You guys know me — when I am obsessed with a brand, I shout it from the rooftops and I’m ALL IN about it. I would like you to meet my CBD equivalent of Everlane, Eataly, and Beautycounter. (I think they nicely round out my obsession roster, don’t you? ?)
They’re a brand called Equilibria — a women-owned CBD company that makes products specifically geared toward improving the lives of women everywhere. (Although, men can use them too. Neal steals mine all the time! ?)
I was first introduced to the company via my friend Meg (you know her — MegMade! Speaking of obsessions…) Her friend Bonnie (now my friend Bonnie, haha!) was working at a new CBD company and she offered to send me some samples.
For the last 6 months or so, Neal and I started trying out various hemp and CBD oils to help us with sleep and stress. We definitely noticed a subtle difference when taking the products we tried, and we were happy with the results, but we still didn’t really know anything about CBD/hemp/all that stuff or that there was a big difference from one brand to another. I figured they were all the same. (Little did I know none of it was true high quality CBD oil, haha!)
Anyway, after Meg made the intro, I agreed to test out some Equilibria products and received a little package containing various forms of CBD to test out: their oil, capsules, and CBD cream, but I really wasn’t expecting anything crazy out of the ordinary. We had happened to run out of our other oil, so we decided to give this a try. (That and I had just noticed Liz started posting about it, so that made me more excited to try it. #Influenced. ?)
First impressions of Equilibria:
The first night Neal and I took the drops, we woke up the next morning like WOAH. The Equilibria drops were SO MUCH more effective than the hemp oil we ordered randomly off Amazon. Not only did it help us fall asleep, but we just felt better overall waking up in the morning.
The next day, Neal decided to try some of the pain cream — he often has a lot of pain in is hands and shoulder (from lifting weights and two decades worth of football injuries) and he says it works like magic for muscle aches! I then tried it for my period cramps, and it helped IMMENSELY.
Equilibria’s CBD has since become an absolute game-changer for me in terms of being able to manage stress, fall asleep, and stay asleep.
A couple weeks later, I grabbed coffee with Bonnie we completely hit it off! So much so, that we decided to do another coffee date the following week with Coco, their co-founder. Basically, we all became fast friends, and I fell in love with the company, the products, AND badass team of women behind them!
So much so that over the course of the summer, I basically have forced Coco and Bonnie to be friends with me (?kidding but not really?) and that has resulted in me joining the Equilibria team in a bigger way, helping with their influencer and blogger marketing strategy! Isn’t that so cool!? Know how many times that’s ever happened with a brand? ZERO. That’s how much I love this company!
(And no, they did not pay me to write this blog post, but I do receive a small commission if you purchase products through my link, full disclosure!)
I couldn’t wait to share this all with you guys—this brand, and everything they make are game-changers. The first time I shared it on stories, I got SO many questions–so, being that I am not an expert in this field, I compiled all of your questions and had the Equilibria team help me out with them! (Thus, why this post is so long–but it’s all worth reading, I promise!)
Why CBD may also be a game-changer for you:
We’ll get into a larger laundry list of things CBD can help, but honestly, here’s my take: I don’t know one woman that is immune to stress–no matter how old she is, where she lives, or what her life looks like. It’s one of the really hard parts of being a woman–we have so many balls in the air at all times.
Stress can permeate every area of your life and affect everything from your happiness, your sleep, and in turn, have a huge impact on your health–causing disease, pain, and more. For me, CBD is basically a very helpful tool that I use to manage stress on a day to day basis, and it has really, really had a positive impact.
I also know it’s not just me–since I first posted about Equilibria a couple months back, the DM’s have started rolling in about how much it’s helped you too, and honestly, this is why I’ve become so passionate about this brand–because their products truly can change your life for the better!
That being said, as I learned, not all CBD is the same–(not even close!!) which brings us to my next point…
My Honest Equilibria Review–Why I’m shouting it from the rooftops:
For a variety of reasons, but these three being the main ones ?
For women, by women:
This is Equilibria’s motto, and one I am obviously obsessed with.
Equilibria was created by two friends, Marcy Capron Vermillion and Coco Meers, who describe themselves as “Two professional women with full plates and their share of chronic pain, inflammation and everyday anxieties.” Both describe their experience with CBD as life-changing, and they knew more women needed this in their daily lives–thus Equilibria was born!
