CBD: What it is and what it isn’t

What it is:

  • Legal.
    • The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp ( meaning the plant contains < nation wide 0.3% THC and has no psychoactive effect). As a pedestrian consumer you are within the bounds of the law. 
  • Considered generally safe by current research.
    • CBD is relatively new on the market, but current research suggests that CBD is safe to consume and that it may be useful in helping folks who have trouble sleeping, struggle with anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation. In a research review (link) , scientists determined that CBD has a better side-effect profile than many drugs and that it may be useful in managing some conditions, but further research is still needed to discover a more in depth toxicological profile, effects on hormones, and potential interactions with other drugs. 
  • May be an effective anti-inflammatory and sleep aid
    • This research study on mice stated that: “topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.”
    • Another study states: “Cannabinoids have been tested in several experimental models of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and hepatitis and have been shown to protect the host from the pathogenesis through induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways.”
    •  Lastly, this study stated: “Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.”

What it isn't:

  • A panacea cure all
    • CBD can be useful for some folks with pain and inflammation and/or for managing anxiety and sleep issues. For example, I use CBD to help me avoid pain killers when my pelvic crush injury history causes pain. However, CBD is NOT an antibiotic for infections, an asthma medication when you’re having an attack, or a replacement for vaccines or cancer treatment. If you live with a medical condition you should first and fore most discuss ALL supplements and medications with your doc and listen to the professionals, and if you think you have a medical condition you should get checked out before throwing CBD at it.
  • Advised to combine with certain prescriptions
    •  CBD is processed, like many things, by the liver – if you regularly drink or take prescription drugs you might look into monitoring your liver enzyme levels as there’s only so much of liver enzymes to go around and if your body is already busy processing a boat load of alcohol or prescription medication you could run into problems. 
  • A drug that gets you high
    • CBD is not intoxicating. THC, the other primary compound found in the cannabis is the psychoactive substance responsible for getting folks high, and since the legal hemp used to make CBD is required to be <0.3% THC you don’t run the risk of intoxication with commercial CBD products though depending on the state you live in THC remnants can be present enough to make drug tests give “false” positives, so be cautious when looking for products and tell your employer if you use low THC containing CBD as it may cause you to test positive.

Where to get it?

If you live here in Manhattan, Kansas then you’re in luck! My favorite place in town is American Shaman CBD, they offer a variety of products but my favorite’s are the topical cream and edible products!

  1. Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)23(10), 2478. doi:10.3390/molecules23102478
  2. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England)20(6), 936–948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818
  3. Huestis, M. A., Mazzoni, I., & Rabin, O. (2011). Cannabis in sport: anti-doping perspective. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)41(11), 949–966. doi:10.2165/11591430-000000000-00000
  4. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research2(1), 139–154. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034
  5. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry1(7), 1333–1349. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
  6. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal23, 18–041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041


This article doesn’t take the place of advice by a qualified health professional. What’s appropriate for one individual may be counterproductive for another. If you are suspicious of an illness, injury and/or are in constant pain I encourage you to see a doctor and a therapist to get a proper diagnosis and rule out illness. Illness, pain, and injuries are complicated topics that have a variety of causes and presentations. You should see your doctor before beginning any exercise program. I am not qualified to prescribe treatments, diagnose, or assess medical symptoms or conditions. This article and any information contained there-in is for informational/educational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for medical advice. Please talk to your doctor and medical care providers before starting any exercise or fitness program. Unbreakable Strength Co. and Anneliese Spence are not liable for any injuries incurred due to exercise training.

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