035: CBD Oil: What To Know Before Your Buy w/ Gretchen Lidicker

While CBD is all the rage right now, there is still a lot of misinformation surrounding it. My guest today is here to clear up some of the common confusions relating to CBD and hemp. 


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Gretchen Lidicker is a scientist, journalist, and the health editor at mindbodygreen.com. She has a masters in physiology and biophysics with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine from Georgetown University and has worked on the academic and clinical side of integrative medicine for many years.

She's originally from Sedona, Arizona, where she was first exposed to natural medicine. Gretchen is the author of two books, CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-Derived Health & Wellness and Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide To Magnesium Oil, Epsom Salts, And Nature's Relaxation Mineral.

Today, we'll be talking more about CBD to help answer some of your questions and hopefully remove some of the mystery surrounding it and its products. 

Have you started incorporating CBD into your routine? Leave a comment!


In this episode

  • Some CBD and hemp basics. 
  • How do you know that you are purchasing a good quality CBD product? What to look for.
  • CBD used in skincare products.
  • Is CBD just a fad?
  • Best way to consume CBD.



Cannabis Sativa includes both marijuana (which is the psychoactive version) and hemp (which is non-psychoactive, and used a lot for clothing, fuel, paper, things like that. ” [2:12]

“The FDA does not test and approve supplements or CBD before it goes on the market. So it's up to you to make sure you're finding a brand that has your health in mind. There are so many great CBD brands out there. But, sort of like with supplements, there are a few that are ruining it for everybody.” [5:20]

“You want a company that's going to be able to provide lab tests that show you the potency and purity of your exact batch number of oil.” [5:55]



Find Gretchen online

Grab a copy of Gretchen's books:

CBD Oil Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-Derived Health & Wellness


Magnesium Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide To Magnesium Oil, Epsom Salts, And Nature's Relaxation Mineral

Follow Gretchen on Instagram


“The FDA does not test and approve supplements or CBD before it goes on the market. So it's up to you to make sure you're finding a brand that has your health in mind. There are so many great CBD brands out there. But, sort of like with supplements, there are a few that are ruining it for everybody.”

035: CBD Oil: What To Know Before Your Buy w/ Gretchen Lidicker FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer:              Hi everyone and welcome back. Today I've got a very special guest who I'm quite excited to interview because we're talking on a topic that is a little bit of a, I would say a personal favorite of mine. My guest's name is Gretchen Lidicker and she is a scientist, journalist and health editor at Mind Body Green. She has a master's in physiology and biophysics with a concentration in complimentary and alternative medicine from Georgetown university and has worked on the academic and clinical side of integrative medicine for many years. Originally from Sedona, Arizona. She was first exposed to natural medicine there and that really is a hub for natural medicine. And the reason that she's here, and this is the big thing, is that she's the author of two books, one that's out right now and one that is coming out and we can certainly, I hope maybe we can have her back and we can talk about this next, the second book. But the first book is called CBD Oil Everyday Secrets, A Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-derived Health And Wellness. And the next book coming out is called Magnesium Everyday Secrets, A Lifestyle Guide To Magnesium Oil, Epson Salts And Nature's Relaxation Mineral. Gretchen, thank you so much for being here.

Gretchen:           Thank you so much for having me. That was a mouthful. Sorry you got through it. So well.

Jennifer:              I do my best but i'm really excited because you know, the topic of CBD is big and it's something that still scares most people. And, and rightfully so. You and I were saying before this interview that just the concept of like, how do you, do you get in trouble if you have CBD? Can you travel with CBD? Like you wonder, is it going to make you sick? Are you going to feel high? There's all these questions about it that, you know, not, not every state has it legalized and there's still this whole thing going on between the government and whatnot. So can you tell us a little bit like what are the basics of CBD? If somebody was to ask you, what is that, what would you tell them?

