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.

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Please Don't Ask Me To Network

"Who are you meeting for lunch this week?"

Without fail, my former boss would ask me this question in every weekly status we had. And I dreaded the question. Because my answer was generally a stammering "Umm… No One." Occasionally I could remember what I actually had for lunch. And almost always it was sitting in my windowless cube eating a soggy sad sandwich.

I didn't understand why "who I had lunch with this week" was worthy of being a topic on our weekly status. After all, I was only 6 months into this new job. I was still figuring out how to pull data from Nielsen. I was still figuring out how to write an innovation brief. I was still trying to figure out where the bathrooms were in this maze of a building.

And despite knowing this question would come up in every weekly status, I was reluctant to change my behavior. I didn't see the value in the question. I didn't see the importance of it in my career. I didn't understand why I had to have lunch with anyone.

Because I hated the idea of having to network, to meet people, to put myself out there. Because networking was something slimy and strange and weird and scary. It made my stomach hurt, my throat go dry. And I could feel a faint headache coming on.

Even Oxford's definition of networking only reaffirmed my fears of what networking looked like: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

Because please don't ask me to walk into a room where I don't know anyone. And stand in the corner sipping a bad glass of Chardonnay. Please don't ask me to slide my business card out and not so subtly shove it in your face. And ask you to do something for me. Please don't ask me to network. Because I hate networking.

And I used to hate networking (okay, maybe hate is too strong.) I still really dislike the term. "Networking" seemed about getting something from someone. Or someone getting something from you. A favor, a job, a referral. "Networking" seemed very transactional. And someone shoving a business card at you (which happened to me recently at event) only solidified by feelings.

And over the years, I came to really understand that networking wasn't about "the action or process of interacting with others." It was about building authentic connections. It was about meeting people who were different than you. It was about expanding my community. And creating new communities. It was tapping into more and more communities I could belong to.

And as I slowly started to change my view on networking- I mean building authentic connections- I started to realize my communities were more inclusive than I thought. My best friends from middle school. Former bosses. College Alumni I met after we had graduated. Colleagues from past companies. Vendors and agency partners I had once worked with. Colleagues I had once managed. As my family expanded, my husband, my two sister-in laws and my brother in-law. A whole host of fabulous cousin-in-laws. My baby brother as his career skyrocketed. And fellow parents in my kids' school.

I still hate networking. And I love building connections. And helping to build connections and be a bridge for other people.

Now, when I go to a large event, I try to go with a friend. We have a drink at the bar and then part ways to try and make new friends. If we don't authentically connect with other people, and we have made the effort, we always have each other to back to.

Now, I try to meet one new person a week at my company or in my broader community, or reconnect with someone I miss seeing. (This doesn't always have to be in person, can be text, Zoom or Facetime.) And if you can't commit to doing that, that you should seriously relook at your schedule. I thank my former boss for that constant reminder.

Now, I joined Luminary, a women's collaboration hub in NYC, which has been life changing for me. I am also on the advisory board. It's all about women supporting and lifting each other up- to get more money, get that next big promotion, or start their own venture. It's a built-in community of unwavering support.

Now, I am working on expanding my community of moms. Not too long ago, I worked up the nerve to ask a fellow mom in my daughter's class if she wanted to get together. She thought I meant a playdate. I meant drinks. And after one late night out drinking, I have bonded with a whole new set of badass women.

And all of these communities. I am there for my communities. And they are all there for me. Referral for a job at my company. Coaching on how to survive a bad boss. Advice on how to ask for more money. Supporting each other as we care for aging parents. Candid feedback on why they didn't get that promotion. Commiserating over a cocktail on which working parent had the worst week ever.

So please don't ask me to network. Because I hate it. And well actually I don't have a business card to give you. I haven't printed one in four years.