Over the past year coronavirus has brought an increase in the demand for immunity-boosting products.
Cannabidiol and CBD products are well known for their anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, as well as various other health benefits, so it’s no surprise that they are among the remedies people have turned to using to prevent catching Covid-19.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) can play an important role in body and brain functions, as the endocannabinoid receptors are used throughout the central nervous system and the immune system.
Studies have shown that CBD is immune suppressive and anti-inflammatory, which can reduce the immune system’s inflammatory responses, increase cellular health and prevent rapid cell growth. Using CBD products may also repress the cytokines, chemokines and T cells functions, which are all part of the body’s immune defence.
Put simply, CBD and other cannabis properties can help to suppress the functions of your immune system and to keep it active when underperforming.
CBD has also been recommended for treating some autoimmune diseases, which are known for attacking healthy cells, tissues and organs, the most common being multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis and psoriasis.
While not an overnight miracle cure, CBD provides subtle effects which often build up over time. The healthier someone is, the less likely they will notice any changes in their body even though the benefits will still be present.
Companies offering cannabidiol-infused products have reported an increase in purchases, especially since the beginning of 2020, which we all know as the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Known for helping with anxiety, pain management and reducing inflammation, CBD products are a logical solution with these three health issues increasing since coronavirus became prevalent, with people suffering from anxiety and those fighting Covid-19 themselves.
CBD-infused food contains vitamins and minerals which help boost the body’s immune system and in 2020, the world has been reminded of how important it is to be as healthy and fit as possible. Those with weaker immune systems and classed as ‘vulnerable’, have faced a lot of difficulties due to coronavirus.
In times of crisis, people turn to comfort food to ease the stress from the uncertainty of what lies ahead during the pandemic.
Research found that some companies created CBD-based food items to help boost the immune system with essential vitamins while calming the customer who may be feeling anxious.
We all know eating whole plant foods like fruit, vegetables and nuts help put essential nutrients into our bodies to provide antioxidants and help defend against harmful pathogens. Although CBD is not proven to protect our bodies from catching coronavirus and build defences, it is seen to help put people’s minds at rest, knowing they’re assisting their bodies in building protection to help fight the dreaded virus.
A lady in the bedroom? Alexandra Dunhill on CBD and intimacy
The great-granddaughter of luxury goods brand founder, Alfred Dunhill, is launching a range of CBD intimacy products.
Having secured a foot in the door in the world of wellbeing, Alexandra Dunhill, the great-granddaughter of the luxury goods brand founder, Alfred Dunhill, is launching her own range of CBD intimacy products.
After seeing how much CBD was helping her son Piers, Alexandra Dunhill became “fascinated” with the cannabis plant.
“Growing up Piers suffered from anxiety. He had trouble concentrating and was at times a challenging child. ” says the mother-of-three.
“We’d been to a few different doctors who tried him on various medications, none of which worked for him.”
After school, Piers moved to Los Angeles and began working at a cannabis publication. It was whilst visiting him in 2017, that Alexandra was first introduced to the potential health and wellbeing benefits of CBD.
“I noticed the difference in Piers and how much CBD was helping his anxiety, general health and therefore I started on this journey,” she says.
“It was very early days, but I attended various conferences and events over there and wanted to share this amazing experience back at home in the UK.”
After spending time sourcing the right manufacturer and suppliers and perfecting her branding, her CBD wellness range Lady A, launched at the end of 2019.
Following in her great-grandfather’s footsteps, Lady A is a cut above.
Where Alfred Dunhill designed luxury menswear and accessories, Alexandra has created a luxury, female-focused range of tinctures, gel capsules, balms and vapes, that she would be proud to pull out of her handbag or display on the dressing table.
She wanted the brand to be void of any stigma still associated with cannabis and ultimately aim to help people live a happier, healthier and balanced life whatever their age or background. And there is no reason why men can’t use the range too.
“I noticed there was a gap in the market, a lot of brands were very masculine and sports-focused,” she explains.
Alexandra has been taking CBD herself since returning from America saying she has never liked taking pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary.
“I’m quite an active person and believe if you can find a natural route to health issues that works for you all the better.”