Gretchen:           So I think the most important thing to know is that CBD is a compound. It's just a single compound that's found in the cannabis plant. And the cannabis plant, like cannabis sativa includes both marijuana, which is like the psychoactive version and hemp, which is, you know, non-psychoactive it's used a lot for like clothing, you know, fuel paper, things like that. So CBD is the compound and that's the one that everyone is so excited about because for so long, THC, which is the compound that gets you high, like sort of had all the fame and it was like, you know, strong and it had a lot of medicinal purposes, but now people are like just really excited about what CBD can do and especially excited about the fact that you can get CBD from hemp, which is, you know, a legal way, you know, it's in a little bit of a legal gray area for sure, especially in some States, but it's a, you know, legal way to, you know, grow it, sell it, consume it and all of that. So.

Jennifer:              And actually really quick, and I know that we have hemp seed oil and hemp parts that people will eat is that same type of hemp.

Gretchen:           So there are a lot of different types of hemp. And I think one mistake we make is thinking that like there's a marijuana plant and there's a hemp plant and they're totally different. But you know, plants aren't like that. Like there's sort of a spectrum. And so, you know, marijuana plants have like, you know, very large flowering portions and low THC and then hemp plants are sort of stocky and they're more like industrial looking. But there's a lot in between. And what people are doing now is sort of breeding, you know, traditionally medical marijuana plants to be very low in THC and very high in CBD. So it's sort of like both, but yes, like hemp hearts and hemp seed oil are made from hemp plants, like the same ones that you, you know, you make a textiles out of. And that's, been legal. Those have been sort of exempt from any type of like, you know, big federal regulations for a while. So those are, yeah, it's the same plant. It's just a matter of you know, what part of the plant contains which compounds and what type of plant are using.

Jennifer:              Okay.

Jennifer:              And so here's the question then cause this is where I start to get concerned. I do recommend at times in my clinical practice that CBD as a supplement can be very helpful and we're seeing it infused and so many things. I went to a large trade show last year and was, I got CBD infused water, CBD infused tea, CBD infused coffee CBD and it's pretty much in anything at this point. But the question becomes what about quality? I mean you can go to a vape shop, there's vape shops all over where I live in the area of Philadelphia and they all have these CBD products. But how do you know that any of it's any good if you're considering adding this to your regiment?

Gretchen:           Yeah. This is like by far the most important thing. Like if your listeners listen to any part of this entire, you know, podcast, it should be this part that just sort of like the whole entire supplement industry. Like the responsibility falls in the hands of the consumer to make sure they're finding a good product. Like the FDA does not test and approve supplements or CBD before it goes on the market. So it's up to you to make sure you're finding a brand that has your health in mind. And there are so many great CBD brands out there, but sort of like supplements. There are a few that are sort of ruining it for everybody, like their, you know, their scams. So the most important thing when you're looking for CBD is to look for CBD that's grown from like organic hemp. And you want a company that is going to be able to provide lab tests show you like the potency and the purity of your exact batch number of oil. And they will test for heavy metals. They'll test for CBD content. They'll test for microbes, they'll test for everything to make sure like what's on the label is actually in the bottle. And that's really important.

Jennifer:              And if you see just like a really snazzy bottle, that shouldn't be the determining factor. Or if it says, Oh, it has like triple the dose of CBD, you really want to look for the data to back up what you're going to be putting in your body.

Gretchen:           Yeah. In fact, like those types of claims should be red flags. Because like, unless they have the data to back it up, you know, they can kind of say anything. And the FDA like only really investigates claims like that if there's an issue. So you want like, you know, any CBD brand that you find, like they should have a website. Like if you call them, they should be able to say, let me tell you everything about our lab, how we test our products. You know, I can send you the report that's for your batch number.

Jennifer:              Like they should be able to send you a report.

Gretchen:           Yeah. Some of them have them just posted on their website.

Jennifer:              Okay.

Gretchen:           And that's just because it's such a, you know, it's such a budding industry, like, you know, pun intended. But and it's important for those, you know, them to be really transparent because like the FDA, I think it was in, it might've been 2015 tested like 10 CBD brands and many of them didn't even contain CBD.

Jennifer:              Really?

Gretchen:           Yeah. Yeah. And so they sent warning letters to those companies and you know, so it's really important that you're, you know, getting it from a brand that you know, are familiar with and that is being really transparent.

Jennifer:              That's interesting. Okay. So we want to look for organic. We want to look for a brand that has some sort of certification without the batch that you're buying either on the website or can provide it to you that is very transparent and is not using super flashy like lot of marketing lingo to try and draw you in to get their product noticed above all.

