Today in my facebook group, Autoimmune Sisterhood of Limitless Living, I talked about CBD, cannabidinol and its various benefits for autoimmune symptom relief. I shared my personal experiences of the benefits of CBD, and also shared related options for individuals living in places where CBD is not legally available.
The inspiration for me to talk about this was a recent massage therapy I went to. It was a CBD Massage. When I heard about it, I could not turn down the opportunity to reserve this. It sounded like the ultimate self care for my sore, aching neck, shoulders and back.
CBD comes from the hemp/cannabis plant, and is different from marijuana in that CBD does not contain THC. CBD as a result is not psychoactive and does not produce hallucinogenic effects. This Healthline article provides more detail on the differences between THC and CBD.
I don’t personally recommend THC to clients in my coaching practice. When we are working with physical symptom or mental health symptom relief, THC is not useful to the practices I use to coach my clients. However, CBD is something I highly recommend.
The Science of CBD in Recent Literature:
The scientific benefits of CBD for health have been well-documented. Crippa et al. 2018 highlighted some of the benefits of CBD for relief of several chronic physical and mental health conditions. The benefits of CBD are often seen in movement disorders such as Parkinsons, as further highlighted by Peres et al. 2018. Even more recently De Gregorio et al. 2019 highlighted the benefits of low-dose CBD in reducing both anxiety and pain.
From personal experience, I highly recommend CBD for relief from the physical symptoms related to autoimmune disease. Some of the many commonalities of autoimmune symptoms include pain, tingling, burning, numbness, and inflammation, as well as depression and anxiety.
CBD can be used a couple of ways to provide symptom relief, with immediate results. The massage I mentioned earlier used LEEF CBD balm for my neck, shoulders, and spine. It provided another level of relaxation to my muscles, beyond the usual lavender oil I have requested in the past. The massage I had also included hot stones which were rubbed on my back and placed there for a few minutes. Being a bit heat sensitive, I was not sure if I would like to have the hot stones on me, but I was able to bear it, being all in for reducing muscle tension.
But other options exist for using CBD. In addition to the balm or lotion form of the product, you can use CBD extract. Often packaged in a glass bottle with rubber stopper, the extract can be placed either on the skin, or used internally by being placed under the tongue. Some individuals feel stress and anxiety relief by ingesting a drop or two of CBD extract. I find that it helps me to sleep better, and probably reduces anxiety a bit for me. CBD extracts can cost about $100/bottle. The last bottle I purchased was in Switzerland on my summer vacation. This was the Phytopharma brand which was available in many of the drug stores, or what they called apothecaries in Europe, which apparently has changed its name since 2018. Here in the US, another product we have been using is Bluebird Botanicals.
Similarly, during my trip to Europe, I found a lavender lotion made with hemp that was our favorite product ever. This was at Neal’s Yard Remedies in London. It is the best product ever for stress reduction and inviting restful sleep. Unfortunately I forgot to pack the bottle into my luggage, and had to throw it out at the airport gate. It’s not available for shipment to the United States. So I will just need to wait for my next trip to the UK to see it again.
Other Options when CBD is Unavailable:
If you live in a state where CBD is not legal, there are other options with comparable benefits for body and mind. Copaiba is often compared to CBD, and has many similar benefits, such as pain relief and improving mood. Copaiba oil is available online, such as with Doterra or other essential oil companies, and can be used with a carrier oil to place on the skin wherever there is pain. Another option for pain and inflammation is frankincense essential oil, also known as the “king of the oils”. Frankincense is also useful for reducing stress among its many benefits.
When we are looking for physical and mental health symptom relief from autoimmune disease, there are many options, and we do not need to feel limited by the medical and pharmaceutical community. Powerful options such as CBD, copaiba, frankincense and others are available for us. I recommend finding out which options work well for you in addressing autoimmune physical and mental health symptoms.