Author of The CBD Kitchen, Leah Vanderveldt on her favourite ingredient
How did you get into CBD?
I became really curious about CBD when I first heard about it on a podcast. After a little research, I decided to try it out for pain relief and anxiety and ended up loving the gentle but noticeable impact it had.
How has it helped change/enhance your life?
The biggest thing it’s helped me with is anxiety and sleep. CBD helps me release a lot of the body tension I feel when I’m anxious. This calming effect then helps me get better sleep. I tend to have way less looping thoughts keeping me awake when I take CBD before bed, too — that alone has been a game changer.
How lovely has it been spreading this positive message about CBD?
What a nice question! So lovely! I think people are often scared or intimidated by it — either thinking it’s illegal in some way or it will get them high — so it feels great to be able to talk them through it and share my positive experiences. Hemp can be such a healing and wonderful plant that I feel lucky to have found works for me, so being able to help others find their way to it is really cool.
How might a total CBD novice be able to incorporate CBD into their lives?
I’d start by buying a small bottle of a good-quality oil (ideally an organically farmed, whole plant oil) and taking the recommended dose once a day for a couple of weeks to see how you feel. I find the effect cumulative, so taking it consistently for a little while can help you get a sense of how well it’s working for you. I love adding it to a tonic or a smoothie as an easy way to enjoy it.
What are the main misconceptions surrounding CBD?
Number one is that it will get you high. Because CBD and marijuana come from varieties of the cannabis plant (and smell very similar!) people assume it’s going to make them feel weird or out of control or whatever, but it’s the opposite — it has a mild, calming effect that some people might not even notice. Full-spectrum CBD oils will only contain trace amounts of THC (the main psychoactive chemical that causes a high or stoned feeling). So no, you WILL NOT get high from taking CBD oil.
What are the myriad benefits? Follow on question – what examples have you witnessed where people’s opinions have done a full 180?
It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, so it can help with chronic and acute pain. It can level out mood, anxiety, and depression. And there are some amazing stories about it helping with things like seizures in children and easing the effects of Parkinson’s. More research needs to be done, but the anecdotal evidence is pretty incredible.
Just the fact that my grandma is considering taking it is a pretty amazing as far as de-stigmatizing hemp and CBD goes. But I’ve heard from a few people who were very skeptical about what it could do for their anxiety and were surprised that they feel better and as one person put it, “more like myself”, which is a really lovely way of thinking about it.
Finally, what do you have coming up in the future? What’s next?
I’m finishing up another book at the moment. It’s a bit of a departure from cookbooks, but still includes recipes and some plant medicine. It explores my holistic approach to wellness — covering physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. There’s a mystical aspect to it and it will definitely be too woo-woo for some, but I ground it in real self care practices.
It’s about using things like tarot, astrology, movement, breathwork, meditation, and herbs to uncover new ways to nourish yourself. I want people to feel empowered to find their own personalized tools and rituals for healing and finding joy in the every day, and these are some of the practices that I’ve personally found useful. It’s called Witchy Wellness and will be out in early 2020.