To put it lightly, sh*t’s been weird these past eight months. If you think back to a year or two ago, we would leave our houses with a terrible cold without a second thought. (TBH, we’d even go out to the bar on antibiotics because “alcohol kills the germs”.) Now, you probably look back at your past self and wonder how you ever went through the day without washing your hands after every surface you touched, or ever stood less than six feet apart from a stranger.
Wellness has had a big year, to say the least. A lot of the changes we’ve seen have been good (i.e. hand washing, virtual workouts—more of that, please!), but some have been just plain bizarre. Let’s take a look at some of the weirder wellness trends that have popped up while we ask ourselves, “Who is actually doing this?!”
1. Bee-Venom Therapy
One of the weirdest things to gain popularity in 2020 is bee-venom therapy, which claims that being stung by bees heals old or current injuries. Interesting; if I knew that, I wouldn’t have spent so much time running away from bees, screaming. BTER Foundation says that, “Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) is the therapeutic use of honey bee venom, either injected by stings from live bees or injected by needles.” It’s a practice that has been used for ages, but has recently become a topic of conversation and up for consideration for some since watching Netflix’s (Un)Well. Getting stung by bees sounds more like a form of torture than therapy to me, but sure, let’s go with it. Beyond this form of therapy, bee venom itself can be found in the ingredients in skin care and other topical products. IDK, I thought the point was to save the bees, not to slather their venom on our skin.
2. CBD Everywhere
There is literally CBD everywhere now. You can find CBD in drinks, snacks, lotions, bath bombs… the list goes on and on. Although CBD has been around for a while, we’re seeing it in more random sh*t than ever before as of late, and I gotta be honest, some of this stuff feels like a reach.
Like, there are activewear brands that sell CBD-infused leggings and sports bras. The infused fabrics are strategically placed throughout the garments to align with your major muscle groups. As you workout, the micro-capsules open to release CBD. Yes, CBD does help with muscle pain, but are you really going to feel it from your leggings? No studies have been done on the effectiveness of CBD clothing, so we can’t say for sure. Worst-case scenario, you get some cute leggings, I guess.
But it doesn’t stop at leggings; CBD has even made its way into our toilet paper. And you thought the wildest 2020 toilet paper craze would be about the hoarding. I see your toilet paper hoarding of 2020, and I raise you: CBD-infused toilet paper. This TP says it “may relieve feelings of anxiety or improve quality of sleep.” I’ll stick with my gummies, thanks.
3. Ice Baths
Voluntarily freezing oneself in a body of water or shower is a wellness trend that’s having a resurgence we haven’t seen since the Ice Bucket Challenge. Although ice baths have been used in many different forms for years, they have grown in popularity during a time where most of us are concerned about their immune systems, thanks to Wim Hof, aka “The Iceman.” Gwyneth Paltrow featured Wim Hof’s methods on her Netflix series, The Goop Lab With Gwyneth Paltrow.
The ice baths have been credited with everything from optimizing athletic performance, to improving immunity, to managing symptoms of chronic disease and more.
“Your vessels constrict because of the cold and open back up when your body warms up after the ice bath. This process helps to flush metabolic waste from your body, while also getting oxygen and nutrients to your muscles,” Hof’s website says. If you can’t give up your hot showers, the good news is that there hasn’t been a ton of research done on this particular method, and there are many other ways to improve immunity.
4. Ear Seeds
If your eyes are the window to your soul, your ears are apparently the gateway to wellness. They have pressure points that can help with issues such as chronic pain, migraines, and anxiety. (Anyone who’s gotten acupuncture in their ears can relate.) There are also pressure points that assist in quitting smoking and weight loss. Since 2020 has been the year of bettering ourselves in the health and wellness aspects, ear seeds are a godsend.
I know what you’re thinking: WTF are ear seeds? They’re not just a tiny addition of sparkle you add to your ear. They’re literally small seeds used to stimulate pressure points in your ear. It’s like a type of acupuncture, but without the needles. Basically, you stick them on your ears, wear them for a few days, and, depending on the location you place them, they can help with all sorts of physical and mental issues. Whether for actual wellness needs or for a trendy accessory, wellness gurus and influencers alike have been sporting this cute accessory all throughout this past year.
5. Celery Juice
Celery juice is quite simple to understand. It’s literally just juiced celery, though some people add lemon or other fruit to get the dirt and grass taste out of it. This juice cleanse is supposed to help improve the function of the digestive tract, working as a natural laxative (sounds like a nightmare, yet intriguing ). It’s a cleanse many use daily, but according to Parsley Health, although there’s no harm in downing celery juice daily, it does not have much scientific backing yet—just a sh*t load of praise from celery juice addicts.
