Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which can all be found in varieties of the cannabis plant, including marijuana and hemp.
CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most commonly recognized cannabinoids. However, the two chemical compounds are very different. THC has psychoactive properties, creating the characteristic “high” associated with using marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, does not have any of these psychoactive properties. Instead, it provides the benefits of cannabis without the high, further supporting overall health and wellbeing.
With the growing popularity of CBD oils and products, it has quickly become a common ingredient in self-care routines in all walks of life. Whether you’ve had a rough week or just need some time to yourself, CBD products could be just what you’ve needed to enhance your own health. Here’s your ultimate guide to incorporating CBD products into your self-care routine.
CBD and THC
There’s a lot of misinformation regarding CBD and THC. Some believe that CBD is a precursor to THC. While the two are related in structure and source, they are significantly different in effect and usage. The main factor to understand is that smoking or ingesting CBD cannot get you high.
Most importantly, CBD is legal worldwide, with the exception of Canada, which considers it a controlled substance. It’s also safe to consume in any amount, as it doesn’t have any of the side effects that come with more THC-rich products.
Use CBD Products to Relieve Sore Muscles
CBD is available in a variety of forms and delivery methods, including topical creams, lotions, balms, and salves. These work by activating the endocannabinoid receptors located within your muscle tissue. Along with more direct delivery, topical CBD products offer more localized relief, only affecting the area where you apply the balm or lotion.
This has been shown to be particularly helpful for joint pain and general inflammation. Studies in rats found that transdermal forms of cannabidiol could help reduce inflammation and pain. Other studies further point to the role of your endocannabinoid system in regulating both acute and chronic pain.
The key here is the direct application of the topical CBD to the affected area. You don’t have to worry about metabolism or all the processing and breakdown that happens in your stomach and intestines with edible CBD.
If you have been carrying some heavy loads or going extra hard at the gym, consider massaging some CBD lotion into your muscles, especially before you head to bed. The lotion will work its way into your muscles, helping to relieve soreness so you can wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.
CBD Balms for Skincare
Inflammation often lies at the root of many skin problems, including acne and rosacea. Even general redness and blemishes are likely caused by some degree of inflammation. CBD and other cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties that may help you better handle puffiness, swelling, and soreness.
Cannabinoids have also been found to possess antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, a product of the natural oxidation that happens within your body. Free radicals can cause damage to muscles, DNA, and other tissues, including skin, contributing to inflammation and general signs of aging. CBD can work two-fold as an antioxidant to prevent both inflammation and signs of aging.
Further studies also suggest that cannabidiol can help manage the function of human sebaceous glands and the secretion of sebum. Sebum is the natural oil secreted by the sebaceous glands that helps moisturize your skin and protect you from harmful bacteria and microbes. However, too much sebum is the catalyst that leads to acne. Theoretically, CBD may help reduce or eliminate your breakouts.
On top of all of that, CBD oils often contain natural fatty acids that can help nourish dry skin, including skin that may be suffering from eczema. If you have been spending too much time in the sun, CBD may provide relief for sunburns and help your skin heal.
After cleansing your face, apply some CBD balm to your skin to help blemishes, soothe any signs of redness or inflammation, and generally calm your mind after a stressful day.
CBD Bath Bombs
A hot bath is one of the most essential tools in your self-care arsenal. Bath bombs in general elevate the experience to a new level of luxuriousness, but with CBD bath bombs you can truly relax your body and calm your mind while keeping your skin nourished, soft, and smooth. The CBD can help soothe your skin and fight inflammation and muscle soreness, while the botanicals and other ingredients in the bath bomb wash away the sweat, dirt, and bad vibes that have accumulated throughout the day.
It’s as easy as filling your tub and dropping in the bath bomb. From there, put on your favorite album or podcast, curl up with a book (that you don’t mind getting a little waterlogged), or just let your mind wander freely. Top it off with a chilled drink to stay hydrated while you soak, and you may just replace your showers with baths altogether.
CBD and Food
Along with hygiene and recovering your aching joints and muscles, you need to recharge your body with the right foods. The good news is that CBD can be easily incorporated into just about any food or dish you could be craving. Some general tips for making food with CBD:
1. Be Aware of Temperature
Although warming CBD can help increase its general effectiveness, getting it too hot can actually eliminate some of its active components, particularly terpenes. Around 320 degrees Fahrenheit, the CBD will begin to evaporate. Generally, you should avoid heating CBD directly over high heat.
2. Sweeter Is Easier
CBD is most often used in sweet dishes and baked goods, as sugar and chocolate offer easy ways to mask the inherent bitter flavor of CBD and other cannabinoids.
3. But You Can Still Try Savory
That said, CBD can still be used quite effectively in savory dishes. It just needs to be infused into some sort of fat or oil, like butter, lard, ghee, or coconut oil. Vodka, rum, and other hard spirits also offer an effective vehicle for CBD in savory dishes.
