By Cara Anderson

IG: @carajojo

I grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the stigma of marijuana hung as thick as the canopies of deciduous trees. Weed is just now becoming legalized in Pennsylvania, so you can imagine that among my parents’ demographic, the rhetoric surrounding marijuana there is quite different than California.

Once I got to college, I realized that there was a portion of my large family who had been enjoying cannabis but were relatively private about it. I used to make edibles in college and I ended up giving some to my dad. He didn’t want his friends and family to know that I was the baker, so that part was secret, but he did give them out. I didn’t get why it was such a big deal to keep it under wraps and have to sit at a family gathering and not ask my uncle how the oatmeal, chocolate chip, craisin cookie my dad gave him was. It was ok to use marijuana just as long as you didn’t talk about it.

Now I’m open about where I work, what I stand for, and I fully promote using cannabis to my family members. Open honest communication about non-addictive, natural treatments. I understand that many people aren’t down for THC; especially living in a state like Pennsylvania where marijuana is still overcoming taboo. I’m sure that will change in due time.

With that, more and more of my family members are becoming interested in and utilizing CBD. An antioxidant, pain relieving, stress reducer that doesn’t have psychoactive effects? Why not. If you don’t want to get high, but you want to improve your quality of life, try CBD.

There are legal, affordable, easily accessible options for consuming CBD if you can’t walk into a dispensary. If you aren’t down to smoke flowers, don’t have access to buy marijuana, and say, you live in a state like Pennsylvania, you can head to health food stores and buy hemp derived CBD oil or CBD oil capsules. Burmans Health Shop in Delaware County Pennsylvania, for example, sells CBD oil.

Starting to use CBD may be confusing if you live in a place where you aren’t being educated about the benefits and dosages. In short, CBD can be used for Epilepsy, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Arthritis, Depression, Insomnia, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s, pain, and eating disorders to name a few. Cannabidiol is an analgesic, or pain reducer, as well as an anti-inflammatory. If you have an ailment and you aren’t sure if CBD can reduce your discomfort or symptoms, look it up or consult a doctor. CBD doesn’t alter blood pressure, body temperature, or heart rate.

CBD is non-toxic to humans and pets. Companies like Canna-Pet create cannabidiol products for aiding your pets’ joints, digestive system, anxiety, epilepsy, aging, skin allergies, and general pain.

The dose of CBD that you take is dependent on who you are, your BMI, your tolerance, and your ailments. Someone with epilepsy may require a higher dosage of cannabidiol than someone administering CBD for anxiety or generalized pains.

It’s been reported that an adult human can tolerate up to 1,500 mg of cannabidiol, and as many capsules start as low as 5 mg per dose, it would be hard to overdo it. Start slow, and build up to a higher dose. Keep a journal where you record how many milligrams of cannabidiol you take each morning and how you feel at the end of the day. It’s important to track your progress and levels of consumption.

Consulting a doctor before starting a CBD regiment is suggested. A doctor can help you calculate the proper dose for your ailment. If you live in a state where you can’t find a doctor that will support CBD use, take to the internet and do thorough research.