Image: rukxstockphoto / Shutterstock.com
Your sex drive, like the Kardashian-Jenners’ plastic surgery bodily proportions, is ever-changing, and sometimes not necessarily in a good way. Even though there seem to be an influx of memes about women over 30 having an insatiable sex drive, many women start noticing a decrease in libido with age. This can happen for various reasons. Some may be dealing with stress from work or relationships, others may feel disturbed by the veritable dumpster fire that is our current sociopolitical landscape, which is just kind of a buzzkill, while others may not be able to figure out exactly why they are less interested in sex. Whatever the reason, and despite what porn would have us believe, most women are not existing in a perpetual state of horniness just waiting for the right pizza delivery guy to get them off with three thrusts (though the pizza part does sound nice). If you are experiencing a decrease in sexual desire, at what point is it an issue and what can you do about it if it is?
Not to scare you, but if you’ve been experiencing a low sex drive, it could be a medical condition called Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). HSDD is defined by the American Sexual Health Association as “the absence of sexual fantasies and thoughts, and/or desire for or receptivity to, sexual activity that causes the personal distress or difficulties” in a woman’s relationship. HSDD is surprisingly common but unfortunately, not very well recognized: one study shows that nearly one-third of women between the ages of 18 and 59 have struggled with a decreased interest in sex, another that nearly half of women aged 30-50 have experienced a lower sexual desire at some point in their lives, and yet only 14% of women were aware of HSDD as a medical condition. There are a number of potential physical causes of HSDD, including hormonal imbalance, certain medications (like birth control and some antidepressants), and chronic illness.
But just because something is a medical condition may not mean anything is physically wrong. Because we live in such a fast-paced society, there’s a good chance that your low sex drive may be caused by emotional or psychological rather than biological factors. I spoke with Kiana Reeves, who is a doula, certified somatic sex educator, Certified Innate Postpartum Care Provider, and Certified STREAM (Scar Tissue Remediation, Education, and Management) Practitioner. Reeves said that, “current life circumstances, particularly in a culture that is highly and hyper stressed out all the time” can suppress the libido. So living in a constant state of anxiety might explain why I just want to go to sleep am barely in the mood? You don’t say. Other examples of these life circumstances are dysfunction in a relationship, major life changes such as pregnancy or breastfeeding, the way we view ourselves, and even past trauma.
When evaluating your own low sex drive, keep in mind that the inquiry is a subjective one. Too often, we compare ourselves to others and put ourselves down if we think we’re falling short of some ideal amount of sex. The truth is that there’s no “normal” amount of sex that any one person should be having. What matters is whether or not the frequency of the sex is having a detrimental effect on the relationship, which obviously requires communication with your partner. As long as both parties are comfortable with the amount of sex, then there’s no problem. However, if you’re feeling good about the frequency of sex in your relationship and are with a partner who pressures you for more sex than you are comfortable with, makes you feel sexually inadequate, or does not broach the topic with openness and empathy, my advice is simple:
If you’re worried about your low sex drive, there are a number of options you can explore to address it. Reaching out to a professional such as a sex therapist or medical doctor can help you to get to the root of the issue, whether it’s physical, emotional, or a combination of the two. For those who want to explore the issue even more deeply, somatic sex education may be a useful tool. Reeves explains that somatic sex education is “understanding the nervous system and understanding the language that the body speaks and paying attention to it through sensation primarily.” Because so many of us live in our heads, we lose our connections to our body and its urges. Somatic sex education can help you to reestablish this connection with the body’s signals so that you can recognize your patterns and, when necessary, bring yourself back into balance and open yourself up to the possibility of a sexual experience, whether alone or with a partner.
A thoughtful and honest dialogue with your significant other is another important approach, especially if there are underlying issues in the relationship that may be contributing to a lack of intimacy. Taking time for stress-relieving activities such as yoga or meditation can be beneficial as well. In some cases, CBD may assist those struggling with a low sex drive. Reeves says, “CBD’s primary function is to help bring the body into homeostasis, so it deeply impacts regulation of the nervous system. It’s been shown to be great at reducing anxiety.” One product Reeves recommends is Awaken by Foria Wellness, a topical and aromatic arousal oil that is 100% natural, multi-botanical and infused with CBD to enhance sensation and decrease discomfort.
A decrease in sexual desire as we get older is natural. Whether or not it’s a cause for concern depends on your individual circumstances, but wherever you land, there’s no need to feel shame or stigma. Our sex lives are far from linear, and desire is often responsive rather than spontaneous for many women. The first step in navigating a low sex drive is to acknowledge and honor your body as well as your feelings. A little pizza never hurt, either.
