Let me tell you a little secret: Everything hurts after you turn 30.
One day, you can run 10 miles, have a few beers, sleep like a king, and be the first one at the office in the morning. And the next, not so much.
For me, 30 is when the muscle aches began, the sleepless nights became more frequent, and the stress from work turned into a 24-hour ordeal. Unfortunately, turning 31, 32, and 33 haven’t helped.
But because I’m lucky enough to live in 2018, I can handle all of these things naturally with the one health trend everyone is backing: cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is on everyone’s lips these days. You may not know exactly what it is, but odds are you know someone who’s tried it and espouses its merits on a regular basis. How do we know? Because according to this year’s 100-page Hemp Business Journal report, the CBD market will be worth a staggering $2.1 billion by 2020.
We’ve written a great deal about everything you should know about CBD before diving in. (And personally, I’ve been writing about cannabis and the positive effects it can have on a person’s body for an entire decade.) But in the name of science and journalism, I decided to take it up a notch by swapping out my usual regimen of painkillers and sleep aids for their CBD counterparts. Here’s what happened.
To perfect our CBD game, we partnered with Veritas Farms, a sustainable phytocannabinoid farm located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Pueblo, Colorado.
The hemp Veritas Farms uses to extract CBD is grown in the most natural way possible— that is, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. The company’s products are also made with whole plant hemp oil, meaning they employ not only CBD compounds, but also use both the plant’s flower and leaves to ensure you’re getting every bit of mother nature’s goodness.
What CBD can and can’t do for you
Right now, there’s both scientific and anecdotal evidence that CBD can help with opioid addiction, PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, workout recovery, nausea, pain associated with arthritis, and more. In June, the FDA approved a drug that uses CBD to treat epilepsy.
Unlike its chemical cousin Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD cannot get you high. No matter how much CBD-infused tincture oil you drink or how much CBD-infused lotion you rub all over your body, you will not get the psychoactive effects associated with consuming marijuana.
My daily routine
Because CBD oil doesn’t come with a prescription, information around dosing varies—some products may recommend you start with a lower dose (say, 5mg) then work your way up until you find the right amount for you. After a bit of back and forth, I landed on my own personal regimen.
In the morning
Each morning, I woke up and took either a dropper full of the Veritas Farms tincture or one of the brand’s capsules. The dropper came with 16.6mg of full spectrum hemp extract, while the capsules each came with 25mg.
I’d take the dropper either orally by placing the dosage under my tongue or by mixing it into my morning coffee (I even took it along to coffee shops, where everyone and their mother asked me questions about it). My strategy: Tackle my daily stress before it tackled me.
After every workout
My workouts usually consist of running, surfing, or horseback riding—all of which lead to typical aches and pains in my knees and lower back. To combat this, I tried rubbing on some of the cooling menthol salve each day following my routine. (Fun fact: Veritas Farms even has a CBD-infused bacon-flavored tincture for dogs.)
In the evening
Rumor has it CBD can have some seriously good healthy skin benefits, including fighting dry skin, inflammation, chronic skin conditions, and more. And, because I plan to look ageless until the end of time, I slathered that lotion on like my life depended on it.
I typically wake up three or four times a night. I’ve chalked it up to sleeping next to an 80-pound pit bull for years because he’s a bed hog. So, I procured a dog bed for him and Veritas Farms gummies for me. Each comes with5 mg of isolated CBD. (Spoiler alert: The dog bed wasn’t a hit.)
How I felt
Those who know me in real life know the slightest deviation from a plan can send me flying. The idea of taking deep breaths feels like it’s too much effort, and telling me to “calm down” has the exact opposite effect.
So I was genuinely surprised when, during my two-week CBD trial, I checked in at the airport and didn’t start spiraling when I found out my flight was delayed and my bag was overweight. Instead, I paid for the bag, and thought, meh, whatever about the extra hours in the airport. Was it the CBD or just a state of zen knowing I was heading out for vacation? While I can’t be completely sure, I can say CBD was my only added variable.
Products used: Peppermint 500mg Tincture ($39.99) and 25mg Capsules ($69.99)
Aches and pains
This is where Veritas Farms had the biggest effect on me. The company’s salve comes with a lovely soothing menthol effect, which is immediately felt the second it’s applied. After each run or ride (both of the wave and horse variety), I’d take a pea-sized amount, melt it a little in my hands, and rub it onto my sore muscles. I noticed its effects instantly and felt that my body was able to recover a bit faster each day. I also stopped having second-day aches in my knees following distance runs.
Product used: Cooling Menthol Salve ($39.99)
The lotion from Veritas Farms came with an earthy smell, like a mix of cedar and a nice crisp fall day. It’s masculine enough that people won’t think you’re applying your lady’s lotion, and doesn’t come with that often-gritty smell other cannabis products have.
While the CBD is the star of the show, the lotion also comes with a lot of other good stuff—like avocado, grape, and jojoba oils that’ll keep your skin baby smooth. After two weeks of applying it daily, I think my hands were the most hydrated they’ve been since I was a wee babe.
Product used: 250mg Lotion ($34.99)
Remember the aforementioned giant beast dog who takes over the bed? He had nothing on those tiny gummies. I’m not sure if the CBD actually made me sleepy or just more relaxed, but either way, it helped me sleep through the night until that ungrateful mutt licked my face when I woke up to feed him.
Also, in addition to the extra zzz’s, the gummies were a nice teeny dessert.
Product used: Gummies ($34.99)
The bottom line
CBD is one of those things that you simply have to try for yourself to see if it can work for you. If you decide to replace some of your regular, everyday products with others infused with CBD, make sure they’re full spectrum products made from sustainable farms. This way, you’ll be putting your dollars toward a product that helps both your body and the Earth. Who knows—you may start looking and feeling like a 29-year-old again no time.
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