CBD’s close association with marijuana has been the subject to a lot of controversy over the past few decades. It is only in recent years that scientific studies have debunked a lot of CBD-related myths and have shown its health benefits.
What is CBD?
Just to set the record straight, CBD is not synonymous to “marijuana.” CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many compounds (cannabinoids) found in a cannabis or marijuana plant. A marijuana plant contains both CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The latter is the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant that gets one high when smoked or ingested. CBD, on the other hand, does not.
The typical formulation of CBD is oil, however, it can also be sold as an extract such as oils, then packaged as a capsule or vaporized liquid. CBD can also be found infused in a growing number of food, drinks and beauty products found online. CBD products are starting to become popular for its benefits that many associate with medicinal marijuana.
Is it legal?
Since CBD is unlike THC, its legality is often identified as a “gray area” by the general public — given that it’s a byproduct of the cannabis plant.
It is best to do your research and find out what your state’s (and those that you will travel to) provision is for CBD products. Take note, though, that non-prescription CBD products are not FDA-approved so exercise caution when making purchases.
What are its health benefits?
Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory
Documented research in the Journal of Experimental Medicine cites CBD as an effective alternative that reduced sensations of pain and chronic inflammation in rodents. The researchers suggested that the non-psychoactive marijuana compounds, like CBD, could be an alternative treatment for chronic pain.
Smoking and Substance Abuse
- While more research is still necessary for this area, initial studies showed that:
- Smokers who used inhalers containing CBD had a decrease in nicotine cravings and smoked fewer cigarettes; and
- CBD was found to be a very promising treatment for those addicted to opioids.
This one also still requires further research, but an initial study states that CBD could produce similar effects of certain antipsychotic drugs and could be a safe and effective treatment for schizophrenics.
One of the biggest potential benefits of CBD to man is its cancer-fighting properties. A study found that CBD has significantly helped suppress the growth, prevent the spread and promoted the destruction of cancer cells.
While doctors advise people with anxiety to stay away from cannabis because of THC, authors of a published review found that the compound could help reduce anxiety in people with related disorders. Further studies are being carried out for this.
Type 1 Diabetes
A 2014 study shows that CBD helps suppress the inflammation of the body’s sebaceous glands that produce acne.
A pilot research about CBD and Alzheimer’s shows that the compound helped prevent the development of social recognition deficit in some cases. This is, perhaps, the first evidence that CBD can help delay Alzheimer’s disease development.
There are still a lot of studies and experiments with CBD ongoing today. Expect to see even more therapeutic uses to be discovered for this natural remedy.