Diary / Wellness / Sep 26, 2022
My First Time: A Deep Dive into the World of CBD
Written by: Anjali Kumar
*In her column for Just Bobbi, author, advisor and attorney Anjali Kumar is willing to try anything in the name of wellness (at least once). *
Confession: I am kind of a goody two shoes.
I know it is annoying, but I am (largely) a rule follower. Cut me a break, I am a lawyer. So over the past several years when it seemed more and more people I knew were experimenting with cannabidiol (also known as CBD), at first I admit I was downright SHOCKED. “Isn’t that marijuana and illegal??” I found myself naively asking no one in particular in a loud whisper.
But then CBD started popping up everywhere (from the local coffee shop to the corner pharmacy) and in everything (from cocktails to skin care). And I read that CBD is the major non-intoxicating component of the hemp plant (translation: it doesn’t get you high). And that the claimed benefits of CBD encompass everything from increasing focus to regulating stress and inflammation to helping you sleep deeper and poop better to alleviating menstrual pain. So I finally gave in to the hype and decided to try it for myself.
Disclaimer: A lot of these claims are just that — claims. There haven’t been enough clinical trials and studies to definitively prove the benefits, at least not yet. But disclaimers be damned and (slightly) uncharacteristically, I decided to pour CBD over every aspect of my life. Why dip a toe in when I could jump into the deep end?
I started by consulting my friend Russell Markus, the founder of Lily CBD, a full spectrum hemp product whose hero product is a sublingual tincture. Russell founded the company as a way to help his mother who had suffered from chronic pain through much of her adult life after a car accident 35 years ago. He had found out that a friend’s mother had been growing high CBD, low THC cannabis in her backyard on the west coast, juicing them in the morning and taking fresh herb filled shots every day to help her inflammation, and Russell decided to investigate the healing properties further. They found it helped in treating his mother’s chronic pain and Lily CBD was born.
Lily CBD works exclusively with farmers who maintain organic practices and sources their CBD just 100 miles outside of New York. Apparently local and organic are not just trendy buzzwords for tomatoes.
Russell set me up with a bottle of Lily CBD 1000 mg CBD oil and instructions for how to incorporate it into my supplement routine over the course of a month. In addition, he wanted me to track (I do love data) my stress level, general pain, bowel movements, and sleep daily. So for the next month, I did the following:
Week One: No CBD
Week Two: Half dropper, 2 to 3 hours before bed
Week Three: Quarter dropper in the morning, and half dropper 2 to 3 hours before bed
Week Four: No CBD
As I mentioned, there is CBD infused into everything you could possibly think of, from water (which I have tried) to tampons (which I haven’t). I got a myriad of other CBD infused products from Fleur Marche, a female-focused cannabis apothecary with a mission to rebrand cannabis as a wellness tool for women, including Apothecanna’s Extra Strength Body Creme (a CBD body cream promising to soothe sore muscles and joints) and the Period Patch from The Good Patch (to help relieve PMS discomfort). I even tried CBD infused skin care in the form of the LYXR CBD Sheet Mask (to hydrate, lift and tighten my skin).
I also got a bottle of Dusted, the first fragrance that contains cannabis flower terpenes, which are organic, aromatic compounds that exist naturally in the essential oils of all plants. Dusted was created by the extraordinarily talented (and very nice smelling) New York City-based scent maker, Victorine Deych, who tells me “one of the key advantages of terpenes is found in their relationship to cannabinoids. Studies have shown that the way many of these molecules interact, create scenarios in which the therapeutic benefits of each plant’s individual components are magnified.” I am not totally sure what any of this means, but what I can tell you is Dusted smells like HEAVEN and if I could douse myself with it, I would. Instead, I showed incredible restraint and applied it to my pulse points throughout the day. (Side note: I love this scent for daily wear and feel calm and centered every time I get a whiff of myself. Also, I am pretty sure I get longer hugs from people because of it, which, depending on the hugger, can be a good or slightly creepy thing.)
I won’t bore you with the data Russell had me track — sharing it probably falls into the category of “TMI” (even for this column). But suffice it to say that by week three, I was definitely sleeping better (and pooping better, if you must know). I am not a particularly anxious person to begin with, but I did find myself a bit more anxious in week four when I stopped taking my daily tincture.
Placebo effect? Perhaps. But the proof to me was in the PMS-pain pudding. I usually have bad pain for about a week leading up to my period (TMI again?) but the month of my CBD experiment, I had no PMS pain til the day before. That day, I rubbed Apothecanna cream onto my abdomen and lower back and slapped on a Period Patch, thinking the cream smelled pleasant enough. My husband said I smelled like Ben Gay so I rolled some Dusted on my pulse points, a little dab under my husband’s nose, and left the ibuprofen in the bottle. Consider me a convert.