REVELATIONS - July 2019
CBD: What’s the Buzz?
By Jill Dutton
Of course, I had heard about CBD products—I’d even suggested my mom try a tincture for her arthritis pain. But beyond the basics, I didn’t know much. Then I started receiving samples in the mail. First, it was a line of CBD skincare products developed by S.O.L (Strains of Life). Then came tinctures: Quicksilver Scientific’s Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract, which, according to the manufacturer, “provide a proprietary nano-emulsion technology that dramatically enhances absorption and delivery of the full range of phytocannabinoids, enabling much more CBD to be absorbed by the body per dose.”
After testing the samples, my curiosity was piqued, and I decided to dig deeper to learn more about these purported wonder products curated from the hemp plant. I queried Facebook friends about their experiences with CBD products and the response was immediate and overwhelming—and predominately positive (see sidebar for some of the responses). My next steps were to read what has been written and to check in with Kansas City area CBD experts for their thoughts. Here’s what I found.
What Is CBD?
According to the Mercola website’s article, CBD Market Explodes, Despite Perplexing Legal Status: CBD is non-psychoactive, non-addictive, does not produce a “high” and has few to no dangerous side effects
In states where CBD is becoming widely used, there are also few reports of negative social or medical consequences; in fact, CBD has been shown to provide valuable benefits for those struggling with opioid addiction
While the sale of CBD products has exploded into a $390 million per year industry and is projected to hit $1.3 billion by 2022, there is still a lot of confusion around the federal legality of CBD commerce in the United States
Hemp was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, and FDA has reclassified CBD as a Schedule 5 drug with low risk of addiction. However, since FDA has approved a CBD-only drug, CBD is no longer recognized as a dietary supplement and cannot legally be sold as such
There’s a need for quality control; in one study, 26.19 percent of 84 CBD products tested contained less CBD than advertised, and 42.85 percent of them contained more. Only 30.95 percent were accurately labeled
When asked to explain what exactly CBD is, Tricia Tayrien, an independent affiliate with Hempworx, says, “CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is a non-psychotropic, naturally occurring compound that comes from the cannabis plant, mainly from hemp. CBD works to keep the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in homeostasis (balance) by bonding with the body’s CB1 (brain) and CB2 (throughout the body) receptors to regulate basic functions including mood, memory, appetite, pain, sleep, and many more.”
How it Works
Full-spectrum CBD contains THC, the main mind-altering ingredient found in the Cannabis plant, while broad spectrum does not. Rebecca Perdieu, Owner of Organic Hemp Botanicals, explains how broad-spectrum CBD works in the body. “When CBD is introduced into the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD causes an increased release of 2-AG cannabinoids and stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors, which enhances the overall effect on the body.”
Tayrien simplifies the process further and says, “What I talk about most is CBD is repairing and restoring the ECS rather than just putting a Band-Aid on symptoms.
“CBD is ...anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-psychotic, neuroprotectant, anti-prokinetic (intestine issues), anti-mic (heart issues), antiemetic (stomach issues). It’s a natural supplement that requires finding our ‘sweet spot,’” Tayrien says.
“It’s not that more is better, and one size does not fit all,” Tayrien says. “You get the most benefits from daily use because CBD is repairing and restoring the ECS back to homeostasis. If you get sick or are under a lot of stress, you’re most likely going to adjust your serving of CBD.”
For an in-depth look at how CBD works, visit Project CBD.
Types of Products
Oils and tinctures
Creams and lotions
Capsules and pills
CBD for pets
The skincare products I sampled are manufactured by S.O.L. How can CBD enhance skin care products? “CBD possess powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties, which make it a skin care ‘super molecule’ that can help with everything from anti-aging to acne to specific conditions like eczema,” explains S.O.L. co-founder Michaele Pimentel. “CBD is also full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids that, when applied topically, have been shown to increase the production of collagen, which is what keeps your skin hydrated, firm and healthy.”