Images: Anthony Tran / Unsplash; Giphy (3)
In case you’d forgotten, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting another baby. A lot has happened since the initial announcement of baby number four, but somewhere in the world, their surrogate is getting close to delivering. There’s another boy on the way soon, and over the weekend, Kim had a baby shower for all her famous friends. Unlike recent Kardashian party themes like Avengers and Giant Inflatable of Stormi’s Head, Kim decided to go with more of a chill vibe, but of course it was still extra AF. And by that, I mean that she had a CBD and meditation-themed baby shower. Ugh.
In keeping with the Kanye’s recent church vibes and Kim’s outfits that look like the world’s bougiest yoga clothes, Kim focused the whole shower around ~wellness~, whatever that means. From the photos, it looked like they were all on a driveway in the middle of a forest, but it was probably just the backyard of one of Kim’s mansions. With everyone’s yoga mats arranged around some bizarre-looking metal bowls, this really looks like a rich person’s MLM party. It’s like if that sad girl from your high school who’s shilling essential oils was rich.
The main theme of the day was CBD, and guests got to make their own CBD-infused body oils, bath salts, and flower arrangements. Until this moment, I didn’t realize that CBD flower arrangements were a thing, but truly nothing surprises me anymore. CBD is used for tons of products, and people believe all kinds of ridiculous things about CBD and its properties. In addition to the DIY portion of the afternoon, guest also enjoyed a “sound bath” while relaxing on yoga mats. I’m not going to bother Googling what a sound bath is, because I don’t need to be angry about anything today.
The guests also guessed the new baby’s name on a whiteboard, which is really the only thing normal that happened at this baby shower. There was one suggestion that Kim liked enough to put on her Instagram: Harut. It’s Armenian for “He Has Risen,” which seems like the exact kind of name that Kim and Kanye would pick for their child. He’s not even born yet, and the Jesus comparisons are already rolling in!
Guests at the baby shower included Kourtney Kardashian, Larsa Pippen, and Chrissy Teigen. I’d like to think that Chrissy was rolling her eyes throughout the sound bath, but she probably took home a CBD flower arrangement so she didn’t look rude. We still don’t know exactly when Kim Kardashian’s new baby is due, but the due date probably isn’t far off. I’ll be anxiously waiting to see if Kim goes with Harut, or something else equally pretentious.
Images: @larsapippen, @kimkardashian (2) / Instagram
Okay, story time: I used to work as a front desk girl for a popular “boutique” spinning studio. Not gonna name names because you’ve clearly figured it out already, and I lasted a month there. The place prided itself on being super open-minded and all about getting in touch with yourself, overcoming challenges, and following your soul. Once, we played an icebreaker game where we went around the room, said our name, the studio we worked at, and something we do to relax. Every. Single. Person. said alcohol is their way to unwind, along with watching a TV show or, of course, working out. I was last, and I said, “taking an edible and tanning.” The CPR woman looked like she was in shock, and was all, “Okaaaayyyy, moving on.” So much for being a liberal as your brand markets itself being, huh? Remind me why weed is worse than alcohol again?
Marijuana is the fastest growing industry both nationally and internationally. There’s luxury marijuana getaways, weed treats, marijuana spas and bath bombs, people are literally putting it in their green juice. And don’t get anyone started on the benefits of CBD because, honestly, I don’t wanna endure listening to them pontificate about its benefits as if I don’t know them already.
But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t negative connotations around marijuana use.
Yes I smoke weed everyday. No I’m not lazy. I’m literally almost a straight A student in college rn. I’m living my life and getting the shit I need done,yes I have slip ups and that’s human. Weed has helped me in so many ways that I’m forever going to defend it and its stigma.
— Bambi (@suckmypoptarts) April 13, 2019
When I was 14 years old, I got diagnosed with the most severe case of ADHD possible—I was in the 99th percentile. I was prescribed a dosage of meds that they would give someone the size of Lebron James, literally the maximum dosage. What it did to my brain is an entirely different story. I was made fun of in high school and college for how erratic my meds made me. I believed the pills would make me feel like a normal person, which I thought was someone who didn’t experience anxiety or depression. But I didn’t feel normal. Whenever I told my doctors that I was having trouble sleeping or that I was anxious, they’d just prescribe new pill after new pill or increase my dosage. I was treated like my brain was the problem, and I needed to take anything I could to be like everyone else. But deep down, I knew something was wrong, and because of that, I was indoctrinated to believe I’d never be normal.
So my conception of the self-help industry was: you’re the problem, so take a pill to make yourself just like everyone else. I was brainwashed to believe that my ADHD was a bad thing. Did you know that it was seen as an evolutionary advantage? Even during the Industrial Revolution, many inventors actually met the criteria for ADHD. I feel like that’s not talked about enough. The system did nothing to help me embrace that I think differently than others. I wasn’t using therapy or pills in a way that gave me the opportunity to evolve or to have healthy coping mechanisms at all.
