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To CBD Or Not To CBD?

That is the question.

 

The truth is, it's a CBD world, and we're just living in it...or so it feels.

By now, we’ve likely all heard about the transformational power of this wonder ingredient. Having reached the point of ubiquitousness via ointments, vaping oils, coffee additives, and beauty creams sold everywhere from the world wide web to your corner deli, I figured it was HIGH time we got to the bottom of this.

As the story goes, whether topical or tincture, CBD may very well be the answer to a range of ailments from anxiety to acne, and dare I say fine lines. That said, in a world of excesses self-care, coupled with my lackluster high-school memories of Mary Jane, I wasn’t optimistic about the promised potential of this trendy formulation—despite many beneficial claims. Nonetheless, with my curiosity piqued and a general desire to try every wellness fad, I decided to give CBD a go. Here, from tincture to beauty, my quest to find out just how much power is behind the all-hailed plant extract.

 

Let’s get down to brass tax: What is CBD?

The short and skinny of it is, CBD (AKA cannabidiol) is the principal, non-psychoactive cannabinoid complex derived mainly from the hemp with pain-relief, anti-inflammatory (both internally and externally), and anti-anxiety health benefits. Nuff said. It seems a little CBD on the reg might be the way forward.


Two ways to try, topical and tincture?

In the name of research, vanity, glowing skin, and beauty sleep, I tried both.

First up, my skin. For the past six weeks, I applied Gnome Serum Anti-Aging Botanical Face Serum every night, and truth be told, my face looks ace! This serum is hand-crafted in small batches in the US and made with 150 mg CBD coupled with Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. The benefits of these ingredients include brightening, increased collagen production, and anti-inflammation. I also learned skin has receptors for cannabinoids the same way our brains do, similarly calming our mind and skin.

Then, coming off the holidays, I decided to trade-in my nightcap for tincture. Call it what you want, but giving thy body a rest from alcohol is much appreciated if we're going to look like J.Lo by 50. So my new routine looked something like a dropper-full of CBD under the tongue pre-bed and post-skincare regime. Most CBD brands agree using a tincture is the fastest way for your body to absorb the ingredient. The effect? I sleep. I sleep very well. Similar to melatonin yet deeper, the result is subtle, almost unnoticeable outside of the fact that I go to bed, sleep undisturbed, and wake up feeling refreshed without any annoying “drink” side effects such as dehydration, midnight restlessness, or next-day fogginess.

As a bonus: maybe it's the CBD, or perhaps I'm just well-rested, but overall, I feel more chill. Same as everyone, I have all the things to juggle from work to parenting to relationships, but my post-CBD life has me feeling more at ease.

Over the past month and a half, I’ve toggled back and forth between Plant People 520 mg and Gnome Serum 1800 mg with Omega-3 derived from the Ahiflower—both made in the US.


Fact, not all CBD products are created equal. 

It turns out; there's little to no regulation in labeling for CBD manufacturers — often formulations are mislabeled, meaning you may be taking more than you think.

Plus, when it comes to this wellness gem, the source matters since heavy metals or other contaminants have been found in hemp grown outside the US. Buy from brands committed to creating transparency and use American-grown, USDA-certified organic hemp — over half of the world’s industrial hemp is grown in China, where there’s little to no environmental regulation. Similar to soy and some root veggies, hemp plants pull existing contaminants out of the soil and retain things like pesticides.  If you’re someone who prioritizes organic food, it’s worth thinking about hemp in the same way as you would produce because same as with food, if the grower is using chemicals, they remain in the plant. Uh, no, thank you.

Most brands are becoming more open about what’s in their products, which should help separate the sketchy players from the ones who are doing it right. But in general, do your research and due diligence.


Our takeaway?

After ingesting and applying CBD for weeks on end, I admit, I'm a convert. Whether or not this wellness gem proves to be a panacea for all body & mind woes will remain to be seen, but in the meantime, the skincare effects are legit, and so is the quality of my sleep. There you have it.


While we fancy ourselves health enthusiasts and very well informed, we're not medical professionals nor health-care experts. Read, get curious, and for any hard-hitting medical questions you may have, please ring your doc.

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