Happy 420, everyone! If you read my blog post from a few weeks ago (that means you, mom), you'll remember that I talked about one of the many uses of hemp, a derivative of the cannabis plant, as a plant-based protein supplement. In keeping with that theme, this week I'll be talking about cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, and its many beneficial uses.
If you haven't already heard of it by now, you're probably going to start seeing more and more CBD products available on the market. Cannabidiol is one of the many cannabinoids, a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain, found in the cannabis plant. If you did, in fact, read my last blog post about hemp, you'll remember me talking about how anything associated with cannabis scares people and blah, blah, blah. Well, guess what? CBD is no exception to that. In fact, I don't think it would be far-reaching to say that the idea of CBD might scare people even more than consuming or using hemp products.
Not to be confused with medical marijuana, which has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions since ancient times, the use of CBD dates back to the 19th century and is a prevalent topic in the medical field today.
Should you be hesitant to try it?
If there's one of the many marijuana-related compounds you've heard of, it's tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the reason why you sit on your couch eating pizza and Cheetos thinking ridiculous things like "YOLO, blaze it" until you pass out and experience deja vu the next day, and probably the day after that, and again after that... THC is what gets you high, if you catch my drift. The medical value of the cannabis plant, however, comes from CBD.
Kind of like the phrase "sex sells" that you always hear when it comes to anything marketing or advertising-related, the THC is what sells when it comes to recreational marijuana users. CBD, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana, is popular more-so with people who want to reap the plant's wide range of therapeutic benefits.
So, what's it used for?
The therapeutic potential of CBD was put to the test in a University of Kentucky study back in 2013. The study showed how CBD can prompt physiological brain changes, which could help offset the damage caused by chronic alcoholism. The study found that administering CBD resulted in a 48.8% reduction in entorhinal cortex neurodegeneration. Scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center found that CBD "turns off" the cancer gene that causes cancer cells to metastasize, or spread. While medical marijuana has been used by cancer patients for quite some time now to provide them with a bit of relief, this finding only helps add to the evidence that marijuana is one of the most beneficial things that a cancer patient could consume. In a study published in 2011, CBD's impact on social anxiety was put to the test. The study found that those pre-treated with CBD prior to speaking publicly experienced significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during their speech performance. The placebo group experienced noticeably higher levels of anxiety and discomfort. The authors of the study stress that CBD holds a number of advantages over standard social anxiety treatments like anti-depressants due to its quick onset of efficiency and absence of severe withdrawal symptoms or side effects. A clinical trial in Germany found CBD to be as effective in treating schizophrenia as common antipsychotic medication with far fewer side effects. CBD, in and of itself, is what offsets the negative mental effects of THC alone, so any marijuana users with a history of mental illness should keep that in mind. CBD has also been known to help with Dravet Syndrome, which is also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). The seizures that result from this type of epilepsy are often triggered by hot temperatures or fever. Dravet Syndrome is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy and is life-long and debilitating. As an alternative treatment, families have reported that the use of CBD has been beneficial with both seizure management and cognition. CBD use is increasing throughout the world as research suggests it to be helpful for seizures, anxiety, other aforementioned ailments and more. With pain management being one of the most costly factors to both treat and manage, research shows that cannabinoids (*cough cough* cannabidiol/CBD) have been shown in preliminary trials to be effective in modulating the response to pain.
Is it legal?
Drum roll please... YES. In the United States it's perfectly legal to have any number of CBD-infused products sent to your home in a safe and legal manner. It's available in the form of an oil, solution, edible, capsule, lotion, gum, and the list goes on. We here at eVitamins have just started to delve into the world of CBD ourselves. Do you use CBD or know someone who does? Let us know how it's helped!