There’s no doubt that hemp cannabidiol (CBD) is the hottest new wellness trend at the moment. People take or apply CBD to treat a variety of symptoms, including pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, stress. In addition, it’s commonly used by athletes to help relieve their bodies after workouts and performances. Some research suggests that CBD has medical benefits. Other research shows that CBD oil for MS can be beneficial. So I was naturally curious – how would CBD oil affect my MS symptoms?
What is CBD?
There are at least 100 cannabinoids found naturally in the Cannabis sativa (cannabis) plant. Until recently, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was the best-known compound in cannabis. THC creates a mind-altering ‘high’ when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. But CBD is different. It is the primary non-psychoactive chemical of the cannabis plant – meaning that it does not provide the same ‘high’ that THC provides. Many believe that CBD has the most medicinal benefit of all the cannabis compounds. However, most do not realize there are actually two versions of this product on the market – CBD from hemp oil and CBD from marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana come from Cannabis sativa, but over the years, marijuana has been selectively bred to contain high levels of THC, while hemp plants have rarely been modified. Hemp has such a low amount of THC, that it would be impossible to get high off it. Because CBD from hemp has no psychoactive effects, the purchase, sales, or possession of hemp CBD products is completely legal in all 50 states. By contrast, there are more legal restrictions on CBD oil extracted from marijuana, including in the state of Virginia. The only CBD products that are legally accessible to me without a prescription are hemp-derived.
How I Purchased CBD Oil for MS Symptoms
After consulting my doctor, I headed over to Kultivate Wellness, a local store dedicated to hemp and wellness. I had the pleasure of meeting with the shop’s owner, Evan Somogyi, and his knowledgable staff. I recevied a tour of their shop and was introduced to the wide variety of products, including oils and tinctures, beverages – even gummy worms. As someone who was new to the CBD purchasing experience, I was at first a bit overwhelmed.
I told the staff about the types of MS symptoms that I was attempting to improve:
- Brain fog: This happens more when I am stressed or anxious. I will occassionally find it challenging to communicate with others, as simple words escape me.
- Chronic pain: My MS causes chronic pain in my face, right arm, and my right hip and groin.
- Anxiety: Serotonin deficiency is quite common in MS patients – and has certainly been a factor in my struggles with anxiety and depression. These symptoms are further exacerbated by my other symptoms, including brain fog and chronic pain.
- Fatigue: I fight fatigue every. single. day. And at the most inopportune time – around 4 pm. You know, when the kids get off the bus and I have to get them settled and get them a snack and continuously tell them they can not have MORE snack despite the fact that they are STARVING and yell at them to stop winding each other up and I still have to get dinner ready because the kids are STARVING and geez I forgot to take something out for dinner earlier… This is when I CRASH. And there are some days when my body tells me, “You will take a nap. NOW.” And I have no choice but to obey.
The staff at Kultivate Wellness recommended Charlotte’s Web CBD oil. Charlotte’s Web is a strain of hemp which maintains a high ratio of CBD to THC. Charlotte’s Web is best known for its success in patients with severe forms of epilepsy, and is often recommended by natropathic doctors for patients with neurological disoders. Note: Despite the fact that Kultivate Wellness sells their own brand of CBD products, the staff recommended Charlotte’s Web because of my neurological issues. I appreciate that!
How I Felt When I Took CBD Oil for MS Symptoms
I raced home to try my newly-acquired Hope-in-a-Bottle. I opened the box to find an amber glass bottle with a dropper. ‘Give bottle a quick shake before use.’ Check. ‘The recommend dose: two full droppers (approximately 1 mL) approximately 2 times per day.’ Note: I wish there was a mark on the dropper to indicate volume. ‘Take sublingually – place the correct quantity of drops under your tongue using the dropper and hold the CBD oil in place for 10 seconds. The 10 second hold allows for absorption via blood vessels underneath your tongue – efficiently bypassing first-pass metabolism. Once 10 seconds has passed, swallow the CBD oil.’
So easy, even a scientist can do it.
Tastes. Like. Olive oil. Not so delicious, but not the worst thing.
I drank some lemon water to get the olive oil taste out of my mouth, and waited for the transformation.
About 10 Minutes Later
I noticed the effects of the CBD oil shortly after taking it. The best way I can describe it is that it is the same feeling of energy I get when I have an espresso – I was more focused and energetic – but without the jitters associated with too much caffeine. After about 15 minutes, I noticed some of the spasticity in my arm eased up.
Here’s the best part: I took the CBD oil around 3 pm – just before the infamous fatigue set in. And guess what? No 4:00 fatigue! I had energy! Focus! Strength! I made dinner!
Take that, MS!
Several Weeks Later
At the time this article was written, I have been taking the CBD oil every day as recommended. I take it twice a day – once at breakfast, and once before the the 4:00 Fatigue hits. I have experienced less brain fog during the day, less anxiety, and almost no debilitating fatigue.
However, I haven’t noticed a ton of improvement in my chronic pain and spasticity. I may need to try a topical CBD product for the best results.
The Bottom Line
Should you run out and get CBD hemp oil from the grocery store? No, it’s not that simple. Not all CBD oil is created equal. It is essential to consider quality control tests, brand reputation, and plant sourcing information before you purchase your product.
The effectiveness of CBD is will depend on your individual symptoms, biology, and dosage. Alot more research is required before we truly understand its effectiveness towards specific symptoms. In the meantime, I will continue to use the oil to manage my brain fog and fatigue. I also plan to try a topical CBD product to manage my chronic pain and spasticity in the near future.
Or maybe I will try the gummy worms.