In recent years, there has been a shift in choices of the average consumer within the medical landscape. More people have decided to branch out beyond typical pharmacy pills and prescriptions for their medicine and are trying more plant-based and natural options. Accounts of products such as essential oils and supplements helping treat not only people’s symptoms, but in some cases, improving conditions, are on the rise. One of the most effective yet somewhat controversial of these remedies to appear is cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which is found in the cannabis plant.
Much of the controversy surrounding CBD oil is due to the fact that it comes from a plant most people associate with getting “high.” In fact, CBD is one of hundreds of cannabinoids found in cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that affects the brain in the high-giving way we think of when we think of cannabis, but CBD is not psychoactive at all. It does not produce the same affects as THC. And to be clear, CBD oil will not get a person high and is not the same as marijuana. To use a plant for medicinal purposes and to produce CBD oil, the plant must contain less than .3 percent of THC. Despite these facts, due to the illegality of marijuana in most of the 50 states, there is a stigma that gets wrongly-assigned to this product.
Most commonly, you may hear of CBD oil being used to treat pain, inflammation and anxiety. Often, people will turn to this relatively new product when they feel they have reached their breaking point with more typical forms of painkillers and anti-anxiety medications, often being prescribed a new dosage every few months or a new medication altogether. As the buzz around this compound continues to circulate, more people are exploring ways to try it and see if it helps their symptoms. What they often do not expect is for the oil to help them in other areas of their life, aside from the knee pain they have been battling for years or the anxiety that has just reached a new and unbearable level.
If you do any research on the plant, you will find just how many symptoms and conditions it is claimed to help. It can calm pain and inflammation in joints and muscles and can calm anxiety in the brain, from everyday nerves to life-stopping panic attacks. It helps with episodes related to post traumatic stress disorder and can be used as a sort of neuro-protectant to guard neurons in the brain from degeneration, like with Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis. CBD oil can help children with Autism progress and become more present by allowing signals in the brain to get through that could not before. It can even help with irritable digestion and conditions such as Crohn’s disease. It has helped people improve sleep, deal with depression and even impacts appetite and metabolism. When it comes to skin, CBD oil can calm eczema and psoriasis and similar irritating conditions of the skin. It can help epilepsy patients to calm and lessen seizures. Some of the most researched and scientifically-backed findings show that CBD oil can be used with cancer patients to alleviate the effects of chemotherapy, like nausea, vomiting and pain. Some have even found it may be a solution for acne management.
Not only do patient accounts exist on how many areas of the body can be helped by CBD, but as the market grows and the demand for this product continues to boom, more forms become available for purchase. There is the oil that is common, to be taken orally by the drop. There are water-soluble compounds that can be taken with drinks for ease or better taste. There are also gummy vitamins that have become popular. There are even vape pods containing CBD for fast-acting relief for anxiety or pain and for discretion and ease of transport. There are topical creams and penetrating oils that can be applied to help skin conditions or target pain in a specific area.
CBD oil is starting to sound like a miracle solution, right? This certainly may add to the controversy or doubt about its effectiveness. How could one product, from one plant, possibly achieve and target so much? In a world full of drugs designed to address specific symptoms, it does not seem possible that you could have one product do so much. Plenty of people take four or five types of medication daily, just to address a few basic needs. Maybe you take an anti-anxiety pill, an antidepressant, a sleep aid at night, Pepto-Bismol to calm your stomach after that one lunch out with friends or something to keep your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis at bay. Medications for those symptoms are so common we can see an advertisement for each of them during one commercial break during a favorite television show. So, it can be hard to believe that one plant, one molecule, can be taken to address all those conditions. Each is caused by a different thing, right? There are too many areas of the body that need to be covered to solve those issues, right? Not necessarily in the case of CBD oil.
Kellie Kauten is the co-owner of Artistic Organics – CBD Wellness in Frisco, a relatively new store right on Main Street, where you can walk in at any time and learn about this amazing product. “The thing is,” she says, “at its most basic form, CBD is a cell-signaling regulator. All those symptoms are because of issues with signaling across the body and brain. This has been used for a long time to just calm everything down and allows signals to get through that were not able to before. Alzheimer’s, migraines, autism, Crohn’s disease, tension headaches — it all goes back to cell signaling, and it is all about too much tension being in the body and brain. This helps calm everything back down, so the body can balance back out to its natural state.”
This seems to be the key when it comes to CBD. It is not a drug to suppress or stimulate in order to address a symptom, it is something to help the body heal itself. It also is something the body will only take in as much of as it needs. “This is not like Aspirin, where two obviously do more than just one,” Ms. Kauten explains. “Once your body takes in what it needs — and everyone’s body is different, so the amount will change person to person — it stores a bit for later then flushes any excess out of its system.” This means there is no chance of overdosing on the product or to develop a true dependency. There are no addictive qualities to CBD, and there are no known side effects. This allows for a level of freedom in taking medication that some people may have forgotten about. You can stop taking this at any time and will not go through any sort of withdrawal process.
At CBD Wellness, co-owners Ms. Kauten and Ed Mahoney are happy to spend as much time as necessary with every potential client to make them feel comfortable, educated and free to make a well-informed decision for their health. “Since marijuana was made illegal so long ago, we now have two full generations of people who do not know anything about the plant or its properties … beyond THC and what you smoke to get high,” says Mr. Mahoney. “All those years of information and education have been lost, and that is why we spend so much time with each person, educating them on what CBD really is. But, we are also learning about who they are, what is ailing them and then try to marry a product or strain of CBD to that problem and, hopefully, help them heal in the long run.”
Ms. Kauten and Mr. Mahoney describe the process of deciding to open a store dedicated to CBD oil as a series of “ah-ha!” moments of knowing it was the right thing based on client accounts of success. After seeing an incredible change in a girl with psoriasis and eczema, Mr. Mahoney recalls, “That is when I thought that I do not care if we make a mint or we just make a living, we just changed this person’s life.”
You can also learn about the benefits and properties of this product if you walk into any of Family Health Market’s local locations. Co-owned by husband and wife David and Kelly Simmonds, this store has been a staple in Frisco for 13 years, dedicated to offering customers a variety of natural options for health and healing. “We are here to provide what is best for our customers. We will never bring something into our store we feel is unsafe, and we will never bring anything onto our shelves that does not go through a thorough vetting process by us.”
At Family Health Market, the goal is also to educate customers and make them feel cared for, not as if they are being sold something they do not necessarily need. “We want to treat every person who walks in as an individual, because everyone’s body is so different,” says Mr. Simmonds. “Our main thing is natural healing. And that is what we are about — helping the body heal itself.”
Though CBD oil seems to offer many benefits, consumers should still exercise great caution when considering it as an option for their health … most importantly by making sure you consult your doctor if you are considering taking anything new for a condition. Also, the market for this supplement is growing every day, somewhat to the customers’ disadvantage, for the research cannot keep up with demand. Most everything at this point is based on client accounts and trial and error. So, buyer beware! This can lead to false advertising, unproven claims and ineffective compounds being sold by fringe companies just trying to make a profit. Only the best manufacturers, the best growers and the best processing procedures should be considered when trying to buy this compound. For this reason, education from trusted sources and solid research are key. So, if you have been wondering about CBD oil and whether it can help you, stop wondering and start asking questions!