The Ultimate Cannabis Alternative: CBD And Here’s Why

If you are the type of person that likes cannabis but can't handle the paranoia and weirdness that comes with THC, then perhaps you should try using cannabidiol instead. Cannabidiol provides many of the medicinal properties that you normally get from marijuana, but instead of causing a high, it actually helps to calm you down and improve things like focus, awareness, and energy levels.

But what is cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it's more commonly known, is an extract of the cannabis plant, and functions as one of many compounds (called cannabinoids) that make up what we know as cannabis or marijuana. But to be clear, the effects generated by CBD are very different than what you'd normally experience from smoking or ingesting marijuana.

CBD is nonpsychotropic, meaning it won't cause you to feel high, but it also delivers many health benefits that you can only get from taking cannabis. As one of the main active ingredients in cannabis, CBD delivers a significant amount of nutritional value to the human body, but often these effects are harder to pinpoint when THC is present.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the powerful psychoactive that gets you stoned when using marijuana; and while this compound does have its benefits, it can cause distress when used by someone who had anxiety.

Is CBD legal?

Cannabidiol is completely legal in the U.S. and can be purchased at any number of health stores and even some food stores countrywide; although products containing THC in amounts exceeding 0.3% may be prohibited in some states. Keep in mind that THC is still a controlled substance until federal policies on marijuana change.

To make sure that you purchase the right type of CBD, always go for hemp-extracted cannabidiol because then the plants will have been grown exclusively for CBD and won't have any high amounts of THC.

Can I vape CBD?

This is without a doubt one of the most popular methods of taking CBD, and it works by delivering the compound into your brain and body almost instantly – which makes it efficient when using CBD as treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, or other condition that might be considered an emergency. But having said that, we should point out that vaping devices aren't always safe to use, so focus on getting a good quality product that won't cause respiratory problems.

How do I take CBD?

There are a number methods that you can use to get some CBD interested to your system, and we're going to look at some of the most popular ways.

Ingesting CBD

The good news is that you will find cannabidiol sold in a variety of products – usually as a main ingredient or just added to other healthy ingredients. And what this means is that instead of vaping the compound, you may have the option of buying CBD snacks and/or drinks. Or better yet, get some CBD oil to use with your recipes.

CBD edibles include just about everything that we love to eat: so think chocolates, cake, energy drinks, smoothie, and even vegan food.

Sublingual administration

If eating CBD products doesn't do it for you (remember, it might take a while for the effects to kick in), there's always the option to take it directly using a tincture or other device. Place a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue and wait a minute before swallowing. That way, cannabidiol will be absorbed through the glands under your tongue.

Using topical products

CBD is used on a variety of conditions ranging from severe internal ailments to more common conditions such as skin rashes and sunburn. For this reason, you will find multiple topical products designed for use on the skin, probably to treat things like muscle soreness, skin infection, joint pain, injury, and so on.

CBD-infused lotions and creams are available to use on many external conditions that require treatment by applying a layer of CBD oil on the skin.

What are some of the benefits of CBD?

Before we go into the specific ailments that may be treated with CBD, it's important first to understand how this compound works and how it engages multiple processes in the human body. It may also help to answer the question of side effects and possible downsides to using CBD.

Cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring cannabinoids, much like what the human body produced through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Now, this important because the ECS is one of the most complex systems in the human body and has direct influencer over processes such as mood, energy levels, hunger, sleep, stress (particularly with regard to stress hormones), and many more processes.

CBD is thought to engage the human Endocannabinoid System to generate many of the therapeutic effects that both cannabis and CBD are known for.

Buy aside from its action on the ECS, cannabidiol is also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and (among other things), it helps to regenerate cells, including those in the hippocampus that control memory and other processes.

Although much of the study around CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages, there is strong evidence that it can be used to treat conditions such as these:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Low energy
  • Muscle soreness
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Mood
  • Addiction

Keep in mind that we are not recommending that anybody stop seeking medical assistance for anybody these conditions. Instead, we merely point out the benefits of CBD and how it might be used to alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions – especially pain and anxiety, which the pharmaceutical industry had made billions from, despite not offering a safe and lasting solution.

4 min read

Tropism, Mindfulness, and Responding to Your Environment

One of the few things I remember from grade school biology is the concept of tropism. In plain language, tropism is the reaction of a living thing, like a plant, towards a stimulus like sunlight or heat. You've likely seen this before but just didn't recognize it for what it was. If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action. The plant is bending towards the sunlight.

If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action.

In our everyday lives, we are all inundated with stimuli throughout the day. The driver in front of us that stalls at the yellow light and zooms through the red light, leaving us behind to wait. Or the customer service rep that leaves us on hold for an ungodly amount of time, only for the call to prematurely drop. There are so many examples both common and unique to our individual lives. The trouble begins when we form the habit of responding to everything — particularly negative stimuli. By doing this, our mental peace is disrupted and diverted making us slaves to whatever happens to happen. Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us. Now take that concept and multiply it by the number of things that can happen in a day, week, or month. What happens to you mentally with so many emotional pivots?

For me, the result is: Restlessness. Anxiety. Sleepness. Mindless Eating. Everything besides peace of mind.

Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us.

Earlier this year, something pretty trivial happened to me. I'm sure this has happened to you at some point in your life also. I was walking through a door and, as I always do, glanced back and held the door longer and wider than normal for the person coming behind me. My gracious gesture was met with silence — no thank you, no smile, not even a nod. I remember being so annoyed at this travesty of justice. How dare they not acknowledge me and thank me for holding the door? After all, I didn't have to do it. I know I spent the next few hours thinking about it and probably even texted a few friends so that they could join in on my rant and tell me how right I was to be upset. In hindsight, I should not have allowed this pretty petty thing to occupy my mind and heart, but I did. I let it shake my peace.

I've since taken some classes on mindfulness and what I've learned (and I'm still learning) is the art of being aware — being aware of the present and my feelings. Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy. We're all human and having emotions is part of the deal but as mindful adults, it's critically important to choose what you're going to care about and let everything else pass along. There are several tools on the market to help with this but the Headspace app has really helped me in my mindfulness journey. The lessons are guided and coupled with some pretty cute animations.

Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy.

Over the course of the next week, I'd like to challenge you to pay more attention to your reactions. How aware are you of how you allow your environment to affect you? Are you highly reactive? Do you ruminate for hours or even days on events that are insignificant in your life? If so, practicing a bit of mindfulness may be the way to go.