While information about cromolyn was generally hard to come by, most of what I found on CBD was unfortunately biased by whoever was selling it. And as much as I love my chronic-illness/rare-disease-dedicated Facebook forums, I sadly can’t say the same about any of the CBD groups. Admins of all the groups I’ve joined seemed to be mainly focused on pushing their own products and, even when I voiced my desire for some sort of impartial overview that would allow newcomers to make their own informed decision about which brand they found best, I’d get messages from other members, claiming they agreed, and then trying to sell me on their brand! But here’s what I’ve managed to figure out..
Cannabis is a plant. Cannabis sativa, tends to grow tall with thin leaves and provide an energizing, mental high, while cannabis indica, typically grows short with broad leaves and leaves you with a calming, physical high. But, as with all rules, there are exceptions and with so many hybrid strains today, it’s hard to generalize.
There are over 100 compounds in cannabis, called cannabinoids, the most well-known being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive one. Hemp is essentially just cannabis that only contains trace amounts of THC, allowing it to be used industrially.
CBD (Cannabidiol), another cannabinoid, is basically the yin to THC’s yang – typically one will dominate the other – and has become very popular as a cannabis extract. If extracted from hemp, it can be bought legally in most places and is overseen by government regulations, like any other dietary supplement. It also won’t get you high.
I tried two, 10ml bottles from two different companies, one 4% and one 10% CBD, both suspended in olive oil. Using a dropper and a mirror (to count the drops), I let it sit under my tongue for about a minute before swallowing so it could be absorbed directly into my bloodstream. It did helped with pain (which wasn’t really an issue at the time), but not so much with fatigue. I eventually took so much I felt like I was on a caffeine high and I started having headaches.
Realizing, I stood to benefit more from the whole plant and, because I couldn’t find any cannabis oil, I decided try it in herb form. A sativa-dominant strain should be most energizing, but sativas are also often high in THC, which isn’t ideal if you suffer from anxiety. But most importantly, I don’t smoking my cannabis. Heat is what turns THCa into the psychoactive THC. By eating my herb raw, I may miss out on certain benefit, but I do managed to feel a little more normal without getting high.
leafly.com is a great source of information on all things cannabis!