IS CANNABIS THE NEXT SUPERFOOD?
Your guide to dabbling in CBD.
Though still a topic of debate, there’s no denying cannabis is having a moment – and CBD (aka cannabidiol, a chemical compound extracted from cannabis plants) is the latest incarnation to pop up in beauty forums and fridge doors of those in the know (it prefers a cool climate). While typically used to treat chronic pain, symptoms associated with cancer treatment and conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, taking CBD can have other feel-good benefits, too.
Research has shown CBD can reduce anxiety due to its ability to activate certain serotonin receptors (the chemical that helps regulate mood, sleep and appetite), and is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which means in addition to nixing stress before it can set in, it has the potential to undo its damaging effects. “CBD is a potent antioxidant and people are slowly waking up to the fact that it has so many beneficial properties and nothing to do with being labelled a ‘stoner’,” says Claire Spackman from Endoca, producers of organic CBD hemp oil.
The most popular way to take CBD is orally: a few drops of the oil under the tongue, held for a minute, will ensure effective absorption. But if you’re sensitive to the (admittedly strong) taste, there are also capsules, suppositories, candy edibles and crystals, which can be vaped, dabbed or melted with butter and used in baking (should you fancy yourself more Martha Stewart than Snoop Dogg). The antioxidants make it great in your beauty bag, too – CBD lotions can calm skin and protect against free radicals.
Intrigued? It’ll take more than a Google search to get your hands on CBD (like a jaunt to a more marijuana-friendly locale). As of last year, it’s been categorised as a medicinal cannabis product in Australia, and as such requires a prescription.
Unlike marijuana, CBD products contain at most a microscopic amount of THC, which is what gets you “high” – but adequate care should still be taken. “Every single body is different,” warns Spackman. So start small and increase your dosage gradually, until you reach the desired result.