The benefits appear to be numerous. According to Project CBD, at least 50 conditions are believed to be improved by CBD, including pain, seizures, muscle spasms, nausea associated with chemotherapy, digestive disorders, degenerative neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, mood disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and high blood pressure.
Christina McDowell, owner of The Wellness Collaborative and a Nationally Certified Sex Therapist in Kansas City says, “I’ve been pretty interested in cannabis after someone I loved had a major car accident and CBD/THC combos helped them with sleep, anxiety, PTSD, and pain.” McDowell notes that the only thing allopathic medicine could offer was strong prescriptions, which impaired cognitive function, inhibited vestibular systems in the brain, and caused drowsiness and dizziness. “That piqued my curiosity, and I’ve been doing lots of research,” says McDowell. “I’m adamant about standardization, and many CBD products are standardized. Also, certain extraction or heating processes or even aging processes enhance different cannabinoids. I think CBD may not be right for everyone, but the scientific evidence is there and growing, thank goddess.”
As the owner of Into the Mystic in Mission, Kansas, Eddie Smith, says he has seen the benefits in his customers. “We are seeing people every day who used to come in with a walker, or a cane and needed help getting into the shop. These people are now driving themselves and coming in without any assistance…really a remarkable transformation.”
Matt Cascio, RN, CLC, Cannabis Nurse Educator at Hemp Haven says, “CBD is changing the lives of people every day, helping them with anxiety, inflammation, pain, insomnia, and other medical conditions. As a cannabis nurse, I always advise people to buy their CBD from a company that will not only educate you about their product but will also make their third-party product lab tests available to the public.” Cascio cautions that there are companies and individuals selling unfit products and making false claims about what their product can do. “This is exactly why the FDA is not rushing to regulate CBD,” says Cascio. “Like I always say…. know where your product comes from.”
Risks and Side Effects
According to Harvard Health’s article, Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t, Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner Coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.
CBD products are legal for sale in Kansas as long as they contain no THC. Check the laws in your state.
Gemini -- Gem & Mineral Healing Store
Hemp Haven (Matt Cascio)
Hempworx (Tricia Tayrien)
Into the Mystic (Eddie Smith)
The Wellness Collaborative (Christina McDowell)
Jill Dutton is the publisher of Evolving Magazine. As a travel writer, she takes an intimate look at authentic travel experiences. Follow her travels at www.USAbyRail.blog. Her train guide, Ride the Southwest Chief publishes in 2019. Find Jill's Best of Kansas City: 3-Day Itinerary book on Amazon.
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We took a poll of reader experiences with CBD products. Here are the responses:
S.F.: I find the CBD oil at bedtime is relaxing and great for my joints. Easier to get out of bed in the morning.
CM: I use a topical serum for joint pain, mostly in my neck, where I have some osteoarthritis. It really seems to help with inflammation. I used it on my lower back for pain relief when I was having issues there.
D.B.: I have had great luck with the CBD tincture and salve for my chronic arthritis. Both my knees are also very deteriorated, and I am having a total knee replacement of my right knee in December. The tincture and salve helped them as well. However, only the tinctures and salve that contain THC are effective. I tried some of the products they sell in Kansas, which do not have the higher THC content, and they were totally ineffective.
B.A.: What it does is amazing, pain reliever in less time than a pill and no hangover from the drug.
J.H.: I love it all...but like anything else, be discerning.
C.M.: Hemp is a commercial product and not regulated by the FDA, so third-party testing is important. Really helps with anxiety and focus and somewhat with pain. It does and can interact with meds, so the grapefruit rule needs to be in place or check with your pharmacist for interactions. I prefer full spectrum just to get the entourage effect. The THC is negligible. I've even used CBD/THC from other states where cannabis is legal—at a ratio of 30:1, and the THC is just a carrier to allow the CBD to be more effective. I've never known anyone even at that ratio have a psychoactive effect. For more info, check out www.cbdproject.org.
J.L.: I love it, and as a vet tech I’ve seen many patients whose owners give it to them.
