September 16, 2019 4 min read
CBD is quite literally taking over! You can find CBD products in grocery stores, pharmacies, smoke shops, convenience stores, health & wellness shops, and even at community events such as the Los Angeles County Fair. The question is, however, what is CBD? What does it do; and most importantly, why is everyone using it?
Let's rewind a bit: What is CBD? CBD stands for cannabidiol and cannabidiol is one of over a hundred known cannabinoids found in both marijuana and hemp plants. While marijuana contains large amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, Hemp produces large amounts of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD. Despite not providing an intoxicating "high," CBD binds with natural receptors in our body to activate the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System helps regulate many of our body's processes, including but not limited to our:
Despite being both non-psychoactive and non-toxic, Hemp and CBD faced the social and legal stigma of being associated with the "reefer madness" of the mid 20th century. While hemp and marijuana are in fact, directly related, Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis to maintain it's legality. Despite the legal limit imposed, Hemp's uses include a seemingly endless list of uses ranging from food to fuel to clothing; but because of "reefer madness" era prohibition laws, its cultivation laws have been largely restricted up until the end of 2018 with the passing of the Farm Bill.
Before many states could get legislation on the books, CBD's popularity was already skyrocketing. Years of prohibition had piqued people's curiosity. Just think: an over-the-counter, non-toxic, and all-natural supplement was a dream come true! People all across America were beginning to learn about CBD's benefits; and within a few month, CBD was everywhere. It was being used by people of all ages and backgrounds.
Unfortunately, however, due to prohibition, CBD research is still behind the curve, relying almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. Yet, people have been finding CBD to really help with discomfort both big and small. For many, it is a cheaper and safer alternative to prescription drugs as CBD is non-addictive and possesses little to no adverse side effects. Due to its availability over-the-counter, you wouldn't have to worry about the costs associated with a doctor's visit, or insurance; and given the relative severity of the opioid crisis, a natural, non-toxic pain reliever can literally help to save lives. Hence, the recent embrace by users everywhere.
One of CBD's most famous and serious uses is as an anti-seizure medication. CBD binds to receptors in the brain using the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures in many patients. This has been an amazing, life-changing development for people living with epilepsy and similar disorders.
Equally-famous is CBD's anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Research has shown cannabidiol's ability to reduce chronic pain, including nerve pain, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other physical and psychological discomforts. CBD's inherent properties can also help to speed recovery time post-injury, or post-workout. Hence, the popularity of many athletes choosing it over tradition pain relievers.
CBD's anti-inflammatory properties can also help with many skin disorders, especially when combined with other oils from the hemp plant as well as emollients from other vitamin-rich compounds help to nourish dry skin, reduce redness, and minimize any discomfort.
People with Crohn's IBS, and other digestive issues have been finding great success with CBD treatment done in tandem with traditional regimes. Marijuana has an infamous ability to reduce nausea, improve an upset stomach, and encourage appetite. CBD works in the same way minus inducing the "munchies" sort of feeling that traditional marijuana gives off.
The Endocannabinoid System governs our cognitive processes as much as it governs our physiological processes, and while CBD does not a "high," many people are finding cannabidiol to be very useful in managing depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other psychological discomforts. While most traditional prescriptions for these issues come with a laundry list of negative side effects and the potential to become addicted and overdosed on, CBD is an all-natural, non-toxic alternative many people are looking to incorporate into their respective wellness routines.
CBD isn't just a human-friendly product to incorporate into one's wellness routine. In fact, our furry friends are also reaping its benefits. Many pet owners are turning to CBD as an all-natural, holistic way to treat a wide range of veterinary issues, including but not limited to:
Despite the systematic LACK of veterinary research on the topic of CBD, responsible pet owners are still interested in the potential benefits cannabidiol may have on their respective furry friends.
Some people use CBD in a more casual, recreational way - similar to a coffee before work, or a beer after. Many report small doses of CBD stimulate them, giving users a burst of energy and increased focus. Conversely, high doses of CBD can help lead to a very relaxed state.
Beyond its many benefits, CBD is just so easy-to-use. It can be as simple as eating Gummies or putting a few drops of Tinctures under the tongue. It can be eaten, applied as a lotion, smoked, or vaped. Regardless of your lifestyle or comfort level, there is a form of CBD that can you can enjoy; but with so many choices, how do you make the right one?
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