CBD: The New Talk of The Town
CBD has become quite the hot-button topic over the past few years. Everyone from celebrities to athletes to scientists and patients have began telling their stories of the miraculous CBD health benefits. While support has continued to grow over the past few decades, the social and political controversy surrounding cannabis has made it difficult for the medical community to accept CBD as a safe and legitimate form of medicine.
The good news is that the body of research surrounding CBD and other cannabinoids has grown exponentially over the past few years. With an increasing number of reputable research studies being published and stories from doctors and patients being told, it seems like many are beginning to realize the real CBD health benefits. The following article will provide an overview of CBD – explaining where it comes from, how it interacts with the body, as well as its long list of CBD health benefits.
What is CBD Oil & What Are the CBD Health Benefits?
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of over 100 or so chemical compounds derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. These chemical compounds are called cannabinoids – and CBD, in particular, is a cannabinoid that has been heavily researched for its many therapeutic uses. CBD oil is simply oil that contains high concentrations of CBD. These oils vary in concentrations but are most commonly made for human ingestion.
As mentioned, research studies have shown CBD to have a wide variety of health benefits. Here’s a list of those benefits:
Anti-inflammatory and Pain Management
Numerous scientific studies have proven that cannabinoids, especially CBD, have anti-inflammatory effects. CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors through the human body, reducing inflammation systemically. Due to the fact that inflammation is an integral part of so many diseases, the therapeutic potential of an effective and natural anti-inflammatory is nothing short of impressive.
Anti-anxiety and Stress Relief
Anxiety relief happens to be one of the most common uses of Cannabis and CBD across various cultures for thousands of years. Multiple animal and human studies have shown CBD to consistently reduce anxiety.
After various research studies provided great evidence for CBD’s ability to effectively treat Epilepsy, the FDA recently approved CBD as a therapy for two types of rare and rather serious epileptic seizures. This 2018 FDA approval marks a huge milestone for CBD in the medical community.
Depression and Mood Disorder Treatment
Serotonin, a chemical messenger known to act as a mood regulator, often appears in lower than normal levels in those suffering from depression. CBD has shown to restore balance to the serotonin system through enhancement when levels are too low.
A 2015 Scientific study analyzed 84,000 male patients in CA, finding that cannabis users (those ingesting cannabinoids on a regular basis) experienced a rate of bladder cancer 45% lower than the norm.
Sleep Disorder Treatment
A scientific study in 2014 treated four patients suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) with CBD. RBD causes patients to lose muscle relaxation during REM sleep, leading to an unsound night’s sleep. All four patients treated with CBD experienced a prompt and significant reduction in the frequency of RBD-related events.
Is CBD Safe?
Another HUGE plus about CBD is its safety. Unlike the many pharmaceutical drugs used to treat the health issues mentioned above, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. Additionally, CBD is not psychoactive. While it is extracted from cannabis, it does not lead to altered perception or cognition. The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) went as far as saying “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,”. Simply put, CBD is not addictive, doesn’t get you high, and has nearly unnoticeable side effects.
Where does CBD come from?
CBD is most commonly extracted from Hemp, which is a species of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis Sativa has two species – Hemp and Marijuana. While Hemp and Marijuana are often used interchangeably, these two plants actually have some distinct differences. Hemp plants grow noticeably taller and skinnier than Marijuana, and they feature skinny leaves with few branches underneath its top section. Marijuana on the other hand features dense buds with broad leaves and has bushy, shorter look.
The two plant’s also exhibit some large differences in their chemical composition. Let’s start by brushing up on our understanding of the various chemicals found in Cannabis plants. CBD and THC are the two most dominant chemical compounds (called Cannabinoids) derived from the Cannabis plant. While both of these Cannabinoids have shown to provide benefits to the human body, THC induces psychoactive effects while CBD does not. With Marijuana being known for its relatively high THC concentrations (between 15 – 30%), it makes sense why recreational and medicinal users require Marijuana plants for their desired effects. In contrast, Hemp contains a lower concentration of THC (around .3%), and higher concentrations of CBD. For this reason, CBD products are primarily extracted from the Hemp plant.
How does CBD interact with my body?
One of the keys to understanding how CBD and other cannabinoids’ interact with the human body is by first learning about the endocannabinoid system. Believe it or not, the human body actually produces certain cannabinoids all on its own. These endogenous (occurring naturally in the body) Cannabinoids trigger cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain, nervous system, and various bodily organs. This system of chemicals and receptors, called the Endocannabinoid System, is involved in regulating many of our physiological and cognitive processes including appetite, pain-sensation, memory, mood, and pregnancy. The reason why CBD oil provides such a long list of CBD health benefits is because the receptors in our endocannabinoid system are intertwined with so many other bodily systems.