I am a doctor of natural medicine and herbalist who also lives in Canada so it may seem surprising to some people that I don’t smoke marijuana. After all, with Canada being one of the only countries where marijuana is legal, many people assume we’re all a bunch of potheads. I tried it once after friends raved about it, but simply wasn’t a fan of the smell, effects or residual taste in my mouth. It just wasn’t for me.
But, having suffered some pretty horrible injuries in a car accident years ago, I decided to give CBD oil a try. CBD is the short name for cannabidiol. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is one of the 104 known compounds classified of a group called cannabinoids, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. In other words, it won’t make a person “high” like THC does.
I was already aware of the extensive research on cannabis products and their ability to reduce pain and seizures, improve anxiety, fight cancer and many other health effects. So, I decided to give it a try for a month to personally experience the effects, if any, on my body.
I was on holidays in British Columbia, Canada, at the time I decided to give CBD oil a try. If you’re not familiar with BC, it probably has the highest number of medical marijuana dispensaries per capita of any place in the world. So, needless to say, it was easy to find some high-quality CBD oil. Because CBD oil does not have psychoactive effects, it’s much easier to find now and is legal in most places that I’m aware of. However, if you plan to use CBD oil you’ll want to check with regulatory agencies in your state since there are still places where it may not be legal and the laws are rapidly changing.
CBD oil is extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant—the same plant producing marijuana and hemp. However, some varieties of the plant have been selected for their ability to yield high amounts of THC while others have been grown for hemp and don’t contain THC. CBD oil is typically extracted from the latter so people can reap the benefits of cannabis without getting high.
I had partially severed my spinal cord in the car accident, leaving me with partial paralysis in my left arm but excruciating pain in my neck and head. So, I was a good test subject for CBD oil’s purported analgesic properties. Within about 5 to 10 minutes of ingesting the oil, I noticed a significant reduction in pain. I also felt much more relaxed and peaceful. Soon afterward, as I was dealing with some rather stressful circumstances in my life, I noticed that I felt less anxiety and a greater feeling of calmness as I dealt with them.
The experiences continued throughout the month and afterward. I begun to notice a reduction in inflammation and swelling in inflamed areas of my body. I also noticed an improvement in my breathing, which is interesting because I haven’t seen any research into CBD’s effects on breathing. I assumed it was due to the overall nervous-system relaxation effects since my breathing had been problematic since the spinal cord injury and resulting nerve damage.
While there are some claims about side-effects linked to CBD, I personally did not experience any ill effects. I wasn’t a fan of the taste or the slight scratchiness I felt in my throat after taking a dropperful of the oil so I simply bought some empty capsules from my local health food store and filled the capsules with the oil and popped them like vitamin pills as desired.
CBD oil was highly effective for me and I regularly recommend it to people looking to obtain the health benefits of cannabis without getting high. Be sure to get it from a reputable supplier though, because there is a significant variation in quality between products.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scentsational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and Healing. Follow her work.