CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant, a variety of cannabis, and it’s been making waves in the wellness world due to its potent anti-inﬂammatory properties. CBD is not the same as THC – the psychoactive compound in cannabis – so it won’t get you high. Not even a little bit. It does, however, have the potential to alleviate a range of medical ailments, from physical pains to mental health. Leah Vanderveldt, author of The CBD Kitchen, uses CBD oil regularly - here are some of the benefits that she has experienced herself.
1. Relieving Pain
I ﬁrst heard about CBD oil on a podcast, where they discussed its anti-inﬂammatory properties and its pain-relief potential. It caught my attention because once a month I was getting some pretty severe, fetal-position-inducing pain on the ﬁrst day of my period. As someone certiﬁed in culinary nutrition, I had tried making more anti-inﬂammatory food adjustments to my already good diet, but aside from sitting on the couch all day with a heating pad on my stomach and taking too many over-the-counter painkillers, nothing was cutting it… After a bit of research, I decided on Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil, and gave it a try right away – about a week before my period. That month, the onset of my cramps was signiﬁcantly less intense (which could be due to several factors), but I decided to take a dose of the oil instead of two Advil and see what happened. It took away my cramps within 30 minutes, the same as a typical over-the-counter pain relief pill.
2. Alleviating Anxiety
I don’t have a severe anxiety disorder, but I, like so many people today, often ﬁnd myself in the grips of anxiety when dealing with everyday stress, unknown social situations or worry. I sometimes lose half a day to an anxiety spiral, trying to alleviate the distracting sensation of a ﬁst of tension in my gut. The best way I can describe the noticeable difference that CBD has made to my feelings of anxiety is that it diffuses that knotted nervous feeling. That mental spiral I get lost in gradually dissipates until all of a sudden I realize, wow, I feel better… It gives me a calmer, ‘I’ve got this’ kind of feeling that can make a huge difference. I have noticed that regularly taking small amounts has had a cumulative effect on my anxiety overall, and taking a bit more tends to help if I’m having a particularly anxious day.
3. Improving Sleep
Linked to my anxiety, my sleep used to be unpredictable, with weeks at a time ﬁlled with great sleep and others riddled with random 3am wake-ups or over-active bedtime brain. So I started taking CBD oil with my tea about an hour before bed and noticed real results. After two years of doing this, I still occasionally get a thought spiral that keeps me up — I am human, after all — but my overall sleep experience has improved drastically.
4. Reducing Depression
On the other side of that anxiety coin, depression is something I’ve dealt with throughout my life and it can creep up if I’m not vigilant with my mental health. But since taking CBD oil regularly, depression hasn’t been a huge issue for me. I’m still me, and at times I still get anxious, emotional and blue. CBD isn’t a cure-all, but knowing that I have this natural helping hand in my toolbox is comforting.
Try Leah's CBD Raspberry & Banana Nice Cream here.
5. Soothing Troubled Skin
You can soothe stressed-out skin with home-made anti-inﬂammatory beauty products containing CBD. For example: Honey is a powerful yet gentle face cleanser because it’s both antimicrobial and moisturizing. When combined with anti-inﬂammatory CBD oil and cinnamon (which also acts as a mild exfoliant), this mask will reduce blemishes and redness in a gentle way, leaving your skin softer, less inﬂamed and more even in tone.
This extract is from The CBD Kitchen by Leah Vanderveldt. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.