CBD: A Tool for Life Change?

CBD: A Tool for Life Change?

Its rise has been exponential.

CBD's rise, that is. From 2014 on through last year the compound's popularity increased more than two-fold every single year; by April of 2019, CBD was trending higher in society's search bar than more longstanding wellness tools like acupuncture, apple cider vinegar and meditation.

The change was enough for Hemp Industry Daily to exclaim, "move over, meditation" - "American consumers are researching CBD more than many other alternative health trends and products [...] "

Looking back, it's easy to see why CBD was one of 2019's biggest wellness trends. The compound is safe, effective, and all-natural. CBD grants new users an easy entrance into plant medicine, which in turn often leads to a healthier, more vibrant life.

And looking forward, it's easy to see why CBD is here to stay. CBD products continue to get more effective, more affordable, and more refined. The word-of-mouth wildfire that initiated CBD's spread shows no signs of slowing down.

Market research firm Nielsen projects U.S. CBD sales will land between $2.25 billion and $2.75 billion in 2020. That's more than ever before in history.

Doctors are fueling these metaphorical flames, too. According to Nielsen they have plenty of power to do so: "50% of hemp-CBD interested adults said [a healthcare practitioner's guidance] would motivate them to try a hemp-CBD product, versus 16% for a family member's recommendation, [...] 17% for a friend's recommendation, [and] 15% having the product manufactured from a familiar brand."

*** Side note: those interested in physician-backed CBD can find it in Dr. David Perlmutter's Garden of Life product line!

But enough stats about CBD's bright future. Right now we're still on the cusp of 2020, a new decade which brings with it new hopes, new challenges, and new goals. If your 2020 goals are more than a little lofty, don't worry. CBD might just be able to help you reach them.

The Basis for Goal Setting

Just think about your aspirations for this year. Maybe you want to treat your body better by abstaining from sugar or alcohol or whatever's become your substance of choice. Maybe you want to make a little more money (don't we all?) to put into retirement or spend on that next vacation with your kids.

Regardless, setting goals is a fascinating process because it involves putting tangible effort into something very intangible - your ideals themselves, which began in your mind.

At first your ideals are totally invisible… then they appear on paper or on your laptop… then they begin to change how you live life… and eventually, hopefully, they make a real-world appearance. Along the way there are challenges. In a very real sense, attaining new goals requires becoming a new version of you!

And though growth isn't easy - or perhaps precisely because growth isn't easy - the plant kingdom has given us some help. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of this help? Take plant-derived CBD.

Want to Adapt Fast? Try Plants

Within the natural world there's a unique group of plants and plant compounds called adaptogens. While we've talked before about how CBD is one of them, it may be time for a longer explanation.

Mirriam Webster says it best: an adaptogen is "a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning."

In other words, adaptogens are plant substances that do two basic things. They 1) help the body overcome stress and 2) help it get back to baseline, back into homeostasis. These qualities are basically two sides of the same coin… and once they're both addressed, the results can be amazing.

Think about it: a person who's adaptable can thrive within their current environment. And that makes jumping into a new environment (and quickly adapting + thriving there!) much easier. According to many experts, adaptogens could even slow down the aging process.

To bring theory to practice, adaptogens like CBD may help you adapt to the demands that come with living better. They may actually help you reach your goals.

Ready to Change Your Life? Change Your Mind

While consistent CBD use could be enough to help you reach your 2020 health goals, other goals require support from a different type of source: your mind.

Thankfully, CBD's impacts on the brain are among its most studied. Scientific reviews like this one show that CBD may be neuroprotective, neuroplastic, and more. Its authors state that "CBD appears to stimulate synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis."

For all the layman out there (no judgment, we're not Ph.D.'s either), an analogy might help. You know how a tree's roots branch out, grow, and stay plastic (aka flexible) in order to keep the tree connected to its sources of nourishment?

Roughly speaking, the brain is the same way. It's wired with billions, even trillions, of root-shaped dendrites that branch away from larger cells and into new regions - all for the purpose of learning new things and storing new concepts. Scientists call this type of adaptation dendritic learning.

Perhaps best of all, CBD's impacts on the brain are diversified and well-balanced. Back to the CBD review study one more time: "the mechanisms underlying these effects involve multiple cellular targets to elevate brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) levels, reduce microglia activation, and decrease levels of proinflammatory mediators."

CBD, by stimulating both the brain's synapses and its faster-adapting dendrites, seems to be nature's solution for mental change. And mental change, as we've established, is a needed precursor to pretty much any other type of change. Including your personal changes en route to reaching your goals in 2020!

Basically, CBD gets the brain's chemistry set up for something special.

And while you may've heard it said that CBD is non-psychoactive, the above concepts say otherwise. CBD is very active within the mind. It's just so subtle that it often stays below the barrier of perception… and always stays below the barrier of intoxication.

Anxiety - And How to Overcome It With Ease

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes, just gonna have to be a different man

 - David Bowie, 1971

At this point you've read about how CBD may facilitate change on a physical level… and on a mental level. So far so good, right?

There's just one more obstacle to overcome on the road to reaching your 2020 goals: your fears and doubts. Facing change isn't easy, because it also requires facing your fears.

And the fear of failure, in particular, can be crippling. For some people it's strong enough to prohibit dreaming and aspiring and goal-setting altogether. In other cases, fear forces the afflicted to stay cautious and settling for average.

After all, if you set a tough goal for yourself… you could fail.

We're definitely not saying CBD will safeguard you against failure of any type. Far from it! But consistent use of the compound may reduce the fears and anxieties that come from trying, and failing, to measure up. A ProHealth CBD Store customer named Jennifer said it well: " [CBD] has calmed me down in a way that allows me to keep my competitive edge but not as anxious."

CBD may even assist you (if only indirectly!) with your career . How? That's a subject for another article… one we'll get to later. For now, just hear what this writer had to say about the topic: "I started using CBD as a total skeptic. But after I did my research, it upended my life: my approach to stress management, how I feel about cannabis as a whole, even my career."

The bolding is ours. But the message is all hers, and it's logical enough: if CBD can help a person adapt to stress, stay in homeostasis, and change perspectives… then it can probably also help with many aspects of work life. If you want to thrive in 2020, consider using CBD to help you change.

Thomas WronaThomas Wrona is a cannabis consultant, health + wellness advisor, and former professional athlete. He enjoys writing about all things CBD, both here and at Wrona Inc.

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