This post is sponsored by Present CBD-Infused Sparkling Water.
I have what my family calls the ‘Alien Factor.’ When you write out a list of things that are supposed to be ‘normal’ about a human body and its reactions I don’t tick off a lot of the boxes. Temperature of 98.6? Nope. My body temperature sits at 96.7 degrees. Joints that should move in a certain way? Nope. I’m hypermobile so they move in a fashion all their own. Normal reaction to physical trauma? Nope. I don’t feel most pain until it there is something *really* wrong. Ibuprofen relieves that pain? Nope. It makes me nauseated. And the list goes on.
Generally speaking our ‘Alien Factor’ doesn’t affect our everyday lives, and in fact it was helpful as kiddos. My siblings and I were built to be athletes and we could power through pretty much anything. We came back from torn muscles, broken bones, and crazy accidents like my brother quoting Monty Python’s “It’s just a flesh wound” skit while hemorrhaging after having his arm skated over during a hockey game (If you haven’t seen that skit, look it up on YouTube it is QUITE the visual.) However, we aren’t exactly superheroes, and if we were my kryptonite would be pharmaceuticals. I can’t handle pretty much anything that a doctor can prescribe, which is why I’ve been turning to simple and supplemental healing tools like Present CBD-Infused Sparkling Water. Something as simple as an over the counter ibuprofen-based pill can send me reeling. So when I am injured to the point of needing opioids as a safety precaution, you know something is thoroughly wrong and I am going to be very out of it for the duration of my prescription period. As a result I get off prescription drugs and over the counter ones as well, with the permission of my doctors as soon as humanly possible, and switch to more natural pain relief.
If you’ve been following my Instagram at all, you might have noticed that I’ve been wearing a giant boot and crutches for months now- the result of a silly accident. I fell out of a tree and ended up with a severe broken ankle and a ruptured ligament. Remember me saying that I don’t really feel pain until it’s bad a couple paragraphs ago? I didn’t think I had an issue at first, and ended up hiking about a mile out of the Rocky Mountains in Utah. I assumed I had just sprained my ankle. Boy was I wrong. While the initial impact didn’t hurt at all, the recovery pain was something fierce. So, I was beholden to opioids. Not my favorite place to be; as soon as I was cleared by my orthopedic surgeon to switch to natural pain relief I did, and the following is what I used.
Natural Pain Relief
I have been using CBD to manage my anxiety symptoms for months even before my accident, so it seemed like a logical step to keep my fridge stocked with my favorite CBD-Infused Present Sparkling Water to help manage my pain as well. You guys have heard me say in the past that I thought CBD was a little over-hyped and that I needed to see the science behind it before I hopped on board. And I am SO glad that I did my research. Aside from the calming feeling that I get when using Present for my anxiety, I almost immediately felt pain relief as well. So I took to the books and figured out why.
Hormones do an incredible amount of work in the body, from managing stress to creating life. However, not a lot of people know that hormones, specifically a group of hormones called prostaglandins, are what signals your body to heal. They are present in almost all of your cells, and depending on your injury they do different things. For me, this was bone healing.
“Prostaglandins play a role in both bone resorption and bone formation. Prostaglandins are potent stimulators of cytokines and growth factors which mediate bone resorption. The inflammatory response to trauma leads to resorption of necrotic tissue and the production of bone forming cells, eventually leading to new bone. Without this primary inflammatory response, bone repair may not completely occur.”Dr. Adina Solis
In short, these hormones are saying, you dingbat, you fell out of a tree and broke things, let’s build some new bone. But why am I bringing this up in regards to CBD? A lot of people think that inflammation is always bad. However, that isn’t the case. Inflammation is the body’s way of healing. The pro-inflammatory cytokines create inflammation to both protect the injury and to allow the regeneration of bone in fractures like mine. But, with this inflammation comes pain, because when something is inflamed it is going to affect the pain-perceiving nerves around the injury. So, while the physical trauma of the injury didn’t bother me at first, the nerve pain that came along with the healing process was excruciating.
So, what do we do here? Because of the ways that pharmaceuticals ease pain, they can prevent healing from happening because they alter the amount of inflammation in drastic amounts. We need at least *some* of the inflammation to help heal, but the pain needs to go. One of the great things about CBD is that it can help decrease the sensation of pain by targeting the nerve receptors that inform your brain that you are in pain and desensitizing them. CBD does this while making sure that the amount of inflammation in the body isn’t increased. CBD is often touted as a wonderful anti-inflammatory and that’s true, but many studies suggest that its anti-inflammatory properties are based on how CBD activates the endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors, specifically the CB1 receptor, when activated don’t allow macrophage cells to release more of our inflammation-promoting cytokines.
So, in short, CBD, more specifically organic, full-spectrum CBD like that in Present can dull how we feel pain and prevent more, unnecessary inflammation. Win-win for both healing from injury like I am, and preventing unwanted inflammation from things like extreme sports! Now, while it sounds like CBD is great as a whole, just as in the food and in the pharmaceutical worlds, there are levels to the quality. If you are looking for results and the potential benefits of CBD you need to buy the highest quality that you can find. Present ticks off all the boxes when it comes to quality, organically grown, mindfully extracted, full-spectrum, and many more so they are the cream of the crop when it comes to CBD products- don’t just reach for any CBD, reach for the best. Find more about why organic, full spectrum is important here!
Pro tip: if you have bits of the ‘Alien Factor’ like I do, and are sensitive to most things, find yourself a great naturopath. I happen to be a lucky duck and have a mom who is both a Naturopathic Doctor and a Master Herbalist. One of the things I used constantly while growing up to help with swelling from injuries is Arnica. Arnica is a gorgeous little plant with a yellow flower that you can actually spot quite frequently while hiking here in the Rockies! I use Arnica in a homeopathic form on the go to help with the inflammation of over-exception throughout the day.
Many modern day drugs are derived from plants historically used for treating the same symptoms. Belladonna has been used for everything from an anesthetic for surgery to a poison, and the current day atropine and scopolamine are derived from it. I’ve kept a homeopathic version (no poison for me, thanks) of belladonna in my pocketbook for these last few months because it is great for easing nerve pain! As with any homeopathic, be sure to consult your physician or naturopath before use!
I was cleared to start physical therapy for my ankle as of last week, but I haven’t been able to start my sessions quite yet. However, next week I do start rehab, and while as excited as I am, I am a bit nervous as to what is going to happen. But you better believe that I already have Present already chilling in my fridge, my bag loaded up with homeopathic goodies, and a burning desire to get out of this boot! It will be very interesting having to explain to another doctor about my ‘Alien Factor,’ specifically hypermobility this time, but I am looking forward to being back on both of my feet soon! I’d love to know if you have any CBD specific questions! Let me know over on my Instagram, and I’ll pop my science nerd hat back on and see if we can’t answer some more requests!
This post is sponsored by Present CBD-Infused Sparkling Water. While I have a background in herbalism, I am not a physician and this post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any medical issue. Please consult your physician or naturopath before starting any new supplemental dietary product.