Eventually, I got sober. I had to time off from college (where I was partying way too much—weed, alcohol, mixed with the prescription pills was a recipe for disaster) and learned how to cope with my ADHD, anxiety, and depression without controlled substances. I didn’t smoke weed or really drink for about a year. I learned how to look internally in order to reacclimate to society without the use of controlled substances, to get back in touch with myself, and to learn how to cope with reality. Between meditation, yoga, and extensive therapy, I began to come into my own. Why weren’t these resources suggested to me before shoving copious amounts of legal meth down my throat?
6. Whenever someone brings up ADHD. It makes it seem like it’s is just an issue of distraction. Wrong! For example, I read 2-3 books a week! I don’t know many people with ADHD can do that. But for me taking clothes out of the dryer & folding them, that’s like climbing Mt. Everest
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
As time went on, my doctors and I decided that it was okay for me to start indulging in mind altering substances like alcohol and weed again. Last year, my doctor gave me a prescription for Benzos that I use sparingly because I would never want to become dependent on them or go through the brutal withdrawals ever again. I check everything I do over with my doctors. No, seriously, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “How stupid am I going to sound to my shrink once I tell them I did *insert reckless action here*?” So I started using mind altering substances again at my discretion because through the extensive work I’ve done, I now know how to indulge in it without making it a crutch to completely detach from reality.
Without going into the gory details, I went through one of the most difficult times of my life last year. I endured a lot of trauma and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Waking up in the morning and instantly crying is the worst possible feeling, feeling lonely and utterly helpless is heartbreaking, and not feeling safe in your own city and apartment is horrific. I unfortunately turned to alcohol for a month or two because, even though it wasn’t the answer, I thought it was the easy way out. I learned over time that it just made things worse, and I’m glad it didn’t develop into something far more serious.
Over time, I turned to weed instead, and it was actually my saving grace in a lot of ways. Journaling, therapy, yoga, meditation—all that New Age sh*t—works wonders. But if you’re in a position where you need a quick fix or you simply want to expand your consciousness and see things more lightheartedly, weed is incredible.
I first was open with my shrink about how I wanted to switch from Benzos to medicinal weed and he was all for it. I got prescribed with Benzos to take sparingly in the event that I needed a quick fix to calm the f*ck down. I came to find that being in a Klonopin Cloud wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be, and in retrospect, I don’t think it ever was a comfort zone. It was just a way to detach from reality completely and a chemical way to become apathetic. Weed, on the other hand, loosened the vice grip I have on my issues and helped me see things through a more panoramic lens. While I’m still cognizant of my problems, I definitely don’t feel like a zombie like I did with Xanax or Klonopin. My shrink and I are working towards getting me a prescription for weed right now, thank God.
I recently went to L.A., and I was totally shocked by how normalized it was out there. Like, of course I knew it was legal and all that. But when I walked into MedMen, which is one of the most notable dispensary chains, I was totally taken aback by how open they were about the benefits of weed. I was awfully tightly wound about the whole thing because I was in such shock that they were all so open-minded, and it was then when I realized that I had internalized the negative stigma against weed too. The intention behind MedMen, one of the employees said, was to show people that weed use and dispensaries shouldn’t be this clandestine and sketchy thing. It should be the embraced. The place looked like an Apple store, I swear! When I mentioned that to the employee, they said it’s because they want people to know that they embrace the industry and they don’t want them to feel like buying weed should be this uncomfortable, shameful process that you need to be so secretive about by going to one of those shady looking dispensaries with, like, no windows.
I ended up purchasing products from them and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in terms of my psychiatric journey. The products they sold me were way more regulated than the bud I buy from NYU grad students. It was like taking an anti-anxiety medication that helped me take a step back and live more light-heartedly when need be. It was also a form of embracing my ADHD and thinking differently without being hyperaware of conforming to norms or pacing around because I couldn’t sit still to do my work. A lot of people think that weed makes you flighty, loopy, and totally out of it. That can totally be true, but it’s not always the case. For my ADHD, I use it to stop pacing around, keep my anxiety at bay, to calm down, and embrace that I think creatively.
Even before MedMen, I’ve always maintained that weed helped me on a philosophical level, helped expand my consciousness, and look at my life and myself without harsh judgment. A lot of people scoffed at that and saw it as a BS excuse to get high and watch Workaholics. Full disclosure: smoking weed while watching Workaholics is dope, but it’s not the primary way I use it. Now, I definitely believe that it is a form of medicine for me. I did have my struggles in the past with mind altering substances that obviously did more damage than good and I wasn’t instructed on how to use them properly in the first place. But I’m in a place in my life where I can drop a tincture of THC mixed with CBD under my tongue the same way someone can take an Adderall. For the record, I do believe that Adderall can work for some. However, 2 in 3 adults outgrow ADHD, and my doctors told me that I would never be a part of that group.