Equilibria is built upon the understanding that female bodies are different, from cyclical changes to the very real challenges of childbirth and menopause and everything in between. They built a company that could help women through all of these stages of life, with high quality products, and personalized service that no other CBD brand can offer. (But also, again, important to note: men can use their products too…and they will likely steal them. ?)
Equilibria’s Quality and safety:
Not all CBD is grown and processed equally, and Equilibria is rare in that they are a “farm to home” company, so to speak. They have their own 1,100 acre organic farm in Colorado, where everything is in their hands from start to finish. No middlemen. They also adhere to medical grade production standards (even though this is not required of them by law). All of their products are lab-tested with results available.
Their bioscience team also has 30+ years of experience in agriculture, and their products feature 3-4x the cannabinoids and terpenes versus the average, mainstream over-the-counter CBD product, with hemp oil carefully extracted from flowers only, which is the purest source of cannabinoids.
Put simply: It’s safe, it’s high-quality, and it’s effective!
Individualized CBD dosage plans, with ongoing support:
From anxiety to arthritis to autoimmune, insomnia to period pain–everyone uses CBD a little differently, and Equilibria has a team of dosage experts whose WHOLE JOB is to help Equilibria customers figure out the best CBD routines for them–how cool is that?!
You get to jump on a quick phone call (or exchange via email) about your personal CBD routine and the right dosage for your daily needs based on what you’re looking to improve. You get as much ongoing support as you need, forever.
What is CBD oil anyway?
Let’s back up! If you need a quick refresher…
CBD is a natural ingredient found within industrial hemp flowers that has been clinically proven to improve mental and physical wellbeing when taken properly and consistently. CBD is completely safe and legal. It is a powerful health agent, but there is NO discernible impairment (no high!).
Industrial hemp is a cannabis sativa plant grown specifically to express 0.3% THC content or less — this is why there’s no discernible intoxicating effect, and also why it’s legal. Any industrial hemp plant that crosses the 0.3% line in the sand becomes a marijuana plant, federally illegal, and psychoactive/intoxicating (after approximately the 10% THC mark).
With industrial hemp-grown CBD, you get a huge portion of the clinically-observed benefit of medical cannabis plants, without any of the illegality or impairment. One thing I learned but did not know, is that CBD with a small amount of THC is actually what you want–that littttle percentage of THC makes it far more effective, but it’s not remotely enough to make you high!
Why is CBD so helpful — especially for women?
CBD works within your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to create balance in your body. Our bodies create their own “endo”cannabinoids for the ECS, and “phyto”cannabinoids like CBD further regulate and/or augment this same system of receptors.
Full-spectrum hemp oil reduces inflammation, the root cause of nearly all disease, over time, and relieves acute discomfort like heightened anxiety, nerve, and muscle pain.
Let’s talk more about the Endocannabinoid system, because I think it’s really important to have a grasp on the ECS to fully understand what CBD does. (This part I totally geeked out over!)
Humans have a series of receptors in their body called the Endocannabinoid System (or ECS for short). Our bodies naturally create molecular compounds called endocannabinoids that interact with these receptors by turning them on or off to help manage things like sleep, mood, pain regulation, and inflammation. The ECS directly affects the female reproductive system and its entire job is to maintain balance in our body by constantly regulating these receptors.
As we get older, and we experience stress, our bodies stop creating as many of these endocannabinoids, which means our system stops functioning as well.
That’s where CBD comes in and why it is thought to be so effective in so many areas. CBD is a phytocannabinoid, (along with THC and many others found in the cannabis plant) that also interacts with our own Endocannabinoid system.
When we use CBD, we are replicating what our body already naturally creates with a plant substance that does a similar job. Our bodies are already built to accept these phytocannabinoids as though they were made in our own bodies!
Are there different types of CBD? What should I look for on the label?
Overall, it’s the safest bet to talk to your doctor to figure out which type of CBD is best for you if you have specific health concerns, but below will give you a brief overview of the different types of products you can purchase.
It’s important to note that CBD is just one part of the whole plant. There are many parts, including cannabinoids (such as CBD and THC) and terpenes (think essential oils of the plant) that all play their own part to increase the efficacy of a product. CBD on its own is not only less effective, but harder to dose properly. The same goes for THC and the other cannabinoids. Understanding this is key to understanding the different types of CBD products you can buy:
This is JUST CBD in its purest form–without other cannabinoids and terpenes or THC. They have no other active ingredient and just aim to deliver therapeutic doses of CBD, isolated from the other cannabinoids and terpenes. This is generally good for targeting very specific cases (or in the instance that you should not be using THC for other medical reasons) but overall not as effective as other forms.
