Weed Words is your go-to source for defining all things cannabis. Each month we pick a tricky, telling, thought-provoking term, or a funny, fictitious, or factual phrase and explore it in depth. This month, we answer all your questions about CBD and offer some perfect gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over. Welcome to How to Do the Pot, a podcast, demystifying cannabis for women. I’m Ellen Scanlon. Each month on our series called Weed Words, we pick a new tricky, telling, or thought provoking term, or sometimes it’s a funny, fictitious, or factual phrase and explore all of the ins and outs of that weed word so that you can do the pot with confidence
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:40):
With holiday shopping in full swing and gifts for friends and family filling your online cart or your favorite boutiques basket. There’s one weed word. That’s probably popping up on every shelf. It’s in spa essentials, pet care, intimacy products, makeup, foods, and just about everything else you can think of. This weed word is a trailblazer bringing cannabis into the mainstream and with such a variety of products it really can be the perfect gift for almost everyone. Any guesses? It’s cannabidiol. I swear, the eggnog hasn’t all gone to my head. You’ve heard this term before, and you’ve seen it too, but you might know it by its acronym, CBD.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:37):
The world of weed has been kind of flooded with CBD products over the last few years, and it’s made the market a little tricky to navigate for everyone. So to help us out, I went to my friend, Coco Meers. Coco has spent her entire career focused on women and is currently the CEO and co-founder of Equilibria, a premium CBD and wellness company that’s my personal go to for my CBD products. It’s been amazing for me to have Coco as a resource as I’ve been figuring out how CBD helps me with stress, sleep, and pain related to my endometriosis. And since I always go to her with my questions, I am super excited that she’s here to help answer the many questions we get from our listeners and our friends about what is most important to know about CBD. To start let’s go over what CBD is exactly.
Coco Meers (02:37):
So CBD is one of over 140 different cannabinoids found within the cannabis flower. Historically, of course, we know about the THC cannabinoid, that’s CBD’s cousin.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (02:50):
THC is the cannabinoid in weed that can make you feel intoxicated or high, some call it weed’s psychoactive ingredient, psychoactive meaning, that it affects the mind. We’ll dive deeper into what this means on next month’s Weed Words episode Get High. But for now, just understand that even though CBD and THC are both cannabinoids or chemicals from the same plant, they’re not the same.
Coco Meers (03:19):
They’re very, very different cannabinoids and they serve very different purposes. With CBD, what we’re doing is we are activating receptors within a system in our body that’s responsible for balance, so we’re actually helping our body balance better. All of these different parts of our body, our response to stress, our ability to fall asleep, our response to pain, all of those systems actually come to homeostasis or regulation more easily when we take CBD. So you can think of CBD, when you take it properly and consistently, as promoting more regulation, more balance, more stability in your mind and in your body.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (04:01):
CBD interacts with the endo cannabinoid system or your ECS, which you’ve heard us talk about a lot. If you need a refresher, check out our Weed Words on paranoia. The ECS is unlocking receptors across your body’s different systems and as Coco put it, “Is helping your body balance better.” Because of this, a wide variety of uses and products are now available to capitalize on these benefits. But before we dive into them, let’s talk about the history of CBD.
