By Megan Sarnacki | photography by Elyse Wild
Whether it is up for discussion on media outlets or through word of mouth, you have probably heard of cannabidiol or CBD. Though it has become a trend in recent years, you may still have some questions like what it is and why people use it, which is why we are going back to school. Do not worry, though. There will be no final exam. The homework has already been done because lucky for you, Janet Tombre, the managing director of The Grassy Knoll, a CBD retails store in Grand Rapids, gives us a beginner’s guide to CBD.
Women’s LifeStyle Magazine: CBD has become much more mainstream over the years. Give us a breakdown of what exactly CBD is and how it
differs from THC (the main psychoactive compound
Janet Tombre: CBD is the natural extraction from the hemp plant. It has all the medicinal parts to it, but none of the psychoactive elements like the marijuana plant. You can’t get high off a CBD product. THC is the one that gets you high. CBD is the one that helps. We have what’s called an endocannabinoid system, and CBD locks into those endocannabinoids and tells our body how to heal.
WLM: What is the difference between CBD and hemp oil?
JT: Hemp seed oil is the oil from the seed rather than the oil from the flower. The hemp seed oil does not have the same medicinal effect as CBD. It’s a good oil. You can still use it and cook with it like olive oil, but my biggest thing is to educate people on the differences. A lot of companies claim to be CBD when it’s really hemp seed oil, and hemp seed oil does not do the same thing as CBD. If a product sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
WLM: What do people use CBD for?
JT: Oh my gosh! There’s a whole list of things. Some of them are pain and inflammation. If you have arthritic pain or sciatic nerve pain, one of the best ways to relieve and alleviate that pain is to put CBD straight on where it hurts. It also helps you sleep. If you have insomnia, CBD helps to naturally relax you so you’re able to go to sleep. CBD also helps people with anxiety, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and those with cancer symptoms.
WLM: How can CBD be ingested?
JT: We recommend people start low, such as with a 500 milliliter, and go slow when first starting, but there are multiple ways to take it. One of the more popular ones is with tinctures or droppers. Since we have glands under our tongues, CBD can be naturally absorbed into those glands if you leave it under there anywhere between 30-45 seconds and swallow. Another way is to smoke it. People can vape or smoke the actual hemp flower, and if you put a lotion with CBD on your body that has pain or sores on it, CBD can help soothe where it hurts. There are also edibles like chocolates, gummies, teas and coffees. Parents will usually get gummies for their kids if they’re anxious, but kids have to take a lot less because it goes by height, weight and metabolism, so you have to be mindful about that.
WLM: People are not the only ones who can use CBD products. How can pets benefit from products with CBD in it?
JT: Animals have the same endocannabinoid system that we do, so whatever helps us will help your pets too. I had a 14-year-old German Shepherd who had arthritis in her back, so to help alleviate that pain, we gave CBD to her. But it also helps alleviate anxiety for pets from such things as fireworks, thunderstorms and holiday parties.
WLM: One of the main questions people have about CBD is whether it is safe or addictive. Is there anything people should know or consider before taking CBD?
JT: It’s not addictive, but people should always consult their doctor, especially if you’re pregnant or on certain epilepsy medicines. If people are allergic to MCT oil or coconut oil, we have to advice against that. But for just straight CBD, there’s very few side effects. I can’t say there’s none, but there are very few. For example, it could possibly lead to an upset stomach, depending on the other ingredients in the tinctures because it doesn’t always just have CBD in it. It could have lavender, pepper, turmeric or things like that in it. A lot of times, though, it’s the other ingredients that react with people.
WLM: How can people continue to educate themselves on CBD?
JT: Find reliable sources. More medical people are starting to write about it and do studies on it right now. I wouldn’t just Google it because a lot of companies try to direct you to their products rather than telling you the benefits. One great place, though, is called leafly.com. It’s more about medical marijuana, but it does have a ton of great articles on CBD as well. You can also go to a credible storefront to answer all your questions. I always ask people what it is they want CBD to do or help with and then it’s easier to direct them that way and talk them through the best way to take it. But come up with good questions and consult your doctors first. If people can’t answer your questions, I wouldn’t buy your CBD from them.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Consult your physician before taking CBD.