bottle of cbd oil and hemp plant on burlap outsideHave you heard of CBD recently? CBD is the acronym given to the plant molecule “cannabidiol.” The naturally occurring plant chemical was recently legalized through the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 [1]. CBD molecules are naturally made by our bodies when we are feeling happy, relaxed, and secure. The CBD system within our bodies helps us stay in homeostasis, regulates our digestive system, and reduces pain and inflammation while making sure our mood is in a good place [2]. Aside from being produced naturally by our bodies, the chemical can be harvested from the hemp plant. Hemp refers to the strains of the cannabis sativa plant family that are regulated and produced for industrial and commercial use. What makes hemp unique among the cannabis sativa family is the fact that it contains extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive component present in the cannabis sativa plant family that is associated with “getting high.” Supplemental CBD from hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC to be manufactured within the United States [3]

woman sitting on lake dock facing mountains

Supplemental CBD harvested from the hemp plant is consumed by people for a variety of therapeutic and spiritual reasons. One of its more popular uses is in the treatment of epilepsy in both adults and children [4]. Aside from treating epilepsy, a lot of people are opting to use CBD over prescription pharmaceuticals for their mental health, particularly the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

“In one study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test. The group that received the CBD had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance, compared to the placebo group [5].”

girl laying down in grass asleepPersonally, I will always opt for plant-based healing over prescription pharmaceuticals. I deeply believe that the Earth provides us with everything we need to survive and thrive. I also believe in the human body’s natural ability to heal itself. Considering that CBD is naturally produced in our bodies, I think we could all benefit from supplemental CBD. Supplemental CBD is one of many ways in which we can make it easier for our bodies to heal themselves without having to worry about a bunch of possible side effects. So far, the only noted side effects of supplemental CBD are diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite and weight. Meanwhile, people who have taken Lexapro to treat their anxiety and depression have reported increased agitation, blurred vision, diarrhea, insomnia, drowsiness, dry mouth, fever, frequent urination, headaches, indigestion, tremors, and taste alterations [6]. There is clearly a difference in how human bodies react to these two.

In part two of this article I speak with mental health professional, Katherine Carver, LCSW to get her professional opinion. 

Miss B. Haven

Miss B. Haven, is a queer community organizer & co-founder of Shipshowz, a transcendental performance showcase that created space that nurtures embodied creative expression & affirming queer networks in the South. Alternatively, she is a published writer featured in Caldera Magazine, Duke’s Chronicle, & a mental health advocate for Mindpath Health’ Be Well Blog. She is a recipient of Southern ... Read Full Bio »

Sources:
[1]- “Where is CBD legal?” CNET, https://www.cnet.com/news/where-is-cbd-legal/
[2]- “CBD Oil for Mental Health—Should You Take It Too?” Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inner-source/201901/cbd-oil-mental-health-should-you-take-it-too

[3]- “CBD for Mental Health” Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, https://ndnr.com/mens-health/cbd-for-mental-health/

[4]- “Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy” Epilepsy Foundation, https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/other-treatment-approaches/medical-marijuana-and-epilepsy

[5]- “Seven Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side-Effects)” Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

[6]- “What is Lexapro (escitalopram)? How does it work? MedicineNet, https://www.medicinenet.com/escitalopram/article.htm#what_is_lexapro_escitalopram_how_does_it_work

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