By Stephanie Simons,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire
Of all the pharmaceutical developments over the past years, few have been more controversial – or misunderstood – than CBD. Though originating in the same marijuana plant as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive drug more commonly known as ‘weed’ – CBD is a different chemical compound, without the intoxicating, potentially dangerous effects of THC.
Used in a wide range of products like drinks, gummies and even skincare, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is found in both hemp plants and the cannabis plant Cannabis sativa. While it doesn’t give the ‘high’ associated with THC, it can provoke a relaxing response that soothes anxiety, stress and even pain.
The research is still in early stages, but many scientists believe that CBD oil can impact receptors in the brain. Receptors are proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical messages to help you respond to stimuli. CBD is thought to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for your mood, easing symptoms of stress, worry and social anxiety. Some people find it helps with related conditions like depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), while many find its relaxing effects improve their sleep.
CBD is also thought to improve the skin. When ingested, CBD impacts receptors in the body’s immune system, potentially reducing inflammation in the body which, in turn, can help prevent acne on both the body and face. CBD is found in a variety of topical skincare products too. Some studies say it can reduce sebum, the skin’s natural oil which, in high quantities, can cause acne. CBD is also packed with antioxidants which counteract free-radical damage and reduce both inflammation and signs of ageing – making it a fast-rising ingredient in the skin care industry.
So – where to start? CBD is available in a wide range of products so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. If you’re keen to ease your stress or get a better night’s sleep (aren’t we all?), try a drop or two of CBD oil like Reliva Tincture – Mint or Upstate Elevator Company’s CBD extracts in lemon or peppermint under your tongue for about 30 seconds to a minute. Start with a low dose of 250mg and build your way up as required.
If you prefer something sweet, Upstate Elevator Company’s 10mg Mixed Fruit CBD Gummies are a delicious way to incorporate CBD into your day. Or many enjoy one of their fizzy drinks, available in a wide range of flavours from Raspberry Hibiscus Lime Seltzer to African Ginger and Mexican Lime Soda, as a healthier alternative to that evening glass of wine.
For those with sore muscles, try applying Reliva Cream, a CBD-infused body cream that soothes and cools muscle ache. Those keen to boost their antioxidant defence can try USA Hemp’s Antioxidant Crème; jam-packed with CBD, organic avocado, jojoba, rosehip, carrot, and organic neem oil to keep those free radicals at bay and preserve your skin’s radiance.
You may see reports that CBD can be used to treat more complex physical issues including epilepsy, arthritis, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. However, it’s important to note that if you’re managing a serious condition or symptoms, always consult your GP or pharmacist before trying CBD.
If you do take CBD and experience unpleasant side effects like diarrhoea, fatigue or a change in appetite, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.