But during a trip to Las Vegas in 2017, I discovered CBD—the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis Sativa and hemp. I’d heard about it but I was skeptical. Could pain that had once rendered me dependent on a cane be helped by a single gumdrop? It sounded like one for the birds. I was never a big pot smoker growing up, nor have I ever been one to follow health fads. (I drink matcha because I like it—not because I think it will add years to my life.) But when I started reading more about CBD’s benefits it all made sense to me. The enthusiastic pro-CBD proclamations from friends didn’t hurt either. Plus, the prospect of natural pain relief was enormously appealing.
These days I’m a believer. It’s difficult to ignore the fact that Epidiolex—the CBD-based epilepsy medication—was approved by the F.D.A last year. Or that athletes are abandoning NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen) for greener alternatives. Then there are Alfie Dingley and Billie Caldwell in the UK: Their cases involving rare forms of epilepsy have prompted UK home secretary Sajid Javid to say that specialists will soon be able to prescribe cannabis-based medication. Beyond that, nearly 7% of Americans are already using CBD—and given the population, that’s a staggering number.
Recess, a flavored sparkling water drink with hemp extract and adaptogens, has been popular among . [+] millennials. But the verdict is out on whether it’s effective or not.
San Francisco-based Pot d’Huile is beloved by pro-cannabis chefs and home cooks because of its . [+] uncompromising flavor. The company even hosts pop-up dinner collaborations with chefs.
I’m ordinarily not a chocolate or sweets person. But when it comes to edibles, this delivery method works best for me when I’m traveling and away from my kitchen. Kiva’s products are what I carry whenever work (or pleasure) takes me on extended trips. The ginger dark chocolate and espresso dark chocolate are my favorites. They’ve got just enough THC and CBD to help ward off jet lag and fatigue. I also take them when I’m extra sore from running or Krav Maga. (It really does wonders for pain and inflammation.) But it’d be a disservice if I only mentioned Kiva’s chocolates. The company also offers Camino gummies, of which the sparkling pear and wild berry, are superb. The THC-only Terra Bites chocolate-covered blueberries are a gift from the gods—they work, they fit nicely in my purse, and they’re delicious. Also: a single dose (5mg) is low enough so that when paired with a CBD-only confection, such as Lord Jones’ gumdrops, there’s not really a high. You only get a pleasant mellowness that radiates throughout your body, which is almost akin to a mild boozy buzz—in a happy and good way. (In budtender lingo, it’s called a body high.)
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds that exist in the Cannabis Sativa plant and the human body. Those in the plants are called phytocannabinoids and number in the hundreds. The main one is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive in its neutral form, but not in its acidic form, THCA. CBD is the second most common one but is not psychotropic. CBD does not interact with the CB1 receptors in the brain the same way that THC does. This is why high CBD low THC strains do not produce an intense psychoactive high.
There has been increasing research on CBD’s effects on cancer as its efficacy in addressing symptoms related to cancer treatment. A study on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy noted that CBD helped reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, particularly nausea. It also helped ease their pain. A study looked at the effects of THC and CBD in 177 people with cancer-related pain. Those given both compounds had a reduction in pain compared to those who only received THC. Some animal studies have also shown that CBD has anti-cancer properties as concentrated CBD induced breast cancer cells death. Another study showed that CBD reduced the spread of cancer cells in mice by killing the tumor cells. High CBD low THC combinations seems to be the most effective. However, most of the significant studies have been on animals and still need more evidence before being medically advisable.
What Is CBD?
Many people use CBD to address their symptoms of anxiety and depression. It helps by acting on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, which helps regulate your mood and social behavior. According to one study, a pretreatment dose of CBD helped people in a public speaking event with social anxiety give a speech. CBD reduces anxiety by reducing stress, improving symptoms of PTSD, decreasing psychological effects of anxiety such as an increased heart rate, and inducing sleep.
CBD has anti-inflammatory effects; that means it works on the endocannabinoid system to help relieve pain. According to a study conducted on 47 people with multiple sclerosis, the patients reported improvements in their pain and muscle spasms with a combination of both THC and CBD. Sativex, a drug made from THC and CBD, is used to treat multiple sclerosis pain in Canada and the United Kingdom. CBD has also been shown to have a positive effect on serotonin levels in animal studies. Low serotonin levels play a crucial role in enhancing your mood and providing pain relief.
The psychotropic effects of THC usually take 10 to 30 minutes to kick in and last for around 2 hours. Some of the side effects of THC include sedation, anxiety, joy, and memory recall issues.