“Hemp is a bio-accumulator, absorbing the environmental conditions it’s grown in, which then become concentrated in the final product,” says Durante, making this organic certification all the more important.
Deb Hipp is a freelance writer in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a former investigative reporter with more than 25 years of experience as a journalist and writer. She specializes in aging, long-term care, caregiving, retirement and a variety of other health and retirement topics.
“The three most common reasons people use CBD are for sleep, mental health and pain relief,” says Lea Durante, a nurse practitioner and owner of Lea Durante Consulting, a wellness and CBD consulting company in Napa, California. “CBD is an amazing tool for improving mental and physical health, but guidance and support are essential for optimum benefits.”
The product I chose is labeled USDA Certified Organic. The Certified Organic designation ensures that the soil, water, growing and manufacturing conditions are clean and free of contamination from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, fungus and bacteria.
With the higher dose, I thought I might feel more relaxed and focused; instead, I felt drowsy and slightly irritable. Drowsiness and irritability are both signs that the dose may be too high, so I reduced my consumption back to the 30-milligram dose twice a day. When taking the lower dose, I was a little more relaxed and focused for a few hours after taking the tincture.
CBD vs. THC: What’s The Difference?
I purchased the 30-milliliter bottle of Charlotte’s Web CBD oil tincture, which retails for $120. This size contains 1,800 milligrams of CBD, or 30 milligrams per 0.5-milliliter serving, a cost of $2 per serving. That price is higher than many other brands of CBD oil, but subscribers who sign up for regular shipments can receive a 20% discount on the full price.
$45 per container
There are numerous CBD oils and balms (and drink mixes and bath salts and dog treats), but I gravitated toward an oil by Beam for a couple of reasons: It's THC-free (I've learned that some companies don't filter out traces of THC—I'm not here to get stoned, people), and it's broad-spectrum, which means beneficial plant compounds, like terpenes and flavonoids, are left in the extract.
Inspired by my reduced chronic pain and stress-free slumber, I also started getting up at 5:50 a.m. for a brisk 2-mile walk with my neighbor every morning. And yeah, I'm still taking barre and yoga classes. I've got energy for everything!
I'm not well-schooled in the ways of cannabis—figuring out what CBD is took some time. Until recently I didn't know my hemp from my weed. THC, CBD…IDK. It's like trying to get the square root of a number: If I concentrate for a minute, I can figure it out, but really I just don't care, you know?
I began taking a one-milliliter dropperful of oil, containing 66.7 milligrams of CBD, morning and night. There isn't an industry-standard recommended dose, so I started with the brand's lowest potency. I held the drop under my tongue for a minute or so, in order for the cannabidiol to seep into my bloodstream rather than get digested (which is also a good delivery system—just not as direct). It tasted fine, sort of neutral, with a hint of plant life.
A few days later, I took my first barre class. I hadn't worked out in a year, thanks to a shoulder injury, and I was nervous I'd be in serious pain afterward. It wasn't too bad. After class, I rubbed some CBD balm on my shoulder. The idea behind balms and lotions is that CBD gets absorbed through the skin, without taking a trip under the tongue and through the bloodstream, so it goes straight to the receptors that need it most. The next day, I took a yoga class (all hail, Groupon!), which didn't leave me extra-sore or strained either.
I want all those things. Inflammation can lead to aches, pains, and acne, and—yes, at the age of 47—I'd be happy to get rid of them. Given that my husband and son have nicknamed me Yelly Melly, I'm guessing I could also do with a deeper sense of calm. And I'm a busy working mom, so sure, I'll take better sleep!
Then my friend started selling CBD oil. She's a stay-at-home mom-turned-yoga instructor and a total straitlaced health nut. I thought, if she was into it, maybe I should learn more. So I found out CBD stands for cannabidiol, a natural extract from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It's not the chemical in marijuana that brings the high—that's the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.