After a difficult year of pandemic challenges, stress and anxiety are at an all-time high. People have been stressed by the shifting economy, politics, strained race relations and concerns about COVID-19. With so many difficult things happening in 2020, people are understandably dealing with a lot of prolonged stress. Joseph Girouard says CBD is the next big thing that is booming in the wake of the pandemic.
Now an owner of over two-dozen smoke shops throughout the Greater Boston Area, Joe Girouard began paying close attention to the CBD industry and its potential in 2013. He has spent the better part of the last decade overseeing the manufacturing and production of wholesale CBD for a number of brands. In 2020 he purchased 1/3rd of the Vangarde Group Hemp Farm in Texas which produced over 4.5 million seeds for 2021.
CBD oil has been available for years and federally legal since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. But, Joseph Girouard believes this is just the beginning of industry growth. As people become more familiar with CBD oil and its healing properties, they will increase demand.
One of the things that is helping push CBD oil into a more mainstream spotlight, says Girouard, is the stress and anxiety exacerbated during the pandemic.
What is CBD?
CBD oil is one of the substances found in the cannabis plant. It is a cannabidiol, but not responsible for creating a high (that would be THC). CBD is able to deliver benefits to the body without having any psychoactive effect.
CBD oil can be used as a tincture (alcohol-based extract with high bioavailability), edibles, topical cream or oil. CBD shows no signs of creating dependence or being abused as a substance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Full-spectrum CBD oil will contain a small amount of THC—but still not enough to get you high (even if you take a very high dose of CBD). The full-spectrum CBD will also contain flavonoids, terpenes and other cannabinoids. A CBD isolate is further refined to only contain CBD.
Full-Spectrum CBD or Isolate CBD?
Some believe that full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective because of the entourage effect. They believe that taking more of the phytocannabinoids together will offer more support to the body’s endocannabinoid system. There are more than 120 different phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The entourage effect says that those compounds work together and are more effective when they remain combined and not isolated.
Other people are nervous that THC could show up on a drug test or affect them beyond relaxation. Even though full-spectrum CBD oil is legally only allowed to contain less than 0.3% THC, manufacturers vary and you need to choose a company you can trust.
Why Use CBD Oil?
Does CBD oil really work? That’s a common question that Joseph Girouard is used to fielding as CBD oil slowly becomes more widely accepted for everyday use.
WHO notes that the bulk of research has been focused on the benefits of CBD oil for epilepsy. Additionally, WHO says there is limited evidence that does suggest it can be used for a number of other medical conditions as well as drug addiction. WHO says, “The range of conditions for which CBD has been assessed is diverse, consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, and antitumor properties.”
In 2020, Singlecare did a survey that found approximately 33% of US adults have used CBD. About a fourth of Americans mistakenly believe that CBD oil is the same as marijuana.
“Of the Americans who use CBD, the most common uses are for pain relief (64%), anxiety (49%), and insomnia (42%). (SingleCare, 2020)”
According to the research compiled by WHO, CBD offers support for anxiety with signs of reduced muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration and improvement of social interactions.
As one study notes, “Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded, yet few clinical studies of CBD exist in the psychiatric literature.”
Addressing Stress Levels Post-COVID
There is a lot of hope with potential solutions on the horizon. The CDC recently suggested that vaccinated individuals are safe to be unmasked in public because of the effectiveness of the vaccine. But, there are still a lot of unknowns.
In January of 2021, the American Psychological Association Stress Snapshot showed that stress was higher than at any point during 2020. The report found that 84% of adults showed signs of prolonged stress including overwhelm (67%), anxiety (47%) and sadness (44%).
Prolonged stress is hard on the body and mind. Joseph Girouard believes that stress-relievers, like quality CBD oil, are more important now than ever before.