I don’t think of Oprah as the “pot brownie” type.
Not that I know her personally…
But when O magazine put pot on the cover, I realized it was a thing.
To be fair, the article was on tea. Not just any tea, but tea infused with high-grade cannabis. A far cry from the pot brownies that feature at frat parties.
This was cannabis for the ladies.
Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who had plenty of disposable income but no desire to visit a dispensary or get stoned.
The tea contains such a small amount of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, that its creators were told they’d get laughed out of dispensaries.
Spend THAT much money for tea ($40 to $60 for just 10 teabags)…
That only gives a minor mood boost?
But connoisseurs of cannabis are like connoisseurs of fine wines.
A $100 bottle of wine will get you as tipsy as a $10 one. But the point isn’t the high. The point is the experience.
But First, the Legalities
I live in a state where marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes.
(The current list includes Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, D.C.)
The transformation in my state has astounded me. Cannabis dispensaries have opened up in vacant storefronts. A cousin found her entrepreneurial niche selling high-end strains. A friend who works in mental health remarks that her clients with a free dollar prefer to spend it at the dispensary rather than on sweets or soda.
I’ve watched the cannabis craze unfold at a distance, never feeling the least bit tempted myself.
I’m not their target market. I didn’t know anyone who smoked pot in high school. (A side benefit of spending all my time in the library!) I’ve never been into any kind of substances. Healthy living has been my game.
But when a friend showed me a beautiful blue bottle of something she called “CBD drops”…
I was intrigued.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol.
It’s one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis, along with THC.
Unlike THC, it doesn’t do anything for your mood. It’s completely lacking in the psychoactive properties that deliver marijuana’s signature high.
So why would you want to use it?
If you’re perfectly healthy, you may only use it occasionally for sore muscles.
(It might also pop up as a faddy ingredient in one of your favorite beauty products, like this mascara.)
But if you have a chronic health condition such as epilepsy, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, autoimmune, chronic pain, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, the list goes on…
CBD could be a lifesaver.
Before marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes, many states had already legalized it for medical purposes.
It was used a complementary therapy to treat nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, chronic pain, and muscle spasms.
Evidence suggested it also helped with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and glaucoma.
But there was one major block in the way of its effectiveness.
If you worked at a job where drug use was prohibited (MOST jobs, in other words), you couldn’t use marijuana on a regular basis.
What you needed were the medicinal benefits without any mind-altering side effects.
Health Benefits of Cannabinoids
There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis. The most common is THC, and the second most common is CBD.
Cannabinoids work by mimicking the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids. These are chemicals that keep us in balance. They keep inflammation in check.
Strains of cannabis vary in their cannabinoid makeup. Some variations are naturally high in CBD and low in THC. They won’t get you high, but they’ll go to work on the endocannabinoid system just the same.
CBD oil comes from these strains. Whether or not they contain THC depends on how they’re processed.
Pure CBD oil is advertised as a way to take advantage of the medical benefits of cannabis without messing with your mind.
Controversially, it has even been given to children who suffer from a rare form of epilepsy.
Charlotte Figi was 3 months old when she began suffering from seizures. Doctors diagnosed her with Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy that doesn’t respond to medication. Her parents tried everything, but her condition got worse. She was having 300 grand mal seizures a week, and her heart kept stopping.
It was then that her parents tried to do something no one had done before. They got doctors to sign off on a medical marijuana card for their daughter. They bought an expensive high-CBD/low-THC strain and had a friend extract the oil.
The results were astounding.
Charlotte got better.
A LOT better.
Today, the marijuana strain that saved her life is now named after her—Charlotte’s Web—and a nonprofit aims to bring this treatment to more families.
How to Buy CBD Oil
If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for pain relief, here’s what you MUST do first:
Check to make sure CBD oil is legal in your state.
The laws are changing all the time. Make sure the information you get is current. (Of course, you must be over 21 years of age.)
Once you’re good to go, be prepared to invest in a good-quality product. There are lots of hemp products out there, but you can spot a good-quality CBD oil because it will have precise information on the amount of CBD it contains—and it probably won’t be cheap. Expect to pay $60 or more for a 30ml bottle.
The oil is usually diluted with coconut oil or olive oil, making it easy to take under the tongue as a tincture (the recommended method) or add to a drink.
CBD oil also comes in the form of a lotion, so you can target the specific area of your body that needs pain relief. Lotions tend to be a bit cheaper. They’re great for athletes or weekend warriors who need a bit of extra help with aches and pains.
Always do your research before you buy.
It helps to know what kind of relief you’re looking for. If you’re looking to manage a chronic health condition, don’t base your decision on what you find on the internet. Visit a high-end dispensary that can talk you through the available products and which would work best for your situation.
Make sure to let them know whether or not you want a product containing THC. Products with a balanced ratio of THC and CBD may be more effective, due to something called the “entourage effect.” These products usually have such a small amount of THC that you don’t have to worry about getting high. But if your job doesn’t allow it, there are plenty of CBD-only options.
Will it work for you?
The jury is out. The only evidence you can go on is your personal experience.
For many, the goal of using CBD oil is to reduce dependence on pain medication. If they can improve their quality of life without using as many prescription drugs, they’re happy.
What do you want from CBD oil?
Have you tried it before? What’s your experience been like?
Let us know in the comments.