Over the years, there’s been a lot of chatter circulating about whether or not to legalize weed. Some states have already made the progressive move and made marijuana OK to use medicinally, and while that in and of itself is a huge deal, most recently the FDA approved the first prescription drug made from marijuana to treat epilepsy. This is pretty dope (pun fully intended), and it could be a sign this country’s well on its way to figuring out how to use CBD for pain and (hopefully) giving the go-ahead on all kinds of products that come from cannabis. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed until then, but in the meantime, there are a ton of CBD products and brands pushing for the stuff to be used as a holistic remedy when the going gets rough, rigid, and downright painful — you just have to know how to use it properly.
Needless to say, the FDA's approval of the first prescription drug made from marijuana is pretty groundbreaking, and it's a perfect example of how the cannabis plant can be used for so much more than just getting high. Epilepsy, for those who don’t know, is a neurologic disorder (so it develops and is triggered in the brain) that causes seizures, or, according to the Epilepsy Foundation, “a surge of electrical activity in the brain.” This new medication, called Epidiolex, is a strawberry syrup made from cannabidiol, or CBD which, the Associated Press reports, is a “purified form of a chemical ingredient found in the cannabis plant.” So no, it’s not exactly weed, but it does come from it, and according to FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, it can help reduce seizures.
So if the FDA’s seeing the light, I think it’s pretty safe to assume CBD's pretty legit now, guys. But what does that mean for you, exactly?
First things first, what even is CBD anyway? Well, in the simplest terms, CBD is a phytochemical, which basically just means it’s an active compound found in a plant, specifically that of the cannabis sativa plant. According to Dr. Gabrielle Francis, a naturopathic doctor, CBD actually comes from a few different plants and natural substances, and it's even produced by the human body.
While CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana, which both stem from the cannabis sativa plant, Francis tells Elite Daily that CBD from hemp has “more phytonutrients and phytochemicals that promote health and well-being.” It won’t get you high or cause any other psychoactive effects on the brain, Brittany Carbone, a certified nutrition coach, personal trainer, and founder of TONIC, adds, but it can, she says, “fight inflammation, regulate immune function, decrease anxiety,” and much more.
“[CBD] goes a long way in regulating your endocannabinoid system, which is a cellular communication network in our bodies that is responsible for achieving and maintaining homeostasis,” Carbone explains in an exclusive interview with Elite Daily. In other words, CBD balances everything in your body once it’s absorbed, thus making you feel better both physically and mentally, which is why it’s particularly great for pain relief.
Now that you know what CBD is, how can you use it to your advantage?
When it comes to understanding CBD and finding the right form of it to nurse your pain, the first thing you need to do is identify the source of your discomfort. Is your head throbbing, or are you experiencing lower back spasms? Pointing out the root cause of your pain is going to be the deciding factor for what kind of CBD supplement to try. Think about it this way: You wouldn’t take Pepto-Bismol if your foot hurt, right? The same kind of rules apply for CBD-infused products, so rest assured, there’s always some form of a guideline to follow.
According to Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, CDN, co-founder of Holistic Cannabis Academy, there’s a huge variety of CBD products out there, so it’s totally understandable if you’re overwhelmed by the options. To figure out what method is best for your pain, Lagano tells Elite Daily there are four main types of CBD products: The first type includes oral supplements, which come in either liquid form or gel capsule. Personally, CW’s Hemp Extract with CBD is my favorite product because it’s easy to drop into my morning smoothies. The second type of CBD product includes balms and lotions that you lather over the problem area, and then your other two choices are patches, which are also available to drape over the skin, or you can soak away your discomfort in a tub garnished with CBD bath salts.
As far as where to apply CBD, Craig Henderson founder of Extract Labs, tells Elite Daily that “CBD can be used anywhere on the body.” So, for the most part, you’re probably safe to apply the product anywhere you feel pain or discomfort. Topicals, Carbone says, are OK to apply “pretty much anywhere” you feel inflammation, tension, or spasms/cramping. For headaches, she tells Elite Daily, topicals should be massaged into your temples, and if your sinuses are making you miserable, she recommends rubbing a few drops along the sinus cavities on your nose for relief. Most importantly, ladies, Carbone says CBD works wonders for menstrual cramping, so go ahead and “rub that CBD goodness all over the lower abdomen during that time of month,” she suggests, so you can “kiss those menstrual cramps goodbye.”
Obviously we have a long way to go before weed and CBD oil are recognized and legalized everywhere for their medicinal benefits. But while you wait, there are so many CBD-infused products to help you ease physical pain and reduce mental stress, and who's to say you shouldn't experiment with the best of them? Figure out what products work best for your body and stock up, because pain-free is the way to be.