When I was in my early twenties, I had a moment of what you could call “youthful indiscretion” that set my life down a very challenging path. Now days in a world of high pace and high stress, that stress can become pretty overwhelming. So I tried everything I could to manage my anxiety including prescription medications but those come with their own side effects on my mood and my energy levels. Which led me on a search for a different solution.
It seemed like years before I actually found one. I heard about a little known cannabis extract called CBD. It toned down my stress levels but still allowed me to feel clear headed and focused. And suddenly I was back in control. I felt confident and composed and relaxed and I just sort of felt like myself.
Now before y’all get the wrong impression let me clarify that CBD does not get you high. That effect comes from a completely different chemical called THC. You could take all the CBD in the world, watch the entire Beatles Yellow Submarine movie and you’re still not going to feel high. Trust me on that. CBD doesn’t impair you. In fact it does the complete opposite. I know that sounds a little like magic until we dig into the science.
We all have a built-in system in our bodies that keeps our internal functions in balance despite imbalance in our external environment. It’s called the endocannabinoid system and it regulates things like stress, mood and appetite. Think of it like the conductor of an orchestra. When one piece starts acting out of rhythm, for example an overactive stress response, the endocannabinoid system steps in to smooth it out. CBD happens to be one of one of the chemicals that supports the function of this system and helps the conductor to maintain rhythm throughout the body and the brain. And brain imaging studies have actually proven this.
Through these studies we know that CBD can help to modulate activity in key brain regions that are involved in our stress response. In other words, CBD helps your brain to function in a more balanced state when stress levels spike. Okay, so why am I telling you about biological systems and brain activity?
This little-known cannabis chemical is about to change the way we all think about our daily health. It’s such a big impact on my daily routine that I now dedicate myself professionally to creating healthy CBD options for people that want to give it a shot. And it’s not just for people with extreme anxiety or panic attacks either.
. CBD has this gentle calming effect on mood and stress levels similar to that of meditation. Think of it as the volume knob on a stereo. It doesn’t shut the noise off entirely; it just turns that dial down a little bit so you can hear the music. And because of that, it’s being used to help people in a wide range of daily stressful activities from interviews to networking. People that used to have a drink to calm their nerves, are now trying CBD instead.
The effects of CBD on public speaking found a significant reduction in stress and discomfort compared to a control group. And the potential benefits of CBD go way beyond stress management too. Because of the broad function of the endocannabinoid system, CBD itself can have a wide range of benefits.
Professional athletes are now ditching prescription pills and painkillers in place of CBD. Insomniacs are turning to CBD as a natural remedy for a more restful sleep.
But before you go toss out any prescription pills I should note, that doesn’t mean CBD it going to cure your anxiety, insomnia, or arthritis. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to these things and for many people prescriptions may just be the best option. But the implications of CBD are pretty fascinating particularly when you consider that we may have found a natural remedy to calm an ailment that affects millions of people every single day.
Better yet you don’t have to ingest a handful of pills and supplements to get those results. CBD is commonly infused in foods and beverages in a way that’s healthy and convenient. You can get everything from CBD waters and juices to CBD olive oil and hummus.
But before we all run out to share a big bowl of CBD hummus, it’s important to consider the risk factor. Is CBD actually safe? And what happens if we take a lot of it? These are all very good questions. Fortunately we do have some answers.
Reports currently indicate that daily dosages of CBD up to 1500 mg are well tolerated by the body, which means they’re safe.
The World Health Organization has also weighed in on this reporting that CBD has a good safety profile and that no public health problems have been associated with CBD use. Even the FDA which sets the Gold Standard for Safe Food Policies in our country seems to agree with all this. Just last year the FDA noted that there is little indication that CBD has potential or presents a significant risk to the public health. Even more remarkable CBD doesn’t seem to be addicting either. The FDA’s data also found no evidence that CBD causes physical or psychic dependence.
So let’s recap
CBD comes from a plant, doesn’t impair you, safe for adults to consume, and it could help millions of people. It’s a pretty amazing discovery.
I think we should all pop open a bottle of CBD champagne.
But not so fast because currently we sit at a pivotal moment in cannabis regulation. One that will determine if, when, and how we’re even allowed to purchase cannabinoids like CBD.
As a country we don’t like to change our cannabis laws very often. We’ve only done it once before when we made it illegal in 1937. Since then, cannabis has been vilified for its recreational use.
The idea that weed equals scary is so deeply rooted in our culture that it even effects the way we think about versions of this plant that has absolutely nothing to do with its recreational use, like hemp.
So now after an 80-year failed experiment we are about to re-evaluate the cannabis question. The decisions we make today will set the course for generations to come. It is important that we get it right this time.
Part of getting it right means more research, setting marketing standards, and writing safety guidelines. As much as we know today there’s still more work to be done. And a lot of CBD products today don’t stand up to quality standards, but we can’t continue to put it off. The longer we deny a regulatory solution, the longer we cannot have access to a natural solution to common ailments that should be very treatable.
You move forward one step at a time with real science.