An emerging new industry worth billions of dollars is just now bursting onto the scene.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that not only has incredible potential as an alternative therapeutic medicine, but is also making its way into the mainstream medicinal industry. These therapeutic qualities were most notably observed when it was seen to stop an epileptic seizure in its tracks on National US television, promoting widespread recognition of the therapeutic qualities of cannabis.
So What Is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a compound found within the cannabis plant. It is present within the whole plant but is in larger quantities in its fragrant buds. CBD is just one of over 80 cannabinoids found in cannabis, another being the infamous Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound known for its psychoactive qualities. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system of receptors and cannabinoids found in almost every cell of our body, and has a hand in just about everything.
The discovery of cannabinoids was integral to understanding how our body functions and how we can maintain balance within our body as well. It wasn’t until recently though that it was discovered that cannabinoids coming from plants, called phytocannabinoids, also effect the ECS. But, unlike endocannabinoids, the cannabinoids made by the body, that attach directly to the cannabinoid receptors in our body, phytocannabinoids were found to influence the body to use the endocannabinoids already contained within us in order to instigate balance.
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What Does CBD Do?
So far, CBD has only recently been recognised as beneficial for a variety of illnesses, but as more and more information and research comes out, the push for relaxed laws and easier access will allow this medicine to get to those who need it most.
So what can CBD actually help us with? Well to start, CBD helps improve:
- Pain relief
- The reproductive system
Not only that, but it also acts as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant, has anti-tumoral agents, has been shown to counteracts the psychotropic effects from THC, and shows potent antipsychotic effects as well.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
The EC system, as previously touched upon, is a regulatory system made up of endocannabinoids and the receptors that they attach to. Almost every cell in our body has these receptors, but are mostly found in the brain and in the central nervous system. The EC system, when engaged by cannabinoids, enacts crucial regulatory responses for maintaining homeostasis within the body.
In studies done on rats, it was found that CBD works by blocking a fatty acid called fatty-acid hydrolase (FAAH). This particular enzyme is responsible for breaking down anandamide, which is known as the body’s ‘bliss molecule’, regulating basic functions like pleasure and reward. By attaching to FAAH, CBD allows the body to more easily use the anandamide in the body, promoting balance in areas such as appetite, ovulation, memory, sleep, as well as a notable boost in pain management.
So Why Has CBD and Cannabis Had Such a Bad Name in the Past?
The answer to this question is simple, but the implications have been disastrous:
When Harry J. Anslinger was appointed director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the 1930’s, he quickly realised that drugs such as cocaine and heroin alone were not going to establish huge political influence. So Aslinger fabricated stories pertaining to the ‘dangers’ of using marijuana, allowing him to further his political gain through outlawing cannabis, one of the main agricultural crops in the U.S at the time. His propaganda was incredibly far-reaching, with a film even being produced in 1937 called ‘Reefer Madness’; which was made to further cement cannabis in the minds of the people as a drug causing psychosis and degenerative behaviours. This once ecological, economic, agricultural, and medicinal resource became a demonised plant and pretty soon, the liberty of the plant was heavily restricted and placed under oppressive new laws.
Although non-psychoactive and without any known side-effects, CBD is still seen as a compound coming from a plant that produces psychosis in those who use it recreationally for CBD’s psychoactive sister, THC. The unfortunate and unfair stigma surrounding cannabis is incredibly harmful to those who rely on CBD to treat serious and life-threatening illnesses, with the laws surrounding the sale of CBD still mired in outdated stereotypes. This is why it is now more important than ever to get the facts straight and allow this harmless plant to be used by those who need it most.
How Can You Take CBD Naturally?
So now we know what CBD is and the beneficial properties it holds, but how can we use CBD in our daily lives? There are so many different ways to take CBD, but it is ordinarily made like any other essential oil.
First, CBD must be extracted from the cannabis plant. This can be done in many ways, but the most potent way to extract CBD is through a process called supercritical Co2 extraction. Co2 is a supercritical fluid, meaning it converts to a liquid when placed under extreme pressure and is able to remove the essential oils from plant matter without leaving residues behind. The most advantageous point to Co2 extraction is that, when used as a solvent, the carbon dioxide leaves behind no residues, which is so important for those wanting the purest form of CBD oil without worrying about what else you might unknowingly be getting along with the it.
There are so many ways to take CBD and so many methods for consuming it. Just some include:
- Hemp/ Cannabis oil
- Hemp/ cannabis paste
- CBD crystals
- CBD oil suppositories
- CBD vape oil
- CBD ointment
And can even be taken in whole plant form, through consuming the stems, roots, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant.
Where can you get CBD?
Now that you know about CBD and its incredible properties, why not try some for yourself? CBD can be bought through retail shops and online, depending on where you live in the world and the laws that regulate the sale of cannabis products. It is always important to do your research before you buy your products, as some may be of higher quality and have varying levels of potency. By heading to websites like Trustpilot, you can find real reviews made by real customers on different CBD brands and products.