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There are three letters as popular as ABC in our culture today: CBD.

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is being hailed as everything from a super food to pain reliever and refers to a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. The non-psychoactive part means it wont get you “high” like THC does.

CBD research is happening by the hour since it is now legal in the U.S., thanks to the Farm Bill passed by Congress late last year. For CBD to be legal, it must contain no more than .003 percent THC. Cannabis advocates have hailed the hemp-based cannabinoid for its aid in combating seizures, anxiety, muscle aches, skin diseases and a myriad other ailments in a natural way rather than using chemical-laden drugs.

Today, CBD is found everywhere in almost every form from edibles and tinctures to lotions and bath salts. But how do you know which form is best for you — if any?

CBD primer

According to Elana Frankel of “Women & Weed” magazine, CBD is non-intoxicating and does not make you feel stoned. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, strong anti-oxidant with anti-depressant effects. CBD is also an option for people looking for relief from inflammation, pain and anxiety. (webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20171215/world-health-group-pots-cbd-has-health-benefits)

As for processing, ideally cannabis oil should be extracted from the whole plant (full spectrum) without toxic solvents or artificial ingredients (often found in the synthetic version of isolates.) There is a big difference between “full spectrum” CBD vs. isolates.

With full spectrum you have the benefits of receiving a huge array of cannabinoids, various parts of the plant. While each compound has its own therapeutic benefit, they combine synergistically to perform far better than independently (as in isolate.) Full spectrum CBD oil contains vitamins A, C and E along with complex B vitamins, as well as vital minerals such as zinc, calcium, potassium and iron.

As if those nutrients weren’t enough, full spectrum CBD oil also contains a nice ratio of healthy fats. Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3s support heart health, and hemp oil is a good source of these plus protein, which helps repair and build tissues.

According to reports from CNBC and ABC News, big business is jumping on the CBD bandwagon by recently announcing retail sales in Walgreens and CVS stores. (abcnews.go.com/wellness/story/walgreens-sell-cbd-products-stores-buzzy-wellness-trend-6203264cid=clicksource_4380645_null_headlines_hed)

This will make CBD products more available to some, at the same time forcing many small businesses to be edged out. Many lobbyists are strong-arming their way into the market as everyone looks to cash in on the new crop.

CBD for pets

CBD isn’t just for humans; pets can reap its benefits, too. Our 10-year old Australian shepherd recently had surgery to remove his toe. It was a painstaking process with a fairly long recovery. Since I am always researching holistic ways of healing, we gave our boy both CBD oil in tincture form and chewy dog treats by EFEKT. This company produces a full spectrum line for humans and their furry friends that is organically farmed and 100 percent THC free. We have been impressed with the calming effect it has had while reducing inflammation and his desire to scratch.

In addition to ingesting cannabinoids in raw form, many chefs are incorporating CBD into their products and recipes. If you’re looking to try CBD in the kitchen, here is a simple recipe for a staple here in Baja. CBD foods have come a long way since marijuana brownies.

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CBD Guacamole

Makes about 3 cups

One of the nice things about CBD oil is that it’s pretty tasteless. Sometimes they are flavored—you can also find CBD-infused olive or coconut oil. For this recipe, a small amount is needed. I use lemon in tincture form which adds a little freshness to the avocados. I also incorporate miso in place of salt. As a fermented food, you get an extra dose of natural probiotics.

3 avocados

1 tsp. organic miso

1/4 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. CBD oil (EFEKT lemon flavor is my favorite)

Juice of one lime

½ cup chopped onion (I prefer green)

3 TB chopped cilantro

2 diced Roma tomatoes

1 tsp. minced garlic

Cayenne pepper to taste

Jicama, peeled and sliced

Mash the avocados in a medium bowl. Stir in miso, cumin, lime juice and oil. Add remaining ingredients and serve fresh with sliced jicama.

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Karen Schuppert is a former resident of Napa Valley, now living and writing in Baja, Mexico, when she is not traveling with her husband in the RV. Reach her at karen@karenschuppert.com.

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