How CBD Supports Self-Care & Stress Relief
Have you tried CBD? Chances are, even if you haven’t tried it, you’ve seen it popping up around the country at restaurants, yoga studios, and all over the internet.
Full disclosure: I was never someone who smoked marijuana when I was younger. So when CBD first started getting popular, I wasn’t interested. I didn’t judge it, but it just didn’t speak to me personally. I had a misconception on what CBD was, oblivious to its benefits, and told myself a story about CBD before engaging or learning more.
With that said, I just kept seeing CBD pop up in my universe in a variety of different ways. My friends were using it. My yoga teacher talked about it. My coworking space offered it in their teas. A cute and trendy restaurant I visited while on vacation in Florida had five different types of CBD treats at the cash register. CBD was literally everywhere. Then I read that the CBD industry is poised to be worth more 22 billion by 2022, and I knew I had to understand what all the rage was about.
In typical manifesting fashion, the moment I decided I wanted to learn more about CBD, I got an exclusive invitation to attend a 4/20 event in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that was being run by Humble Bloom and New Highs at one of my favorite hotels: The William Vale.
Ahead of the event, I reached out to New High’s founder, Sarah Remesch, to learn the ins and outs of the latest wellness trend. Her company, New Highs CBD, is all about achieving new highs in your life without being “high.” And that was the biggest thing I learned right off the bat—CBD does not make you high.
So, what is CBD exactly?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid and a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is primarily credited for its possible effects on relieving anxiety, insomnia, pain, and inflammation. There are various types of CBD, and one of the classifications depends on whether it includes other phytocannabinoids.
Last December, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill—which is in part why we’ve seen CBD’s popularity skyrocket. This crucial piece of legislation gave CBD the opportunity to break into the mainstream wellness market. The bill addresses industrial hemp specifically, rather than what we typically refer to as marijuana.
Although both varieties come from the Cannabis sativa plant, industrial hemp is classified by law as containing less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound THC. (This means that industrial hemp will not make you high and is non-intoxicating). Conversely, marijuana is cannabis with 0.3 percent THC or more (and is still federally illegal).
While the Farm Bill opened the doors, states still get to decide how wide they want to open their doors (and are free to create their own regulations). See where your state stands on CBD.
What do you need to know about CBD?
When I started researching for this article, I hadn’t tried CBD yet. So I asked Remesch what it feels like when you take CBD. “It feels to me like when you start to take a vitamin. Your body feels like it’s something good, but it takes time to regulate. It’s not an automatic I can do anything I want feeling, but my mind and body do become calmer.”
Being a newbie, I poked and prodded on whether CBD could have adverse effects like the ones sometimes associated with marijuana (i.e., paranoia). My fears were tempered with Remesch explaining that “those negative effects are coming from being high, but with CBD, you're not going to get stoned because it’s not intoxicating like a THC product.”
While there are a handful of possible benefits, Remesch said that two of the biggest reasons people turn to CBD is usually fighting with anxiety or pain. While CBD affects everyone differently, it’s commonly claimed to promote stress relief. Stress affects us on many levels—mind, body, soul. Being able to regulate and manage our stress, regardless of what product or practice enables that, would elevate our ability to live a more well-balanced life.
“It’s super exciting that we’re creating products and messaging that is helping people to feel better, no matter what their ailment is. There’s a lot of opportunity for someone who doesn’t have too much wrong but takes ibuprofen and now swaps it for CBD. We’re making people healthier using a plant, which is amazing. Why haven’t we been doing this before?”
This thinking doesn’t just apply to CBD, but our society as a whole. Many people are moving toward more natural products and understanding what exactly we’re putting into our bodies. We’re the generation that killed processed cheese after all, and it’s why folks are turning to philosophies like Ayurveda to find mind, body, wellness.
But does CBD work for everyone? According to Remesch, there are many variables and results will vary. Remsch compared it to a face wash saying, “not everything is going to work. You have to find a product that works for you.” In this case, testing and learning are crucial.
Remesch also stressed that the most important thing to know before trying CBD is that “people should always do their research. There are a ton of products, and it’s growing every day. Pay attention to what you’re putting in your body and get as educated as you can. Don’t just do it because everyone else is doing it. It’s not just a trendy thing like an avocado toast.”
Now I’m in the mood for avocado toast, but I’ll save that for after this article.
How does CBD intersect with spirituality?
Before my last tarot reading, my friend and intimacy alchemist, Cara Kovacs, whipped out a bottle of CBD and casually offered it to my friend and me before taking some herself. It was a great moment to see how easily CBD could fold into the mainstream and naturally blend with a reflective exercise such as tarot.
There are a variety of other wellness practices that are often associated with spirituality that are potentially aided by CBD for a more relaxing experience. The best part about this whole idea is that you’re fully in control to pair or not to pair. If it speaks to you, great! If it doesn’t, that’s cool too. Introducing CBD into your rituals isn’t necessary, and you won’t be missing out on a totally different experience. The decision to include CBD is highly personal and should not be influenced by a “this seems cool” mindset.
While we should all be open-minded about trying new things, we should also be wary and do what feels right for our individual selves.
With all of that said, because of CBD’s claim toward stress relief and anxiety relief, pairing it with the following practices may elevate the experience (particularly over time). I know that, for me, when I’m more relaxed I’m much more prone to being present, being able to focus, and having a greater sense of joy and connection with what I’m doing. These are some of my favorite practices to participate in and the more relaxed I can be in any of these, the more I know I’ll be more balanced in my mind, body, and soul moving forward.
Set the mind at ease, become more present, alleviate resistance, and flow through your worries.
Enhance your awareness and your focus as you melt into your subconscious.
Float in your unique vibration. Although I love going to sound baths in person, it’s sometimes hard to find the time. As a special treat, try this digital sound bath from Dynasty Electrik.
Relax your body and your mind as you balance out your energy.
Elevate your diffuser or beauty routine. Best essential oils to pair CBD with for the ultimate stress relief: lavender, Roman chamomile, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, and jasmine.
Thai Body Massages
This is not really spiritual, but who could say no to a massage? Release what no longer serves you and chill.
CBD is an area to watch as more research is released and legislation is updated. It’s also an industry where women are leading the way. Another note that Remesch made is that “if you have a skill that you’re good at, you can do that in the cannabis space.”
In the meantime, know that CBD is available to you (depending on the state where you live). If you choose to try: Start slow and steady. Test products. Do your research. Also, know that there are tons of resources to aid in stress and anxiety (spiritual and non-spiritual), and this is just one of them. Elevate your life (without getting high).