Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is becoming increasingly prevalent due to its numerous health benefits. However, despite its popularity and efficacy, it remains a subject of controversy largely due to confusion about what it is and how it influences human physiology. Today, I want to demystify and dissect this potentially health transforming supplement in hopes that more you will gain a better understanding of what it is and how it might benefit you.
First and foremost:
CBD oil is 100% legal both federally and state-by-state (see end of article for more information)
While CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant – it is NOT psychoactive – In other words, it is NOT pot.
The Cannabis Plant
The cannabis plant is a type of hemp that has been cultivated throughout history for industrial, nutritive, medicinal, and spiritual purposes. This crop can be harvested in a number of ways and different parts of the plant are used to serve different purposes.
**Fun Fact: Cannabis Seeds (NOT psychoactive) are part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Materia Medica (Huo Ma Ren), and are used as a gentle laxative for individuals with a weaker constitution**
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids; the two main cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the most active ingredient in the cannabis plant and is known for its mind-altering/psychoactive effects. CBD, on the other hand, has no mind-altering effects but it does trigger measureable changes in the body. Cannabis farmers will actually cultivate cannabis differently depending on if their goal is to yield a crop higher in THC or CBD. The crop used to make CBD oil typically has very low levels of THC to make it easier to extract more CBD to make 100% pure CBD Oil.
How Does CBD Work?
The first thing to remember is that for any substance to interact with the body, it has to attach itself to “receptors” in the nervous system. This means that your body already has to produce a substance comparable to the one you’re ingesting. As it turns out, your body does produce its own cannabinoids and has two receptors for them (CB1 and CB2). CB1 receptors deal with a multitude of physiological mechanisms including movement, coordination, mood, cognition, appetite, and pain. CB2 receptors influence pain and inflammation.
Unlike THC, CBD oil doesn’t interact with these receptors directly. Instead, it stimulates the body to produce more of its own cannabinoids, which can ultimately help regulate pain, inflammation, range of motion, and mental health. This is particularly interesting because it means that CBD oil essentially instructs the body to heal itself.
Potential Health Benefits
Pain Relief & Decreased Inflammation
This is the most noteworthy of CBD Oil health benefits. CBD oil has been shown to significantly reduce chronic pain and inflammation from a variety of causes including, but not limited to, arthritis, wear-and-tear, injury, autoimmune diseases, migraines, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. With our society facing a very real opioid epidemic, supplements like CBD oil may prove to be viable replacements for the addictive pharmaceuticals that come with detrimental side effects.
Improved Mental Health
CBD oil has also been noted to have positive effects on several psychiatric conditions and can be used in place of or in conjunction with psychoactive pharmaceuticals. Additionally, many studies are coming out demonstrating CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety related to generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even PTSD. New research is also looking into CBD’s ability to help curb addiction and help people quick smoking and other addictive habits. Lastly, CBD oil is now being researched as a formidable supplement to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other memory related conditions.
Seizures & Epilepsy
A significant amount of research is being done on CBD’s ability to control seizures and treat epilepsy by influencing neurodegeneration and neuronal injury. In fact, one of the main manufacturers of CBD oil (Charlotte’s Web) was inspired to name their business in wake of CBD’s positive effects on a young girl named Charlotte.
It’s no secret that many individuals battling with cancer turn to cannabis to help manage pain, increase appetite, and attempt to improve overall quality of life. Both THC & CBD are used for these purposes, but CBD oil is now being shown to actually block cancer cells from spreading in the body. It is postulated that the CBD both kills and suppresses the growth of cancer cells. Because of its low toxicity, it’s being implemented as an adjunctive therapy to traditional cancer therapies and the results are very promising.
As of now, there are no research findings to indicate significant health risks of CBD oil. In fact, it’s been shown to be well tolerated amongst a wide variety of populations with no detrimental effects on the central nervous system, vital signs, or mood. Pediatric research, however, is still in its very early stages. The most common side effects are slight fatigue and loose stool.
While CBD oil is a safe and low-risk supplement, it is very important to consult with your health provider before implementing CBD oil into your life. As is with any hemp product, there is a small chance (though unlikely) that it could trigger a positive drug test so it’s important to discuss this with the appropriate parties.
So there you have it! Hopefully this has been an informative article, and please feel free to check out more information about CBD oil using the links below. If you are interested in making CBD oil part of your health regimen, come into AcuBalance and Dr. Colby or myself will be happy to chat with you and get you set up.
Legality of CBD
CW Hemp falls under the protection of a few different pieces of legislation: 1. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill (2014) legalizes the cultivation and distribution of Hemp Products throughout the United States providing they meet certain standards. CW Hemp adheres to these standards ardently - specifically that their product contains >.3% THC. 2. Congress supported this ruling with the 2015 Consolidated Appropriations Omnibus Act, which protects CW Hemp from DEA action.
3. In Kentucky specifically: While recreational & medical marijuana remains illegal in Kentucky, patients can still legally purchase and consume CBD oil that is derived from hemp. Consumption of CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products.