April 22, 2019
How CBD Took the World by Storm
“CBD SOLD HERE” sign in Media, Pa.Source: The Burgundy Zine
In the last few months, it seems cannabidiol (CBD) has cropped up just about everywhere in the United States. It’s in our headshops, pharmacies, salons, and even our big-box retailers – but why?
What even is this “CBD” stuff, anyways?
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the main compounds found in cannabis plants. Up to 40-percent of resin from cannabis consists of CBD, University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) reports.
How Does CBD Make You Feel?
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t possess any psychoactive properties.
Therefore, users are able to enjoy the physical benefits of CBD without experiencing the traditional “high” associated with cannabis use.
Generally speaking, most individuals report feeling calm or having an uplifted sense of mood after using CBD.
You won’t experience any major differences in cognition after using CBD – in fact, you may not consciously feel all that different at all.
If CBD Doesn’t Get You “High” Then Why the Hell Is It so Popular?
Let’s face it – if you slap a logo with a pot leaf on it, it’ll sell, if only for the mere novelty of legally buying a “marijuana product” at a big-box retailer.
Bug’s two cents aside, hemp-derived CBD has been legal across the US since the Agriculture Improvement Act passed in December 2018 (Food and Drug Administration | FDA).
This has lead to a full on market boom, as these products are now more accessible than ever. Statista projects the CBD industry will be a $1.8 billion market in the US by 2022.
Currently, there are over 850 marijuana-derived CBD-only brands and at least 200 hemp-derived CBD brands, Brightfield Group reports.
While CBD may not get you “high,” per say, it is also renowned for its medicinal properties and health benefits.
CBD’s Medicinal Properties
Risks Associated with CBD
CBD is considered safe for both human and animal consumption, according to Bentham Science.
The only real risks associated with CBD products are their lack of regulation, as highlighted by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Some unregulated oils or gummies may contain traces of THC, which could be unpleasant for users who don’t want to experience the psychoactive side of cannabis.
In more extreme cases, unregulated CBD may contain traces of pesticides that are unsafe for human consumption.
As long as you purchase your CBD products from a reputable company, such as a dispensary that is transparent about their lab results, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
CBD and Anti-Inflammation
CBD has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties, according to an article published in Future Medicinal Chemistry. Their research demonstrated that CBD could effectively treat a number of conditions, including:
- Liver damage
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
These anti-inflammatory properties are also beneficial for your skin, research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reports.
CBD and Antioxidation
CBD displays antioxidant properties, which contributes to neuroprotection, according to a study published in Pharmacological Research.
The compound’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects show promise as an effective treatment for conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
CBD and Mental Health
Research has found CBD effective in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety, depressive disorders, as well as schizophrenia.
The endocannabinoid system plays an important role physiologically, as well as emotionally and behaviorally, according to an article published in Neurotherapeutics.
Moderate doses of CBD were effective in reducing anxiety during animal studies. Systemic administered CBD helped regulate blood pressure and heart rate, physiologically reducing stress in the test subjects.
These effects are all the more reason to further investigate CBD as a treatment option for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), over compulsive disorder (OCD), and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), among others.
CBD also has antipsychotic properties.
Patients with acute cases of schizophrenia were administered CBD, with some expressing significant clinical improvement in a study published by Translational Psychiatry.
CBD as an Anticonvulsant
In states where medicinal marijuana is legal, epilepsy is generally among the qualifying conditions, as clinical research has proven the effectiveness of CBD in reducing seizures, as acknowledged by the Epilepsy Foundation.
CBD by itself shows promise as an antiepileptic drug, as its anticonvulsant properties significantly decreased generalized seizures in a study published by The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
How to Use CBD
By now, you’ve probably seen CBD in vape cartridges, tinctures, candy, capsules, supplements, lotion, chapstick, and so on. You can inhale it, ingest it, or apply it dermatologically.
Vaping is the most common and preferred method of taking CBD among cannabis users surveyed by Brightfield Group.
Hemp-derived CBD has taken the world by storm since its nationwide legalization in Dec 2018 – and rightfully so.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that has shown promise as a safe, effective, natural treatment option for: inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, dermatological conditions, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, to name a few.
This is only the beginning. Although CBD research has been conducted over the last few decades, the legality, accessibility, and increase in public interest will only propel clinical trials even further.
If this is how far we’ve come as a nation in just five months, imagine where CBD will be next year, let alone a decade from now.
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