CBD has become a huge buzzword in the health and wellness industry. From gas station counters to drug store shelves, you’ve probably seen something infused with CBD. This compound derived from cannabis leaves is praised for its powerful healing properties. CBD is mostly known for its pain relieving benefits but some self-care junkies even claim that it cures anxiety and depression. Is CBD actually a cure-all natural medicine? Let’s delve into what it is and how it benefits your physical and mental health.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the compounds found in marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the compound in marijuana that is responsible for the psychoactive effects or that familiar “stoned” feeling. CBD, on the other hand, does not produce these effects—sorry, stoners. Instead, it is responsible for reducing inflammation and providing pain relief.
Is CBD Legal?
Well, it’s complicated. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp and its extracts but the legalization of hemp-derived CBD is a little iffy in some cases. If a hemp plant contains more than 0.3 percent of THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana, it is technically considered a “marijuana” plant, thus making it illegal in most states. Sound confusing? That’s because it is. Regulation of hemp and CBD will take years to sort out, but the only thing you need to know is that zero THC hemp-derived CBD is legal in all states.
CBD for Physical Pain
As briefly mentioned, CBD has power anti-inflammatory properties. Specifically, it helps alleviate pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity and interacting with neurotransmitters. In other words, it creates a pain killing effect similar to over the counter or prescription drugs.
A 2008 review assessed CBD studies published between the 1980s and 2007. Researchers concluded that CBD was effective for overall pain management along with insomnia associated with pain.
Also, some have asserted that CBD is a healthy alternative for those who rely on habit-forming substances like opioids. However, more research is needed to medically verify the pain relieving benefits of CBD.
CBD for Mental Health
Anxiety sufferers rejoice because CBD may give you some relief. Studies done by the World Health Organization have shown that in humans and animals CBD could help calm the area of your brain important for emotion and memory. Also, a 2011 study claimed that it could even help with social anxiety.
If that wasn’t convincing enough, wait until you hear this. One double-blind randomized clinical trial tested the effects of CBD on psychosis. One group was given an antipsychotic and the other CBD. Both groups experienced an improvement in symptoms but the CBD group enjoyed relief without the usual side effects of antipsychotics. Is it too early to call CBD a miracle oil?
While many studies have implied the many health benefits of CBD, more conclusive research needs to be done regarding its effectiveness. However, it’s worth giving it a try. If you plan on buying a CBD oil product, make sure you buy from a licensed company whose products are tested by an independent third party. Also, consult with your doctor or psychiatrist before taking a CBD supplement for it could interact with other medications you’re taking.