CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a chemical derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD affects the brain but notably does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the ingredient in cannabis that causes a high. In short, CBD can provide us with all the health benefits of the marijuana plant without causing psychotic effects in the user.
How Can CBD Be Used?
Since it’s a plant extract, CBD can be delivered in multiple ways and infused into many kinds of products. Standard practice involves vaping or inhaling it. However, topical creams, oral drops, ingestible supplements, and edibles are other popular examples of how we can take CBD. Therefore, there is plenty of options to incorporate CBD into our daily lives. It means we have the option of taking CBD in ways that suit us rather than the familiarities of inhaling it.
What’s the difference between Cannabidiol and Marijuana?
In further detail, cannabidiol is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. CBD plays an important role in the medicinal value of medical marijuana, but it’s derived directly from the hemp plant. As mentioned above, even though CBD is a component in marijuana, CBD by itself does not cause a “high”. The psychotic highs associated with marijuana is a result of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. However, CBD does not contain this, and consequently doesn’t cause the unhealthy (and dangerous) drug abuse or substance dependence often associated with marijuana. In fact, there is no evidence to date that suggests any negative health problems associated with the use of pure CBD.
If you would like to go into even more detail about the differences between Cannabidiol and Marijuana, then CFAH has several online resources with more information.
Is it legal to use CBD?
In the United States, CBD is readily obtainable in most places – all fifty states have legalised CBD with various degrees of restriction. Even though it’s considered in the same class as marijuana, governments don’t enforce against it. In recent years, governments have eased regulations to permit research into CBD. Research is increasing given people’s expanding interest into the health benefits of CBD.
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
Some studies have evidenced the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, which work on the endocannabinoid and pain-sensing systems. For this reason, it has been argued that CBD may have the same, if not better, pain-relieving effects as prescription medication. This may be a positive for many individuals who experience the addictive and unpleasant side effects of their pain relief medication. Many clinical studies have seen CBD as effective in decreasing arthritis and nerve pains associated with fibromyalgia. CBD has often been incorporated into lotions and balms for topical use on joints and muscle aches.
For similar reasons, CBD has also been associated with better bone health and fracture support. Its anti-inflammatory properties are said to be very beneficial for patients who have multiple sclerosis.
Furthermore, CBD has been proven to aid sleep in many individuals. CBD oils for sleep can come in morning or evening doses, and some are crafted with other botanicals for additional calming properties. Since CBD improves symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, there is no surprise that plenty of research has found individuals reporting a better night’s sleep with it too.