Hype? Or Health?

Marijuana leaves, cannabis on a dark background, beautiful background, indoor cultivation

Over the past couple of years, CBD Oil has increased in popularity in East Tennessee. You may have heard about it on the news, or through a friend, or may have even seen it being sold in stores. But what exactly is it? And why do so many people swear by it? I tasked myself with the journey of educating myself on CBD products and maybe even trying some for myself. Below is what I learned and what I found.

CBD Oil is derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, which is the official name for the hemp plant. But you can buy both CBD oil and hemp oil on the market. Eddie’s Health Shoppe in Knoxville sells a variety of CBD products. Co-owner Bridget Reymond explains the difference between the two CBD oils currently on the market: “if you hear someone talking about a full-spectrum product, those are going to be the hemp oils… [the hemp oils] are going to have CBD 1 and 2… your body has both CBD 1 and 2 receptor sites throughout your body.”

I have heard several people voice concerns about CBD products in relation to marijuana.  While technically the same plant, marijuana and hemp are bred differently. Hemp plants have low levels of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, and many CBD products are THC free. The only ones that are not THC free are the full-spectrum, pure hemp oils, which cannot legally have more than 0.3% THC in any product. That being said, none of the CBD products currently sold on the market have any psychoactive effects, even the brands containing low levels of THC. Reymond encourages those who might have concerns to be “better safe than sorry and to go with the CBD isolates, which would be THC Free.”

Eddie’s Health Shoppe began selling CBD products a couple of years ago, but Reymond notes that its popularity has risen significantly in the past year after some changes in legislation peaked consumers’ interests. But Reymond notes that word-of-mouth has been the biggest cause for the rise in popularity and sales. Those who have had good experiences using CBD oil don’t seem to be shy about sharing it with friends at all.

Co-owner of Eddie’s Health Shoppe downtown, Bridget Reymond has become an expert on CBD oil, its many uses and health benefits, and how it interacts with the body. Photo by Hobe Brunson

The first time that I ever heard someone talking about CBD oil was a couple of years ago when, after a very long and scary health journey, the sister of one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy that wasn’t responding to traditional therapy provided by modern medicine. The only thing that ended up helping was the use of CBD products. As I learned more about CBD oil and the various products on the market, I became intrigued with all of the options and claimed health benefits.

TN State Senator Dr. Richard Briggs, also a thoracic surgeon, sponsored a bill several years ago legalizing CBD oil for the use of pediatric patients with epileptic disorders. According to Briggs, treatment of seizures is a CBD oil benefit that has “big scientific evidence.” Doctors have seen a lot of success in the use of CBD oils for the treatment of seizures in patients of all ages. Along with CBD oil, Sen. Briggs references prescription drugs that contain levels of THC that have the same benefits as medical marijuana. Marinol is a synthetic form of THC that has been a legal prescription used for patients with AIDs or those going through chemotherapy since the mid-1980s. Absorbed through an inhaler, Sativex is a combination drug of CBD and THC that’s currently being tested and reviewed in the U.S. Briggs believes that with drugs like Marinol, potentially Sativex, and the legalization of CBD products on the market, there would be no need for unregulated medical marijuana. Consumers would be able to glean all of the benefits that medical marijuana typically claims, without needing to depend on someone who isn’t a medical professional trying to guess what dosage would be appropriate for their symptoms and health issues.

Aside from seizures, consumers have claimed many and various health benefits from using CBD products regularly. Reymond states that customers use it for “anything related to stress or inflammation in the body,” which can be reflective of anxiety-related conditions, different depression or mood disorders, ADD, autism, daily aches and pains, workout recovery, chronic conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, seizures, Parkinson’s, cancer, and more.

I fall into the “and more” category, which is what personally sparked my interest when I first heard about CBD oil. With a still-being-diagnosed autoimmune disease, I deal with a variety of symptoms that fall into many of the categories noted above: anxiety, depression, sore joints and muscles, inflammation, and extreme fatigue. Functioning normally is something I’ve taught myself to do, but flare-ups can leave me feeling completely depleted of any energy. I’ve considered the use of CBD products to help with my various symptoms, but learning more about its origin finally pushed me to try some.

I’m open-minded when it comes to being healthy. I’m all for modern medicine. The collaboration of science and the human body is positively fascinating to me. However, I’m also not against holistic medicine. In my mind, whatever leads a person to healing is probably the route they should choose. And I have to hold myself to that same open-minded graciousness toward my own health.

The possibility of relief for some of my daily symptoms was the ultimate appeal of CBD products for me. Since I hadn’t used anything like it before, I started out simple and tried the lozenges. I almost forgot that I had them to try until I saw one in my purse when I was grocery shopping and decided to just try it out. Let me preface that by saying that for me, grocery shopping is a big deal. Because of some of my dietary restrictions, meal planning is the simplest way for me to make sure I’m eating the right foods. A huge grocery store run happens every Sunday, and I hit up all of my favorite spots and get it done in one go. This sometimes takes two to three hours, and I always end up anxious over making sure I get everything for the week. I was at Target when I tried the lozenge. About 15 minutes into my shopping, I realized I wasn’t scurrying around like I normally would be, trying to get everything and get out. In fact, I didn’t feel the need to rush to the next store. I had time, and in fact I could get everything I needed at that one store and just go home and enjoy my Sunday.

This was an experiment for me. I didn’t walk into this journey expecting CBD oil to take away all of my worries. After trying various products over a certain time, my biggest takeaway was that, for me, it helps calm my anxiety. I’m curious to see what relief I might have over long-term use, but seeing how loved ones have found success with it, I definitely see why so many are team-CBD. While it may not be for everyone, it could be the right choice for some. If you think it might be an option for you, do your research! Senator Briggs and the folks at Eddie’s both agree on this important step in the process. Make sure you’re buying any CBD products from a reputable source, such as Eddie’s Health Shoppe, where the employees don’t just sell you a product, but also inform you on how it should be used. But at the end of the day, if you need any kind of mental or physical relief and you choose to try CBD products, I hope that it brings you the answers you seek.

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