CBD may be the buzzword in alternative health right now as a remedy to pain, insomnia, depression and more; but many woman are put off even trying it because it's derived from cannabis and they're scared they'll get high or overdose.
At KushKush HQ, we get so many questions about this controversial cannabinoid, we decided to bring in the big guns, in the form of Laura Johnston, founder of Mary's Muse, the local Cape Town-based company that produces the premium CBD oils we’re proud to sell in our online Shop.
Laura connected with us via Instagram Live during lockdown and, thanks to her background as a qualified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and decade-long career in the health industry, it proved to be a major education session.
For those that missed it, catch up by reading her answers to your questions, broken down into a two-part series that we hope you'll find as informative as we did.
Q: In a nutshell, what is CBD and why is everybody talking about it?
A: CBD stands for cannabidiol which is a non-psychotropic (doesn't make you high) cannabinoid (compound) found in the cannabis species (marijuana and hemp). There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis which are beneficial to your health and wellbeing, with CBD being the most well-known and researched.
Within our bodies, there is something called the endocannabinoid system which fights to maintain homeostasis and balance among the major systems in our bodies. This complex system is comprised of networks throughout the brain, as well as the central and peripheral nervous systems. It has a regulatory role in pain, inflammation, memory, emotion, sleep and metabolic function. Our bodies create their own cannabinoids, however, plant-based cannabinoids – like CBD – can stimulate this system to function better, explaining why it is so good for our health.
Q: I'm in my 40's and want to try a CBD oil for stress and anxiety. What should I be looking for on the label?
A: Unfortunately, one of the problems we’re facing locally is that the legislation governing CBD sales is still pretty vague so products are being sold that are not what they claim to be. It is crucial to find a supplier that is transparent and that you can trust.
Some questions to ask are:
- Where is the CBD sourced from?
- Is the source reliable and trustworthy
- Is the CBD organic and pesticide-free?
- Is it THC-free? Or at least below the legal limit of 0.3% THC?
- Has the product undergone third-party lab testing? This ensures the CBD levels are what they say they are, that the THC is below the legal limit and that the product is heavy metal, pesticide and toxin free.
- Is it free of artificial additives? The fewer ingredients and the purer the product, the better.
Q: I'm confused: what's the difference between Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate?
A: This can seem confusing but actually it’s pretty straight forward:
Full Spectrum CBD contains all the compounds that are found in the cannabis plant in nature (eg: the terpenes, flavonoids, oils). These work as a team to provide wonderful therapeutic effects called the “entourage effect”. One point to note, however, is that since full spectrum oils can contain the whole spectrum of cannabinoids, THC will be one of the included cannabinoids. Legal CBD products must contain a THC concentration of less than 0.3% and cannot make you high.
Just like its name, CBD Isolate is when the CBD within the plant has been isolated and all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids have been removed, resulting in an odourless, colourless, pure form of CBD. Isolate is considered the safest as it does not contain any THC. The downside is that you lose out on the added health benefits of the terpenes and flavonoids.
At Mary’s Muse, we’ve added the beneficial terpenes and flavonoids back to our CBD isolate so you can still enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the entourage effect without the fear of ingesting any THC.
Q: Is CBD safe for people on anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication? I want to taper off my meds and move onto a more natural alternative like CBD but am worried about the switch-over. What do you recommend?
A: This is a tricky question to answer as there haven’t been enough studies to comfortably answer the question. What is important to understand is that CBD inhibits two main enzyme systems that help you metabolise antidepressants.
One system is the same one that grapefruit inhibits: the CYP34A enzyme system. So, just like grapefruit juice, CBD can cause your body to have higher doses of benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications), or certain antipsychotic medications.
CBD also inhibits the system that metabolises a lot of serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Meaning, taking CBD supplements while on these psychiatric medications could hypothetically interfere with how these medications are metabolised.
Some experts say the effect is minimal so CBD can be taken, however, we always recommend you consult your physician before taking CBD.
For more information on CBD and Anxiety refer to this blog post.
Q: I want to buy your Muse oil but am confused about how potent the 250mg Muse Oil is?
A: Mary’s Muse 250mg CBD oil is aimed at the first time user who would more than likely start on a lower dose (5-10mg per day) versus the converted user who would want a higher dose of up to 20mg per day.
Don’t miss next month’s instalment when Laura will talk about CBD for acne, inflammation and whether it’s safe for kids. Plus, why CBD gummies and oils are a great natural alternative. Shop CBD here.
Words: Justine Stafford