But it absolutely sucks that people still side-eye something that my doctor and I see as my medication. Although Adderall was horrible for me, you don’t see me judging people for taking it if that’s what their doctors think is best for them. It’s difficult enough that people assume anxiety is just being nervous and that you need to “suck it up,” or that ADHD is just immaturity because I have trouble focusing and staying organized. It’s not like I sit in a corner and cry because things don’t go my way or because I’m nervous. It’s not like I’m all, “Oooooh, look at a shiny red ball!” when I’m writing an essay. It’s not like I’m a lazy, careless bum because it’s a struggle to keep my apartment clean. Those things are tough for me, and it completely worsens my struggles when someone tells me that my afflictions don’t matter and that the way I believe is the healthier route is just an excuse to be lazy and indulge in munchies.
5. People who don’t have ADHD often oversimplify what it means to have ADHD. I don’t blame them, they’re not living with ADHD. But that’s one of the reasons ADHD is so misunderstood because it’s anything but simple. That’s why it’s so hurtful when people jokingly say “squirrel”
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
I think for the sake of society, we really need to start listening to each other and not only support each others’ differences, but also endeavor to encourage these differences so people can be more open. So the question is: why is society so myopic when it comes to these differences? Why is the immediate answer in the form of a capsule in order to “normalize” them? And if that capsule doesn’t work, why the next best option is another capsule, and another?
Not everyone should function the same way and fit into this mold that society created. A New Age approach helped me embrace my differences instead of stifling them, and marijuana absolutely changed my life for the better too. If it’s not for you, that’s cool. But if it could help someone, but the stigma of being associated with weed use is making them afraid to seek out that option, that’s a problem.
Lately, it seems like people can’t stop talking about CBD. There has been a huge surge in all things CBD, from beauty products to dietary supplements—some companies even sell CBD-infused lubricant. When it isn’t already integrated into a product, CBD often comes in the form of an oil. The compound supposedly helps to alleviate a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety, and inflammation. While cannabidiol (CBD) is safe and beneficial for treating these conditions and more, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding this versatile compound. Increased interest in CBD has led to a surplus of CBD-related products hitting the market—which also means a surplus of misinformation. Let’s take a look at some of the most common CBD myths:
1. CBD Is “Non-Psychoactive”
When someone says CBD is non-psychoactive, they’re referring to the fact that CBD does not get users intoxicated, or high, like THC from the same cannabis plant does.
But to call CBD non-psychoactive is incorrect, since a psychoactive substance is simply one that affects the brain—not necessarily one that causes intoxication. A psychoactive substance can affect mood, cognition, and behavior. CBD has been shown to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, so it is psychoactive because it affects mood and mental processes.
2. CBD Is Used For Medicine And THC Is Used for Recreation
The human body has an endocannabinoid system, meaning it produces its own cannabinoids. External cannabinoids from plants (called phytocannabinoids) can also influence the endocannabinoid system, where pain, inflammation, and other processes are regulated.
THC and CBD both work on the endocannabinoid system, THC directly and CBD indirectly, to unleash their effects. Both compounds are medically recognized to alleviate a number of conditions.
To call CBD the medicinal part of the plant and THC the fun part of the plant is far from the truth. Anecdotal and scientific evidence has long suggested that CBD works better with some THC present. Many medical marijuana patients use THC on a regular basis for conditions like chronic pain, glaucoma, nausea, and more. To ignore the years of medically verified uses for THC while embracing CBD would be ill-informed.
CBD has gained popularity because it has therapeutic effects without intoxicating the user, which appeals to many people hesitant to use cannabis. That doesn’t mean CBD is the only medicinal compound in the plant.
3. CBD Works Best When Isolated
The bulk of the CBD market is made up of either isolates or whole-plant extracts. Many mistakenly believe that isolating cannabidiol from the rest of the plant is the best way to get therapeutic effects, but evidence suggests that the opposite is true.
When using whole-plant extracts, all compounds of the plant are able to work synergistically with one another to boost their effects. Terpenes, the organic compounds that make up the taste and smell of cannabis, create a symbiosis with CBD and other cannabinoids in the plant, resulting in a stronger therapeutic effect.
CBD in its isolated form can still provide relief, but using full-plant CBD is more effective. This was shown in a 2015 study that stated, “Other components in the extract synergize with CBD to achieve the desired anti-inflammatory action.” The study also found that isolated CBD only worked in limited dosage ranges.
