As someone who’s kept a safe distance from drugs my entire life (at least that’s what I tell my parents) I never imagined I would happily drive to a pot farm to buy pseudo-marijuana from a man named Mushroom Dave.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become the number one choice for yogis and stay-at-home moms alike to treat pain, anxiety and other physical and mental ailments.
David Falkowski, owner of OMO Organics, which specializes in CBD products and locally grown mushrooms, happily stood in a field of marijuana crop to tell me just how booming business has been.
Falkowski, who not only grows CBD but also speaks at conferences and on talk radio in support of the industry, categorizes CBD products into three main pots—pardon the pun.
Although parents might deride CBD oil as “pot juice,” it is completely different from its psychedelic cousin. There are some forms of the product that do contain THC, known as full-spectrum CBD, but there are also products, called broad spectrum or isolates, that do not.
Falkowski said that it’s important to “know your momma” when it comes to talking about CBD products—especially in legal situations—because of the different nature of each mix. He noted, however, that the full-spectrum products are the most effective ones on the market.
Falkowski explained a phenomenon called the “entourage effect,” a theory that says full-spectrum CBD products contain different compounds that work together to cancel out the psychoactive effects of the THC. Under the entourage effect, full spectrum products provide, hands-down, the best healing experience.
The biggest question on most people’s minds regarding CBD: is it too good to be true? CBD manufacturers claim that the products treat anxiety, aches, pains and a myriad of other ailments. But CBD is not a miracle drug, said Falkowski. What it does do is “help a person lessen the human condition.”
Falkowski has not only seen his product help others, but he has also personally experienced the product’s benefits. After a stint of bad luck left him with two troublesome knees and a damaged hip, he began using CBD to cope with the pain.
A few drops of full-spectrum CBD surely beat the hours of physical therapy, medication and shots that he was receiving in his spine. Falkowski said the oil not only helped alleviate the pain that was keeping him from moving freely, but it also improved his self-efficacy by allowing him to use his body at full capacity.
“Using CBD can unlock a lot of other doors,” said Falkowski. “A very subtle thing can have a big impact.”
Parents are also beginning to use CBD to cope with children’s behavioral issues and autism, rather than hopping their kids up on medication. Falkowski not only sees the direct effect on the children but also sees an effect on the dynamic of a household.
Although it seems like CBD has been made an impact in the health sphere only recently, Falkowski said that the tides began to shift years ago. The recent media coverage and popularity have most likely stemmed from a more pronounced federal dialogue on the topic.
“It hit a critical mass,” said Falkowski. “It went from one in five in a household know about this, to one in five are using it.”
When it comes to buying CBD products for yourself, it can be easy to get lost in the mix of advertising, both online and in-store. In addition to small mom-and-pop shops, there are now large corporations pushing CBD products.
Although they may not be your venue of choice, you can even find CBD at gas stations. Falkowski stressed the importance of finding a trusted source not just to buy products from but also to act as a guide in your CBD journey.
According to Falkowski, people should “look holistically. Is this a wellness company, or are they just in it for the buck?”
Despite the rise in CBD-related research in the scientific community, figuring out what dose is right for each person takes a bit of trial and error.
“It’s a different trial and error than mushrooms, in that you don’t just give John a dose of CBD and see how messed up he gets,” said Falkowski.
The important thing is to give the products time to take effect in your body and see what works best for you.
words_olivia ginsberg, photo_emily fakhoury