By now you’ve probably heard of this CBD oil craze and have either jumped right in with both feet or are waiting on the sidelines, unsure of how legit it is. I know, I’ve been there. So if you’re one who’s on the fence or completely against it, let’s break down some specifics about what CBD oil actually is, how to use it, and why it’s so popular right now.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil, or Cannabidoil, is an oil taken from the cannabis plant then mixed with a carrier oil like coconut, or olive, or hemp seed. It’s just one of many chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, it’s more well-known partner THC is another. THC is the chemical compound that will produce a “high” as it’s the psychoactive piece of the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, Cannabidoil is not psychoactive and won’t produce any mind-altering effects that other cannabis products and pharmaceutical drugs come with.
A lot of people hear CBD oil and associate it rightly with the cannabis plant, but make the incorrect assumption that it’s the same as smoking products containing THC and will produce a “high”.
I was apprehensive myself when first learning about CBD oil. Maybe it was my midwestern upbringing that simply assumed that anything with the word “cannabis” in it was definitely a drug and no good. But when a recovering addict and friend told me she uses CBD oil for anxiety and to help her sleep at night, I was intrigued and definitely interested in learning more.
While the study of cannabidoil is very new and there’s not a whole lot of scientific evidence to back up it’s usage, the cannabis plant has been used pretty much since the beginning of time to treat different ailments like pain, sleep, and anxiety. There have been recent studies that show promise in its use to treat all of the above in addition to alleviating cancer symptoms, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and neurological disorders.
How do you use it?
CBD oil comes in a handful of different forms including liquid oil, hemp oil as a thick paste, capsules, tincture drops, sprays, salves for topical use, edibles (candy, gum), and vapor (like e-cigarettes).
The most common way is to use a dropper and place the oil under your tongue and hold for about 15 seconds before swallowing. But it can also be easily added to foods and drinks like your morning coffee!
You can use it daily or as needed - it can build up in your system so if using it to combat something like anxiety you might want to go with the daily option.
What should you look for when buying CBD oil?
Where is the hemp grown or sourced?
The cannabis plant is highly absorptive - meaning whatever’s in the soil is going to end up in the plant. You want to make sure that your plant was grown in non-toxic food grade soil so you’re getting the highest quality.
Is the oil full spectrum or isolate?
You want the full spectrum or whole plant. This basically means that the manufacturers used the whole plant - not just a part - in processing. The oil will contain not just CBD, but things like terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are supposed to work in sync with CBD making the benefits greater.
Is it 3rd party tested?
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD oil, it’s like the wild west. Checking that the company you’re buying from uses 3rd party testing is super essential to making sure you’re getting a high quality and safe product. Reputable companies will have their testing available on their website or if you reach out and ask. If not - that’s a red flag and you should look elsewhere.
Personally, using CBD is one of the ways I’ve been coping with my anxiety - I’ve been putting a dropper in my morning coffee for about a year now. I do other things like meditate, yoga, therapy, journaling, so it’s simply another tool in my little anxiety box. Maybe it’s not for you and that’s totally okay. But hopefully you have a little more insight on what CBD oil actually is, how it’s used, and why people are all about it.