Gretchen:           Yeah. I generally, you know, and that's sometimes a generalization, like there are, you know, but yeah, you want to be buying from people who are, you know, setting reasonable expectations and you know, aren't saying like there's this the best, you know, in the entire world. And so much different and better than everyone else's.

Jennifer:              So I have question for you. It's interesting in like the skincare world, there's now these skincare products, I don't know if you've noticed them that are coming out with CBD incorporated in them. Used in via the oils or moisturizers or lip balms and all sorts of stuff. And I actually started using one particular product that had, it is a serum, a facial serum that has CBD in it and I was super skeptical but surprisingly it does get the redness out of my skin. I was really surprised about that. And so have you, do you have any experience with any of these like other products or outside what you would consume orally?

Gretchen:           Yeah, I mean and you know, when I started writing the book it was like there were like three CBD brands, you know, and now it's like there are 3000. And you have to also be careful with like CBD infused skincare because you want to make sure they're using, you know, a quality, you know, material. And you also want to make sure number one is a lot of skincare products actually contain hemp seed oil, which doesn't contain CBD. So you want to make sure, like if it says it contains hemp, you know, you need to look more closely at the ingredients to make sure it contains hemp oil or hemp extract instead of hemp seed oil. Cause hemp seed oil is sort of like what you use for cooking and it does have a lot of antioxidants and you know, omegas and vitamins, but it's not the same as CBD. So that's like important to know for skincare. But yeah, you know, as far as hemp extracts go for, you know, inflammation as far as CBD goes for inflammation, it's really exciting. Like I'm not surprised at all that it would cut down on redness.

Jennifer:              Yeah. And you know, it's interesting because we have this whole world of saying like, we haven't used this before. Why is this so important? Is this like a fad? I've had a bunch of clients ask me that like it just sounds like a fad. And I was like, you know what, to be fair from my understanding, our body does have what are called endocannabinoid receptors in them. And do you, are you familiar with those and can you speak to those a little bit about what they are and what they do?

Gretchen:           Yeah, I think this like the science of the endocannabinoid system is going to be like, you know, you know, when we are all learning about the microbiome and we were like, Oh my gosh, it's this huge thing in system inside us that affects every part of our health. I think the endocannabinoid system is going to be like everywhere in the next five to 10 years. And basically the endocannabinoid system is like a system of what are called endogenous endocannabinoids, which just means that are compounds that your body produces naturally, that are sort of similar to compounds found in plants like CBD, like, you know, like CBD. And then there are enzymes and receptors and basically the whole system just explains why CBD affects our, you know, our body and how and we don't know a ton about it yet. But we do know that like, you know, the endocannabinoid system and how it functions can be connected, like has been connected in studies to like headaches you know, IBS infertility, like all of these kind of different conditions have somehow been linked to alterations in this endocannabinoid system.

Jennifer:              So if somebody's having skin issues, especially with like rashes, whatnot typically it's been my experience. It's not usually just their skin that's kind of on a ride.

Gretchen:           Yeah, it's internal.

Jennifer:              Yeah. So there's usually some sort of internal inflammatory process or maybe a combination of things that's going on that could be gut related or hormone related, all sorts of things. But it's, my sense of it, is that the benefit here, while yes, it could help your skin, it can also help other systems as well. So as a general practice it could be something that could be really beneficial in ways that you don't fully even know. So I, I have one, one question for you about like edible type products, if you're familiar with those.

Gretchen:           Yeah.

Jennifer:              You know, like I said, I actually got a bag of coffee that is infused with CBD, which I don't drink coffee but that just sort of seems strange to me. And you know, we always, you know, think of like the funny like, oh those kids made you know, brownies and the or they've chances of CBD. If someone is going to consume these, is there any research about what's maybe the better way? I just personally preferred the oil, just straight oil. But yeah. Any thoughts on that?

