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FEATURE - May 2019

CBD Oil As a Natural Alternative


By Joanna Brown

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become the hot new ‘natural health’ trend in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited in many natural news media platforms as a treatment for a host of medical problems such as epileptic seizures, anxiety,  pain management, or even insomnia.  

CBD is the naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis. This plant has a long history as a medicine going back thousands of years. The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent, as well as non-intoxicating and easy to take as an oil, makes it an appealing treatment option for those who are cautious about trying cannabis for medicinal benefits.   

As a Certified Holistic Nutrition & Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, I support people to address unpleasant symptoms and general health and wellness through the use of particular nutrients, whole foods, wellness practices, and supplements. Over the past two years, I have seen a dramatic increase in clients coming to me with medical prescriptions for CBD oil. Typically my clients are using their medically prescribed oil to address anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, chronic pain, and PTSD. It is important to know that there are several strains and dose ratios of CBD oil that are intended for different uses and symptomatology. Therefore, before you dive into the world of using CBD oil, I strongly recommend that you speak to your doctor for a referral and find a reputable company with trained advisors that can counsel you on the best dose, ratio, and strain of CBD oil that will meet your health goals. 

The negative stigma of using CBD oil is starting to wane as it becomes more mainstream. Your mom, brother, or grandma may be regular customers. What I hear most often from clients is that by using the CBD oil they were able to stop or reduce taking strong sleeping pills or arthritis cortisol creams which caused them several unpleasant side effects. By using prescribed CBD oil, they now have reduced anxiety or pain, and are sleeping better but don’t have the digestive issues or foggy mental function that can accompany some pharmaceutical drugs. For many people, who are looking for a more holistic approach to symptom management, exploring CDB oil is a viable option. 

Negative stigma still exists, however. The stigma usually surrounds the misconception that those that use CBD products are getting “high.” Clarification between THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD is important in making informed decisions about what is best for your health. Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of the plant. It is the main non-psychoactive component of the cannabis sativa plant and does not produce intoxication--marijuana’s “high” which is caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  

Cannabis has been used in medical applications for decades, especially in the management of cancer treatment side effects. There is still a great deal of research that needs to be done to support some of the health claims. For instance, the use of cannabidiol to treat epilepsy has a significant amount of scientific evidence supporting it. So much so, that a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the CBD medication Epidiolex to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy based on the substantial research which supports its benefits. 

There is also still a great deal of learning in how the cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system within the body all interact.  The endocannabinoid system is a biological system which is composed of endocannabinoids, endogenous lipid-based neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. These cannabinoid receptor proteins are then expressed throughout the vertebrate central and peripheral nervous systems. It will be interesting to follow new research with a deeper understanding behind why our body can use the CBD oil so efficiently and effectively.

Once a client has seen his/her doctor and/or their CBD expert and has decided to use CBD oil as a natural alternative, a common question I get is “How can I take the oil in a way that is pleasant?” I often recommend adding their prescribed oil to a simple elixir or latte that they can make at home. Printed below is a simple Lavender CBD Oil Hot Chocolate Recipe that is a great way to take your oil at  bedtime to help with sleep, stress, and generally relaxing the body. 

The lavender in the elixir has a long history of aiding sleep and reducing stress. Lavender has been used predominantly in oral administration, aromatherapy, or massage. Several clinical studies show many stress reducing benefits. In addition to psychological effects, aromatherapy is thought to be therapeutically effective due to physiological effects of the inhaled volatile compounds. It is believed that inhaled lavender acts via the limbic system, particularly the amygdala and hippocampus. Raw Cacao Powder is unrefined and rich in minerals such as magnesium, which is known as an anti-stress mineral and natural muscle relaxer. Combining CBD oil, culinary lavender, and raw cacao in warming drink can be very soothing for those that are looking to support a sound and restful sleep. 

Again, it is important to ensure that you live in a state that has legalized the use of medical marijuana. Please remember that before selecting which strain to use or what dose is needed to address the symptomatology, it is recommended you speak to your medical professional. 


Lavender CBD Oil Hot Chocolate Recipe 

Servings: 1

Cook Time: 5 minutes



1.5 cups of unsweetened milk

1 tsp dried culinary lavender

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 dose CBD oil, your dropper dose varies based on your prescription 

Pinch pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt


Bring the milk to a simmer in a pot over medium heat

Add lavender and simmer in the milk for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the milk into a cup to remove the lavender buds.

Add the infused milk back into the pot with the remaining ingredients, whisk until well combined and enjoy immediately. 



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Joanna Brown is the owner of Rejoice Nutrition & Wellness, a holistic lifestyle company that seeks to create global awareness about the direct connection between our food and our health, and to ensure everyone has the information and resources they require to live their best life, and to rejoice everyday in the most vibrant body possible!

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