CBD 101

Jeff Sheldon on the Basics of Cannabidiol

The Health Hut has been serving Lower Alabama for more than 30 years. With a knowledgeable staff and a focus on high quality, whole-food vitamins, herbs and supplements, their stores started carrying a range of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products last year. As more people consider cannabinoids to be essential to overall health, Natural Awakenings asked owner Jeff Sheldon about CBD—what is it, who needs it and how to shop for it.

What is CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol, which is a plant-based cannabinoid that is almost identical to endocannabinoids—the cannabinoids that our body produces. Our endocannabinoid system is important because it’s like the conductor of the orchestra—it helps coordinate and maintain all the systems in our bodies. When we take CBD oil, it mimics the body’s endocannabinoids, filling the receptors and promoting balance. This gets all the body’s systems working more efficiently.

Why are people taking CBD?

Many of our customers are finding out about it by word of mouth from friends who are getting really good results. Most often they want it for pain and inflammation or stress and anxiety, but also for sleep issues, blood sugar regulation, PTSD or to help with symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Full-spectrum products like the ones we sell have so many beneficial properties and nutrients—anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, anti-convulsive, anti-psychotic. Studies have found that CBD is good for gut health too, enhancing the growth of good bacteria while preventing the growth of bad, and it mediates the permeability of the intestinal wall. There are benefits for almost everyone.

How can you enhance the effects of CBD?

Research is finding that the more inflammation someone has, the less benefits they experience. With higher omega-3 concentrations in the body, they will feel the effects of CBD more. So if you’re not getting enough omega-3 in your diet or through supplementation, you will not receive as great a benefit from taking CBD oil. Omega-3 can actually help synthesize cannabinoids within the body and regulate the whole endocannabinoid system. Also, the longer you use CBD, the better it works.

What are some common misconceptions about CBD?

That it’s marijuana. CBD comes from the hemp plant and has no psychoactive qualities. You can think of them as different subspecies of the cannabis plant.

Another misconception is that it’s a cure-all. It’s just one more feather in our cap of good health practices. We still need to hydrate, exercise, eat less sugar and more fruits and vegetables. This is just one more thing to add to our daily routine to improve our health.

What should consumers look for when they’re shopping for CBD?

Look for brands that are transparent with third party testing. With independent lab tests, as a consumer I can look at that analysis and see for myself how potent the CBD is and whether it contains things like pesticides, toxins or bad bacteria. Find someone knowledgeable to ask about the differences between products because not all CBD is created equally. We’re not going to know everything, but we’re trying to train our staff to be the best educated in the area.

For more information, visit HealthHutAL.com.

Essential Oils and Reflexology Coupled in New Program

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Licensed massage therapist and certified registered reflexologist Laurie Azzarella, of Daphne, Alabama, has launched a new empowering educational program called Reflex-OIL-ogy. In these classes, parents, caregivers, oilers and professional bodyworkers benefit from learning how to therapeutically apply essential oils to enhance the functionality of the body and its systems.

In this 8-hour course, taught in one day, students gain a practical, in-depth understanding of each body system’s function so they can assess reflex areas on feet and hands and then, using a unique application technique, apply appropriate essential oils. Stretching, muscle relaxation, energy and meridian points plus proprietary Emotional Congestion Release Technique is also incorporated into each module.

“I’ve seen how environmental toxins in our air, food, water, media and personal care products have hardened the reflex areas in our hands and feet. When I began using essential oils on the reflexes of the feet they helped create an oxygenized, therapeutic impulse flow of energy into the body,” says Azzarella, who has been an Ingham Reflexologist for more than 25 years, as well as an Essential Oil Educator. “This wholistic systematic program is the culmination of my teaching experience and my passion to empower others.”

For class schedule and more information, call 850-380-4943 or visit Reflex-OIL-ogy.com.