While the medicinal marijuana industry has been helping patients with severe illnesses for some time, an extract of the notorious cannabis plant is now floating around in just about everything, from juice to chocolate to pet food. CBD aka cannabidiol is definitely the new kid on the wellness block!
For some, the CBD trend has raised eyebrows because of its relationship with marijuana. As a sober woman of 12 years, it’s not an option for me not to do my due diligence when it comes to the cousin of THC. So, I decided to educate myself on the subject and experience using it firsthand. Let’s talk about it…
What is CBD?
CBD is the non-psychoactive, naturally occurring compound extracted from flower of the cannabis plant. Not to be confused with THC, which is the ingredient in cannabis that gives you that high or stoned feeling. In fact, CBD and THC act in different ways toward receptors in the brain and body. CBD in a pure, non-dependent form should not contain more than .03% THC.
Is CBD Safe?
Always consult your doctor before using CBD to see if it right for you first. As with anything you put in your body, awareness is key. When it comes to CBD consumption, the safety depends on the quality of the source. In other words: know thy farmer. Ask questions. What was the grower’s intent of harvest? Pay attention to potency and purity. Stay smart, curious and cautious about your label reading.
Potential Benefits of CBD for Women
Although more studies are being conducted due to the heightened interest in CBD, there still needs to be more evidence before definitive statements can be made about the benefits. However, below are 4 potential benefits of CBD based on the research collected thus far.
1. For Pain & Inflammation
Inflammation in our body starts innocent enough as an immune system response to attempt healing. Unfortunately, when this becomes chronic, the friend turns to a foe. From the exercise junkie to the non-stop mom, inflammation has plagued most women’s bodies at some time or another. CBD studies share some compelling results of women getting relief from the pain of arthritis and endometriosis (a uterine condition) by reducing swelling. I use a CBD balm for my OA (osteoarthritis) on my hip and thumb joints and am happy to share I experience immediate relief.
2. For Anxiety & Depression
So many of us are grappling with tools to de-stress. The quick fix answer of a pill is not in the cards for some, since each of us receive and respond to medicine differently. CBD users have reported a less anxious vibe that helps them cope with day to day stressors. Plus, research shows little to no side effects or dependency from CBD, meaning it could be an ideal option for those who have had adverse reactions to prescription medications or are abstaining from addictive substances.
3. For PMS Symptoms
CBD has shown to be a popular alternative to conventional medicines used to relieve the physical pain of premenstrual syndrome. Debilitating cramps and headaches notoriously arise during this time of the month, and CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects promote relaxation in these constricted areas. It can also help with the emotional component of PMS, such as mood swings and disturbed sleep that exacerbate irritability. Many women report a calmer, more relaxed state of being when using CBD during this time of the month.
4. For Skincare & Beauty
Lotions, potions and salves, oh my! If you’re like me, you love your skincare products. Both topically and internally, when CBD is vaped, chewed or sipped, there have been reports of some remarkable results. From eczema to anti-aging, CBD can be used to treat a multitude of skin concerns. And, thanks to its antioxidants and omegas, CBD can also be used as a remedy for stretch marks and bruising.
5. For Insomnia
Stress, lack of exercise, high sugar diets and caffeine in excess can dictate how we slumber. Insomnia is a multi-faceted disorder which includes not being able to initially fall asleep, as well as being disturbed during the sleep/REM cycle. Since CBD has been shown to calm our nervous system and help our bodies’ natural serotonin levels, it may give us that chill edge we need to nod off and stay asleep.
photo: Demi Pradolin