CBD Oil: part of your self-care routine?
This article to reflects my own experience and in it I refer to a product I use. I have no commercial interests in this company and gain no financial benefit from this blog.
Living with a long-term condition
I live with a long-term condition. It is ‘non-specific’, which means I do not have a condition that can be given a recognisable (medically documented) name. Despite numerous tests and investigations including MRI and CT scans over several years, the cause of the persistent irritation just above my two front teeth, remains a mystery.
The closest I have come to a diagnosis was from the Eastman Dental Hospital, London, (a centre of excellence), where I was told it was probably related to my age and the menopause as it has some similarities to ‘burning mouth syndrome’.
Learning to self-care
What this means in reality, is that I have to live with it and compared to some conditions, whilst it is aggravating and sometimes painful, it is manageable. Living with something you can’t cure and where there is little prospect of it going away, leads you to experimenting with what makes you feel better – often termed ‘self-care’.
For quite some time alcohol was what I turned to. My symptoms get worse as the day goes on so by 6pm, when I am tired from working, my mind and body look for relief. I did (eventually) realise, self-medicating with alcohol was not a sustainable long-term solution.
So I now do a number of things that help me, this includes pacing my day so I don’t get too tired (it gets worse when I feel exhausted); managing my stress through mindfulness (it gets much worse when I am agitated or fraught); I exercise most days (it disappears when the exercise endorphins kick in); I sleep well, I have a nighttime routine I rarely break.
I also look out for things to try that can help me relax – which is not my normal disposition! So when I began to read a number of articles about CBD oil I became curious.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound, produced by the cannabis plant. The CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and mixed with other bases such as hemp oil allowing the mixture to be ingested. CBD can be taken orally or applied topically.
Is it legal?
The short answer is yes.
This question arises because most people are aware that Cannabis and Marijuana (a species of Cannabis) are illegal in the UK. Hemp is also a species of Cannabis. Unlike Hemp, Marijuana is bred to have high levels of THC- the substance associated with getting high.
CBD extracted from Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC. This level is considered negligible and cannot produce a 'high'. In the UK suppliers sell a full spectrum oil containing all the cannabinoids with a higher dose of CBD and negligible amounts of THC which complies with the law.
A recent World Health Organisation report on cannabidiol reported that controlled human studies have not found any potential for physical dependence, withdrawal or tolerance, and that it is not associated with abuse potential.
Does it work?
CBD works in tandem with one of your body's systems known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The function of the ECS is to regulate stress, and help stabilise appetite, sleep, mood and pain.
Because I do a number of things every day that I know help minimise my discomfort, it is not always easy to tell whether when I introduce something new it makes a difference.
I have been using the oil for a few weeks now and have noticed that some days I have given little thought to my mouth pain. I would also say that I feel calmer and am sleeping well. Whether these are just normal fluctuations in my wellbeing I cannot say. However, my own view is that I will continue to look for and experiment with things that help me self-care and that make living with my condition easier.
The product I use is CBD Oil Food Supplement available from thelondonbotanists.com
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