It means it has a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, minus THC. While this is certainly better than isolate, it’s still thought to not be AS effective as full spectrum in a variety of areas.
Broad spectrum plus THC. (This is what Equilibria is). This is because THC is the cannabinoid that talks to your receptors and tells them how to receive the other cannabinoids. Without it, your body has to work harder to understand how to use it. This now makes sense to me why Equilibria has been so much more effective than the other CBD products I had tried in the past.
How can you identify a trustworthy, high quality CBD product from the bad stuff?
Because there is no FDA regulation on CBD, it’s really easy to get your hands on low-grade, inaccurately labeled product that either just doesn’t work or can potentially be harmful (such as, contaminated with heavy metals, for example.) Here’s how you avoid that:
1. Look for Full Spectrum for the best results (for all the aforementioned reasons–unless directed differently by your doctor).
2. Always make sure you see third-party lab results! Cannabis naturally absorbs toxins in the ground and because CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, most of the products out there are either poorly grown and processed, which means they often have way less CBD than they claim; and/or they have pesticides and heavy metals in them.
3. Make sure it’s all coming from the same farm. Think about it like this: you wouldn’t take medicine that was a different strength every time. Same goes for CBD — don’t use a company that combines products from multiple farms!
What do CBD drops taste like?
Ummm I’ll be honest, they taste like the plant–but it’s not bad! It took a little bit of getting used to but I don’t really notice the taste anymore. Equilibria tastes far less offensive than the other brands I’ve tried though!
For those who don’t love the taste of the oil, they also offer capsules.
Pro Tip that the EQ team told me: If your CBD doesn’t taste like a plant, it’s most likely not great quality.
CBD Oil Uses:
People are using CBD for so many reasons! Before I get into those, I think it is important to note that CBD is not regulated by the FDA, so no claims can be made saying CBD can treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Every person is very different and there are certainly not guarantees.
That being said, however–there is a reason that CBD is gaining so much traction! People are most commonly using CBD to help with sleep, manage anxiety, reduce inflammation (the root cause of so many problems), improve their mood, or generally keep their system regulating the way it was always meant to.
Here’s a quick overview of what CBD may help based on the existing information currently available:
Anxiety and stress
From soothing everyday stresses to managing more serious anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, CBD can be effective tool to combat anxiety, stress, and worry.
Skin conditions, such as certain kinds of acne or psoriasis
Because anti is a sign of inflammation in the body, CBD may help alleviate the root cause of the issue. Most of the research about CBD and acne focuses on CBD’s ability to combat the cause of acne, rather than eliminating current acne. Researchers have found CBD prevents excess oil buildup and has anti-inflammatory effects on oil-producing glands.
There have also been promising studies that reveal CBD can help other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and itchy skin.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can help people with autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis and lupus.
CBD can lower high blood pressure through the same process that it decreases stress and anxiety.
From healing bone fractures to preventing osteoporosis and improving bone strength, studies show CBD can enhance bone health. This is especially important for women, because of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 80% are women.
Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include menstrual irregularity, sweaty skin, weight gain, mood swings, decreased sex drive, and hair loss. If you have a hormonal imbalance, CBD may provide symptom relief and help regulate hormones.
CBD can improve your focus for the same reasons it lessens anxiety — as that is often the cause for a lack of focus. It can even help people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
CBD can be a useful tool for treating depression due to the way CBD interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, balancing serotonin levels. These levels have a huge impact on a person’s emotional state and overall wellbeing.
CBD is both an antioxidant and neuroprotectant, an effect that preserves neuronal structure and function. CBD helps reduce damage to the brain and nervous system and supports neuron growth and development. This is especially helpful for brain or spinal cord injuries, stroke patients and limiting the progression of neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.
CBD gels have revealed exciting results for people with aches and pains. Researchers believe CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system, creating anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. CBD can help a variety of pain, from sore muscles to chronic pain.
CBD can help you manage different degrees of period pain symptoms — from cramps and aches to fatigue and mood swings. I like to apply their topic relief cream for cramps and it really helps!!
In addition to regulating digestion, CBD can alleviate symptoms of common digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, inflammation, and nausea.
