Over the last few years, I’ve seen the the letters CBD in more and more unlikely places. When I first started noticing them, around 2015, they mostly adorned glass display cases in health food stores and were still somewhat taboo. Now, I see them spelled out in neon in gas station windows, listed as smoothie additives at the Mall, and have even seen them emblazoned on the sides of hand sanitizer bottles!
But what do they mean? What is CBD, and why would I want it in my hand sanitizer?
I admit that I knew they stood for something that sounded like cannabis oil (turns out to be cannabidiol). But that wasn’t a lot to know. I had done some short-term experimentation with plants in the Cannabis family during and just after college, but these experiments never lead me to particularly exciting conclusions, so I mostly gave them up. Certainly, I didn’t feel I got any major health benefits outside of a few hours of euphoria, so when I heard that the CBD part was not the euphoria part, I was really miffed as to why people seemed to be buying so much of it.
So I did what I usually do when I want to know about a plant’s magic: I asked the plant and a trusted, experienced human.
The beautiful, fragrant, organic flowers I got from Fiddler’s Green, one of the only sources of organic Hemp flowers in Maryland, are just completing their extraction cycle with this full moon. That means I now have Full Spectrum Hemp tincture in organic vodka and Full Spectrum Hemp Oil infusion in Organic, Fair Trade Coconut oil available. I will start using these in turns and noting their effects on me. I plan to write more on the topic when I have made more discoveries.
For a human guide, I turned to a Certified Natural Health Professional I have gotten to know online: Bri Martinez of Manner Holistico. Based out of Northern New Mexico, Bri was raised to seek natural solutions to health problems, and is following that passion to help others find health and wholeness. (Check out her website and podcast!)
Organic Hemp Oil: Full-Spectrum, High-CBD, Low-THC
This Hemp is organically grown just up the road at Fiddlers Green Farm. It is not genetically modified, but is a strain which has been selected to yield 22% cannabinol oils and less than 0.3% THC. Unlike CBD extracts, this is an oil infusion of the whole plant which means you get all the plant’s magic, including a wide array of terpenes.
We at InsideOu…
Along her path to becoming a Natural Health Practitioner, a certification she is currently working towards, she learned about what she calls “the body’s best-kept secret: the endo-cannabinoid system.”
This is a network within our bodies which interacts with both the nervous system and the hormonal system to keep our bodies running smoothly. The transmitters and receptors within this system help the body deal with stress, keep the digestive system strong, and modulate pain reception.
This system is not created by nor dependent on intake of Hemp or any plants in the Cannabis family. (As Leo, InsideOutWholeness’ resident Latin scholar points out, Endo means ‘from within,’ and the suffix -oid means ‘like, or similar to.’ Therefore the Endo-Cannabinoid system is a part of each of us, created from within ourselves, which contains substances which are similar, in some ways, to substances in plants in the Cannabis family.)
This explains why CBD is being touted as a panacea – taken in moderation, it seems to help our bodies with many of the routine functions we do every day. And because so many of us are under so much stress, many of our basic functions, like digestion, muscle contraction and relaxation and blood circulation, are interrupted and hindered.
Bri told me that CBD acts on the body in many of the same ways, regardless of the medium in which it is taken, but that different forms are indicated for different conditions because of how the compound is absorbed by the body. She suggests taking the tincture to ease lower digestive-system woes, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and menstrual cramps. She says internal use of the oil is most potent for relief from Anxiety and Gastrointestinal disturbances. She also recommends topical use of the oil (or use of a salve which contains CBD oil, such as our Sorely Needed muscle rub, [currently out of stock but hopefully coming back soon!]) for painful muscles and inflamed joints. If relief is needed fast, such as at the onset of a migraine or anxiety attack, smoking can be the best option, as the effects are felt most quickly. Bri’s consultations are very reasonable- $25/ half hour of personalized phone time! So if you want to know how plants can help you with a particular problem, reach out to her.
With so many forms of CBD being sold in so many places, Bri warns that it is possible to become desensitized. She recommends switching between two or more intake methods (for example, internal use of oil for a few days, followed by tincture for a few days), or taking a break for a few days, using only topical applications, to reset the receptors.
I still have a lot of questions. One of the things I love about Bri is that she’s extremely honest and unafraid to say where her knowledge begins and ends. So I have more research to do into the Endo-Cannabinoidal system. Since I know that our bodies were not made to need any particular herbal ally, I want to know what other plants contain cannabinoids, and what lifestyle changes will effect the health and resilience of our Endo-Cannabinoidal systems. I know that many commercial preparations of CBD are extracted chemically, and I want to know how that is different from what I do, which is to holistically extract all of the compounds the plant has stored up.
But for now, I feel blessed to have found Fiddler’s Green and Manner Holistico to help me on my journey of learning! And if you’ve had experience with CBD, whether good, bad or otherwise, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can learn from you!
Dee Crim Lip Balm
These are not your ordinary lip balms! SUPERINFUSED with high CBD (23%!!!), low THC hemp, these little sticks can also function as on-the-go spot treatments for sore muscles, TMJ, headaches and more!
They’re .15 oz of extreme luxury, so each stick is a whopping $6, but $1 from each goes to @bmoreh…