The Babe's Guide to Using CBD in the Workplace
Written by Sarah Preston
Editor’s note: The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Consult a healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. CBD is not legal in all U.S. states. Please observe your local laws with regard to CBD products.
In today’s rat-race economy, everyone (including me) is looking to get a leg up on the career ladder. Will this app make me smarter? Can I hack my brain with meditation? The newest wave of performance-enhancers for the office may come from an unexpected source. Cannabinoids are a hot topic in today’s popular culture with the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States. While marijuana madness is sweeping the nation, THC’s older, chiller brother CBD is silently gaining an army of loyal followers by billing itself as a cure-all tincture for everything from relieving back pain to curing cancer. I talked to five CBD-using babes from all walks of life who gave me their honest take. Could CBD be the answer we’ve been looking for at work? Let’s find out!
While CBD has been known to the scientific community almost 80 years, its route into pop culture has arisen much more recently. CBD gained popularity in mainstream media with the case of Charlotte Figi, who, at the age of 5, was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy which was undeterred by traditional epilepsy medications but was successfully treated with CBD. Since that time, CBD has slowly gained traction in the medical community for the treatment of epilepsy, and more widely in the holistic community for a host of health-related benefits. Today, CBD is available in a wide assortment of products. You can purchase oil to take sublingually (under the tongue), gummies, vape pens or even creams and lotions. It comes in a variety of strengths and dosages as well. Sam Goldbold, owner of 2SmartyPlants, a holistic health and nutrition services company, uses a sublingual spray. She notes, “It’s not messy and way easier than the droppers you put under your tongue.”
If we’re putting our trust in an internet search, CBD is lauded as a magic bullet for back pain, anxiety, cancer and even diabetes—but how many of these claims are actually true? A good number of them, as it turns out; although many have yet to be tested on human populations. A report published in 2015 shows research supports acute dosing in the treatment of “generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.”  Emma, who works for an investment advisor, says: “Using only the oil like I do now, the biggest benefit has been improved moods. It’s difficult to explain exactly, but I feel lighter and in higher spirits. It helps me not sweat the small stuff, and issues that may have made me upset or angry before just aren’t a big deal anymore.”
In the world of autoimmune disorders, laboratory studies in mice have shown CBD to be helpful in the treatment of both arthritis and type-1 diabetes.  When we think about cancer and cannabinoids, psychoactive THC is generally understood to be the drug of choice. Cancer patients use it due to its effectiveness in suppressing pain and nausea. However, recent studies have shown CBD may slow or reduce the growth of cancer cells in a lab setting.  The icing on the cake in the CBD argument is the indication that CBD has significantly fewer side effects than other medications which are used for the same purposes.  While CBD’s properties still need to be examined, initial research says the benefits of using CBD outweigh the risks. Because of this, CBD may have the ability to gain a foothold in the larger medical community today.
Right now you might be asking yourself, “That’s all well and good, but if I order CBD on the internet is a SWAT team of feds going to break down my door?” The short answer is no; the long answer is a little more complicated. CBD is currently legal in all 50 states of the U.S. However, there are some caveats. CBD from hemp = OK. CBD from marijuana = no go. Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, in which THC has been bred out. Because of the low levels of THC in hemp, products derived from it can be sold in the U.S. (Just don’t go try and smoke that hemp dress you bought at Whole Foods to get high. It’s not gonna work.)
Marijuana-derived CBD may contain up to 20 percent THC, which makes it useful for things like controlling pain, but is also why the federal government says “no way.” There are a few states which regulate the use of CBD more heavily than others. In Texas, where I live, hemp-derived CBD is legal, but marijuana-derived CBD is only legal with a prescription if you have intractable epilepsy and you’ve already tried at least two epilepsy medications that didn’t work. CBDOrigin.com has a helpful chart to see if marijuana-derived CBD is legal in your state.
So, what does all of this mean for you—a babe out in the wild world of corporate incentives and 12-hour workdays? One of the main issues that plagues career women today is anxiety. Whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, the pressures on women in today’s society have us freaking out. I spoke with five working women who are currently taking CBD, and they all listed anxiety/mood in their top reasons for use. Nichole, who works in San Francisco as a recruiter for a staffing agency and takes CBD by smoking it says: “I think it helps at work, specifically because I work in a high-pressure sales environment. [Because of] that, combined with my anxiety, I can get very tense and can’t focus. CBD just helps relax me. The smoking is grounding and brings me back in my body as well. Personally, I find that smoking marijuana that has a high amount of CBD and a low amount of THC really helps with the anxiety and depression. THC alone causes a lot of anxiety, but when mixed with the CBD, it’s actually very relaxing.”
Another great use for CBD is to help with old Aunt Flo. Many women, myself included, deal with significant menstrual pain that interferes with their ability to work effectively. Emma is planning to use high CBD medical marijuana to help with “pain relief and with stronger mood swings associated with my cycle, and in turn, reduce absences and increase productivity.” Alice, an administrative employee at a behavioral health agency, recommends muscle balm with CBD oil for “computer-chair-hunchback-ache.” She says she’s able to keep working at her desk because it helps so much.
As far CBD’s effects on your general health, according to Sam Godbold, “Hemp-derived CBD is a great source of antioxidants and omegas -3, -6 and -9, which are great for overall health and help to reduce inflammation.” When you’re less sick, you’re at work more, which means you’re more likely to get that promotion you’ve been working for. Studies have also shown CBD exhibits neuroprotective properties in Alzheimer patients, which could mean that it may actually be helping your brain at work. Personally, I use CBD daily (20mg sublingually in the morning) and find its effects are like allergy medicine. I don’t notice that it’s working, I only notice an absence of the symptoms I was previously experiencing. CBD helps me keep things in perspective and helps keep my anxiety in check when things feel like they’re spinning out of control at work. Based on the plethora of benefits and low risk of side-effects, CBD could be a good addition to your regular morning routine—and it might even help you get that edge you’ve been looking for.
Sarah has spent a decade navigating in the corporate world and is currently a Senior Data Analyst in the workers compensation industry. She also helps busy boss ladies #WorkitatWork with her blog Dressed to Impreston. Mom of one human child and three the of the canine persuasion, Sarah spends her off time as President of the Houston Area Seminole Club and reading everything she can get her hands on. Keep up with her on Instagram.