Whoa! CBD! Can it really work?

Greetings! I am Julie Schumann, a physical therapist, a mom of two teenage kids, a life partner to Nick, a dog mom to Dusty, an advocate for dry needling, a small business owner, a chamber of commerce member, a small business networker, a promoter of small business, and am learning new things everyday. I hate to see small businesses around me shutter their doors because the cost of doing business is just too great. I have my own brick and mortar physical therapy business and will have to make financial decisions in the coming year regarding the high cost of rent. For the past 10 years I have been an active voice for and practitioner of dry needling. I don't work for any dry needling education or supply companies. Dry needling is just something I took up about 10 years ago and continue to use as a primary pain relief modality in my daily practice. If you are like the majority, you are asking yourself "what is dry needling?" and "is that like acupuncture?" I have a website dedicated to definitions, news, legal issues, education companies, and practitioners so I will direct you to Dry Needling Directory for more answers. If you are a local or visiting Boulder County, Colorado maybe you can stop in to PinPoint Wellness to talk about dry needling or try it out for a certain nagging pain: sciatica, back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, headache, TMJ, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, or tendinitis.

As a physical therapist I treat pain. Pain is something that I have personally fought episodically throughout my life since I was 15. At that time I was diagnosed with an inflammatory condition, that to this day is not a clear diagnosis of anything. When I was 15, I just wanted my swollen knee to have been the result of a tennis injury. It wasn't. Now, in my early 50's and numerous flare ups since, I am still troubled by some joint swelling issues. I have avoided taking serious rheumatoid medications, but have taken my fair share of ibuprofen and cortisone injections. I am always seeking information on anti-inflammatory diets, supplements, super foods, etc. I will say this now, loud and clear, I have not looked at CBD as an option until 2020. Yes, the CBD movement has been going on around me. Clients have asked me through the years what I think about CBD. I generally answer something like "it really seems popular" or "it might be worth a try" or "it's pretty expensive" or "some of my clients have gotten great results, but I haven't tried it".

In 2020, I bring trial and learning to the subject. CBD is growing into a billions of dollars a year industry and Colorado is a main source and hub of activity. People are consuming CBD in all forms from tinctures, gummies, capsules, vapes, lotions, salves, bath bombs, drinks, fast food, convenience store items, potato chips, and even deodorants and tampons.....And it's not just people. It's also dogs and other animals! As a member of the healthcare field, I feel I must investigate.

So, why are millions of people taking some form of CBD and why is the industry booming? Well, it seems to be the promised land. The cure-all and the prevent-all, without sinister side effects. CBD's therapeutic effects have been linked to anxiety, sleep, pain, immune function, neurological function, ADHD, addiction, ALS, Alzheimer's Disease, inflammation, arthritis, asthma, autism, autoimmune, cancer, spinal cord injury, mood disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, nausea, PTSD, seizure disorders, skin disorders, and menopause. Yes, it is also sold as a supplement or treat for our furry dog friends. WHOA! Well, who might not benefit from taking CBD? That remains unclear.

Please note: The FDA has not approved any CBD products other than one prescription human drug product to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy. There is very limited information for other marketed CBD products, which likely differ in composition from the FDA-approved product and have not been evaluated for potential adverse effects on the body.

How is this possible? How is CBD so magical? The answer seems to lie in the body's Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a fairly new discovery of human biology which started to unfold in 1992 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. He discovered that animal bodies produce endocannabinoids, or compounds that resemble plant phytocannabinoids present in hemp and cannabis. The system works via a network of neurons, nerve pathways, enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors which work to maintain homeostasis in your body. Cannabinoid receptors are widespread throughout the human body including: brain, CNS, spinal cord, cortical regions, cerebellum, brainstem, basal ganglia, olfactory bulb, thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, upper airways, liver, adrenals, ovaries, uterus, testes, prostate, eyes, heart, stomach, pancreas, digestive tract, and bones. The bottom line is that the ECS is seen as being extremely important with modulation of energy, pleasure, and well-being while restoring bodily balance in the face of emotional, physical, &/or psychological stressors. The total effect being homeostasis regulation and disease prevention. According to researchers (Pacher & Kunos) "modulating ECS activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans, including obesity/metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complication, neurodegenerative, inflammatory, cardiovascular, liver, gastrointestinal, skin diseases, pain, psychiatric disorders, cachexia, cancer, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, among many others."

