When I started brainstorming everything that I wanted to include in HAF Wellness Month, I knew I wanted CBD to play a major role. The softgels and daily drops from Equilibria have become such an important part of my morning and nightly routines, and have helped me find everything from better sleep to increased focus and more patience with my kids. (More on my experience trying CBD for the first time in this post here.) I wanted all of you to feel the same benefits from CBD that I do, which is why we introduced a 30-day CBD Challenge as part of Wellness Month!
In all honesty, I’m still learning about everything CBD can do, and I knew that all of you would have some questions, too. That’s why I’m so excited to be interviewing Coco Meers, Co-Founder and CEO of Equilibria, along with Bonnie Knobloch, Equilibria’s Head of Business Development, as part of our Wellness Expert series—they’re talking us through everything from how to figure out your correct dosage of CBD to where CBD comes from and whether or not it can have any side effects. We’ll also be going live on Instagram at 3 pm CST to answer more of your questions! Be sure to read through all of their answers below, and leave a comment if you participated in the 30-day CBD Challenge along with us. I’d love to hear what you thought!
Q: Why is CBD suddenly so popular? It seems like it’s everywhere now!
A: Indeed!! Analysts think there are over 5,000 CBD brands on the market. One reason behind this sudden flood of new entrants is the most recent Farm Bill approved by Congress in December 2018 which made CBD sourced from industrial hemp (marijuana’s cousin, but with under .3% THC) federally legal.
In addition to these legal advancements, recent improvements in genetics and breeding techniques have made it easier to express the medicinal compounds traditionally found in marijuana plants in its legal industrial hemp cousin (long famous for only rope and fibers).
When bred, farmed, and processed properly, high-quality CBD can dramatically improve quality of life. It’s not a miracle, but for many people who use it regularly, it’s truly life-changing… yet another reason why we’re hearing so much about this powerful plant.
Q: Has CBD been approved by the FDA? Is CBD legal in all states? How do I know if CBD is good quality?
A: In this rapidly growing, non-regulated industry, manufacturers are cutting corners right and left by offering industrial hemp-derived oil that’s (best case) not efficacious because it is not bred or harvested to be therapeutic, or (worst case) is actually dangerous because it contains pesticides and heavy metals. Industrial hemp as a crop is actually used as a mitigant to clean fields in between crop cycles, so manufacturers who aren’t asking detailed questions about their supply could even unknowingly be putting these harmful chemicals into customer’s products.
When looking for a high-quality product, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Always ask for third party lab reports!! Not all CBD oils are created equal so always read a product’s COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) to ensure it does NOT contain harmful chemicals and DOES contain maximum cannabinoids and terpenes, the therapeutic agents of the cannabis plant.
2) Full-spectrum oil!! There are over 100 different cannabinoids (therapeutic compounds) found in the cannabis plant. CBD works best when combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes, including its more well-known sister THC (which serves a critical function in opening up receptors on the ECS and making your body more ready to accept the CBD). Full-spectrum oil refers to the expression of as many cannabinoids and terpenes as possible, producing what is known as “the entourage effect” which maximizes therapeutic benefit and helps the CBD work better!
3) Make sure it’s all coming from the same farm. Would you take medicine that was a different strength every time? No! So why would you use a company that combines products from multiple farms?
Q: What are the side effects of CBD?
A: In 2018 the World Health Organization released a report saying that CBD has a safe profile that is generally well-tolerated in most people—you cannot overdose on CBD and it is non-habit forming.
The most commonly reported side effects are drowsiness, nausea or headaches – it’s rare, and most people who experience these side effects find that they go away on their own after a few days of consistent use. That said, there are contraindications with a few prescription medications, so we always recommend speaking to your doctor and our on-staff pharmacists can help too!
Q: What’s the best way to determine the right dosage of CBD I should be taking?
A: Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so it can take time and experimentation to find the best dose and regimen (but we promise the juice is worth the squeeze!) For newbies, we recommend starting with daily doses of both our 10 mg Softgels (longer lasting) and 10mg/mL Drops (quicker release)—usually around 20 mg a day in total.
After consistent use for about a week, we invite our members to check in with themselves and assess whether their goals are being met. If so, great! If not, it may be time to tweak either their product, dosage, frequency—or come combination!
The effects of CBD can be subtle while also creating a long-term impact. Ultimately, it’s about your body’s system functioning the way it was built to function in the first place. So, if you’re taking CBD to help you sleep, then you may notice an improvement in the depth and quality of your sleep. If you’re taking CBD to help lessen your anxiety, then you may notice feeling more even-keeled and able to handle the day-to-day stresses better. Everyone’s experience is unique. That’s why we have a team of dosage consultants to help you dial into the best dose for you!
Q: Why does consistency impact the effectiveness of CBD?
A: Just like vitamins or supplements, CBD and other cannabinoids build up in the body over time. A daily dose can help maintain sustained levels in your system and promote a more effective Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a biological system that has been shown to help control sleep, mood, inflammation and overall homeostasis (a body’s state of balance). So it’s important to keep it in top condition! Over time, with continued use, you should get to a point where you’re taking CBD as a proactive measure, not a reactionary one.
Q: Can I take CBD while pregnant or nursing?
A: Unfortunately, pregnant and breastfeeding women are always the last group to be studied in clinical trials, so there’s very little data as to whether or not CBD can be used during pregnancy.
Ultimately, for most women, it comes down to whether CBD is helping them manage anxiety and reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals they’re taking. Some women decide it’s the lesser of two evils, and some women decide not to use it during their pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It really comes down to a personal choice–and discussion with your doctor.
That said, women create much of their endocannabinoids (the compounds CBD can help replenish) in their uterus. After childbirth women are often depleted of those endocannabinoids, so many women find CBD helpful in bouncing back after childbirth!
