CBD For Anxiety: How This Natural Oil Can Calm Your Nerves
As a holistic dietitian and herbalist, I believe in the power that plants can have in supporting our health and connecting us with our local environment. While there are many ways in which we can prioritize our health and well-being, I personally love what incorporating plants and herbs can do not only for our connection with our bodies, but with nature and the way we are so closely linked with it.
With the wellness industry feeling more complicated than ever, I love seeing more people turning to traditional products, and practices to support their health — especially when those practices bring us closer to understanding our body’s needs, and the world around us.
Disclaimer: This article is in partnership with my local Vermont friends at Luce Farm, a diverse, organic production farm focused on creating sustainable full-spectrum hemp products that support a healthy body and planet. This article is also not meant to provide any form of personal medical advice and you should always consult your personal doctor before adding any new supplement to your wellness routine. As always all opinions are my own.
CBD Is Way More Than “Just Another Health Trend”
CBD is one of those plant based ingredients which has recently gained a lot of interest in the wellness community, and outside the wellness space for that matter. Today CBD is opening more people up to the potential of more holistic healing modalities, and with the most recent 2018 Farm Bill legalizing industrial hemp production, CBD is now legal to purchase in all 50 states (so long as the THC content is less than 0.3%).
This is great news for hemp and CBD, which up until this point had been misunderstood and characterized alongside the more well-known and intoxicating cannabinoid THC, even though CBD is entirely non-intoxicating.
But What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a hemp derived product and is one of the most prevalent compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is just one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant and interacts with our bodies endocannabinoid system, by mimicking naturally occurring compounds in our bodies called endocannabinoids.
These compounds and their receptors are found all over the body, which make up the endocannabinoid system that has been recognized for its important modulatory function of brain, endocrine, and immune health. The endocannabinoid system is now believed to play a role in virtually every disease state, which makes it a critical system to understand and support.
So when we are discussing the potential health benefits of incorporating a product with CBD, what we really are doing is looking at how CBD can help stimulate and regulate the endocannabinoid system to do it’s job better, and potentially improve processes that greatly impact our everyday lives from our mood and sleep, to how we experience pain.
So while yes, CBD may be having a bit of a moment in 2019, it is different from other trending health products because it has the capacity to change what we know about the endocannabinoid system and how we can more holistically support issues associated with its dysregulation.
CBD For Anxiety
I personally first became interested in CBD when I was researching options that would help reduce my newly formed flying anxiety. As someone who loves to travel, I was finding this new anxiety incredibly disruptive to my travel experiences, and knew that since I wasn’t going to stop traveling anytime soon, I really needed to find practices that could help me get my travel induced anxiety under control.
Because I am a holistic dietitian and herbalist, I am always aware of the ingredients and quality of the supplements and herbal remedies I choose to bring into my wellness routine. So when I found Luce Farm, an organic hemp farm producing full-spectrum CBD products just a few towns away from mine in Vermont, I was excited to find both a local farm I could trust and support, as well as CBD products that had the quality standards (and sustainable farming mission) I was looking for.
While the research surrounding CBD for anxiety is still limited, what has been discovered is exciting and very promising for those who experience anxiety on a regular basis. At this time it is thought that CBD’s close and interconnected relationship with the central nervous system and the endocannabinoid system is what can allow for CBD to have a positive impact on anxiety but affecting the systems that control mood related neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin.
Anecdotally speaking, using CBD for anxiety and overall wellness has been a really positive addition to my personal wellness routine, and I noticed the impacts on my travel anxiety immediately. While I also make sure to include other anxiety reduction practices now when I travel, knowing the CBD can naturally help me personally reduce my anxiety has been very comforting.
On my most recent trip to Patagonia Chile, I also started using CBD in a salve form to help with muscle soreness. Up until this point I hadn’t really thought of using CBD as recovery tool, but with over 100km of backpacking ahead of us I knew that having something to reduce inflammation and calm sore muscles at the end of the day could really come in handy.
So each night at the end of a long day of hiking both my husband and I would use the Luce Farm Muscle Rub that also incorporates a few of my other favorite muscle pain relief herbs like arnica and ginger.
While I can only report on my own experience, both my husband and I felt that it really helped with improving our recovery (which needed to be quick!) and made it so that we very rarely had to reach for something like ibprofen throughout the entire backpacking trek.
This is what I love so much about using holistic plant based products because they often can make it possible for us to be able to limit or reduce the use of many over the counter medications, which may have a time and place, but today are often being abused.
traveling with cbd
Since I got a lot of questions after my last trip to Patagonia about traveling with CBD I figured we should probably discuss what the current travel landscape looks like for traveling with CBD. While traveling with CBD in the USA is now much less complicated given its legal status across all 50 states, there are some countries internationally who hold very strict viewpoints around any and all cannabis derived products.
So before traveling it is always a good idea to look up the federal laws of the countries you are traveling in. A quick search for any banned substances or products listed from the country you are visiting’s customs can help you decided whether or not you should bring CBD (or any other products with you) with you.
With that said, I personally have never had any issues traveling with CBD as long as the amount was less than the 3 ounce TSA regulation, but always do your own research before your next adventure.
How To Choose The Best CBD
Like any product it’s important to do your research before purchasing, and get to know the practices and mission of the company you are choosing to support, both with your money and your health. When looking for a CBD product there are a lot of different names you will see from CBD isolate, to full-spectrum, to broad-spectrum, to whole-plant extract.
Depending on your personal needs you should do your research to determine what option may be best for you, but generally speaking I would recommend seeking out a full-spectrum CBD oil like what you will find in the products at Luce Farm.
The reason why I prefer to seek out and recommend full-spectrum CBD is because CBD is just one of many cannabinoids naturally present in hemp, and a full-spectrum product will contain all of those beneficial cannabinoids, versus other products that are solely isolating the CBD. Just like eating whole foods versus isolating a single nutrient will allow for better utilization, the same can be said for CBD.
CBD And Safety
It is also important to note that while research around CBD for anxiety and other specific conditions is still new, significant research has been done on the safety of many types of cannabinoids (including CBD), which place cannabinoids in a similar category to food based nutrients and vitamins, versus conventional drugs.
It also is important when choosing any CBD product or supplement that you are looking for a company that is using “third party testing”. This ensures that there is another agency that is double checking the quality and actual ingredients in your products.
But as always before taking CBD or any other kind of supplement you should always contact your doctor to check for any potential interactions with any of your current medications.
A Shift Back Towards Nature
There is a new (old) movement happening today that is starting to bring people back to the traditional plants and practices that once were second nature for supporting our health.
We are longing for connection to our environment, and now more than ever people are choosing products and practices that support that connection. It seems as though we are re-learning just how good it can feel to support our bodies in a way that works synergistically with the world around us.
There is a reason why plants have been used for centuries to support both mental and physical well-being, and why herbalism is one of the most ancient forms of medicine.
While I am absolutely an advocate for both western AND holistic medicine, often times the most natural option is overlooked for an over the counter “quick fix” simply because we as a society have lost touch with the healing modalities we have right in our own backyards — or the very least our local natural food store.