What are the known downsides of CBD? CBD is generally considered safe with very few side effects. It should not have psychoactive effects like cannabis. Anecdotally, the most common side effects include: dizziness, lethargy, sleepiness, hyperactivity, diarrhea, jitteriness, and increased heart rate. It may have certain drug interactions, so it is always best to clear this with your physician.

So, while I am coming in late to the party, I just may become one of CBD's biggest shouters and supporters. Just like I do with dry needling, because there are so many non-supporters, politically & professionally motivated, that would like to see CBD and dry needling go away. At least CBD products (sourced from hemp with less than .3% THC) is now allowed to be shipped anywhere in the 50 states, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. There are still several states that do not allow dry needling to be performed by physical therapists. This fact maddens me.

Some quick definitions for those like me who might not be in-the-know or who have also ignored the CBD conversation until now.

Hemp: or industrial hemp, contains very low levels of THC (the psychoactive component) and higher levels of CBD, is from the cannabis plant.

Cannabis: or marijuana, contains higher levels of THC, is a psychoactive drug also from the cannabis plant.

CBD: or cannabidiol is one of the 113 phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It makes up 40% of the plant's extract.

Entourage Effect: This is the theory that all the compounds in cannabis work together, and when taken together, they produce a better effect than when taken alone.

So where did I start with exploring CBD products?

I started locally with personal recommendations which led me to go talk to the folks at Quicksilver Scientific in Louisville, CO. This company specializes in detox, immune, herbals, CBD, hydration, and keto products developed by Dr. Shade who is an industry thought leader. I immediately felt a sense of trust in their company and products. I left their office with their CBD Synergies Sleep Formula. It took me several nights to not worry about what I was taking, as it was all new to me. After about a week, I realized that I actually was falling asleep much quicker than usual and when awoken during the night, I was able to fall back to sleep with better ease. **If interested, I can offer a 10% discount on QS products at PinPoint Wellness. Retail only, not for shipping. Availability depends on my ability to attain stock items from Quicksilver Scientific.

Another personal recommendation came in for NuLeaf Naturals. They are also Colorado based, and perhaps one of the more well-known companies around. I do hear a lot of radio commercials for them. They do one thing and that is CBD oil. Per their website they "utilize advanced engineering processes to create premium cannabinoid wellness products with a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes." I have also tried this product before bed and have continued to fall asleep with ease and get back to sleep with ease. I can offer a 20% discount with code PinPoint20 if you shop through my NuLeaf link.

Some other highly reviewed CBD companies include:

Elixinol and Joy Organics have a wide variety of CBD products. I have been taking Elixinol's Omega Turmeric CBD capsules and Hemp Extract CBD capsules. My sleep continues to be better, my wrist and finger joints are less achy in the morning, and my overall level of calm is better throughout the day.

Joy Organics is a newcomer over the past couple of years but is exploding due to their fantastic reviews and products. They are next on my list to place an order with. They are having their biggest sale of the year, Joy Day, on February 18th. It is actually a 3 day sale, with pre-sale on 2/17/20. They will be taking 40% OFF all of their products. They will also be giving a portion of every sale to their charity in Uganda, Greater Hope Project. This initiative will find them giving $4.88 for every item sold during this event to the Ugandan school lunch program. I have my online shopping cart ready to go! I will even order a CBD product for my elderly dog! If you have any interest in exploring CBD products, mark your calendar for the sale and please shop through my link. If you choose to shop at Joy during a different time period, I can provide you a 15% OFF discount with code PinPoint15 if you shop through my Joy Organics link.

CBDPure is one more company that came to my attention during my initial research. I have not yet ordered, but they do get good reviews for quality, effectiveness, price, customer service, and transparency & accuracy.

With so many CBD companies out there, it becomes difficult to figure out which ones to trust and spend money with. In my decision making process I have turned to personal recommendations, online reviews, lab testing reports, CBD extraction methods, and other ingredient lists. I will continue to keep an eye out for reputable companies and hopefully be able to provide more discounts to you.

Thanks for reading and joining in on the CBD conversation.

Yours in Wellness, Julie

Disclosure: This blog contains some affiliate links which if you shop through, my company will make a small commission at no cost to you. You might ask why I would participate in affiliate marketing and truthfully, I like the idea. By researching quality companies that I would not hesitate to use their products, I am able to pass on this information to you and gives you a basis for starting your own research. Because of my affiliation with certain companies, I am able to give you a discount on their products. Truthfully, one of the reasons I hadn't explored CBD prior to this is that I knew how pricey each little one ounce tincture bottle could be.