Let me paint you a picture. Imagine it is Thursday afternoon at 4 PM. I had yet to do our family's grocery shopping for the week due to a string of events and obligations. My house was a disaster. The dining room table was one sock away from succumbing to the week, and a half worth's laundry piled on it. I was tired from a late night, and a morning meeting (to which I wore an infant!). Ignoring the squawks and squabbles from the next room, I stood in front of an empty refrigerator willing dinner to appear.
Except, of course, that this is reality, and it didn't. It had been stretched far beyond creative resourcefulness on the few nights we had been home that week. My heart quickened, and stomach knotted as I accepted that I was going to have to brave Costco - tribe in tow. At rush hour.
I took a deep breath and headed for the supplement cabinet to make a stiff one - Natural Calm , that is. My mind quickly went back to my morning meeting, and I grabbed my purse instead. Digging past spit up rags, ballet shoes, and loose coins until I found the small bottle of Organic, 100% THC Free, Kono Naturals CBD Oil that had been given to me earlier in the day.
I had come into contact with a local CBD Oil Manufacturer to get some information, and a product sample for a client who just had knee surgery for a torn ACL, as CBD Oil carries amazing anti-inflammatory properties. However never having tried CBD oil personally, I decided I would test it out to treat my anxiety. You see, friends. I am anxious. I was an anxious child. A nervous young adult. And now I am a mother who lives mindfully, every day, to manage my anxiety. I have made lifestyle changes like switching from coffee to matcha. I practice self-care daily and nurture my gut health. On days like today when I feel the telltale signs of my anxiety kicking up, I will focus on my breath and reach for my magnesium.
This day instead, I placed two droppers of the THC free CBD Oil mixed with Therapeutic Grade Essential Peppermint Oil under my tongue. Per the directions I let it sit for 60 seconds before swallowing and gathering my troops to embark on our mission. I'll spare you from the general details as it was everything you expect of Costco at rush hour with three small children. Although, I will share with you a defining moment.
About halfway through our shopping the baby, unhappy in the Ergo, started fussing. I stopped to remove him and carry him facing out with one arm, leaving me to maneuver my big boxed cart, loaded with two weeks worth of groceries and two tiny humans with the other and steering with supplemental help from my foot when needed. It was RIDICULOUS - a scene straight out of I Love Lucy. My five-year-old the Ethel to my Lucile Ball, as we exchanged exasperated expressions and laughed. It was with that laugh and our light-hearted exchange that I had a quiet moment of gratitude for the way I was handling what could have been an unpleasant experience.
I was relaxed. I was calm, focused and clear. I felt like me when I'm not overwhelmed by the noise in my head and stress flowing through my veins. It was like I had had a glass of wine. Wait, Did I have a glass of wine?! I honestly thought back. No. I didn't. And while I was relaxed, I was NOT intoxicated. It clicked. It was the CBD Oil. I had forgotten completely about the CBD Oil until that moment of clarity, and I was sold.
There may be some of you reading this and not be sure of what CBD Oil is, or some who may have questions regarding it. CBD Oil is relatively new, in its availability, and the information accessed through the interwebs can be confusing, and incorrect in many cases. For that reason, I, as a mother and a Certified Lactation Counselor, have put together this Mom's Guide to CBD Oil.
1. Is CBD Oil Marijuana?
No. N-O. This is a strong, resounding no. CBD oil is NOT marijuana. Marijuana is harvested from the flower (or bud) of the hemp plant and contains THC ( the psychoactive part that makes you high). CBD (or Cannabidiol) comes from the stalk of the hemp plant, which we have long harvested for its fibers. Furthermore, Cannabidiol (CBD) is not scheduled by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The Convention on Psychotropic Substances was formed in efforts to control drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics and signed in Vienna, Austria on 21 February 1971. This is not that.
2. Is it legal?
The DEA has had some back and forth discussion on the topic of CBD Oil legality, however, the most recent DEA statement is as follows:
“The new drug code (7350) established in [the Rule] does not include materials or products that are excluded from the definition of marijuana set forth in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The new drug code includes only those extracts that fall within the CSA definition of marijuana. If a product consisted solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product would not be included in the new drug code (7350) or in the drug code for marijuana (7360).”
All this to say, any substance or product extracted from the stalk of the hemp plant is legal, which includes CBD Oil.
3. CBD Oil & Breastfeeding
The fact is we don't know a whole lot about CBD Oil and breastfeeding. What we do know is that the body contains its own natural Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and contains cannabinoid receptors. Moreover, cannabinoids are found naturally occurring in human milk.
In my professional opinion, this means to me that a mother is passing naturally occurring cannabinoids to her infant via her milk, for a purpose in maintaining the optimal health of a child. While we are not sure exactly what that purpose is right now (as with many of the components found in human milk), many professionals in the field believe it might aid immunity or development. As always, the study of human lactation is constant and ever evolving.
Based on this information I would advise that if a mother was deciding between taking pharmaceutical drugs or CBD Oil for anxiety, depression or other illnesses that she strongly considers taking CBD Oil and continues breastfeeding. I would advise that she look for a high quality, 100% THC Free, Organic CBD Oil.
I would also suggest that if a mother was currently taking pharmaceutical drugs for specific illnesses that she cross-checks those medications on the government site LactMed https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm. The site is updated daily and reflects the most up to date information about drug safety and breastfeeding. In many cases the risks of drugs deemed "safe" for breastfeeding by many practitioners are shocking.
4. Safety & Uses of CBD Oil
A case study found in The National Library of Medicine on the effectiveness of Cannabidiol on pediatric anxiety and isonomia states following:
"Other names for CBD oil include CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp-derived CBD oil, or CBD-rich cannabis oil. Considered to be generally safe, CBD has been used medicinally for decades. ... (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101100/)"
CBD Oil has a multitude of uses for adults. It's is proven to act as a potent anti-inflammatory, and aid in anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress symptom, slow cancer cell growth, and pain management, to name a few. Our kids are no exception to the benefits of CBD.
It's an excellent choice for treating epilepsy, ADHD, anxiety, and can be used topically for skin conditions such as eczema. I encourage you to find a functional or integrative primary care provider, who understands the benefits of CBD Oil if you have further questions about treating specific illnesses with CBD Oil.
5. Where can I get CBD Oil?
Depending on your regional location you may be able to purchase CBD Oil in a traditional brick and mortar location. However, as with anything else the internet can be a convenient way make your purchase.
It's my suggestion that anything we put in or on our bodies be the highest quality, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or giving to your child. You want to look for the following:
100% THC Free
Third party tested for purity
*Note: When I was in the planning stages of writing this article I set out to make a product comparison. However, after researching the market online, I could not find a product that was as high in quality as the Kono Naturals product. It hit all of my quality requirements and also boasts the aid of therapeutic grade essential oils. Unfortunately, without a like product, I was unable to complete an accurate comparison test.
Mama, I remind you that you are the expert for your child. Look at the facts on all sides, follow your mother's intuition and make the decision you see fit for your family.