4. CBD Is A sedative
This is a confusing one, because a lot of people claim to use CBD to help them sleep. It can help with insomnia, as CBD relaxes the body, which can help you fall asleep faster. One study has even shown that CBD increases overall sleep time.
This does not make it a sedative, however. In fact, it’s been found to promote wakefulness, and many people consider their CBD dose to be energizing.
Those experiencing sedative effects from CBD may be able to attribute it to myrcene, a terpene found in high concentrations in many CBD strains. Myrcene is known for its sedation-inducing effects.
5. CBD Is Legal Everywhere In The United States
With CBD’s mainstream uprising, you might think that it must be legal everywhere. But the compound is still in a gray area when it comes to the law. Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is recognized as an agricultural tool and is no longer considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. CBD derived from hemp is now legally in the clear anywhere in the country. However, marijuana-derived CBD’s legality depends on the state where it is being sold, and that state’s own cannabis laws.
To sum up, CBD extracted from cannabis (rather than hemp) is federally illegal, but may be legal at the state level. Hemp-derived CBD is legal everywhere in the United States.
This murky legality hasn’t had much effect on availability. CBD can be found just about anywhere these days, and it’s only growing in popularity. That makes it all the more important that you know fact from fiction when it comes to common CBD myths.
Images: Caleb Simpson / Unsplash; Giphy (5)
CBD is all over the place right now, especially in LA. Everywhere from my favorite coffee shop to my dog groomer carries products with CBD. And tbh, I totally can see why. CBD does not get you high, but instead can help with pain, arthritis, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and it seems like a million other things. Like most popular health kicks, everyone tries to get it on it. Here are a ton of products that I would have never thought would have CBD, but do, and their unexpected uses for it.
1. High Heel Pain
Cannuka CBD Healing Skin Balm
I’m sorry, what? I love heels and I’m famous for being able to wear my shoes all day and night without flinching. I’ve walked the entire Vegas strip in 6-inch stilettos. It’s mostly due to my paralyzing fear of germs, and over my dead f*cking body would I ever walk around barefoot, especially somewhere as dirty as Vegas. But anyway. There is now a foot cream called Cannuka that uses CBD to ease inflammation and calm angry feet so that your heels don’t kill you by the end of the night. It also can be used to help with any skin ailments like dry skin, lips, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. No pain and I don’t have to take my shoes off? What is this, witchcraft?
2. Athletic Recovery
Elevate® Pain Relief Cream
Weirdly enough, I would never think this would apply to me, but I’m currently in so much pain from doing squats for the first time in a while two days ago. Seriously, I’ve been half-limping all day. Elevate Pain Relief Cream is to help actual athletes, instead of just out-of-shape people like me, recover from their workouts and injuries without prescription painkillers. It also helps them bounce back quickly to get back to training. I’m all for using a natural product over highly addictive drugs, so yeah, this is a really great idea, regardless of your athletic level.
3. Dry Skin Relief
Extract Labs CBD Body Cream
Body creams with CBD (like this one from Extract Labs), help with winter skin, dry skin, and itching. It also helps your skin heal and rejuvenate faster. As a victim of adult acne (and chestne, backne, assne, etc, is it skin? I get acne on it), it’s super hard to find lotion that is heavy and moisturizing enough but also doesn’t make me breakout. Since CBD is also an acne treatment, this seems like it would basically solve all skin problems? Is that possible? That’s pretty cool.
Sweet Reason Strawberry+Lavender
Ladies, put down your Adderall. Sweet Reason is a CBD sparkling water company, and honestly, I want it just because the bottles are so cute??? Like, this is way chicer than La Croix. Anyway, by putting CBD in the water, Sweet Reason boasts that you’ll feel calmer, have less anxiety, be less stressed out, and be able to concentrate better. So yeah, way more beneficial than La Croix that is just expensive flavored water. I say, un-ironically, as I take a sip of my La Croix (it’s the mango one, unsure if I like it). And don’t be grossed out by the thought of drinking CBD—I promise, it does not taste like the smell of your college dorm. And their flavors actually sound really good, like Grapefruit, Cucumber and Mint, and Strawberry and Lavender.
5. Sexual Arousal
Foria Awaken Natural Arousal Oil
Yes, you read that correctly—CBD is in lube now. Foria is the first company to make an “intimate arousal oil” with broad-spectrum CBD and botanical and aromatic oils. The company says it’s “formulated for women to enhance tactile sensation and pleasure while decreasing tension, discomfort and dryness” and has a chocolate and mint aroma. It’s only intended for topical use, but it is edible, vegan, and gluten-free. It really checks all the hippie boxes.
