CBD: As Told By A Formulation Scientist


Most of my life I have immersed myself in the medical field, through volunteering, applying to medical school, and working in the emergency room. I had some basic understanding of the benefits of CBD through scientific articles or conversations with a close friend in the cannabis industry prior. I never bought into the bad reputation of cannabis even with the occasional patient coming into the emergency room experiencing hyperemesis or tachycardia.

I knew that was a consumer error from not properly dosing on edibles or bad products. Seeing so many studies being done on the benefits of medical marijuana, I knew there had to be beneficial properties to CBD. It wasn’t until I worked in research & development as a formulation scientist that I gained a wealth of knowledge and a whole new appreciation for CBD. My tasks were including but not limited to, research ingredients to create tinctures, topicals, disposable pens, and vaping liquid to manufacture and sell.

My dream goal was to help others, but most importantly help my mother who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 8 years old. She has battled anxiety, depression, insomnia, and pain for many years. She has tried every sleeping tea, melatonin, DIY sleeping hacks, and sleep medications on the market; none of which seemed to help one bit. Daily NSAID and anti-inflammatory pills caused ulcers and only subdued her pain for a few hours. It was an endless cycle of chasing new products in hopes to provide some sort of relief. Prior to working with CBD, I had suggested medical marijuana in hopes for her to not only find relief but stop using pharmaceuticals.

Like many, she declined out of fear. She eventually gave medical marijuana a shot, but severe tachycardia and anxiety scared her straight. So convincing her to try CBD was a tough task at first due to the bad experiences she had with THC. I had her first try a CBD pain cream I formulated but she first made me reassure her there were no psychoactive side effects. She loved the cream! She woke up with minimal to no pain on the areas she applied the cream. This positive experience opened the door to experimenting with any product I made. To this day, she has completely stopped taking any pharmaceuticals and just uses nightly broad spectrum tinctures and applies topicals as needed. My mom has become my biggest advocate for the health benefits of CBD. Any opportunity she gets, she praises CBD to friends, family or even strangers who are experiencing pain or insomnia.

I have been given the opportunity to help people in my life by creating tailored products for them to use. When my aunt, who had stage 3 breast cancer, underwent a double mastectomy, I had topicals and tinctures waiting for her to use. The combination of the anti-inflammatory properties of a tincture and soothing cream allowed her to recover in a manageable manner. Personal trainers at my gym knew I was the person to talk to for recommendations. Personally, I have not used over-the-counter pain medications for headaches since I started formulating.

Sometimes my help came in the form of education. Not to my surprise, people were unaware of the proper doses or how to read labels on CBD products. Many assumed the amount of CBD on the bottle was the amount per dose. They were unaware it was the total amount of CBD in the product. People I knew were either underdosing or overdosing based on their perception. Additionally, they were naïve on how to administer oral tinctures. They did not know that leaving the tincture under your tongue for about 1 minute provides better results due to bypassing first pass metabolism and going directly to the blood-brain barrier. By swallowing the tincture the bioavailability of CBD decreases before it enters your systemic system. 

On some occasions I have received negative and skeptical reactions when they find out I work with CBD. I have heard so many variations of “CBD will make you addicted” and “It’s just in your head, it’s a placebo”. People would prefer to take a pill over trying cannabis. If people would be open-minded to CBD, it could open up alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals have a higher prevalence of addiction and a laundry list of side effects. I am thankful for the opportunity to create products that have positively affected the lives of those I care about. There is so much more to uncover about CBD and I am excited to see what the future has in store in the cannabis industry.

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