The “green rush” has swept the country with marijuana going mainstream and industry investors striking gold. Although the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in most states, there is a compound found in cannabis that is mostly legal. Cannabidiol (CBD) can be sold in most forms by itself, creating sub industries, especially in the wellness community. But what is in CBD and why do people want to use it in so many products?
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant that does not produce any psychoactive effects. The compound that produces the psychoactive euphoria-like symptoms associated with traditional marijuana is Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. A cannabis plant has at least 80 different chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The ability for CBD to provide therapeutic benefits without the typical marijuana "high" makes CBD very popular.
How does CBD help?
“Many of my pediatric epilepsy patients are getting significant seizure reduction with ingested whole plant CBD oil.”
Although research studies on cannabis and CBD are limited, multiple studies have shown evidence that CBD is helpful in treating a number of illnesses. It can treat epilepsy, help in schizophrenia therapy, and provide some reduction in joint pain. CBD is often used in pain relief and also to reduce anxiety and depression.
Healthyish spoke with Dr. Bonni Goldstein regarding the results she has seen in her practice. “Many of my pediatric epilepsy patients are getting significant seizure reduction with ingested whole plant CBD oil,” says Goldstein.
A former Chief Resident at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Goldstein now runs L.A. medical cannabis practice Canna Centers and acts as a medical advisor for Weedmaps.“Many adults are finding relief of pain, better mobility due to less inflammation, and less anxiety and depression.”
The Making of CBD
Marijuana and industrial hemp, a legal variety of the plant, contain CBD. Extracting CBD from legal industrial hemp makes it possible to sell products containing CBD across state lines and not only in states with legalized cannabis. Currently, more than 40 states can legally sell the compound and more states have begun to discuss the issue.
CBD’s purported effects of reducing stress and anxiety have prompted many to adopt it as a wellness supplement. “CBD is like taking a daily dose of well being. You’re going to be a little bit more calm, a little bit more centered, and you know that you’re going to be able to function,” said Jewel Zimmer in an interview with Healthyish. Founder of boutique cannabis company Juna, Zimmer explains, “It’s like the adaptogen of all adaptogens, the superfoods of all superfoods—and we’re learning more and more every single day.”
How do you take CBD?
The market is bursting with new CBD products in a large array of options from vaporizers and sublinguals that reach the bloodstream quicker to edibles like chocolates and gummies. Skincare lotions and supplements also contain CBD as a popular natural ingredient for many applications.
Things to Know
A number of medical experts feel CBD extracted from industrial hemp is less potent than that derived from marijuana. Industry experts advise researching the company and asking for test results. It's important to know the exact cannabinoid content and who they use as a medical advisor before purchasing.
"As a rule, I do not recommend industrial hemp as medicine," says Dr. Goldstein. "That being said, there are some “hemp” products on the market that, when tested, show that they contain medicinal amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes, albeit with very low THC that allows for the “hemp” designation."
To receive their full benefits, CBD products generally require regular use. However, it is possible to feel some immediate effects after consumption. Consider your own personal needs when deciding between options. Inhaled products deliver faster effects than sublinguals or ingested items but the benefits will also fade much faster. For more of a daily wellness supplement, look at slower releasing edibles, syrups, capsules and oils with clearly marked dosages easy to add into your regular routine.
New CBD infused products are on the rise, in topical form or as supplements, and soon restaurants and bars will be adding CBD into their menu items and cocktails.
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