Gretchen:           My thoughts on this are really like if you're taking something for a therapeutic purpose, you just want to take it and like the simplest, easiest, most effective way possible. And for me like an oil under the tongue, it's fast acting, you know, you'll hold the oil onto your tongue and it sort of absorbs through there and then you swallow it. But you know, that's just the most effective quickest. It's just a simple way to do it. When you, when you put CBD in like, you know, a cookie or something like it has to go through the digestive system, which, you know, if you're having a skin issue you might also very well be having a bit of a gut issue. And then there's that, you know, the chance that you might not be absorbing everything. It's just this added obstacle that, you know, I just, when I take CBD, I take it under my tongue.

Gretchen:           You can also, you know, the actually the fastest delivery method is smoking because it goes straight through the lungs. But you know, that's probably not the healthiest way to take it either. So for me, I'm like a total loyalist to the oils right under the tongue because even if you take it in a supplement capsule, which some people prefer to do cause they don't like the taste you just have that added like barrier of like, okay, so if the capsule is 15 milligrams, like how much am I really absorbing? You know, how do we know it's getting where it's supposed to go? And I just don't think there's enough research. You know, to know exactly how it's being, you know, absorbed and it's just an added obstacle. So I'm pretty loyal to the oils.

Jennifer:              And you bring up a really good point that I, it's a question I didn't even think to ask, but you, but you know, there's also a lot of people who have issues absorbing fats. I have a lot of clients that have digestive problems where they're not able to absorb fat. So that's if you're consuming it orally and you don't have a gallbladder for example, where there's not enough bio there to help get the fat solubilized and into the system or you've got a really inflamed gut, it's very, it's actually quite common to end up pooping out all of the fats and lipids that you are consuming. So the CBD is able to be absorbed sublingually under the tongue then.

Gretchen:           Yeah.

Jennifer:              Cool.

Gretchen:           Yeah. Yeah.+.

Jennifer:              You just taught me something

Gretchen:           And it, and they say like you know and this is sort of information gathered by you know, reading a lot of studies but also interviewing like a lot of doctors you know, from California and Colorado who have been doing this for 40 years. But if you take it under the tongue like you know, anywhere from like five minutes to 20 minutes you should like notice you know something. So it's pretty quick.

Jennifer:              Cool. That is really, really helpful actually. And I also like your approach to this is like very common sense, very practical. And that's part of the process here. I recognize that people listening to this, this may be something that's really new to them and listening or hearing about this once or twice may not be enough because I understand there is skeptical. There are people that are skeptical. And by the way, I also just want to mention if you're on medications, you can have interactions with CBD. So you just want to check before you ever start a CBD product that you don't have, that there isn't an issue with the medication that you're taking and it has to do with the detox system and your liver. I just want to say that to everybody because I did not know that until I really started researching it for somebody that was on a lot of meds and I realized, Whoa, you know what? Just this, even though it's natural, we still need to be respectful of everything that's going on in the body and make sure not to push things too hard and assume that because it's natural, it's not going to potentially cause something to go a little awry.

Gretchen:           Really good point.

Jennifer:              Yes. So I've always talked to your, you know, feel free to talk to your doctor if your doctor is not sure, do some research, but find somebody that can actually help you make an educated decision. So but Gretchen, I just, I really wanna thank you for joining us and you know, I would love to have you to come back sometime to talk about magnesium. Magnesium is such an important one. It's such an important mineral. And I think a lot of people assume that we don't need magnesium in our diets because we get enough of it. And I don't necessarily believe that. I do think doing some level of supplementation tends to be, at least for me, it's very helpful, but I also find it helpful for clients and it'd be nice to have you come back and talk about that.

Gretchen:           Yeah. Magnesium's amazing. It's, I mean, it's amazing that you can write an entire book on it, but you really can. So I promise it's interesting the whole thing.

Jennifer:              That is true. And I know that I would be fascinated, but we'll make it fascinating for everybody who's listening.

Gretchen:           Perfect. Yeah.

Jennifer:              And so again, you've got this fantastic book which is available on Amazon and I'll put link directly to that. So for anybody who's kind of on the fence and you're still in your information gathering phase, it would be a great resource for you to check out as well as Gretchen's website, gretchenlidicker.com she's also on Instagram as well. We'll put all the links in the show notes that way it makes it super easy for you guys to find everything. And you know, Gretchen, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

Gretchen:           Thank you so much for having me.

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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