Hot Topic: CBD Oil

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Target recently made waves when it started selling CBD (aka cannabidiol) online, only to pull it down shortly thereafter. Curious about CBD and comforted by the fact that a place so mainstream was carrying it, I happened to order the olive oil Charlotte’s Web Premium Hemp Extract Everyday Supplement before they changed their minds. (And then, right after, I was listening an old Let It Out podcast by Katie Dalebout--who was at last year’s GOOD Fest!--and she mentioned being a Charlotte’s Web CBD oil fan, so I took that as a sign from the universe!) Since I’ve missed out on all of Target’s wildly popular designer collaborations, this time, I was one of the lucky ones - I snagged some BEFORE it was pulled. 

 

But first, what really IS CBD? The basics:

What it is: Cannabidiol (CBD) is an oil that’s derived from cannabis (ya - the stuff you smoke). It’s a type of cannabinoid, which are the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants.

Is it legal?

Unfortunately, the answer is hazy (pun totally intended), since laws vary state to state. It’s still unclear why Target stopped selling it, but companies such as CW Hemp, who claim they can sell it legally, point to the 2014 Farm Bill, which defined industrial hemp as containing 0.3% THC, as evidence. Depending on who you ask, this means that products with a concentration of THC below 0.3% are A-OK.

Will it get me high?

No. The THC concentration in these products is being seen as an issue largely because THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana. CBD is not psychoactive, though many say it balances their mood. While CBD contains very small amounts of THC, you do not get "high". But, the theory is that you need at least a little bit of THC in your CBD oil to get CBD’s benefits.

How do I use it?

Supplement (oil or capsules): I add it to my coffee and also I use it similarly to olive oil, mixing the recommended dose into dressings, hummus, ghee, and tomato sauce. It tastes like weed smells, but I didn’t notice it that much since I mixed it in with other ingredients. The folks who were intrigued by my experiment all tried it straight up - you can put drops of it under your tongue- and didn’t hate it, but didn’t love the taste. If you want it in your food already, companies like Lord Jones are putting it into salted caramels, gumdrops--you name it!

Topical: In some cases it has alleviated eczema and psoriasis, sore muscles, and migraines (when applied topically to your head and neck). CBD oil is finding its way into more and more beauty products, such as lip balm, body oils, lotions, and bath bombs.

Why bother?

Studies show that it’s an anti-inflammatory, adaptogen, and antioxidant and since it helps return your body to homeostasis (aka balance), it can be beneficial for a variety of issues - anything from anxiety & depression, to migraines, to chronic pain and PTSD. Its best known for its calming and relaxation effects. My take? The most notable effect for me was vivid dreams, which I rarely have. I did find it calming though and my mood has been especially balanced. I also have been getting faster splits on my runs without trying, despite running at a relatively consistent pace for the past year or so. I can’t give the oil credit for sure, but didn’t hurt! The most common advisories I saw against using it is if you are lactating, pregnant, or on medications.

 

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Hannah, currently working in government policy and operations in the Boston area, is pursuing her health coach certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with the goal of starting her own coaching practice, focused on helping people make wellness a sustainable part of their lives in a way that feels, tastes, and does good. She has a background in publishing and has written for Prevention Magazine and Forbes Woman online. She is a graduate of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the Columbia Publishing Course and really wishes she could say she likes kombucha and green juice.
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