According to the National Institutes of Health, CBD taken at least an hour before bed can improve insomnia, help you fall asleep, and support a restful night’s sleep.
How do the different forms of CBD work?
I can only speak to what I have used personally, but essentially, any broad spectrum CBD product works within your own body’s system to target problem areas and help maintain balance within your body. Here are the three that I use:
The strongest product EQ offers and the one I probably reach for the most. The oil is held under your tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing, which allows it to bypass the digestive system; so it hits you harder and faster; but it also leaves your system sooner.
The Daily Drops are great for immediate relief and are recommend if you’re struggling with anxiety, chronic pain, or falling asleep; among other things. The Daily Drops are also great for microdosing. The Equilibria dosage team often starts people on the drops while they work out their personal doses.
Taken like a vitamin, so you do lose some strength to your digestive system, but it also acts as a slow release. The softgels are easy to add into your daily routine, and are great for anyone who doesn’t like the flavor of the drops. The softgels are recommended for anyone who has trouble staying asleep; using it in tandem with the oil to maintain a consistent base; or anyone with stomach troubles as it can act as a “internal” topical.
It is a topical cream great for targeted relief. Made with arnica, menthol, and 500mg of CBD, this powerful cream helps deliver relief right where you need it! Apply the cream where you’re experiencing pain and inflammation for immediate relief.
(I also got a question on vaping, which I don’t have any experience with, so I can’t speak to that personally, but I’m sure there are a LOT of good resources you can find on the google machine.)
Typically, Equilibria customers end up needing a combination of these products. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, as is their dose. That’s why it’s important to work with a dosage concierge to figure the right, personalized, combination!
How can you actually tell it’s working?
For me, they were very obvious, but the effects can be very subtle too, and vary wildly since it’s helping your body return to functioning the way it was always supposed to. That said the main (first) effects people report noticing are an overall sense of wellbeing and optimism, improved sleep, and general relaxation. The Equilibria team encourages journaling to help you recognize subtle differences and record your own before and after!
How long does it take to feel effects?
Everyone is different and it really depends on what you’re using it for. I noticed them immediately the first time I took the drops — it helps level me out in times of stress and calm my mind in order to fall asleep quickly. The pain relief from the cream is instant. But if you’re dealing with something like chronic anxiety, chronic pain, etc., it will probably take a little bit longer to feel the effects in full swing. This is why it’s so helpful that Equilibria has a dosage expert to help make sure you’re getting the right dose for your exact needs!
Best type for evening vs day?
This is actually a common misconception! It’s far less about evening vs daytime and far more about specific health goals. CBD doesn’t inherently make a person sleepy or alert; it does however address the root cause of why they’re having trouble sleeping, or feeling stress, etc. Essentially, take the same product day and night, and it will address different things at different times, because again, it’s just helping your body return to functioning the way it normally should.
Where can I find CBD medical studies and resources?
For anyone wanting to read some studies, check out: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?term=cannabidiol and http://www.icrs.co/.
There are also a lot of really interesting articles out there, here are a couple that are worth a read:
How to use CBD oil:
In terms of dosage, how much should I start out taking?
For the first five days, the Equilibria team recommends the following:
1. 1 or 2 full droppers at night.
2. 1 softgel in AM with breakfast.
3. Relief cream as needed.
* By Day 5 – after consistent use, make a dosage appointment.
This helps establish a starting point, to which you can adjust from there! Equilibria has their own free dosage concierge who will consult with you and recommend a dosage amount for you to start with based on the issues you’re trying to address. You can speak with her as many times as you like in order to get your dosage just right and adjust as necessary based on your lifestyle and needs at any given time. Sometimes it does take a little adjusting!
How often should you be taking it?
Equilibria suggests that CBD be taken daily and consistently, just like you would a medication or vitamin. Like working out or eating healthy in a consistent manner for optimal health, the same is true for your CBD routine.
Can you talk more about CBD for sleep? Is there a different dosage/type of product you should take for falling asleep vs staying asleep?
Yes! The drops will help provide instant calm and really aid in helping you fall asleep as they absorb into the bloodstream quickly to quiet your mind and level out stress (which is why so many people, myself included, may have trouble FALLING asleep).
I would equate it to the feeling you get after drinking a couple sips of wine–even, but in control of your emotions.
For staying asleep, they recommend the capsules, because they’re released over a more extended period of time.