Coco Meers (04:36):
CBD is the oldest newest industry. I mean, humans have been using cannabis as medicine for millennia. We’ve always known that there were tremendous healing properties within the flower of this plant.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (04:52):
But it wasn’t until 2018 when the Hemp Farming Act was passed, that CBD became widespread. This law made hemp federally legal, but what is hemp? This is a question that causes a lot of confusion, for me too, because hemp and cannabis are the same plant. However, federally legal hemp has less than 0.3% THC, but it still has all the other cannabinoids like CBD. It also still has all the fibers that are used to make paper, textiles, or even the hemp heart seeds that you can sprinkle on top of your acai bowl.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (05:40):
But how did the hemp farming act of 2018 revolutionize CBD? Before this law was passed, CBD was pretty undesirable for growers of the cannabis plant. If you were growing weed, you wanted to breed out CBD and make room for higher concentrations of THC, which makes sense, because for years, THC was the most famous and the most popular part of the plant, but it’s still not federally legal. We have a whole series called Legalization 101 about where modern cannabis is today, so definitely check that out if you have any questions.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (06:17):
I have a friend who’s a winemaker, and he’s been closely connected to the restaurant industry for years. He tells a funny story about the leafy green vegetable kale. When he first started working in restaurants, the owner saw kale as this dirt cheap vegetable that was essentially useless. It was the green thing that the little kids would fling off their plates in disgust, but once the health benefits got out, the popularity of kale skyrocketed. No one was using it to rest a plate to shrimp cocktail on anymore. Instead, they were dehydrating it and making chips to sell at $10 a bag. The same sort of thing has happened with CBD.
Coco Meers (07:01):
With the opening of the market, even though it’s not yet regulated by the FDA, you had a tremendous amount of new actors and entrants flood the market. There were those who were existing in sort of a legally gray area before who could now be a little bit more out in the open and then many, many, many more come in.
Coco Meers (07:19):
But it wasn’t just that. It’s also the moment in time around genetics and bioscience. Industrial hemp has been around forever, used for paper and textiles and a whole bunch of other kind of incredible things, the hemp plan is so amazing. It was the concurrence of genetics advancements, which allowed scientists to maximize the cannabinoids in that industrial hemp plant like CBD. Then from there, it caught like wildfire because it works. Part of the massive explosion of the market is a result of marketers taking advantage of customers who might think that this is like THC, that they might get at an intoxicating effect, that they’re going to feel more chill. You do feel more balanced, you feel more at ease, and it can absolutely help address episodic in the moment stress and calm you down.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (08:23):
We love podcasts, and we know that finding your favorites can sometimes feel overwhelming so we have started the How to Do the Pot Podcast Club. Periodically we will share our favorite podcast and interview the hosts of some really great shows. Some about weed, some not. If you want to put a podcast on our radar, please reach out to hi, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org or you can DM us @dothepot.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (08:52):
For today I’m really excited to introduce you to a podcast called The Pod Broads, hosted by Alexandra Cole. If you love podcasts and also uplifting women’s voices, then you’ll love The Pod Broads. Every week Alexandra interviews, women in the podcasting industry about their personal and their professional journeys and how those two intersect. Unfortunately, women still aren’t getting the recognition or the representation in the podcast industry that they deserve and Alexandra wants to change that. She believes it can happen if we listen to women more, so listen to her and her guests, as they get deep with reflections, laugh a lot, and share behind the scenes details about their work, their podcasts, and the podcast industry. You can listen, subscribe, and follow the podcasts wherever you get your podcasts.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (09:56):
But how does CBD work exactly? For that, let’s talk about some science and head to the laboratory. Because CBD is such a hot product, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there and the truth is there’s a lot we still don’t about CBD. Researchers think that CBD can influence or modulate the endo cannabinoid receptors in our body. They’re sort of like a key that’s unlocking these receptors and because they’re able to open them up, your body is able to receive more and become more balanced.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (10:36):
It really works. According to an article published with Harvard Medical School in 2021, CBD has been proven to help mitigate anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, childhood epilepsy syndromes, and even addiction. I use CBD every day to help with my stress and anxiety. I really trust Coco’s company Equilibria and I love their soft gels. Depending on how I’m feeling, I usually take a 25 milligram soft gel in the morning, maybe one during the day, and then usually another before bed to help me stay asleep all night. If you’re curious about cannabis and sleep, stay tuned to our upcoming sleep series, where we’ll go into how cannabis is helping women fall asleep, stay asleep, and not feel groggy in the morning. We’ll be dropping those episodes next year.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (11:31):
I thought it might be helpful to tell you a personal story that illustrates how CBD works for me. This summer I sort of unexpectedly and in a very short period of time moved into a new house. It was also a little crazy because my family had planned our first vacation since COVID, so very long story, but my CBD subscription refill didn’t make it to my new house before I left for the trip. As we were traveling, I had a lot of awareness that my stress was really increasing. I was getting more anxious, feeling less able to relax, and more overwhelmed. I really felt like an extra support was missing, and that’s when I got more clear about the benefits that I feel from regular CBD. When I finally got my delivery and took my regular dose, I literally started to feel better within a few hours. It was pretty amazing. Even though I was already a believer, this experience just reiterated to me how well CBD works with my body, because when you’re feeling good, really good, you don’t always notice. When your body is actually in balance, you’re comfortable and you can kind of take it for granted. I really think of CBD like a supplement. If I go a few days without it, I notice that I don’t feel as good, but I don’t feel dependent on it. I just feel more balanced when I take it regularly.
