CBD & Me - My Personal Routine by Ashley Cote

May 21, 2020

CBD & Me - My Personal Routine by Ashley Cote

Starting a CBD routine can seem confusing for a first time user or someone who is genuinely interested in learning more about its potential benefits so I'd like to help you navigate the industry, the dosing, and understand why I started using the product in the first place. I'll also talk about industry standards like why it's super important to do your homework when it comes to companies growing/ extraction process, ingredients, and their transparency to the public at large. So let's get to it!
I started taking CBD about 3 1/2  years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, Kaia. I was starting to experience all those lovely late symptoms of pregnancy: minor aches, fatigue, insomnia, painful varicose veins, frequent trips to the bathroom and I was just uncomfortable in general. I had heard that CBD could really help alleviate some of the symptoms I was feeling but I was also apprehensive to start it while being pregnant. I don't like taking any type of medication if I don't have to. I prefer introducing holistic therapies first. But After a ton of personal research I decided it was worth a try. I got the green light to start a CBD regime from my midwives and began with a small dose of about 10-20 minutes before I wanted to go to sleep. That night I fell asleep more quickly than usual and I didn't even get up to pee! I couldn't believe how well it worked for me on the very first night. I was well rested but not foggy the next morning. And because I had gotten a proper night's rest I was in a better mood. I felt less stressed and as a result I was more relaxed and in control of my day and my thoughts. As I continued to use these products I noticed a lot of positive but subtle effects. Rest is your body's time to recover from a day's work so if you are not getting that proper shut down mentally and physically then your likely to feel tired, sluggish, and less motivated the following day which is exactly what was happening to me. I also learned when the best times were for me individually to dose it. I currently use BodyChek Wellness's CBD and mushroom-infused capsules every morning. I take one capsule along with a glass of water and my AM coffee. This little magical capsule contains extracts from 6 types of healing mushrooms. I will have to go into detail about each of these little mushroom powerhouses in another post but basically it's like an energy, wellness, and immunity boost all in one pill. CBD can be used throughout the day as well. For instance if I am having a particularly stressful day, or if I'm flying (I hate flying!), have a FaceTime conference, or have to publicly speak I will take a half dropper (.50ml) of the full spectrum CBD extract. Often times the environment your in, the people your around, work deadlines, or home/life expectations can actually influence stress levels and anxiety. We have all been there! So it becomes important to have a tool in your toolbox to safely combat and negate these overwhelming feelings. Part of my night time routine includes CBD as well. I keep a bottle in my nightstand and it's literally the last thing I do before close my eyes and go to sleep. One of the top reasons people start initially taking CBD aside from stress/anxiety is to enhance and improve overall sleep behaviors. It's a common misconception that CBD causes drowsiness but this is in fact is a result of decreased inflammation throughout the body causing you to feel relaxed, at ease, and promoting a restful state for sleep. Just like pain, stress/anxiety is also inflammation and it can have negative side effects if not taken care of. Lastly but also one of my favorite ways to incorporate CBD is through daily massage! In my opinion there is no bad massage however adding CBD into the mix is like putting your traditional massage on steroids! It's deeply penetrating, relaxing and I feel the effects long after the massage has ended. My favorite places for a rub down are my feet and upper back and shoulders. I'll also use it on areas that are sore from a previous workout. I've brought these products to the spa with me, had my husband rub me down too,  but don't neglect a good self-massage session. It's extremely therapeutic and only you know the exact areas of which need to be worked on. 
Let's chat a bit bit about what CBD is and how it works in the body.  CBD is short for Cannabidiol which is one of the many cannabinoids present within the cannabis plant. It comes in second place as far as abundance goes to THC which another cannabinoid I'm sure you'd heard of. I like to compare cannabinoids to vitamins because I think it's easy to understand. Just like orange has many vitamins a cannabis plant contains many different types of cannabinoids- 113 of them to be precise and one of them is CBD. Cannabidiol is non- intoxicating meaning it will not get you high. In fact it actually counters the effects of THC. It has a laundry list of potential benefits but we'll discuss that in a bit. We all have an endocannabinoid system or "ECS". This complex system made up of cell receptors and neurotransmitters which are responsible for homeostasis within the body aka maintaining balance from within. Cannabinoid receptors are spread throughout the body with a concentration in the central and peripheral nervous systems. They are also present in the immune system. The ECS improves the communications between all of these systems. It also controls biological functions like sleep, mood, temperature control, immune response, pain & pleasure perception, fertility, memory, and appetite. Basically everything we need to survive and thrive as human beings! When something goes wrong within the body the ECS will release natural cannabinoids or endocannabinoids to restore the body back into equilibrium. Pretty rad right? Yup our bodies are amazing! CBD unlike THC directly works with the ECS to stimulate the production of its own cannabinoids.
There are a few guidelines that I would adhere to when purchasing CBD for the first time. This particular market is saturated with companies with extremely great marketing techniques but it's up to you the consumer to do your homework and see beyond the beautiful packaging. What do I mean by this? Well, the first thing I would urge you to do is to check out their website. Here you'll be looking for third party testing. Any reputable company has this very visible to the consumer. It will showcase their transparency and reassures you that you are in fact getting what you paying for. Many CBD products are mislabeled and the milligrams of CBD is actually far less than what is represented on the label. This in turn results in a very low-quality product present in the marketplace. Third-party testing also evaluates the levels of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids per bottle which is an extremely important factor. Next look at the company's growing and exaction process. These plants should be grown organically which means zero pesticides used and no GMO's. Another important factor is the extraction process. While there are many ways to extract CBD the CO2 extraction process is one of the cleanest. Next take a gander at the ingredient list. This list should be short. You should be able to read and know exactly what is in the extractor product. If not walk away! You don't want to put unknown chemicals into or onto your body. The basic take away is to hold the company to the highest of standards and you'll be sure to get the highest quality of the product that actually works!
Ok, let's talk dosing. There is no one size fits all approach for dosing. It's trial and error, however, a safe place to start in regards to dosing CBD extract would be to take a half dropper and increase from there. For example a person taking it for chronic pain or bone cancer may be taking 3 to 4 times the amount than someone with mild anxiety. The oil should be distilled under the tongue for 20-30 seconds, then swallow the remaining amount. Next pay attention to your body. Listen and evaluate the effects. Often times they are subtle but noticeable. If you don't feel anything increase your dose until you get the desired response. When I discuss dosing with people and they are experiencing chronic pain or inflammation due to arthritis I will tell them to take an internal and external approach. This means not only dosing the sublingual (under the tongue) extract but also applying the topical CBD to the area of discomfort. This usually yields very positive results.
The possible benefits of incorporating CBD into your daily routine are really endless. Being on the receiving end of taking it daily I can tell you I personally sleep more sound, my stress levels are more easily managed and my anxiety is in a controlled state. Oh and I've upped my massage game haha! I've also heard so many beautiful stories from happy customers who use our products daily for a variety of reasons like arthritis, joint pain, mental health, stress, anxiety, sleep, depression, inflammation, headaches, menstrual cramps, skin irritations, psoriasis, acne, ADHD, Tourette's, and the list goes on! This plant has helped so many people and the industry is not going anywhere anytime soon. It continues to grow every day! I hope sharing my story with you can help to make an informed decision on CBD and if it could be a good fit for you!   I am always up to chat further on the topic and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! I'd love to share my knowledge with you and help guide wherever I can!

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