Living Well

CBD: Hype or Help?

Kim Ferguson. Kim Ferguson.

Three years ago, few people had heard of cannabidiol (CBD). Now, it’s popular with all demographics. It’s even being used with cats and dogs. With an abundance of information floating around and a slew of products on the market, Kim Ferguson of Kim’s Pharmacy offers clarification and suggestions regarding CBD oil. 

For readers who need a refresher, what is CBD?

CBD is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It’s a naturally occurring substance used in products like oils and salves. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s not psychoactive.

There seems to be CBD available everywhere from pharmacies to gas stations to roadside stands. How is a person to know which product to buy? 

You’re right. There is CBD everywhere these days. Many online manufacturers are selling it as well. I will say that products sold at our pharmacy have been vetted and carry a money-back guarantee. Before buying, I would encourage people to do their research and talk to a knowledgeable pharmacist or other individual who is well-versed on the topic of CBD. You really should purchase from a medical professional who can provide guidance on dosing, side effects and more importantly drug interactions. These are not benign products and really should be monitored by a medical professional.

For what type of ailments do people seek CBD? 

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Primarily, I see folks using CBD when it comes to pain, sleep issues, PTSD, depression and anxiety. Others use it to support symptoms related to autism, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, skin issues, smoking cessation, ADHD and more.

How does CBD work with the body? 

All cannabinoids, including CBD, impact certain bodily receptors. CB1 and CB2 receptors are present throughout the body, but most CB2 receptors are in the brain and deal with coordination, movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite and memory, just to name a few. 

So, our bodies already create their own CBD? 

All human bodies have an endocannabinoid system and it predates the cannabis plant. The system itself is influenced by many things beyond cannabis and CBD. It’s designed to promote homeostasis and plays a central role in regulation, maintenance and balance of optimal health and healing. It does it on a cellular and systemic level. We even create our own endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG. Anandamide is nicknamed the “bliss molecule.” What we’re seeing is that the body responds to external CBD in the same way because CBD occupies those same receptors.

Would everyone benefit from taking CBD? 

An antioxidant fights free radicals, which damage cells. CBD is a powerful antioxidant, more powerful than vitamin C and E, so with that being said, everyone could potentially benefit from using it. 

Is CBD FDA-approved? 

While CBD is not FDA-approved in a broad sense, Epidiolex, a form of cannabidiol, has been approved. It’s used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two serious and rare kinds of epilepsy.

In what ways are people using CBD for their pets?

I’ve heard several anecdotal stories where people have had major success using CBD to soothe pet anxiety and chronic itching. 

What CBD advice would you want to leave our readers? 

I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen CBD do for my patients here at the pharmacy. To me, it’s another powerful tool in the toolbox to help people live a happy, healthy life. With that being said, it’s always wise to do your research and speak with professionals you trust before taking any new product, including CBD. 

Kim’s Pharmacy is located at 479 Dellwood Rd. in Waynesville. She and her associates are available to speak with customers about CBD. 

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