What is CBD and what ailments can it help?


By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer

Since being legalized federally in 2018, CBD sales have become a multi-billion-dollar industry. People are using CBD to help with a variety of ailments.
Since being legalized federally in 2018, CBD sales have become a multi-billion-dollar industry.

REGION – There is a misconception with CBD and what it is. Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a chemical derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It is not psychoactive or intoxicating like its cousin, THC, while derived from the same plant. It was federally illegal prior to the 2018 Farm Bill that was passed. 


Now widely available

It is now common to walk into a health food store, pharmacy, some grocery stores and more and find numerous products available that contain CBD. Topical ointments, tinctures, lotions, gummies and more all cater to those seeking to alleviate some sort of pain or symptom. Some proponents of CBD oil claim it is beneficial in treating inflammation, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, migraines, nausea, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, sleep disorders and other ailments. There are some side effects associated with the use of CBD that might include drowsiness, diarrhea, dry mouth, reduced appetite, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications like blood thinners so it’s best to check with your doctor before you begin using it if you are on any medications. 

Some people find using CBD to be very helpful while others conclude that it does not cure what is ailing them. Regardless, it is big business.


A variety of experiences

“I work a physically demanding job and use NSAIDs like Advil to control pain,” said Steve Bahn of Bolton. “Recently, I had a single episode of Afib and was immediately put on blood thinners to cut the risk of strokes. Tylenol, in my case, doesn’t have enough impact,” to relieve his pain, he explained. “CBD was suggested to me by my physical therapist and many friends who use it. I find it works well to control my muscle pain and can be reapplied as needed.”

Carol Stamm of Northborough feels differently. She was in a lot of pain after undergoing a knee replacement surgery. CBD was recommended and this is what she shared from her experience.   “I tried a CBD spray to alleviate knee pain post-surgery,” she said. “It was expensive and did not work for me at all.” 

Many massage therapy businesses offer a CBD massage to their clients. Their feeling is that adding CBD to the massage emphasizes the existing benefits of massage. There is an extra level of relief from muscle soreness and inflammation. 

Soaring sales as public learns more about it

Adam Stark of Debra’s Natural Gourmet in Concord explained his store’s CBD offerings. “We are very knowledgeable with all our products, and we do a great job as an independent natural store,” he said. “Most of our customers who purchase our CBD products are middle age and older. The store carries many brands that contain CBD like Potter Company, Sunsoil and more,” Stark explained. “I am partial to Potter simply because they offer the best price per milligram and many of our customers attest to the relief they get. The only drawback is they come in liquid form and don’t taste very good,” he noted.

Debra’s Natural Gourmet offered an informational workshop called the Massachusetts CBD Summit six months into the pandemic on Zoom. It was moderated by Stark and led by three different CBD experts with different viewpoints. He hopes to have another one in the near future. 

CBD sales have soared since it became federally legalized. In an article in Forbes titled, “The Future of the CBD Industry In 2022 And Beyond” written by Mike Sill, CEO and co-founder of Sunday Scaries, a CBD company with stress relief products, he noted the meteoric growth in sales. “CBD sales in the U.S. hit $4.6 billion in 2020, a massive number just two years after hemp-derived cannabinoids became legal,” Sills wrote. “The growth is only expected to accelerate with two notable forecasts projecting a U.S. market of $15 billion to more than $20 billion by 2025 and 2024 respectively.” 

CBD can be a helpful tool to manage many challenging ailments. It is important to figure out what works best for you as, like any product, everyone’s body responds differently. 




Coffee tastes good and can be good for you (fiftyplusadvocate.com)

Plant-based “superfoods” touted to prevent disease and prolong life (fiftyplusadvocate.com)

Humor offers benefits to feeling better and improving outlook (fiftyplusadvocate.com)