6. Dry Lips
W!NK Lip Scrub + Balm Duo
Image: Kimberly Nanney / Unsplash
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Cannabidiol, more popularly known as CBD, is officially taking over the world. Hemp is now legal and CBD products are being sold in stores. I remember when my mom didn’t even let me touch the Hempz lotion on the shelf at CVS… good times. Now I’m writing a CBD wellness post for Betches. LOOK AT ME NOW, MOM! (She’s definitely going to see this. Hi, mom.)
Okay, so I battle chronic Lyme disease and anxiety on the daily. I also train Brazilian jiu-jitsu 3-4 days/week. What I’m trying to say here is that I’m basically an ideal candidate for CBD because I’m always broken and hurting.
CBD is said to work wonders for pain management, stress relief, overall health improvement, as well as beauty and skin care. Since I need all the help I can get, I put a few products to the test for a week to see just how effective CBD products are for relieving pain, easing the mind and body of stress, chilling TF out, and improving my skin. Here’s how well they worked:
Skincare routine who? Yeah, I don’t have one.
As someone with eczema and super sensitive skin, trying any form of beauty or skin care product on my face or body (aside from my tried-and-true usuals) has always scared me. Was I going to break out in pimples and rashes everywhere or was I going to turn into a magical goddess with flawless skin? Nobody knows!
I tried CBD For Life’s Eye Serum and Face Cream on Sunday night after I showered and found out for myself.
I pumped a glob onto my finger and wiped what I thought was a respectable amount of serum underneath and around my eyes. I had some extra serum left over, so I wiped it into my hands then struggled to open the jar of face cream because I had eye serum all over my hands. Again, NOT a beauty pro.
So, did I turn into a pre-pubescent teen all over again or a beautiful goddess?
My skin felt healthier after applying the eye serum and the face cream, and continued to feel that way all week long during this trial run. It was shiny and glowing. It looked so good that I sent my mom a selfie then got yelled at when I told her I wasn’t sharing. Bad daughter, good skin. Oh well. Here’s photographic evidence of my skin before and after applying the cream, so you don’t just have to take my word for it.
I also swapped out my fragrance-free and hypoallergenic Aveeno for CBD For Life’s CBD Hand & Body Lotion as a daily lotion and moisturizer throughout the week. I didn’t have any reactions or break out in any rashes at any point, and it kept my skin smooth and hydrated, but it didn’t cause any drastic, noticeable differences compared to the Aveeno I usually use. It actually felt about the same.
FINAL THOUGHTS: CBD works pretty well to heal and rejuvenate your skin. My face didn’t break out and has been glowing ever since I started using the eye serum and face cream. The lotion wasn’t life-changing but kept my skin hydrated like any other lotion I’ve used. Regardless, I think I’ve officially converted from a non-skin care believer to a regular CBD beauty product user.
Stress & Tension Relief
As a betch with anxiety, I need something to calm me the hell down, so I found the perfect product to try: Baked Beauty Co.’s CALM THE HELL DOWN CBD Anxiety Salve.
For seven days, I applied the salve first thing in the morning once I woke up to relieve my already stiff and aching neck. I also applied it onto my shoulders and behind and around my knees after training Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Lucky for me, I was PMSing during this experiment so I was able to see if the product worked to reduce these symptoms as well, like headaches, lower back aches, and cramps. I massaged the salve into my temples, lower back, and pelvic area. Worked like a charm within a few minutes and lasted for a while! This 1,000 mg salve 1,000% helped to relieve stress and tension from my head and body. It soothed my inflamed joints after exercising and literally calmed me the hell down like the product name told me to.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you struggle with
life anxiety, bad PMS symptoms, or stress from work, your relationship, or anything else, then you should try a CBD anxiety/stress relief product. It’s crazy how much better your day can be when you’re not holding as much tension in your shoulders, body, and mind.
P.S. Can we please take a minute to appreciate how amazing this company’s branding is? SO cute.
Last but not least, the biggest, baddest test of all: Can CBD help manage and reduce pain from exercise and everyday/chronic ailments? I put Blue Ridge Hemp’s 200mg CBD-Infused Salve to the test for the week to find out.
I’m currently dealing with a displaced rib, a stiff neck, and aching bones. My pain started acting up after BJJ class Monday night, so I rubbed some of the salve into my calf for the first time. I’m not even kidding when I say I experienced immediate pain relief. I couldn’t believe it.
During Thursday night’s class, my hip popped like the grandma that I am and caused a rude amount of pain that radiated down to my knee. I couldn’t even walk without
crying limping. As soon as I got home I applied the salve around my hip and all over my leg… and woke up with little to no pain. I have absolutely no idea how that happened, but I’m so grateful for this miracle rub because that hip pop felt like it should have kept me bedridden for days.
I even let my friend who trains muay thai try it, because sharing is caring (especially when you hold the cure for pain relief and you’re surrounded by people who enjoy beating the sh*t out of each other). The same exact thing happened for him too. We were sitting on my couch obsessing over how quickly it helped to relieve our shoulder, knee, neck, and joint pain. Yay, the joys of getting old!
