Is it possible? Can cannabis can be beneficial without a caveat? Yes, and it's called CBD oil. There is a general misconception surrounding the cannabis plant that tends to turn a lot of people off; severe anxiety, short-term memory loss, and a lowered reaction time can all be side-effects of marijuana usage. But many people fail to realise that there are over 85 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and some can be very beneficial to our health.
This isn't another article promoting the legalisation of the marijuana and its controversial compound THC (which, incidentally, is the only psychoactive cannabinoid). I'm referring to its mellowed-out relative CBD, a cannabinoid that is found in hemp. What exactly is CBD oil, and why is it making waves? Let's break it down, starting with the two major varieties of cannabis.
THC vs. CBD
Marijuana is a variety of the plant cannabis sativa that contains large amounts of THC, the chemical that causes the "high feeling." THC binds to receptors in the brain and can help with many ailments and disorders, some of which include appetite loss, nausea, migraines, glaucoma, chronic pain, and arthritis.
Hemp is a variety of the plant cannabis sativa, and it contains large amounts of CBD. CBD binds to receptors all throughout the body instead of the brain and does not cause a feeling of euphoria. It contains very low amounts of THC (0.3 percent), not enough to get you high.
Uses For CBD Oil
"[CBD oil] has anti-inflammatory effects, and I think it would be helpful for patients with chronic inflammation," said William Hayes Wilson, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital's chief of rheumatology. "I'm a pragmatist."
Patients who suffer from localised pain are great candidates to use the oil, because they can just rub it on whatever part of their body is hurt. "There are some people who have pain in just their feet or their hands," he said. "Rather than treating their whole body, you could treat it with something topical like CBD oil."
CBD can be used to . . .
- Ease anxiety and trouble sleeping
- Treat the effects of Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease
- Reduce seizures
- Relieve muscle and joint pain from spinal cord injuries and conditions such as arthritis
Where Do You Get It?
In the US you can order CBD oil from the comfort of your own home or pick it up at a local dispensary. The oil itself can come in many unusual flavors: blueberry custard, chunky monkey, gummy blast, and even unicorn milk. Different varieties also target different benefits: immune booster, anxiety formula, sleep formula, stress formula, and even pain relief.
Is It Legal?
This is tricky. As of August 2017, medical marijuana is legal in 28 states (plus Washington DC), and CBD is legal in an additional 15 states. Experts estimate that that CBD market will be worth $3 billion by 2021. Though the oil is available online, it's illegal to transport it across state lines. However, some distributors have found a way around this; the products from Colorado-based company Charlotte's Web contain less than 0.3 percent THC, which means they can ship to all 50 states.
So what's your take? You know the facts. You've heard the opinion of a professional, and you can check out our first-person account about what CBD oil is like. Now it's your turn to determine if it could be an option for you. No matter what you decide, make sure you do a little research on the product you select before you make a purchase.