Plant Power
Cosmopolitan - South Africa|March 2020
What’s the deal with all these CBD products we keep seeing everywhere? Here’s what they are, what they do, and how to *safely* incorporate them into your life
HELEN WALLACE

Cannabis was once (and probably still is, according to the more conservative among us) referred to as ‘devil’s lettuce’ – a gateway drug that could cause serious harm with absolutely no benefits whatsoever. But boy, have things changed! In 2018 the Constitutional Court of South Africa decriminalised the use of marijuana and its derivatives in private spaces, which set the wheels in motion for this once-controversial plant to break free from the stigma that has haunted it for years. The CBD movement has been the most successful at bringing Mary Jane into the limelight ... and into our medicine boxes, beauty and self-care routines, and even the occasional meal.

It doesn’t matter where you go – CBD is everywhere. But what exactly is it? I’m glad you asked. According to home-grown (see what I did there?) CBD store Goodleaf, these three letters stand for cannabidiol, which is a compound that is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. It is this compound that comes with an impressive repertoire of health benefits. Unlike the other well-known compound loved by stoners, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), CBD is non-psychoactive and not addictive, which means that consuming it won’t make you ‘high’, nor will you experience withdrawals or dependency issues. This is because CBD works in conjunction with – or gives a much-needed boost to – the endocannabinoid system we all have that helps to keep our bodies in balance. The cannabinoid lurking inside us is called anandamide, aka the ‘bliss molecule’, and using CBD oil is a way to keep your bliss reserves sufficiently stocked so that your body can reach a state of Zen. Let’s break down these benefits, shall we:

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