You could say I’m late to the party in talking about CBD, as it’s the hot new…what is it, a “buzz acronym” these days? And, like religion and politics, it’s almost as shocking to some sensibilities as walking into a stiff dinner party with a joint in your hand. (Obviously, some people don’t bother to discern between CBD and marijuana at all, lumping it all together as a tool of the devil.)
CBD has gained popularity as the snake oil of the day. Migraines? Take CBD. Sore after a workout? Having trouble sleeping? Suffering migraines? Horrid PMS? Try some CBD.
While this seems entirely too good to be true, that it could possibly have such positive impact on such a wide variety of maladies, both studies and user-based evidence point to great effectiveness. Naturally, this is on a case-by-case basis. It would be great if I could tell you that this was the silver bullet, no questions asked, no need to conduct any further searches, CBD was your end answer. But that’s something you’re going to have to test for yourself and the state you live in will likely have a very strong opinion about whether or not you can legally test it for yourself.
Not surprisingly, most studies indicate CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory with results similar, if not superior to standard painkillers, but without the harmful side effects of long-term use.
If you’re interested in further researching the areas CBD has demonstrated measurable effectiveness, Chris Kresser has a well-researched article here. I stumbled across this as I researched anxiety, as an increasing number of clients I’ve begun working with have complained of crippling anxiety or acute panic attacks. Some have tried CBD and have noted calming effects, while others didn’t feel it made a dent.
In our household, we use non-THC CBD for sports recovery (my husband) and insomnia (me). Strangely, I found that when we transitioned to what I call our “Paleo-ish” diet, falling asleep was no longer the issue. Staying asleep became the issue. I chalked it up to hormonal fluctuations (pregnancy, then miscarriage, then sleep disruption due to insufficient carbs, massive amounts of stress due to a business merger and a cross-country move…and let’s be honest, there may have been a few too many late night glasses of Malbec. Perfection ain’t my bag, because it’s not interesting.) With CBD, magnesium glycinate and low-dose potassium taken just before bed, I found I woke much less during the night, slowly coming to consciousness naturally around 5:30 every morning. For people who know my sleeping habits, it’s an outright miracle that I could be conscious at 5:30 in the morning. (Note that I didn’t say I was actually *out* of bed yet at that time of day!)
If you’re looking for a personal account of the benefits of CBD, check out this article on mindbodygreen.com. (Yes, for avid Kresser fans, I did spot the immediate irony. But fair and balanced, right? I try.)
New research tried for a hot second to point out dubious “fact” that CDB-based pharmaceuticals had been linked to rapid liver damage. Most researchers were quick to disagree with what they found to be very flawed results and a separate study pointed out the enormous flaws of the first.
What I found most interesting about the first study was that the drug in question was not a pure CBD oil, but a CBD-based prescription medication developed for children with epilepsy. (First red flag?) Secondly, the study was not performed on human children, or even adults, but on mice. And last but not least, I cannot imagine anyone, human or animal, intentionally ingesting 1/4 of their weight in CBD-based anything.
This will undoubtedly be a hot topic for some time to come, or at least until the pharmaceutical industry figures out how to most effectively monetize Mother Nature’s anti-inflammatory properties for themselves.
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