Q: Is CBD something you can stop and start up again? I worry that once I start taking CBD I’ll never be able to stop!
A: CBD is not considered an addictive substance, and we don’t develop a tolerance to it (which is not always the case with THC). That said, many people describe not realizing how much it was helping them until they stop and their bodies fall out of balance. While a CBD regimen can, of course, be stopped at any time, many people find that like their daily vitamin or favorite eye cream, the benefits are so positive, they would prefer not to miss a day.
Q: How is CBD different than weed? Will I fail a drug test if I’m taking CBD?
A: General rule of thumb: CBD is about health, THC is about high.
CBD is a natural ingredient found within cannabis flowers that has been shown to improve mental and physical well-being, when taken properly and consistently. CBD is a powerful health agent, but there is NO discernible impairment (no high!).
“Weed” or Marijuana is cannabis sativa that’s grown to express over 0.3% THC, and industrial hemp is a cannabis sativa plant grown to express 0.3% THC content or less — this is why there’s no high, and also why it’s legal.
While CBD is technically found in both marijuana and industrial hemp plants, federally legal CBD is all derived from industrial hemp. All hemp plants that cross the 0.3% line in the sand become marijuana plants, federally illegal, and (after approximately the 10% THC mark) psychoactive/intoxicating.
The drug test question is a tough one… Every woman’s body chemistry is different, so we don’t know for sure how your body will metabolize our products. Think of it like consuming alcohol. If a beer is 5% ABV/Alcohol By Volume (like how our products contain 0.3% THC or less), the amount you consume determines your BAC/Blood Alcohol Level (or in this case, THC level in bloodstream). So the more you ingest at a time, the more likely it will be detected on a test. While it is uncommon for members to test positive given the very low THC content in our products, it is not impossible. Worried? Grab an over-the-counter THC test at your local pharmacy to find out for sure.
Q: Does CBD have any cancer or auto-immune disease-fighting properties?
A: Many of our members are using CBD to help them manage their auto-immune disorders. While CBD is a known anti-inflammatory agent (inflammation being the root cause of many diseases, including auto-immune disorders), because it’s only been legal for a short time the studies are very early. We always encourage you to speak with your doctor whenever adding CBD into your routine!
Q: Can CBD help with appetite control?
A: CBD works by helping our body maintain balance, or homeostasis, in nearly all functions of our body, including our pleasure/reward system. Early studies have shown that CBD can help manage our dopamine and serotonin levels and reduce cravings. Additionally, CBD has been shown to be helpful in producing more anandamide (our bliss molecule) which can help get to the root cause of overeating. When we feel better, we’re less likely to binge-eat!
Q: Does alcohol affect CBD? Should I avoid taking them together?
A: CBD and alcohol combined in moderation are fine. However, many women report needing less alcohol at the end of the day the more they use CBD to unwind. CBD can slow down the rate your body processes alcohol, so it can prolong that buzz!
Q: Does CBD interfere with anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds? Are there any medications you shouldn’t take with CBD (cold medicine, antibiotics, etc)?
A: Yes—you should ALWAYS ask your doctor and/or pharmacist to make sure it won’t interact with anything you’re currently taking.
EQ cofounders, Marcy and Coco have successfully used CBD with Paxil, Wellbutrin, Klonopin, Xanax, Propranolol, and Enbrel, and found that they worked quite well together and that they were both ultimately happier and healthier with an altered/lowered pharmaceutical routine and more CBD.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your doctor to decide whether or not CBD is right for you!
Q: Can CBD really be absorbed through the skin? I’ve been told that oral intake is the only way for CBD to work!
A: We always encourage members to try an ingested product along with their topical ones to maximize benefit. Though a topical CBD product won’t enter your bloodstream in the same way as an ingested product will, it can be great for targeted relief. When looking at topical products, be sure to look for a product with a lot of CBD in it, and something made to absorb into the skin, like shea butter, not beeswax, which just sits on top of the skin.
Q: Is CBD safe for children? My 13-year old suffers from anxiety and I’m wondering if CBD could help.
A: Unfortunately, we can’t advise on anyone under 18. We encourage you to speak with your doctor!
Q: I can’t afford the full balance box—how do I get the most “bang for my buck” with CBD?
A: We typically recommend starting off with our Balance Box, which is a combination of our 10mg Daily Softgels and a 300mg bottle of our Daily Drops—so you can see how your body reacts to both products. However, if you only want to start off with one product I recommend the 300mg bottle of our Daily Drops.
The Daily Drops are fast-acting, so members love them for helping manage moments of high stress. It’s also great for microdosing in small amounts, as well as titrating up slowly until you find your sweet spot. Low and slow is key!
The Daily Softgels have a lower absorption rate, because they go through your digestive system, but they act as a slow release. The effects can be subtle—most members describe it as feeling more even-keeled and balance. Think of them as an insurance policy for the day (or night!).
Whatever you decide we encourage you to journal and, after a week of consistent use, set up a one-on-one appointment with your dosage specialist to help you dial into the best personalized routine for you!
Q: Can men use Equilibria, too? Or do you have another line that you would recommend for men?
A: Yes! In the future we will be coming out with products specifically formulated for women, but at the moment all of our products are completely safe for men! Many of our members are men. I always joke that it’s still for women if your man is in a better mood. 🙂
Thank you, Coco and Bonnie, for your insight! I’m looking forward to our IG Live this afternoon and going even more in-depth on all of these questions!
If you haven’t tried Equilibria CBD yet and want to give it a go, use code LIZADAMS25 to get 25% off your order through the end of the month!
Coco’s portrait borrowed from Dope Ass Mom.