An Introduction To: CBD and Adaptogens

Here’s a quick breakdown of two of this year’s biggest buzzwords – CBD and Adaptogens –and why you’re going to want to get in on both.

In our new monthly Introduction series, we focus on one food term that’s created some traction in the news, and break it down for you in easy-to-understand terms, in just a few paragraphs.**


What the…?

Feeling a bit left behind when it comes to the latest food and wellness trends? No wonder. They’re coming fast and furious these days. Step away from your phone for a few minutes and you may miss out on the very latest – Celery juice? Panchakarma? Mesonutrients? There’s so much to learn, but who’s got that kind of time?

Here’s a quick breakdown of two of this year’s biggest buzzwords – CBD and Adaptogens –and why you’re going to want to get in on both.


Since the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, there’s a mad rush to comprehend all the different strains and products – how they’re used, what results to expect, etc. No doubt you’ve read or heard the term CBD lately. It’s on everyone’s lips. So what the heck is it? CBD stands for Cannabidiol, an active ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant. Because it’s from hemp, there’s said to be little to no psychoactive effect. Translation: there’s no high involved, unlike the compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Marijuana.

Plants Over Pills

Discovered back in 1940, this hemp oil may help treat many conditions such as pain, insomnia, cognition and anxiety. But according to Harvard Health, the strongest scientific evidence shows the most effectiveness in childhood epilepsy syndromes.

Its sudden rise in popularity has led to a flurry of CDB items hitting the market – everything from to supplements and skincare to sparkling water, ice cream, and vegan bear-shaped gummies. There’s even CBD-infused coconut oil and treats for your beloved pooch.


“A healthy outside starts from the inside.”

– Robert Urich


Does it work?

There’s not enough research studies to prove efficacy yet, but you wouldn’t know it from sales of products: plug ‘CBD Oil’ into Google and 109 MILLION results appear on screen. There’s also very little regulation thus far. And many American products – CBD-infused beauty items, for example – are not yet legal in Canada, according to a report by Global News last month.

It’s early days yet, and there’s still so much to learn about how CBD Oil works. So tread carefully and read labels voraciously. If adding it to your wellness regime, use a small amount to see if it’s right for you.

Pro tip: Remember that CBD Oil is very different from Cannabis Oil. You don’t want to confuse the two.


The word may sound highfalutin and science-y, but all you need to know is this: these non-toxic plants have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines (TCM).

Adaptogens are roots, leaves, and ancient herbs that help your body balance hormones and resist all kinds of stressors – chemical, biological, and physical. They may also boost immunity and increase energy levels.


Herbal Pharmaceuticals

While previously relegated to herbalist and traditional medicine practitioners, adaptogens have grown exponentially in the health and wellness world, taking over health and grocery store aisles, beauty shops, and even restaurant, bars and cafes with their remedies and elixirs. When British Vogue covers such trends, you know it’s likely to take over the world, if it hasn’t already.

Adaptogenic herbs come in tinctures and capsules, as well as tea and coffee mixes, and powders to be added o various foods (soups, stews, sauces) and drinks (hot chocolate, tea, smoothies).

You may have heard of some already: ashwagandha, holy basil (tusli), ginseng, maca, and chaga and reishi mushrooms, for example. Whether you choose to make your own recipes (Moon Milk, anyone?) or buy ready-made blends, know that each one has its own properties and benefits and like most things, can take a few weeks to see results.


Do they work?

Like CBD oil, much more research and regulation is required. Even though adaptogens are completely natural, there can be side effects (when combined with certain medications, when certain conditions are already present), so do your research before barreling ahead.

That said, they have been used for health and healing for centuries. It’s just a matter of finding out what works for you and your body.

Pro tip: Balancing your hormones with anything, natural or not, can be tricky. Speak with your doctor or natural health professional to see if adaptogens are right for you.

To help guide you, here’s a list of CBD Oil and Adaptogen products currently in-store. 

SMH Shopping List:

  • Greenhouse Juicery Dr. Chai (chai drink for hot or cold, formulated with reshi mushrooms)
  • Four Sigmatic’s Range of Adaptogenic Powdered Elixirs
  • Four Sigmatic Hot Cocoa
  • Four Sigmatic Coffee Elixir
  • Rebbl Tumeric Golden Milk with Ashwaganda
  • Rebbl Reshi Chocolate Drink
  • Rebbl Matcha Latte
  • Rebbl Spicy Chai with Ashwaganda
  •  Rebbl Reshi Cold Brew

(note: items and prices subject to change)

See you in the aisles! And be sure to share a photo of your CBD oil and adaptogens haul with hashtag #CBDxSummerhill to get featured on our social.



**Note: SHM does not advocate any approach to health over another. We are not medical or health professionals. We’re simply presenting you with information that you can use or ignore.


Stephanie Dickison

Stephanie Dickison

A journalist with over 20 years experience, specializing in restaurants, chefs, food and drink. In addition to daily articles and features, profiling top chefs and interviewing celebs, as editor and feature writer for Toronto Restaurants, her Open/Closed column is a must-read every Thursday morning for the newest openings, and latest news + events. 

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