When people comment on how well she looks she always puts it down to CBD, believing it may even have helped prepare her body to beat coronavirus last year.
“I’ve been taking it for quite a long time and people always comment that I look so well and calm, so it must affect your overall balance,” she says.
“I caught Covid last year and didn’t even know I had it. I never know if it’s just being healthy or maybe it’s the CBD.”
Increasing numbers of women are finding that CBD is helpful for complaints such as stress and anxiety, period pain and stomach cramps, as well as regulating hormone levels and managing some of the symptoms of menopause.
The latest addition to Lady A, launching this spring, is an intimacy range called After Dusk – including a CBD lubricant, massage oil and silk eye-mask – designed to be “fun and a little bit sexy” while also having potential benefits for both partners in the bedroom.
“Sex is an important part of life and overall wellbeing. As a female focussed wellness brand this is an area that I couldn’t ignore,” says Alexandra.
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD are thought to help if there is any discomfort and pain during sex, as well as increasing blood flow and sensitivity in the area.
A few drops of CBD oil beforehand may also reduce any anxiety and aid relaxation so the whole experience is more enjoyable for everyone.
“Intimacy can be quite a barrier for some, so I wanted to create products that people may find helpful,” she adds.
“The range has been designed to look beautiful, discrete and not embarrassing to have lying around or to receive as a gift.”
The business is still very much a family affair, with all helping out to get things off the ground and the children haven’t been too embarrassed by their mother bringing out an intimacy line.
Lady A launched in Selfridges last year and is stocked in it’s new in-store dedicated wellbeing space which opened on 26 April.
Alexandra is currently looking at extending the cosmetics range further, she adds: “Covid has probably helped with the popularity of the wellness industry, we’re all stressed and worried and the pandemic has given us more time to concentrate on our wellbeing.”
Tackling adult acne with the help of CBD
After suffering from acne since her teens, Suzanne was running out of options.
Mum-of-three, Suzanne, has struggled with acne for over a decade. She reveals how CBD has helped clear up her skin after years of searching for a product that works.
Suzanne, 31, has suffered from acne since she was a teenager.
The common skin condition affects most people at some point in their life. Many will remember living with the condition during their teenage years, but for some, it can continue into adulthood. It causes spots, oily skin and skin that can feel hot or painful to touch.
For Suzanne, a preschool teacher and mum-of-three, it has had a significant impact on her life.
“It’s one of those things where you just feel really rubbish,” Suzanne says.
“I’m not a shallow person but it does get to you after a while.
“It’s painful and it just really puts you down. I used to just go around thinking that people were looking at how bad my skin was.”
Although Suzanne’s skin did clear up for a period of time in her early 20s, the condition worsened as she approached the end of the decade.
“I used to suffer really badly as a teenager with horrible deep spots; the painful ones,” Suzanne says.
“When you’re a teenager, you think, ‘by the time I’m 30 I’m not going to have sports anymore’. Now at 31, I’m running out of things to try.”
Suzanne thinks she must have used almost every brand on the high street to help manage her acne, but none provided satisfying results. She has also have prescription medication from her doctor a go, but found that the product was too aggressive for her skin.
“It’s quite acidic and it takes a layer off your skin, so you can only use it for a certain amount of time,” she explains.
“When I stopped using it, my skin would flare up again and it wasn’t even completely getting rid of the acne anyway. I wanted something that was kinder to my skin.”
Last year, Suzanne’s sister suggested that she try CBD, but like many people, she was sceptical about the supplement due to its association with cannabis.
“She told me it might not only make my skin better but also chill me out to me out a little bit and help me sleep,” Suzanne recalls.
“I didn’t know anything about it, but I’ve had bad skin pretty much forever, so I thought it was worth a shot.”
After the first national lockdown in March last year, Suzanne noticed her skin was starting to flare up, so she decided to take her sister’s advice. She now uses a raw, unrefined oil and a CBD moisturiser daily to keep on top of her skin.
She found that the moisturiser worked a lot better than other products she had tried, which felt “heavy” and left her skin feeling greasy.
