The 2018 Farm Bill was a game changer in the world of cannabis. Prior to the signing of the bill, all aspects of the plant had been illegal at a federal level. However, the bill legalized hemp in the United States if it contains less than 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the compound that causes euphoria in marijuana (also a member of the cannabis family).
The legalization of hemp paved the way for the other cannabinoids of the plant to become valued herbal supplements. The leading cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol) has quickly become a popular naturopathic option.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for ‘cannabidiol’. It is the second leading cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (followed by THC). However, hemp has been cultivated to contain extraordinarily little THC and instead boast more CBD. Cannabidiol is an essential component found in medical marijuana too.
Many users are concerned that CBD might get them ‘high’ like THC. However, CBD lacks any euphoric components.
CBD is believed to offer the following properties:
- Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
- Analgesic (pain)
CBD and the FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CBD for the treatment of two types of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. Marketed as Epidiolex, CBD in this form does require a prescription.
In addition, the cannabinoid is also being researched for the treatment of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and certain types of anxiety.
Health Benefits of CBD
CBD is a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis. It can effectively bind with the body’s CBD1 and CBD2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The body’s endocannabinoid system controls many vital functions in the body such as pain perception, inflammation, immune response, and more. The positive interaction offers many CBD health benefits.
For centuries, marijuana has been used for pain relief. CBD appears to impact the receptor activities in the body which reduce inflammation. Many with arthritis and multiple sclerosis are turning to CBD to cope with the discomfort.
Recently, an oral spray known as Sativex which contains CBD has been approved as a pain treatment for MS. Users of Sativex report reduced pain and less muscle spasms, especially when walking.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression impact every aspect of the sufferer’s life. Pharmaceutical drugs can cause nasty side effects like insomnia, headache, sexual dysfunction, agitation, and drowsiness. In addition, certain medications such as benzodiazepines are extremely addictive.
CBD oil appears to have an impact on both anxiety and depression in a positive way. It has become a favored natural approach to gain the upper hand on anxiety.
In certain studies, CBD also appears to alleviate depression effectively.
It is believed that CBD has a direct link to the body’s production of serotonin, which is the feel good hormone. The neurotransmitters primary function is to regulate your mood. When CBD interacts positively then the user feels happier.
Many people who feel stressed out and experience insomnia swear by CBD. They take it about an hour before bed and not only believe it helps them fall asleep but also gain a more restful night’s slumber, so they wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Cancer Treatment Relief
Many types of cancer treatment cause a bevy of unpleasant side effects such as pain, vomiting and nausea. Historically, many have turned to marijuana to tackle the unpleasant aspects of chemotherapy, but you can also use CBD (minus any significant levels of THC) to ease your upset stomach. One study found that people who were undergoing chemotherapy experience nausea and vomiting relief when using a CBD oral spray.
Acne and CBD
Acne plagues many people regardless of age. Let go, the unsightly skin blemishes can even cause scarring. Many factors contribute to acne’s breakout such as genetics and bacteria. The overproduction of sebum in the skin mixed with dead skin cells and debris causes a plug which leads to inflammation that forms a papule and in extreme cases a cyst. CBD appears to help treat acne by reducing the inflammation and lowering sebum production, according to research.
Side Effects of CBD
CBD is well-tolerated with few adverse side effects. On rare occasions, a user might report the following:
- Stomach upset.
CBD has been known to interact with some pharmaceutical medications. Basically, if your medication has a ‘grapefruit warning’ then you should abstain from using CBD. Discuss the possible interaction with your physician or pharmacist.
Types of CBD
Nowadays, the marketplace is being inundated with CBD products. You have a wide array of choices.
Forms of CBD
When shopping for CBD, you’ll see full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
- Full spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids found in cannabis naturally (although it contains less than 0.3 percent THC). The cannabinoids are believed to complement each other in the body producing what is known as the ‘entourage effect’ for maximum physical benefits.
- Broad spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids of full spectrum CBD minus the THC. Many people undergo regular drug testing for their employment and even with legal and low levels of THC, the cannabinoid can still trigger the drug test to render a positive result. Avoiding THC completely is the only way to safeguard a negative drug test.
- Isolate is pure CBD with no other cannabinoids. Many prefer an isolate because of the potency of the CBD in such a concentrated form.
When looking for a CBD brand, always research reviews. Also, make sure that the brand utilizes third party laboratory testing to guarantee purity. Ideally, the CBD products should be tested for impurities such as heavy metals or other toxins. In addition, the lab tests will also give you a baseline of exactly how much CBD the product contains. Without a doubt, when buying CBD, it pays to purchase a leading brand with an impeccable reputation. You want to know that you are getting a pure product with the correct percentages of CBD to effectively treat whatever ailments you are using it for.