An Honest Personal Review of CBD

By Ben Sheard

Within my last article discussion pain management, I mentioned CBD as being one of the options available to athletes. Since most of the information contained was pulled from other sources, I decided to give an honest personal review of CBD compiled from my own experiences. Over the last six weeks, I have refrained from taking any Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or any other NSAID’s for pain. In place of that, I have been using a full spectrum CBD extract daily to help manage pain.

Along with pain management, I have noticed several other benefits, as well as areas that it did not help out with. In my opinion, CBD has been said to have benefits across the board and made to look like some snake oil cure-all. This is pretty much just a marketing scheme offering help for literally any ailment you can think of. CBD does have benefits and isn’t JUST a marketing scheme to make money off of.

Over the past few years, I have been dealing with an incredibly dull ache in my hands when I wake up. Usually, it lasts a few hours, and I can’t squeeze my hand together due to the pain. I have been using the prescription NSAID Diclofenac Sodium (known as the brand Voltaren) to help out with this for a long time, but within the last few months I have set it aside and tried my luck curbing it with CBD sublingual oil. The first month I stopped taking the Diclofenac, my hands got pretty bad, and the dull pain was there throughout the day. A month after that was when I began using sublingual CBD extract, and I noticed (eventually) the anti-inflammatory benefits of it. The results did not come right away as it does with Rx NSAIDs. Over time, and accumulating doses of CBD, I started to feel better throughout the day and didn’t have any problems with my training because of it. I and others I know have replaced their NSAID regimen with CBD oil and been able to part ways with prescription drugs because of it. NSAIDs work great, but their adverse side effect profile shouldn’t be overlooked. Taking NSAID’s for some time, even in moderation will ultimately cause harmful side effects. Using CBD oil there is no risk of liver and kidney damage long term, and the use of CBD oil can even help stomach issues that arise from prescription NSAIDs. (Editors note: Ever read the side effects of drugs like Voltaren? Talk about scary! Everything from a Runny nose/itching/constipation elevated BP, and last but certainly not least – Stroke-Death!)

One of the better benefits that I have received from using CBD oil daily is an immense improvement in my overall gut health. The use of ibuprofen and other NSAID’s was hurting my stomach, sometimes making it hard to have an appetite after using them for a few days. With the cessation of NSAID’s and the addition of CBD oil, I have felt a lot better in terms of my stomach, appetite, and gut health.

I can rule out some of the benefits that others have said to receive with CBD use, and say that it has not worked for me in that fashion. As far as an anxiety reliever, personally it does not work for me in that way. No matter what the dosage is, I have received no such benefit, and I have a pretty solid grip of anxiety to make this statement. Throughout most days, I tend to have anxiety to the point where it is way more comfortable not to talk at all than it is to hold a conversation with anxiety. There is no real root cause that I have found, and I know fairly well that the use of CBD does not curb it whatsoever. My dog can attest to this as well. She has TERRIBLE separation anxiety when no one is home, and I thought that it might help relieve some of her anxiety. I’ve tried giving it to her for these dozens of times with no relief from her anxiety. I can tell when I get home and also when I watch the living room camera that it just does not help her with anxiety.

One of the most promising benefits from my use of CBD has been its use in place of an anti-depressant. Without a doctor’s recommendation, but under my own decision I decided to cease the use of an anti-depressant I had been using for a few years. I can’t 100% say that CBD is the reason I was able to come off of a prescription anti-depressant without any issue, but it is promising that I was able to do so without any side effects. I will continue to keep using the CBD oil in place of pharmaceutical anti-depressants.

*Please Note – This is not a recommendation that you do the same.  Please be sure to consult your medical care provider before adjusting any prescription medication regimen.

I am entirely skeptical of anything working at all until I have used it myself and can make that decision personally. For the most part, I believe that a lot of supplements and medications hold more of a placebo effect than any other. Until I tried it out myself, I was under the assumption that CBD benefits were over reported and its users were obtaining a positive placebo effect. This is the first time that I have used a product that I felt was over exaggerated, and I came out of it with different thinking. Consider using CBD for any anti-inflammatory needs for sure and come to your conclusions on its use for other ailments.

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Ben Sheard

Ben Sheard started powerlifting at age 13, competing in single ply from 1999-2004 back in his home state of Ohio. He started powerlifting again in 2014 after struggling with substance abuse/addiction for over 10 years. Competing as a raw powerlifter, he achieved an Elite Total at 198 lbs. Best raw lifts at 198 are 611 squat, 352 bench, and a 606 lb deadlift. Recently made a transition to Multi-Ply in 2017. Coached by Brian Carroll using 10/20 Life, he achieved a Pro Total in his most recent meet at 198lbs. Best equipped lifts in a meet are an 804 squat, a weak 463 bench, and a 700lb deadlift. He is a NASM certified PT, but works full time as a Supervisor at a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Deerfield Beach, FL. Currently training out of Boynton Barbell Center in Boynton Beach, FL. Ben will be competing next at the XPC Pro Day in Columbus, where he looks to secure a 2,000+ lb total at 198.
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