Introduction- The Re-Emerging and Rising of this “Magical Elixir”
The Caveats of the Panacea of the Moment
On my Saratoga.com blog, I discussed the importance of biochemical individuality. I explained that tailored wellness plans that account for the uniqueness of every client is imperative to treating the root cause of any systemic imbalance. “Protocols” are a dirty word in my practice. It is my belief that a one-size-fits all approach represents everything that is not working in modern medicine right now, and it occurs in both holistic and conventional communities.
I always err on the skeptical side with anything that is marketed or claimed to be the “cure-all.” This means when something deemed as a panacea, it makes me not only nervous but also overly suspicious and cautious. For this reason, I am especially critical in assessing the latest “superstars” which have marched across my path. Each have their own set of redeeming qualities and concerns.
I will never stop advocating for treating the individual over implementing the latest research based associative studies or randomized trials with select individuals. I even took a step out of my profession’s cheering squad when I discussed these points in critiquing the “infallible” Vitamin D.
This doesn’t mean that I automatically dismiss a substance with purported benefits or avoid suggesting them to my clients when appropriate! Rather, I always ensure that any suggestion is based on their needs at that specific point in time. This means that I find myself regularly talking people out of taking more supplements! Many believe they need unnecessary products simply based on master marketing, a current trend, or heavily funded and publicized media campaign. This article provides a good overview for considering biochemical individuality when subscribing to any health intervention, even nutrients and vitamins!
Now to the topic at hand.
Recently, someone sent me this link on CBD (cannabidiol) oil. (Thanks, Mom!)
The author was cautioning about possible adverse effects, drug interactions, potential conversion to the psychoactive component, and caveats of safety studies. It made me think of the dangers of simply jumping off the cliff like the misunderstood lemmings and downing the nearest bottle of CBD.
As I cross-referenced EVERY link, I was impressed by the critical thinking and considerations of the main points. I especially liked this reference. It reviewed in a short-and-sweet fashion the potential pitfalls in scientific jargon of drug metabolism interactions and clinical trial limitations. I’ll review some of these in more detail in a future post. For the brains that desire immediate gratification, you can allow the allure of this click bait and succumb to your minds’ craving.
Since CBD oil has been all the rage, I’ve already been researching the effects of this current “craze” for my clients for some time. This made me realize it was time for yet another Dr. Sarah article series on this subject.
It is important to keep a consistently open mind around when assessing the efficacy of anything as opposed to aiming to “prove” a modality by reporting only selected references that back up a bias. This is why it is so essential to me to have a weekly blog. This keeps me up-to-date and in integrity of my recommendations as I scan the literature. I am not always perfect at it, but I am grateful to have learned from some great researchers and true scientists to be critical of any pre-existing personal preferences.
This means that even though I am impressed with CBD oil, I still am careful. This is especially true for something that does have evidence of efficacy. This means it can not only result in clients claiming its positive effects, but I’ve also had some people report being shaken from its side effects.
After all, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” That’s what Uncle Ben says! (Any Spiderman fans?)
Move Over Vitamin D and Pour out the Rest of That Spice Turmeric… There’s a “New” Supplement “Darling” on the Block
To the sadness of all tumeric lovers, the vindication of their “Golden Spice” is slowly losing momentum as the most popular supplement on the block. A year ago, I could barely hit a link in an article without a cross-reference to “turmeric” or its well-known constituents (curcumin, curcuminoids).
To the satisfaction of my suspicious mind, I found this was for good reason. Not only was this Indian herb popular, it had a boatload of research to back it! (source, source, source, source, source)
More impressively, its claims were not just based on extrapolations from petri dish studies and tortured rodent experiments. It had clinical trials, and even some notable reviews. (source, source, source) What really impressed me was when I searched for “curcumin or turmeric” on the National Institute of Health (NIH)’s clinicaltrials.gov site, I got a hit of over 150 clinical trials.
Now, as the “golden spice age,” is dwindling, the new darling in the natural health world is emerging with warp speed. This is evidenced by the google search bar. Anyone could easily get stuck in the “weeds” for inquiries over CBD oil.
Stats show hit rates of over 158 million searches in .46 sec (as of December 28, 2018), while turmeric lags now behind at over 60 million in .6 sec. (Note, these numbers are subject to change by the minute!)
As with anyone, or, anything that reaches such popularity, the fame is met with enthusiasm, praise, criticism, and query. This “magical elixir” has been touted to remedy everything from a stubbed toe to cancer!
The CBD era is now obvious and it’s not just for the health enthusiasts. Its a “mainstream” phenomenon. Everyone from celebrities, “stoners,” millennials, baby boomers, and “common folk,” are eying it on health food shelves and inquiring of its actions in hushed tones across doctors’ offices worldwide.
A recent New York Times article eloquently explained the “recent CBD craze”:
Either way, it would be hard to script a more of-the-moment salve for a nation on edge. With its proponents claiming that CBD treats ailments as diverse as inflammation, pain, acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress and even cancer, it’s easy to wonder if this all natural, non-psychotropic and widely available cousin of marijuana represents a cure for the 21st century itself.
The ice caps are melting, the Dow teeters, and a divided country seems headed for divorce court. Is it any wonder, then, that everyone seems to be reaching for the tincture?
“Right now, CBD is the chemical equivalent to Bitcoin in 2016,” said Jason DeLand, a New York advertising executive and a board member of Dosist, a cannabis company in Santa Monica, Calif., that makes disposable vape pens with CBD. “It’s hot, everywhere and yet almost nobody understands it.”
It would be false to suggest CBD is nothing more than an obsession for reiki-adjacent bicoastal millennials. According to the AARP website, CBD has become a popular treatment for pain and arthritis among baby boomers, some of whom may have been out of the cannabis game since they rolled their last doobie at a Foghat concert in 1975.
It is now clear that CBD oil isn’t a fad that just appeared. This has been an emerging legitimate medical inquiry for quite some time. In the next article, I’m going to explain a little about the history of hemp and CBD oil and how it re-emerged. Then I will review some of the evidence, safety, considerations, applications, and its legality (NOTE: hemp is, CBD is regulated by the FDA).
Strap on your seat belts. This series is one long and winding, roundabout journey!!
Please feel free to comment below!
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.