I had never thought of taking CBD for any reason until recently. I had heard of CBD but didn’t really know what it was, beyond a vague understanding that it was somehow related to marijuana.
When my back and neck seized up and I had a debilitating headache I couldn’t get rid of for two weeks (“The Anxiety Wins“), my naturopath suggested I try it.
Initially, I was resistant. I am in no way opposed to marijuana. However, I know it, like alcohol, will make my depression and brain fog worse for a few days after use. I had concerns CBD would be the same.
So, as one does, I sat down with the Google and we spent a lovely evening together. Here’s some of the information I learned.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a chemical compound that comes from the hemp plant. It is one of over 85 unique compounds found in hemp, known as cannabinoids.
Ministry of Hemp, “What is CBD?“
CBD comes from hemp. I understand completely that hemp is not marijuana; they are part of the same species (the Cannabis plant family) but that’s where the resemblance ends. Hemp is not used recreationally.
You’re probably already familiar with THC, which is another compound found in the cannabis plant. But unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. In other words, it’s not what gets you stoned. It’s also different from medical marijuana, which has been shown to reduce pain.
A bit more research showed it’s nearly impossible to extract THC from hemp.
Huffington Post, “Here’s Why Edible Hemp Will Never Get You High“
I learned CBD will not get me “high.” This was reassuring.
But, what does this mean regarding drug testing? Will drug tests pick up on CBD and consider it marijuana?
Fortunately, the urine drug screen for THC and its metabolites is known to have very little cross-reactivity to other cannabinoids that are not psychoactive, such as CBD, CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and others. Therefore, since CBD oil derived from hemp containing only trace amounts of THC, a hemp oil routine shouldn’t cause a user to fail a drug test.
However, a consumer using extremely high daily quantities of CBD of 1000 mg a day or higher may be exposed to around 3 mg of THC per day, possibly enough to trigger a positive result on a drug screen. A consumer who uses the standard daily servings of CBD listed on our products’ packaging is unlikely to test positive for THC.
Hemp Meds, “Does CBD Show Up in Drug Tests“
It’s highly unlikely CBD will show up on drug tests unless one takes mega-doses on a daily basis. The pills my naturopath had suggested are only 20mg of CBD each. I knew I wasn’t going to risk failing a drug test. (Side note: Thankfully, drug testing isn’t something of major concern in my life, but was something I investigated out of curiosity.)
Yet I was still reluctant. Despite all my research, I still judged CBD as recreational, not medicinal.
I was wrong.
For the past month or so, I have taken a CBD pill once every few days.
I thought of it as recreational. It relaxes me and I enjoy how I feel when I’ve taken it, much like I enjoy packing a bowl, eating an edible, or pouring a glass of wine. I prefer it because it has no after-effects and because it doesn’t get me high. I hadn’t thought more of it than this.
That is, until today.
If you read my blog with any regularity you’ll know that I have been in a depressive cycle for the past few days. (Today is Tuesday; this particular cycle started on Saturday.) I had emerged from the last depressive cycle about a month prior (“I’m Done. Enough.“) and had been fine — better than fine — since then.
I realized I hadn’t taken a CBD pill since last Monday. My state had started a downward turn right around Wednesday or Thursday. I connected the dots.
I had been doing well for about a month. I had taken a CBD pill once every few days for about a month. I hadn’t taken a CBD pill in about a week.
Light dawned on Marblehead.
Perhaps this was worthy of exploration?
Thus, I took a CBD pill last night before bed, to see what would happen. I wanted to see if it had been helping my depression without me consciously realizing it.
I woke up this morning feeling well-rested and ready to conquer my day.
The muscle and joint aches, head fog, and heavy chest that accompany my depressive cycles are gone. I know I will get things done today. I feel sharp-minded and clear-eyed and more like my usual self.
“CBD influences brain activity and one byproduct is the release of serotonin and dopamine throughout the body.”
According to the Ministry of Hemp website, “…when ingested, CBD influences brain activity and one byproduct is the release of serotonin and dopamine throughout the body.”
I’ll do a bit more self-study on this, but I’m now fairly certain I’ve been doing well for the past month because of CBD.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go finish all the chores I said I was going to do three days ago.