You’ve probably heard everyone and their mother raving about CBD as if it is some sort of magical elixir. It can take care of pain, manage skin conditions, and apparently turn you into a Greek God? You’re thinking to yourself, how great can this thing actually be?
CBD is all the rage after the US Farm Bill was passed in 2018 which legalized industrialized hemp production. Hemp is classified as having less than 0.3% THC so anything above this is classified as marijuana and is still illegal at the federal level. Since the passage of this bill, CBD products have exploded in popularity but be warned, not all CBD products are created equally.
CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. When people think of cannabis they think THC but the cannabis plant actually makes over 100 chemicals called cannabinoids, many of which do not produce a psychoactive reaction like THC does.
CBD and other cannabinoids work by reacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system which is the regulatory system in our bodies that maintains homeostasis as our environment changes. Humans naturally produce cannabis-like molecules called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is present in all vertebrate animals and is involved in the process of pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, appetite, immune and metabolic function as well as reproductive function.
Scientists are still not sure exactly how CBD affects our body but it’s thought that it simply encourages our body to produce more endocannabinoids which can help to relieve anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
Because cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it “currently has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”, research on CBD has been incredibly limited. However, early research has shown an immense amount of promise for the benefits CBD can have on the human body. CBD has been shown to help relieve anxiety, help schizophrenic system and reduce pain. In 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD oral solution for epilepsy called Epidiolex to treat two rare and extremely severe forms of epilepsy.
In 2017, the World Health Organization concluded that CBD is safe and well-tolerated by humans and animals alike and unlikely to lead to abuse.
There is still plenty of research that needs to be done to learn about all the benefits of CBD but the potential to bring relief to millions of individuals is exciting!