I. It’s all about relief.
CBD is the “cure all” compound. If you haven't tried it, then you've probably heard about it and know that CBD's time isn't coming, it's here. But how do you qualify what's true and what's not? We're here to help with that.
As an avid CBD user and supporter, I find it important to caveat that CBD doesn’t work for everybody in the same way. With limited research at our disposal, it’s hard to pinpoint the reason/s why.
It is my hope that this article will help you to evaluate any past experiences or better understand what to expect for your next (or first!) one.
The most basic truth about CBD:
Everybody’s experience is different.
Our bodies respond in unique ways to drugs, prescription or recreational, because we’re all wired a little differently. Caffeine is an easy example in this case; some of us are ignited with a shot of espresso, while others need a quad-shot to get off the ground.
CBD is no different than caffeine or any other substance.
CBD works by engaging the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is responsible for regulating various functions of the body, such as pain and inflammation, mood, immune response, appetite, memory, and/or stress.
The endocannabinoid system can react differently person to person. It’s even harder to estimate how each person’s system would uniquely respond to CBD consumption.
To some extent, you won’t know if CBD will work for you until you try it. Just make sure that when you do try it, you’re getting real, quality CBD that has been independently lab-tested for contaminants and is not labeled something like “hemp extract” (i.e. most, if not all "CBD" on Amazon) — more to come in another post.
II. To Feel or Not to Feel?
I met many people who tried CBD as a means of self-medicating, often as a natural alternative to common pain relievers or prescription medication.
There are success stories of pain management cases, where some women are able to go about their day with less restriction from menstrual pains. An older man can seek relief and take the edge off chronic daily back pains. A kid in his twenties is able to use CBD as a natural relief remedy that helps his body with recovery after frequent workouts.
For a lot of people CBD works, but others try CBD and claim to feel nothing at all.
It is important to know that both cases can and will exist. The reasons it works for one person, doesn’t necessarily mean the same reasons will work for another.
The most important factor in determining if a consumer will "feel" CBD has everything to do with the situation where CBD is being used.
It’s not about feeling buzzed, it’s about relief.
The biggest misconception about CBD is that you will feel a "buzz." This is not usually the case. This is where many try CBD and conclude “it doesn't work for me.”
The way you should think about CBD is as more of a counteractive relief agent. In other words, CBD is best felt and administered when there is an element for it to counteract or relieve.
This is where CBD gets the “cure all” connotation. CBD provides relief to a wide variety of discomforts, although not all of them are proven. Shared experiences suggest that CBD might a role in physical pain management, stress relief, and/or aiding anxiety throughout the day or in the midst of a panic attack).
Perhaps the most relatable relief is the ability to feel calmer or more relaxed. We find CBD to help us with feeling calm when we’re burned out from a long day.
Certain studies involving animals suggest CBD works as an anti-inflammatory agent. CBD has long been researched for its anti-inflammatory features, which is why many people support it as a recovery tool and pain management aid.
This also may explain why some people find it useful for alleviating anxiety and depression. Existing hypotheses suggest that anxiety and depression can exist in inflammatory states and anti-inflammatory agents may likely assist with relief.
How you consume plays a role.
The method being used to consume CBD is important as well. Certain products, like a transdermal application of Wearable CBD, will have a gradual onset and offer an extended release for up to 2–3 days of use with peak release at hours 6-12 (depending on your metabolism).
Early testers of Wearable CBD said that while onset of the feeling was gradual, the pain or discomfort they were feeling at hour 6 had been muted to a level that was more tolerable and would help them throughout their day. CBD edibles have an even slower onset than Wearable CBD and last for a couple of hours. Vapes will work immediately, but their effects will similarly be the quickest to fade (and possibly carry unwanted health side-effects).
Depending on what you intend for CBD — immediate impact or long-lasting relief — how you consume CBD makes a difference.
III. Keep your expectations practical.
When it comes to relief management, taking the edge off often means the world of difference. It’s enough to allow you respite to continue going about your day. It offers the opportunity to just feel better, which should be the bare minimum of any CBD experience.
CBD and opioids are apples and oranges. Similar in purpose, but not really comparable.
Most find that CBD is the most effective in reducing pain. Many professional athletes and retired NFL players now advocate its benefits as a recovery tool (see Rob Gronkowski).
CBD won't have the same effects on your body that over-the-counter painkillers do, for both the positives and negatives. CBD may not be felt as quickly or as strongly, but it will also not have the same damaging effect that long term painkillers might inflict.
CBD is a healthier, more sustainable alternative. It presents an important trade off to consider. You can spare your body and invest in your health by a using natural relief product verse using a product that carries clear long-term risks to the well-being of your mind and body.
THC is for "getting high."
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound within cannabis. THC is the compound that gives you a recreational buzz because of its psychoactive properties.
Combining CBD with THC can make for a balanced and uplifting experience. The CBD helps taper out the negative mental effects people feel when enjoying high percentage-THC cannabis. Think yin and yang working together to create perfect harmony.
If you’ve tried CBD and were not sure if you anything more than “relaxed," that's OK! There might be a better time or situation in which to apply it. Perhaps wait until you’re a little stressed, anxious, or too awake at night and give it another chance.
Our dream is to help guide our audience and this industry by being extremely transparent and educational. Find us on Instagram and chat with us! We’re excited to answer any questions you may have about CBD.