Suzanne didn’t see the benefits instantly, but after a few weeks, she noticed that her spots were less sore.
“I had to use it for a little while to see a big difference, but even if I was getting spots, they weren’t as painful,” she says.
“That in itself was better because I didn’t feel like my face was on fire.
“It does take a little while, it’s not an overnight solution. But if you keep going, it gets a lot better.”
After the pain subsided, her skin started to clear up and, in turn, Suzanne experienced a boost in her confidence as well.
“It sounds like a really silly thing to think, but I always felt like people were looking at my face,” Suzanne says.
“I don’t feel like that anymore. I went out on Friday, and wore makeup. A lot of people wear makeup to cover up their spots, but I [rarely] did because I didn’t want to make my skin worse.
“I can be a bit more girly now and know it’s not going to completely mess my skin up.”
Suzanne has also experienced improvements to her sleep.
Dealing with the pandemic along with stresses in her personal life, her sleeping pattern had taken a hit. Before taking CBD, she used to wake up at least every hour but now she finds she can sleep through a whole night.
Although Suzanne intends to continue using CBD, as a single mum of three kids, she says it can be hard to justify the cost of regularly using the supplement. A 500g tub of moisturiser, priced at £17.99, lasts a long time, she says, but CBD oil sets her back almost £40 every fortnight.
“I’m the kind of person that would give to others before thinking of myself so even spending this money on moisturiser seems selfish to me,” Suzanne adds.
“I feel guilty spending that on myself, but I have to weigh it up against how bad I was feeling.”
Suzanne has since gotten her friends and colleagues using the supplement too. Her boss, who suffers from similar issues with her skin has also noticed big improvements.
“I’d tell people who are unsure to definitely try it,” she adds.
“I think it’s important for people to be open to it.
“I still get a little flare like everyone does, it’s just one of those things. I don’t think I’ll ever not have some kind of skin issues, but it’s nowhere near as bad anymore.”
Why more people turned to cannabis during the pandemic
A new study has found that demand for medical cannabis in the US rose during the pandemic.
A new study has found that demand for medical cannabis in the United States rose during the pandemic, with most people using it for ‘mental stress’.
The findings revealed that Covid-19 case spikes, as well as events such as Black Lives Matter protests and attempted coup on the US Capitol, led to a surge in demand for medical cannabis.
The majority of applications for medical cannabis cards over the past year were for psychological purposes, with more than half of patients saying the main reason for using cannabis was “to feel happy.”
Veriheal, the enterprise behind the largest medical cannabis application platform in the US conducted the study in partnership with graduates from the London School of Economics, University of Southern California and University of Maryland and the CREA (Cultivating Research Education and Advocacy) Group.
It investigated medical cannabis interest and adoption across region, sex and age group, in relation to Covid-19 cases in America as reported by the official Covid-19 CDC data tracker, between January 2020 and March 2021.
Patient data was obtained from surveys on the Veriheal telemedicine platform, which connects prospective patients to state-certified cannabis doctors.
According to Veriheal, the most common reason for obtaining a medical card has historically been for chronic pain.
Millennials are most inclined to obtain a medical cannabis recommendation during Covid case spikes, according to the findings, followed by Gen X and Gen Z.
Data shows that sign-ups for medical cannabis consultations and appointments both rose in tandem with Covid-19 case spikes in spring 2020 and 2021, Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, the Presidential pre-election in late summer and the attempted coup at the US Capitol in January 2021.
“Medical cannabis has traditionally been viewed as an alternative treatment for relieving physical pain and chronic ailments,” said Maha Haq, CEO of CREA and graduate student at University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy.
“That most people are actually looking to the plant to ease psychological stressors, often related to external social upheaval, is an incredibly important discovery that helps medical professionals better understand evolving consumer relationships with cannabis, and from there, improve the quality of their treatment and related mental healthcare programs.”
Joshua Green, co-founder and CEO of Veriheal, added: “It’s incredible to see Veriheal’s patient database being leveraged for insights on the complexities of medical cannabis use in America.
“This is exactly the kind of application we dreamed of when we initially created our platform.”
The findings were officially presented to the American Chemical Society at their April 2021 national conference.
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