The CBD Craze "Another Band-Aid?"

I am writing this article to answer a rapidly growing question I get while speaking...

"what do I think of CBD oil?"

This question first appeared from my audiences 4-5 years ago, usually in States like Washington and Colorado. Now I receive this question from almost every venue and every speech. Living in Michigan, where we have legalized recreational marijuana and the growth of hemp this is a question that I can't avoid, and with estimates that the CBD oil industry will reach 22 billion by 2022, I thought I would chime in.

The first thing you should know is I am not an expert on CBD oil, Cannabinoids and have never had the need to use them, but before you jump to any conclusions or feel like I need more facts, you are right! There is still so much more for me to learn and for everyone when it comes to looking at CBD oil as medicine or a health miracle. I do promote hemp seeds, hemp oil and other hemp related products, but CBD oil is much, much different.

This is where we begin--what is CBD oil? CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD compound from the resin of the cannabis plant (oily substance on the flower). CBD and THC are almost identical, the big difference is CBD doesn't have a psychoactive effect on humans--aka the getting high (CBD oil has no THC). Once the CBD oil is extracted, it is refined and formulated into many different forms ex. edibles, tinctures, gel caps, vape oil, topicals, and now beverages. Coca-Cola and other big companies will start to add CBD-oil into their drinks.


So it sounds like it is all natural? Yes it is all natural, most medicines and drugs are all natural (come from something in nature), but the process is very far from just plucking the leaf or bud and eating it. For example, hemp seeds and hemp oil need very little processing to create a usable product. When it comes to CBD oil--to make it consumable or usable takes a lot of energy, money and processing and it becomes very concentrated. One of the encouraging developments is that CBD oil has much fewer side effects than other medicines and drugs!

"most medicines and drugs are all natural"

My passion for writing this article is to change the mindset on human optimization. I truly believe people are confusing improved symptoms to being optimized. I don't think we are teaching people to optimize, we are teaching instant gratification, hacking and quick fixes. This is one of the reasons why CBD oil is growing, it is growing because it takes the edge off, it works fast and requires little lifestyle change. That part is awesome! But, does it really help us be our best and have we done the basics first?

takes the edge off, it works fast and requires little lifestyle change

I believe NO!

Think about doesn’t really taste that gives you a hangover and we know it makes your body work harder.

YET: 70% of adults drink alcohol during the year and 56% drink at least 1x a month.


...Social, comfort, taste, energy, they want to feel hungover in the morning (I doubt it)?

I think most people drink, including myself to take the edge off and it has been something human beings have been looking for a very long time. I am not comparing CBD oil to alcohol, but the psychology of why we want to believe CBD oil works and why it does give people a result is because it does release the edge. Does that mean it is the solution to our conditions?

If you have anxiety, your mind is telling you have to change...becoming more present. If your body aches all the time with pain, your body is telling it is time to change you have too much inflammation. If we start to numb these cues and clues, we are going to have to continue to medicate and become far removed from our true optimized self.

Pain is a cue and a clue that your body isn't working right, sometimes this is acute, but for most this can be chronic. My concern is we are not going to the source of the problem. Think about this, is the lack of Cannabinoids the reason we have arthritis or anxiety? No...then how is taking CBD oil different than an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) or anti-anxiety medication? The word to remember here is medicine. This may be a great option for medicine, but if you are like me I don't want to take any medicine, unless I have to.

"is the lack of Cannabinoids the reason we have arthritis or anxiety?"

Let's take a look at the conditions being treated with CBD oil:

  • Cancer
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Depression
  • Crohn's
  • Weight loss

My stance is we have to want human optimization, not just symptom relief.

We are a society looking for ways to cool the edge, get a release, feel no pain. When did pain become so bad? People are settling for a quick fix band-aid approach and will prevent themselves from the true joy of feeling their best, not to mention the message we are sending young adults and youth. I want my kids to learn they have to build the foundation correctly if they want the best outcome, not that they can just fix it later.

The Band-Aid was an amazing invention. Ban-Aids help when accidents happen. For me, if I only knew how to use a knife better, I wouldn't need as many band-aids. The band-aid approach means a solution that covers up the symptoms but does little to help the cause or fix the underlying problems (I should work on my knife skills)

Last year the U.S. market for CBD oil hit about $600 million. Experts forecasts that in as little as five years, it's likely to blossom nearly 40 times that, making CBD a $22 billion a year market.

Over the past year, it's grown by more than 200%. And that was with the market being federally illegal until December 20, 2018

Hemp, once a common crop in the U.S., got lumped together with marijuana and banned back in 1937. But last year's Farm Bill lifted that ban. So, as long as it has less than 0.3% THC and is grown by licensed farmers, hemp is legal.

Ask yourself are you doing the basics? Are you RESTING, EATING and MOVING well?Are you practicing being mindful, not using your electronics too much and taking time for yourself? I know many people first hand who think CBD Oil is a miracle because they "finally feel better"--(ex. Pain, Anxiety, Inflammation, Sleep) The problem I have with that statement is I also know most of these same people are not regularly exercising, eating a healthy diet and are more stressed at work than ever before. I want people to know that if they go at the source of the problem, the outcome is almost always better than a medication.

But don't get me wrong, If this can help people live without pain and do it with less side effects...keep it up. But if you are talking to yourself and really want to live your most optimized life, start by asking I doing the basics?-CBD oil is not step 1.

There are always going to be remedies and medications and as technology gets better they will have less and less side effects, but there will never be a short cut for humans to have the healthiest mind and body. My opinion is this may become a great medication, this may be a profound alternative to more harmful medications and treatments, but I don't think this is a health promotion product! What I mean, I don't think this is something we should consume and promote like exercise, water or whole foods. My hope is that we all become our own health and performance advocates and try to ask, if I want to climb the mountain what steps should I start with? There is no elevator or escalator to a truly potential life.

CBD oil is here to stay, and it is really helping a lot of people with pain and other conditions. We believe if something works for you, keep doing it. However, you may be covering up the underlying symptoms to a bigger problem.

The body talks back...the true question is-- are you listening?


Matt Johnson is the Co-Author of the book, CAPACITY, and the President of On Target Living, the world's leading authority on Human Capacity Training. Matt is a sought after Keynote Speaker specializing in unlocking high performance, driving engagement, and empowering leaders by radically expanding their human capacity. Matt and his Team at On Target Living have worked with many fortune 500 companies & organizations to break down barriers and help create collaborative cultures that thrive in today's knowledge economy.

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