Coco Meers (13:06):
It takes patience to understand how CBD is going to work in your body. It takes both patience and experimentation. On the patient’s front, the first time you take CBD, you’re not going to feel it. This is not Western medicine that we take after we have a headache and we’re hoping that our headache goes away. You may experience that your headache goes away, but that’s really not what this is about. This is about committing to a daily practice of CBD, much like physical fitness or any other daily supplement because when we’re doing that, we are allowing our receptors to work as they were always supposed to and so maybe you won’t actually get that headache again, maybe rather than having a panic attack on a flight you just feel less anxious before you fly all of the time. That’s what this is about. We’re trying to get you to a better baseline versus giving you something to bandaid over a problem after it’s already happened.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (14:06):
If you are worried about taking CBD, in 2018 the World Health Organization came out with a report that said there are no public health risks or potential for abuse with CBD. There’s also something you should know about called the Entourage Effect, which essentially means that THC and CBD together can interact positively in the body and brain. Since they naturally come from the same plant, it makes sense. I always encourage people to stay as close to the whole plant as possible with the cannabis products you buy, so look for phrases like “full spectrum” when you buy CBD. You may have heard me give my favorite tip for when you’ve gotten higher than you want to feel with THC and that is taking CBD in an oil tincture form. Put it under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds and it’s a fast way to feel less high. We share all the details about that also in our paranoia episode.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (15:10):
THC can also help increase the benefits of CBD. For example, if you’re using CBD to feel less anxious, a touch of THC can help speed up the process. A staple in my medicine cabinet is a cannabis oil tincture that I buy from a licensed dispensary with a 20 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC. That means that in the whole bottle, it’s 20 parts CBD to every one part of THC. I like to take literally a quarter of the dropper, a tiny amount, but just enough to sort of activate the CBD and help me feel calmer and less overwhelmed by whatever might be happening in my day.
Coco Meers (15:57):
A daily CBD routine can be very, very, very powerful, but we encourage you to take the time to let it build up in your system and experiment a little bit first at night, with how it makes you feel at night and then you can begin to integrate it after your breakfast. They will absorb better with a healthy fat or after some food and that way you will feel with a daytime CBD use once your body’s used to it, you really will feel a little more level and even throughout the day, which many women love.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (16:31):
You’ve heard Coco and me preach patience with CBD and Dr. June Chin, an integrative cannabis physician based in New York, has some tips about how long it takes to feel the benefits of CBD.
Dr. June Chin (16:45):
I actually say 30 days, because it really depends on the patient and I would say day one always differs from day 14, which differs from day 30. So really stick with it and try and be consistent with it for at least a month. And then if you decide that, “Oh, it’s not working,” get off of it and see if it’s made a difference.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (17:04):
Like other supplements, CBD can help your body in many ways and that’s why you may have seen it in everything from toothpicks to toilet paper. But with this mass marketing push has come a few misconceptions and there are limits to how much CBD can do for you.