L.S.: It sure works for my arthritis.
A.N.: I use it all the time. It helps bring down anxiety without any sedation or impairment.
P.T.: I injured my thumb, have been wearing a brace for several months. Also injured my hip, and it hurt to walk. A couple of days ago I tried the salve for both problems. My thumb was better almost immediately for the rest of the day, and my hip pain is less. I did feel a little queasy the next morning, don’t know if it was related.
J.H.: I love CBD. I vape CBD oil and use a CBD salve almost daily.
C.R.: I have very positive results. Only take at night, due to my arthritis. I used to wake up in pain after about five hours of sleep. Now I sleep seven to eight!
J.A.: I take the oil every day! I no longer take Xanax, am anxiety free. And my overall mood and minor health things are in much better shape!
J.G.: I've smoked it at a hookah bar that I went to so that I could get some work done and got so relaxed that I stopped doing work. I take the gummies at night; they help me sleep.
C.C.: I take it, educate about it and distribute for the distribution arm of Medical Marijuana Inc. It comes down to the quality of the product, and just labeling organic, pure and so on does not necessarily mean it is. Get all the facts before ingesting.
T.W.: Been learning about the ECS for about two years and have been taking full spectrum for that long. I love it and won’t be without it. My husband and half my family take it, even the dog.
A.W.: Tincture of broad spectrum (no THC). I had that, ‘this is what relaxed means?’ moment like others have had.
S.G.: I take edibles for anxiety
V.H.: I don’t go a day without it! You need to make sure the company does third-party party testing and that they make those results available.
J.A.: I must say, I was pleased experiencing a rather calming but slight uplifting effect to my depressive, emotional mood I was experiencing at the time.
L.L.: I love it for everything…the oil, the lotion…it has been a life saver.
Negative, Mixed, or Nil Results
M.W.: No luck here with it.
E.O.: I do. I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I use tinctures and gummies for pain during cancer treatment. THC does not sit well with me. Never has. I don’t like the way it makes me feel.
B.G.: I don't like the fact there is no regulation on any of it…not even any proof that some of these products even contain CBD!
M.C.: I've tried two different CBD oils, a salve, and CBG tablets. The salve helped with a headache, and the oils and the CBG tablets did help me relax, maybe 15 percent. I tried them for essential tremors, which they didn't help with.
B.M.: I recently tried CBD lotion for my back when I was having a lot of pain. It did help. I tried a tincture that a friend shared and that didn't seem to help at all.
L.L.: Buyer beware. There are a lot of completely fraudulent products out there...
M.Z.: For me, it had the side effect of lowering my blood sugar too much and making me shaky and feeling horrible the entire time I took it. (It’s known to lower blood sugar, so that’s not great for hypoglycemia.) I also had a friend who took it after her cancer treatments. It caused her blood platelet levels to drop dangerously low. Luckily, her blood returned to normal within 6 weeks of discontinuing the product. So, long story short, even though it is popular, it is not for everyone.
C.H.: My brain apparently manufactures all that stuff by itself, so I've never been able to appreciate the purported effects.
D.A.: It is so complicated. I choose to stay away from it for several reasons. The main reason is that the products are not standardized, so you can never really be sure what you are getting. There are at least trace amounts of THC in all CBD products—but some do have more than others. They have caused people to fail drug tests at work. I'll wait until things settle out a bit and they can find a better way to let us know exactly what we are getting. Meanwhile, I get great results for pain using copaiba essential oil, which works on the same receptors as cannabinoids, as I understand it.
S.M.: I tried some without THC. I had a bad reaction and got really dizzy. It took about eight hours for it to wear off. When I Googled if CBD was contraindicated for any medication, one of mine came up. Probably should have done that first. Please research contraindications with medications. I wouldn’t use it again.
T.W.: You have to be proactive when it comes to choosing a good oil. Ask for documentation and proof of what’s really in the bottle. CBD only needs two ingredients, so beware of unnecessary additives.