FINAL THOUGHTS: CBD DEFINITELY works to manage and reduce pain stemming from chronic illnesses, exercise, and injury. It drastically reduced the aches and pains I have on an everyday basis and from training a very physically demanding contact sport. The salve was so soothing and healing that my friend tried to steal it the night I let him try it because he loved it so much. I know I just said sharing is caring, but IDC—that sh*t is MINE and I need it.
CBD is my new miracle drug (which isn’t a drug at all). I can confidently say that after trying all of these products for a week, CBD absolutely works to improve your skin, reduce stress, and relieve pain.
It might sound like I’m promoting the products I used by saying they all worked well but that’s SO not the case. They seriously helped me and I’m genuinely advocating the benefits of using CBD for these reasons based on my experience. I’m just really excited about it, okay?
This was a really fun experiment that has changed my life for the better in many ways. I mean, I’m still an anxiety-ridden betch with a few chronic ailments, but at least now my skin looks and feels healthier, my stress is reduced, and my pain is manageable thanks to these awesome wellness products.
Thanks, CBD! 10/10 would definitely recommend.
Unless you live under a rock, then you’ve probably heard about all of the beauty brands that are finding ways to incorporate CBD oil, or cannabidiol, into all sorts of products. From lip balms to moisturizers, even lubes that contains the oil is hitting the market. And considering back in June the first CBD-based drug was granted approval by the FDA for treating patients with epilepsy, it looks as if incorporating CBD oil into products is more than just a trend. But the questions are: Why is it such a craze? What exactly does CBD oil do? Will this craze last? How do you use CBD-infused products? Which ones are the best? And most importantly: are beauty brands trying to get you high? Not exactly.
Lucky for you, I’m here to answer all of these questions for you, because it is one thing to spark up a blunt at a party, but it is quite another to be fried all day, so read on to find out how exactly to use CBD-infused beauty products and what they can do for your daily routine.
What Exactly Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis (the marijuana plant). What makes the use of CBD attractive is the fact that, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high, yet it can help relieve pain, ease anxiety, reduce depression, and clear acne and inflammation.
How Does It Work?
Have you ever experienced that feeling that some psycho people may refer to as a runner’s high? Me neither, but apparently it’s a feeling of “happiness” that occurs after a long run or a super intense workout. That feeling comes from a neurotransmitter produced in the brain called anandamide, also known as “the bliss molecule”.
Because I don’t know sh*t about how the nervous system works (except for that I’m a ball of nerves and anxiety myself), I dug deep into a study done by Dr. George Kunos, “The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy” for the National Institutes of Health. The study found that the bliss molecule is considered an endocannabinoid because it binds with CBD receptors, and when bound, the levels of anandamide or bliss molecules are elevated so that’s when the benefits of CBD are put to work.
Why Is It Being Used In Literally Everything All Of A Sudden?
When used topically, CBD oil has been found to reduce inflammation, regulate oil production, and relieve pain—all important attributes when it comes to reducing the signs of aging and treating skin issues like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Since CBD oil is a non-steroid and naturally derived, it’s a much more attractive alternative to chemical-based products like retinols (which can be super harsh on the skin).
Can It Get You High?
Nope. Whether you’re a stoner or not, you’re most likely familiar with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC in weed is what gets you high while CBD is not psychoactive so, well … it doesn’t get you high.
It’s Legal, Right?
Ehhh it’s not not legal. It’s complicated because CBD is a relatively new fad, and the laws vary by state. But generally speaking, you should be fine with CBD-infused beauty products. Don’t @ me, though—I don’t have the money to post anybody’s bail.
And now, here are some of the best CBD-infused beauty products…
Cannabliss Revitalizing Face Serum
Cannabliss’s vegan serum has a blend of hemp oil, essential oils, and Korean herbs that promote cell regeneration and oil regulation. It unclogs pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory, leaving your skin firm and glowing.
Malin and Goetz Vitamin B5 Body Lotion
Malin and Goetz’s Vitamin B5 lotion is a highly-absorbent, lightweight, and long-lasting moisturizer. It uses CBD to hydrate and help treat irritated skin.
Life Elements Bliss Ball Bath Bomb
These hemp-derived CBD bath bombs provide soothing relief for sore muscles, joints, and cramps and also helps to reduce inflammation. There are three different strengths to choose from depending on how sore you are: 50mg “Swedish Massage, 100mg “Sports Massage”, and 200mg “Deep Tissue Massage”.
Images: Giphy (3); Cannabliss Organic (1); Bloomingdale’s/Malin and Goetz (1); Life Elements (1)