4. Cooking Is Better Than Drizzling
As tempting as it might be to just drizzle some CBD into your soup or onto your sandwich, cooking it into your dish is always recommended. Aside from helping process the actual CBD, the heat helps the flavors mix, covering up the CBD’s bitterness.
5. Understand Refined and Unrefined CBD Oils
Refined oils offer more versatility and are generally easier to work with, as less-refined oils have more of that bitter aftertaste. However, less-refined oils can still be plenty useful in dishes containing chocolate, spices, or other strong flavors.
6. Stir It In
When you add your CBD oil, powder, or tincture, make sure you stir it in thoroughly, even more than you might think is necessary. You want to evenly distribute the cannabinoid so that every bite or sip of your dish offers plenty of CBD.
7. Store Properly
Once you have finished using your CBD oil, store it in a cool, dry place. CBD and other cannabinoids are sensitive to heat and light, both of which can degrade the active components, resulting in weaker effects and more bitter CBD oil. If you want your next CBD-infused dish to taste great, keep the oil in your pantry.
An easy and refreshing way to incorporate CBD into your self-care routine is to make a smoothie. All you need is:
– One cup of frozen strawberries
– One cup of frozen raspberries
– A half cup of blueberries
– A half cup of vanilla yogurt
– Three teaspoons of honey
– 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
– A few drops of your favorite CBD oil or a couple teaspoons of CBD powder
Blend all the ingredients in your blender and enjoy. You can also easily add some greens, including spinach and kale, for extra fiber and nutrition. The berries, yogurt, and honey should cover up any bitterness or overly vegetal flavors.
Just as a note, CBD can have low bioavailability when taken in any sort of edible form. That means that a portion of the CBD you ingest will naturally be lost via the body’s digestive system before it actually gets absorbed into your system. Furthermore, based on a huge range of factors, CBD that has been ingested can take a few hours to take effect, and the effective serving size can vary. If it’s your first time with CBD, it’s always recommended that you start low and slow at about five milligrams before you work your way up.
CBD for Sleep
Sleep not only helps refresh your body and mind, but it also just feels great to lie down and relax. However, if you’re stressed or anxious, you’ll also probably have trouble falling asleep or getting a restful night in bed. Studies on CBD have found that the cannabinoid may have the therapeutic potential for combating the symptoms of insomnia while also helping manage excessive daytime sleepiness and REM sleep behavior disorder. All of that ultimately equates to better sleep without any tossing or turning.
While CBD oils and tinctures can still help with sleep, you may be better off with a sublingual spray. “Sublingual” simply means “under the tongue.” Where oils and tinctures often have to be ingested and move slowly through your digestive system, sublingual sprays deliver a small but powerful serving size of CBD directly to an area of the mouth that features highly absorbent membranes. That translates to a faster effect instead of waiting hours for the CBD to travel through your body. Simply spray the CBD under your tongue before bed. It should take just minutes to take effect and should last for hours.
5 General Self-Care Tips
There are plenty of steps you can take to enhance your self-care along with incorporating more CBD.
Meditation is a simple and effective way to reduce everyday stress, promote happiness, and increase your general clarity. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of time to do it. Just a few minutes of meditation a day can make all the difference.
Find a quiet, comfortable room, close your eyes, and be present in the moment. Start by focusing on your breathing, taking the time to take full breaths in and out. Then do a quick check-in with your body, from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes. See if you can feel the skin on your scalp, your eyes, your ears. Determine if something feels painful or “off” as you scan down. Adjust your body, but move on.
The biggest misconception about meditation is that it’s about emptying your mind or thinking about nothing. In reality, it’s about being present with yourself, which also means understanding that your mind will wander, and that’s fine. If your mind wanders as you meditate, don’t get frustrated or annoyed. Simply acknowledge that your mind wandered and gently pull your attention back to yourself.
2. Clean Your Living Space
It might seem like a chore, but it can be a huge part of taking care of yourself and battling stress. It also doesn’t require a full ceiling-to-floor scrub down. Spend five to ten minutes each day cleaning, organizing, or arranging some part of your home, whether it’s your workspace, your bed, or your closet. You’d be surprised just how much you can accomplish in that time and how fulfilled you’ll feel after you’ve done it.
3. Write Down and Visualize Your Plans
As you start each day, write down and visualize your plans and hopeful accomplishments for the day. Give yourself the time you need to do what you need to do, and remember that it’s okay if you don’t finish everything you write down. This is more about organization and understanding your own needs.
Social media and technology can be great tools that can help you connect with others and learn everything about the world, but that constant source of news and information can be extremely overwhelming. If possible, consider taking a break from social media and tech, even for just an hour a day. It’ll all still be there when you get back.
5. Help Your Community
Self-care is as much about helping others as it is taking care of yourself. If you have the time, consider volunteering with a local organization, whether it’s an animal shelter, library, or soup kitchen.
“Self-care” gets thrown around a lot these days. The key to it is checking in with yourself and giving yourself the space and time you need. Often, caring about others starts with caring for yourself.