Understanding the effects of CBD

Brianna Benitez, Assistant Life and Arts Editor

With recent changes to how cannabidiol, or CBD, is viewed at both the state and federal levels, a new market of CBD products such as oils, supplements and even bath bombs are impacting lifestyles across the country.

CBD is a prevalent ingredient in both hemp and marijuana plants, however, when extracted from hemp, CBD does not produce the same effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Unlike marijuana plants, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains higher concentrations of the ingredient.

CBD found in hemp has been popularized due to its beneficial properties of assisting in a variety of health issues such as anxiety, depression, epilepsy and more.

Kelvin Martinez, industrial engineering junior, has been using CBD products for two years. Martinez said he was interested in trying CBD after hearing praise from his friends and from podcasts he has listened to.

After using CBD for a while, Martinez said he has been able to influence his parents into trying CBD for themselves.

“My parents are conservative Texans who would never even believe in weed being legal or anything like that, so for them to reach out and use CBD was kinda funny to me,” Martinez said.

To help with sleep, anxiety and stress, Martinez said he frequently uses oral CBD drops to help him relax.

“If I know that I’m going to have to give a public speech or something like that, I’ll take (CBD) so I don’t feel as jittery or on edge as I usually would,” Martinez said.

Andrea Tinney, vice president of operations for The Botanical Shoppe, a San Antonio based CBD shop with locations throughout central Texas, has been using CBD based products for the past two years to help with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines and chronic pain.

“I found the right regimen for myself with CBD and have been able to free myself from all pharmaceuticals,” Tinney said.

The Botanical Shoppe carries a variety of CBD products including oil tinctures, capsules and coffee. Due to the products’ low level of THC, all of The Botanical Shoppe’s products are legal in all 50 states.

Tinney said CBD primarily affects the inflammation of the body, which is unique to each individual. She said The Botanical Shoppe usually starts customers off with low doses of CBD in order to identify how one’s body will react to the product.

“We start off slow and allow their system to get adapted to CBD so we can figure out that sweet spot,” Tinney said. “Everyone needs a different amount depending on what they’re going through.”

Tinney said the human body is wired with an endocannabinoid system that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis.

“We had (the endocannabinoid system) since the point of conception and CBD is the only thing that helps stimulate that system,” Tinney said.

The endocannabinoid system is composed of cell receptors and their adjacent molecules. The two main receptors of the endocannabinoid system are cannabinoid receptor one (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor two (CB2). CB1 and CB2 receptors are located throughout the body and are actively producing cannabinoids themselves to help with chronic conditions.

The use of CBD does not directly react with CB1 or CB2 receptors, however, it assists with blocking the enzyme that breaks down the body’s natural production of cannabinoid. As a result, CBD aids in the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system by promoting homeostasis and increasing the production of cannabinoid.

The Botanical Shoppe’s San Marcos location opened its doors in April 2019 and has been run by Angela Carriello ever since. Carriello said CBD products can be found at a variety of places including gas stations and convenience stores. However, she said she does not recommend for consumers to shop for CBD at those locations because they typically carry random brands and associates are usually unaware of the products they are selling.

“You want to walk into an actual CBD shop created just for CBD products where people are trained and certified to help find you what you need,” Carriello said.

Since opening, Carriello said she has seen a wide age range of clients shop for CBD products, including college students. Carriello said the majority of student customers shop for products to help with anxiety, sleep and depression. However, she said the largest group of clients The Botanical Shoppe receives are elderly customers who look for products to help with diseases and ailments that come with older age.

Carriello said the majority of The Botanical Shoppe’s products are made in Colorado. She said all products undergo an in-depth extraction process to ensure the products can be easily absorbed into the body as well as contain a low-level of THC.

“We’re very specific on everything that we have and know what’s inside every bottle,” Carriello said.

Elizabeth Urbizu is a San Marcos based massage therapist and currently runs her own massage parlor, Sobar Massage. Urbizu said she was interested in trying CBD products after learning about the anti-inflammatory properties associated with them.

“I’ve always known there were anti-inflammatory properties in marijuana and cannabis and since CBD comes from the same plants, I was pretty sold right away,” Urbizu said.

Urbizu said she has been using CBD products for the past two years and primarily uses tinctures and topical oils on herself and her clients.

“(CBD) helps with pain and living with less pain leads to a better quality of life, so I’d like to imagine it’s helped me quite a bit,” Urbizu said.

Although certain CBD products are legal in the United States, CBD continues to be an unregulated supplement by the Food and Drug Administration. Those interested in trying CBD can speak with a trusted healthcare provider to determine what is best for them.

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