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Cooking with CBD oil can help with anxiety, sleep issues, other conditions, proponents say

Tribune News Service logo Tribune News Service 5/18/2020 By Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel
a dish is filled with food: Many folks - and an increasing number of studies - say CBD is useful in treating everything from aches and pains to acne. And its absorption rates apparently rise when you put it in the food. © Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel/TNS Many folks - and an increasing number of studies - say CBD is useful in treating everything from aches and pains to acne. And its absorption rates apparently rise when you put it in the food.

Let’s be blunt: Florida’s marijuana business continues to grow. Pot proponents were attempting to get recreational use on the ballot for 2022 as of this writing. And we’re continuing to hear more about cannabis-sourced products.

CBD is over-the-counter. You don’t need a card for it. It doesn’t get you high. But many folks — and an increasing number of studies — say it’s useful in treating everything from aches and pains to acne. And its absorption rates apparently rise when you put it in the food.

They do it every day at Fort Myers’ Seed & Bean Cafe and Market, where co-founder Cole Peacock has been espousing the joys of hemp via all kinds of lifestyle products — from clothing to recycled dog bowls, “Florida’s only cannabis cafe and marketplace.”

“What differentiates us is that as you come in, there is a CBD counter and market, but also a cafe that blends the cannabis hemp plant into our menus — and we have hemp and CBD items that go into our dishes.”

And why might you want to add CBD oil to your guacamole?

Well, if you haven’t noticed, folks are pretty stressed these days. Which in many cases means stress eating. The other day someone said something about “the COVID-15” and I corrected him.

“19,” I said.

“No,” he replied, grasping at his belly for emphasis. “15.”

And so, say many, CBD — which contains no THC (the stuff that gets you high) — is a healthy way to reduce anxiety, among other things. And if you’re going to stress eat, why not infuse your snacks with something that could well help treat the cause, not the symptom?

“We believe there are a tremendous amount of potential medical applications, says Stuart Titus, Ph.D. president and CEO Medical Marijuana, Inc. “Many of these are going through the FDA due process for future pharmaceutical development.”

Epilepsy. Autism. Depression. Acne. Just a smattering of conditions for which CBD is being studied.

But in the meantime, folks of all ages are using it. According to a recent study-based story in Consumer Reports, a lot. Many for anxiety and pain. In some cases, the CBD was effective enough for them to eliminate prescription drug use, including opioids.

But I already take CBD oil sublingually?

That works, says Titus, but taking it with food may well up the benefits.

“CBD taken orally or sublingually … when it reaches the liver … tends to degrade,” he explains, “So it becomes perhaps 6% bioavailable to the body, so if you take 100 milligrams, you may only end up with 6 in your bloodstream.”

But, he notes, mixing it with other beneficial fats — such as those present in yogurt or avocado — “will reroute the CBD away from the digestive system and into the lymphatic system, where you’ll see 200 to 300 times greater bioavailability. Six% absorption could move to as high as 20 percent.”

And so, CBD guacamole (see recipe below, which I clipped from Gourmet Magazine many moons ago and love to chunky, spicy death).

CBD, also available in water-soluble form, can be similarly effective in adult beverages, upping the relaxation factor handily. The Sunrise Mimosa (recipe below) is just one such libation Peacock suggests for the purpose, noting that how much CBD oil to put in depends on the individual.

“Follow the guidelines for dosing on the product initially, then take note of how your body reacts,” says Peacock, who has been looking to expand his Seed & Bean Cafe to other Florida locations, including Orlando. “If you need more or less, your body will tell you. CBD is like aspirin. Some people only need to take one to feel the effects, others need more.”

Holly Bell, director of cannabis for Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, uses CBD oil regularly — something she stumbled upon awhile back while living in Tennessee.

“I have high blood pressure,” says Bell. “I stumbled on to over-the-counter CBD when a friend who is a registered nurse suggested I look into it.”

Bell did research, lots, and recommends those interested do the same. After all, in case you haven’t noticed, you’ll find CBD products sitting next to the register at liquor stores and gas stations these days. This isn’t the stuff you want.

“I also take it for anxiety,” Bell told me. “I am a much calmer, more peaceful person and my doctor and I deduced that it was the key in finally bringing my blood pressure down. It has helped me calm down, not be as uptight. The type of high blood pressure I have makes my blood vessels swell up. Cannabis is known to be an anti-inflammatory and I do think that’s why it has helped with my hypertension.”

It is something to discuss with one’s doctor, she reasserts, but is firm that CBD helped.

I used it for several days, trying two different products: Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO), made and sold by HempMeds (2 oz., 500 mg, $84.99) and PureNative Sublingual Oil (1 oz, 1,000 mg, $99.99), a water-soluble Nano-CBD oil, which you can order through Seed & Bean Cafe.

Though CBD can be used acutely — for sports-related aches and pains, for example, both Peacock and Titus say that CBD is something to look at as a wellness regimen, so while I can’t offer up cumulative data, I can tell you that the products have a very subtle flavor when taken sublingually.

Neither is unpleasant. The PureNative has a more (let’s call it) natural flavor. The Real Scientific, reminiscent of tea. I took both in 1,000 mg doses. Neither was detectable in the food or drink.

I had no real aches or pains to speak of at the time by which to measure — but both seemed to offer up a feeling of wellbeing, in particular the one I paired with champagne. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, but I was in a pretty good mood already when I took them.

Maybe I just have a high tolerance.

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SEED & BEAN SUNRISE MIMOSA

Ingredients

Grenadine syrup

Orange juice

Bubbly of your choice

*1 recommended dose of your chosen CBD oil if using

Pour juice into bottom of champagne flute to the desired level, top with champagne, leaving space for the syrup. Carefully pour Grenadine to finish — it will sink to bottom, creating the signature “sunrise” effect.

Chunky Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

Ingredients

5 radishes

1 small onion (I prefer red)

2 fresh jalape 1/4 u00f1os

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro

4 firm-ripe California avocados

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

salt to taste

*4 recommended doses of your chosen CBD oil if using

Cut outside from radishes, about 1/4 -inch thick slices and discard white interior. Cut radish and jalape 1/4 u00f1os into small dice. Wear gloves for the peppers and use seeds if higher spice desired. Chop cilantro. Halve and pit avocados. Scoop flesh into a bowl and coarsely mash in all the ingredients. Salt to taste. Add extra heat if desired. Serve with chips, veggies, on burgers — anything!

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©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

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