oil can also be an effective treatment.
CBD can be administered several ways: orally as an oil, capsule, or edible; topically as a cream; or even inhaled through a vaporizer. If you can’t stomach the taste of the oil, try a capsule for long-term release or a vape for quick-onset relief. Gummy CBDs are an option but often contain dyes and artificial preservatives and are not suitable for someone with a gluten sensitivity.
Our Experiences with CBD
Kait: I noticed a dramatic change in how I slept when I supplemented with CBD- I feel asleep easily and woke up feeling refreshed. Everyone’s dosages are different, but I do well with 35 ml of a 1000 mg oil before bed. It’s onset time is slower and lasts through the night. I prefer Soul CBD oil because it doesn’t have an earthy taste and is mixed with MCT oil instead of a vegetable oil.
I’ve also put the CBD oil in a vaporizer, which I surprisingly liked. It wasn’t harsh on my throat and didn’t make me cough. I’d recommend this method to anyone who wants a quick-onset and doesn’t like the taste of the oils.
Fellow dietitian and my friend Macie guest spoke on our podcast about her experience with CBD for her anxiety and joint pain. You can listen to it here.
Megan: As the evidence warning against the use of NSAIDs continues to become stronger, I continue to look for alternatives for myself and for my clients to relieve acute and chronic pain. I’ve gotten the best results from high quality CBD oil. If I’m dealing with any type of pain (usually back, shoulder, or menstrual), instead of taking ibuprofen, I will take ½ dropper of 1000mg Viva Oil. The pain goes away within 20 minutes without fail. I only take it as needed, but my husband has chronic hip pain from hours of daily driving and finds that it helps if he is diligent about taking it. I hated that he was taking NSAIDs so often, so I’m super thankful for this alternative.
Potential Side Effects
There does not seem to be many reported negative side effects from CBD other than nausea, irritability, and fatigue. Starting with a low dose and increasing slowly is the best way to determine your tolerance and avoid unwanted symptoms.
However, anyone taking a blood-thinner such as coumadin or any antiarrhythmics should consult with a MD prior to CBD supplementation. Topical methods of administration may be a safer option.
Please note that not all CBD oils are created equal and there is a lack of regulation in this industry just like for any other supplement. Buy from reputable brands that have been third party tested like My Soul CBD. Ask questions. Viva Oils works with health professionals across the country. If you want to try their products, you can use “NTRAWR” to get 10% off.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a medical doctor and recommendations provided should not take the place of medical advice or treatment.
Some blog posts may contain one or more affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Kait Richardson is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Orlando, FL. She is a partner at a private practice, Nutrition Awareness, where she helps frustrated yo-yo dieters reach their health goals using 1:1 nutrition coaching. She is the co-host of the Nutrition Awareness Podcast.