The historical and cultural roots of the cannabis plant are age-old and far-reaching. The plant’s medicinal healing properties were heralded in ancient medicine and have been used for thousands of years. Yet within the last century or so, cannabis has become taboo in the west. The plant’s traditional medicinal usage has fallen out of practice and some components of the cannabis plant remain illegal in parts of the United States.
Today, many different components of cannabis and hemp plants are finding their way into the sphere of wellness. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabis-derived substance that is becoming increasingly popular and implemented into various products. CBD is notably restorative for the human body and people are now tuning in to its healing properties.
In the U.S., regulations on cannabis and hemp-based products vary from state to state. Generally speaking, if a CBD-branded product contains less than 0.3% THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, and is derived from a legal hemp plant, in many states it is legal to distribute and possess. In states where any use or possession of the cannabis or hemp-derived substances are criminalized, it is likely that CBD is also illegal. However, laws tend to be murky and fluctuate depending on geographic location.
Because cannabis products are less tinted with taboo and are gaining legal credibility, their popularity and production is growing. Legality aside, it is hard to dispute that the benefits of CBD are extensive and can provide medicinal solutions to a multitude of physical and physiological ailments. “People in the west are beginning to awaken to the healing potential in nature,” says Kristi Blustein, founder of Khus + Khus, a CBD-infused skincare line. “I see the cannabis plant as one of the most powerful species on the planet ― it is very prolific in terms of healing.”
CBD has many powerful medicinal properties that have a myriad of positive effects on our minds and bodies. From ingesting pure CBD oil, consuming CBD-infused food, or using CBD-infused skincare products, there are many ways to reap the benefits of this powerful plant.
For Mind & Mood
One of the most powerful attributes of CBD oil is its believed ability to soothe feelings of anxiousness and reduce general stress. Though research on these effects remains in its infancy, the few studies conducted so far have produced promising findings. In a 2014 study conducted on animal models, CBD was found to have both antianxiety and antidepressant effects.
Kristi Blustein of Khus + Khus strongly believes in CBD’s power as a stress reliever, and advocates its use for this purpose. “CBD is proven to be quite effective at assisting the body in adaptive stress response,” she shares. “It brings the body back into homeostasis, or equilibrium, and improves our connection to our mind and body.”
For Your Body
CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent and has been found to reduce chronic pain in people with a wide array of ailments. From soothing arthritic pain, to reducing the number and intensity of seizures in epileptic patients, easing nausea and indigestion, or assuaging menstrual cramps, CBD can be immensely powerful in helping physical conditions. Emily Heitman of LEEF Organics, a company offering a wide array of CBD-infused products, agrees with the somewhat magical properties of the CBD molecule in fighting bodily inflammation. “CBD can bring a plethora of physiological and physical benefits with a virtual absence of negative side effects,” she says. “Scientists have referred to CBD as the ‘boy scout’ molecule because it generally does the right thing in any given situation.”
Chris Sayegh, the founder of The Herbal Chef, also believes in the power of incorporating CBD into your daily life for this reason. His company is one of the most well-known of its kind, offering gourmet ten-course meals infused with CBD and THC. Aside from his dinners, Sayegh is personally a strong proponent for regular CBD use. “I believe very fully that CBD should be incorporated into everybody’s daily life ― from children to elderly people, from athletes to people who can’t walk,” he shares. “It can help your body reach homeostasis, or equilibrium, easier, allowing it to heal itself quicker and more efficiently.”
For many people with sleep-related issues, CBD can be a godsend. It has been found to have incredible effects on improving sleep quality and alleviating disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea for many people. Russell Markus, the founder of Lily CBD, is an advocate for using CBD as a natural remedy for certain ailments. “We want to help get folks off of pills that only provide temporary relief and may cause longer term issues,” he shares. “Think of CBD potentially as a natural way to help your body reach homeostasis and hopefully let you get some extra sleep.”
Though the power of CBD in improving sleep has been a general consensus, there are of course still outliers. Every person is different, and for some people CBD may be more energizing than relaxing. To test the waters, you should try small doses of CBD on different occasions both before bed and in the morning to see what works for you before committing to a set routine.