Can pregnant/nursing women use CBD? Anybody who shouldn’t use it?
You should always ask your doctor. There aren’t any studies on what does or doesn’t affect a fetus in general, because nobody wants to conduct studies on moms and unborn babies. Whether you’re pregnant, nursing, or you have a specific health condition, you should work with your doctor to learn what is best for you.
If your doctor isn’t familiar with CBD (which is very common, because it is so new), it may be helpful to seek out the advice of a functional medicine doctor who has more experience with it, working together to figure out the best solution for you. There is no one size fits all answer.
Can it be used to complement current medications? Could it interact negatively with certain medications?
Again, you should ALWAYS ask your doctor and/or pharmacist to make sure it won’t interfere with anything you’re currently taking. Equilibria also has a quick-reference page here that may help with this.
Equilibria cofounders, Marcy and Coco, have successfully used CBD with Paxil, Wellbutrin, Klonopin, Xanax, Propranolol, and Enbrel, and found that they worked quite well together and that they were both ultimately happier and healthier with an altered/lowered pharmaceutical routine and more CBD.
Ultimately, its up to you and your doctor to decide whether or not CBD is right for you! (Read Equilibria’s article on How to talk to your doctor about CBD.)
Are there any other risks?
Most people tolerate CBD very well. The few side effects people complain about are typically associated with a deregulated ECS balancing back out, i.e. drowsiness and stomach issues. You can not overdose on CBD! The main risks come into play with contraindications. However, always talk to your doctor about medications you are taking.
Can you become addicted to the products? Is CBD safe to take longterm?
CBD does in fact work best if taken longterm. Also, unlike Marijuana, we don’t build a tolerance to CBD, meaning, we do not need more and more of it to remain effective. More on that in this report by the World Health Organization.
Are you nervous about using CBD products because of the Marijuana stigma?
Me personally? No. First, other people’s opinions aren’t really my concern. ? Second, I haven’t really run into anyone who has a negative stigma around CBD, but of course, I know there are plenty of people out there who do!
Here’s the thing: CBD is not weed, marijuana, etc. It does not make you high — CBD is a completely legal and WONDERFUL thing that can help (and does help) SO many people. I view CBD as alternative medicine (just like I view food and a healthy lifestyle as preventative medicine!)
If you run into someone who views it negatively, it’s because they are uneducated about it, so that’s a great time to educate them about why it’s such an amazing product. That or they’re just ignorant, and in that case, you should just run. ?
Is CBD legal everywhere? What are the airport regulations?
So, yes, this is a confusing issue. Even the government can’t figure out what to do here. The gist is this: Hemp derived CBD (less than .3% of THC) is federally legal, however some states have their own, more stringent, laws. To find out whether your state allows CBD, reach out to Equilibria directly and they’ll be happy to help you.
That said, the TSA recently updated their rules to publicly state you can fly with hemp-derived CBD.
Does CBD show up in a drug test?
Every woman’s body chemistry is different, so this is kind of a grey area. It’s highly unlikely, but it COULD. However, no members of the Equilibria team have tested positive for THC when using Equilibria products. If you’re not sure, you can definitely pick up a drug test at your local pharmacy to see how it affects your body.
Parting thoughts and buying tips: get 20% off with my discount!
Get 20% your first order (on any product aside from the trial!) with my link or code JESSKEYS at checkout!
To buy one-off or subscription?
EQ offers two purchase models–one-off purchase, or you can choose an auto-renew model where your product is automatically shipped. This gives you a more affordable monthly price, and it’s definitely the best way to get the most bang for your buck. You can cancel ANYTIME–they don’t lock you into anything.
Because you will get the best results taking CBD daily, like a vitamin, the subscription model definitely makes the most sense and will save you money in the long run. (I have the Balance Box subscription, and I buy the cream one-off as needed because that’s not something I’m applying daily).
Of course, there are many other respectable CBD brands out there, and again, this post is definitely not sponsored by Equilibria–so I’m allowed to say that. ?You definitely have options when it comes to finding the CBD that works for you! But for ALLLLL the reasons listed above, I’m obsessed with this one, and I think you will be too!
I know this was a long, nerdy post full of a ton of information, but there is SO much to say on the subject of CBD, and I know this was only scratching the surface! Hope you enjoyed geeking out over CBD with me as much as I did! If you have more questions, feel free to DM me @JessKeys_ or Equilibria @EquilibriaWomen!