Coco Meers (17:25):
We don’t really need CBD in our mascara. I think that consumer marketers have really taken advantage of how hot this ingredient has become. It’s gotten really big because of a lot of marketing dollars and it’s entered every single fabric of our consumer life. You can find it at the drug store and at the shoe store and at the tea store. But at the end of the day, this is about quality of life, it’s really not just about fun and being kind of relaxed. It is about so much more than that. It’s about inflammation. It’s about stress, sleep, pain. These core forces in our life that we struggle with. I’m hopeful with FDA clarity and then more and more collaboration with the medical and scientific community, CBD will kind of take its place in the nutraceutical world as a safe and highly effective therapy.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (18:17):
Until then, we want to give you our take on some of our favorite CBD products that work for us and the people in our lives, because after all, ’tis the season to give. For this High Five, let’s talk CBD gifts. Sign up for How to Do the Pot’s newsletter, where we will be adding links to the amazing CBD products that we love.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (18:43):
Number one, Grandma. That’s right, CBD is not just a hip young person’s product. In fact, many seniors are really benefiting from incorporating CBD into their daily routines. One concern with older adults is that they may already be taking a fair number of prescription pills. Drug interactions with cannabis are largely unstudied and they’re complicated so I’d recommend starting in a different direction. A topical CBD balm or lotion has anti-inflammatory properties that can be absorbed through the skin and is helping many a beloved grandma with some much needed pain relief.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (19:29):
Number two, mom. Now that I’m a mom, I understand the toll it can take to be a caregiver and feel like every moment of your day is just super busy. Moms spend a lot of time thinking about other people, but we all need to take a moment to take care of ourselves, especially around the holidays. For your mom, maybe give her that break with benefits, and that can come in the form of a CBD bath bomb. She can treat herself to a soak at the end of the day, while she lights some candles and melts into the hot water and CBD-induced bliss. Besides the glorious feeling of a good soak, the skin is our largest organ and a great way to absorb CBD and all of its stress lowering properties too.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (20:25):
Number three, a great friend. There is one CBD product that is an absolute favorite of the How to Do the Pot listeners and it’s one of my favorite gifts for friends. It’s CBD lube. So many women swear by it. It can help relax muscles, increase pleasure, and bring on heightened sensations that lead to better, stronger orgasms. Dr. June Chin shares how.
Dr. June Chin (20:55):
Cannabis and CBD for sexual health can be used to increase sexual pleasure, but it can also help you relax your nervous system and get in the mood. Topically, it can help with lubrication, any inflammation or vaginal atrophy for whatever reason.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (21:13):
CBD lube is a definite favorite and seriously, tell all your girlfriends about weed for sex. You can check out our sex episodes if you have any burning questions.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (21:26):
Number four, your pup. We’ve covered some of your life’s most important companions from grandma to your dear friends but what about your most loyal friend, your dog? What are you giving them besides too many leftovers? CBD dog treats or oil tinctures are a great way for pets to reduce anxiety and experience calm, which can definitely help if they’re traveling over the holidays or spending some extended time without you by their side. This is one where starting with a low dose really makes a difference and also talk to your vet about what’s right for your pet.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (22:11):
Number five yourself. It’s been a very long year, two years. What is time? Don’t forget that you deserve something too. I really recommend the gel caps from Equilibria, and this is not a paid ad. I’m just so, so happy to have these little gel caps in my life. They are what I take, and they really are a gift that keeps giving. They help with so many areas of my life and really improve the day to day. I’d highly recommend checking them out.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (22:49):
This has been CBD on Weed Words. Stay tuned for our next Weed Words episode, Get High, in January, and please reach out with any questions to hi that’s H-I@dothepot.com or DM us @dothepot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com and that’s also where you can sign up for our newsletter, which comes out every other Friday. If you’d like updates on new episodes and some behind the scenes with our guests, follow Do the Pot on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. If you like How to Do the Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, it helps more people find the show. Thanks to Maddy Fare, our brand manager, our writer, Malia [Grusca 00:23:40], and our producer, Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon and we’ll be back soon with more of How to Do the Pot.