Depending on who you ask, marijuana is either a blessing or a taboo.
Despite the controversy, one of its active ingredients, cannabidiol (CBD), has become more ubiquitous and mainstream. Its allure now extends far beyond that of the stereotypical cannabis enthusiast.
It has gained approval amongst famous celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kristen Bell. Trusted media physicians Dr. Oz and Sanjay Gupta have also touted it, and for good reason.
Best known for its ability to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, CBD has been used effectively to mitigate pain, insomnia, and depression.
CBD infused products are among the fastest growing supplements of the healthcare industry. By 2022, it is estimated that CBD will garner a 22-billion-dollar market, and even the FDA has approved the CBD based epilepsy drug, Epidiolex.
What is it?
Cannabidiol is an ancient compound derived from the flower of cannabis, the only plant genus that contains a unique class of molecular components called phytocannabinoids.
There are more than 80 phytocannabinoids that have been identified, but the two most prominent are THC and CBD.
THC is a psychoactive compound that causes a “high” whereas CBD does not have any psychoactive properties whatsoever.
There are two types of cannabis plants, one is marijuana (which is high in THC) and the other is hemp (which is low in THC). Both contain CBD. In December of 2018, the federal government legalized hemp. Therefore, CBD is legal in all 50 states with variations in approved CBD products from state to state.
What it does
CBD has a direct influence on the endocannabinoid system (eCB), the body’s largest system of receptors found throughout the brain, nervous system, and organs.
CBD is often touted as a natural alternative mental health treatment for many who want to avoid pharmaceutical psychotropics. Nearly one in four people will experience some type of mental health disturbance at least once in their lifetime. If you’d like to learn about CBD and anxiety, read this.
CBD is beneficial when applied externally. CBD oil has gained an impressive following in the beauty and skincare industry. If you would like to learn more about CBD skin care products, click here.
With so many companies manufacturing CBD products, choosing the right one may be a challenge. There are two main types of preparations: CBD oil and CBD tinctures.
For CBD oil, a carrier oil like coconut oil is infused with CBD in manufacturing.
Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol and glycerin. Select products that are made by reputable companies with independent labs that can verify the concentration of CBD. Look for products with low concentrations of THC (0.3%).
Seek the advice of your healthcare professional before starting CBD for the first time. While there is no standard dose, it is best to start low and increase the dose gradually as needed. CBD products come in different flavors and may be taken alone or mixed into your favorite food and drinks.