The days when cannabis was a part of ‘stoner’ culture and seen only as a recreational drug are fast disappearing. Recent years have seen an explosion of CBD (cannabidiol) products on the market that is believed to help with many different health issues.
These products are being touted as ‘cure-alls’ and sometimes it is difficult to separate fact from fiction, particularly because the illegal status of cannabis has prevented research. Here are some reasons why CBD oil has become the latest health trend.
Regulations are Changing
Investors have been putting plenty of money into the cannabis market, spurred on by the fact that regulations are changing. Nine states in the U.S. have now legalized recreational marijuana and many others now allow the use of medical marijuana.
Others have CBD-only laws. Attorney general, Jeff Sessions, may still be taking a hard line against legalization of cannabis but worldwide attitudes are changing towards cannabis as more people discover its potential health benefits and changes in legislation are bound to follow.
New Types of Products
CBD-only oils are non-psychoactive because they do not contain THC, the psychoactive element of cannabis. This is a major selling point because they do not make you ‘high’. CBD-only oils are safe for use by children and won’t show up on a drug test. CBD-only laws in the U.S. were triggered by media coverage of a case where a child with epilepsy was treated successfully with CBD oil.
Some products contain a ratio of CBD to THC. Others contain a full range of compounds from the cannabis plant. This is because of the entourage effect which is the belief that all the compounds in the plant contribute towards its effect and work better together. In some products, the amount of THC may be less than .03% which is the legal limit in the U.S.
CBD oil is different from hemp seeds or hemp oil found in health stores. This hemp oil is derived from hemp seeds which do not contain much cannabidiol. CBD products are made from the whole plant. There are many varieties of cultivars used for CBD oil that have high concentrations of cannabidiol. To further concentrate active components, the material goes through an extraction process. The extracted oil is then tested for contamination and toxins. The cannabinoid content is also established.
A New Wave of Delivery Methods
You no longer have to light up to experience the benefits of cannabis. There are vaporizer pens that will provide you with consistent doses of CBD oils. You can use a tincture that is readily absorbed because you can spray it with your tongue. Sprays have the benefit of being portable.
You may prefer to use capsules for convenience and so that you can easily regulate your dosage. CBD chewing gums are another convenient way to ingest CBD-oil. Topical CBD products are being used to treat everything from aching muscle to psoriasis and eczema. CBD is even being infused into healthy foods for customers who suffer from conditions like insomnia and anxiety.
How it works
Research has shown that cannabinoids such as CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body. Cell receptors are found throughout the body that plays a role in how many of its systems function. This complex system has an effect on sleep, immune response, appetite, and mood. CBD works with this ECS system and reduces the breakdown of endocannabinoids that occur naturally.
Research into the benefits of CBD oil has been hampered by the illegal status of cannabis. However, with the changes in legislation, more research is taking place and revealing just how potent it may be. It has already been established that it may lessen anxiety, offer natural pain relief, decrease inflammation and improve sleep quality. There is also evidence that it can help adults and children suffering from seizures, reducing their frequency and severity.
Many researchers believe in its potential but more clinical trials need to be done to establish factors such as how much CBD should be taken on a daily basis for certain illnesses or how it might interact with other medications.
You still need to be careful
Just because CBD oil has become so popular does not mean that you can just buy any product online and think that it’s safe or effective. Some chemicals used to extract the CBD may contain toxins. Manufacturers also make unsubstantiated claims and when products are tested, they are found to contain little or no CBD. The meteoric rise of this industry means that regulations still have to be put in place to make sure that the products contain exactly what they say they contain.
You need to be as vigilant as you are when taking any other medication and ask the right questions. Dosage is important too and you should rather start low and gradually increase until you find what’s right for you.
It really does work
CBD has the potential to be an extremely beneficial addition to the health and wellness industry. A number of studies have revealed that it can be used successfully to treat many anxiety issues such as panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has shown promise in its ability to lower risk of developing cancer and slowing down the growth of existing cancers and more studies are likely to be done in this area.
Anecdotal evidence as to its many benefits have existed for a while and as the illegal status changes, more clinical trials will no doubt take place to put some science behind the claims. It’s only a matter of time before we find CBD in food, wine, creams and more. Product makers are becoming more creative every day with their potions and products, infusing CBD into just about anything, including chocolates and beauty care products. Many of us will probably be incorporating some CBD into our everyday lives and become less anxiety-ridden and more chilled out as a result.