Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis and hemp that is being discussed for its purported anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties. Today, CBD is available in a wide range of products and use cases, including CBD facials at spas, CBD lattes at cafes, and CBD drops at stores. While some ailments may benefit from cannabidiol products, it’s crucial to dig deeper and assess whether they are really worth the hype.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally occurring substance that may be found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Researchers are constantly learning about CBD’s physiological effects. CBD is widely used and is easily accessible online and in stores in the form of pills and edibles. According to the Brightfield Group, a company that conducts market research on the cannabis industry, sales will indeed exceed $22 billion by 2022.
How does CBD differ from Marijuana, Cannabis, and Hemp?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines ‘cannabis’ as a genus of plants that contains a variety of chemicals, each having unique effects on the human body. Hemp and marijuana are two distinct species of cannabis containing the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Hemp contains higher levels of CBD compared to marijuana, which has higher levels of THC on the other hand.
While CBD is a crucial component of medicinal marijuana, it is either produced in a lab or is taken straight from the hemp plant, a relative of the marijuana plant. CBD is not psychoactive, in contrast to THC, which means consuming CBD does not result in a “high” but THC does. This is the key distinction between CBD and THC, and by extension, marijuana.
Is CBD Addictive?
As per a report by the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…To date there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
There are two scenarios where this is not the case. The first is that some people simply respond to CBD differently for unexplained reasons. For quality verification, it’s also essential to get third-party-tested CBD. It is possible to purchase CBD products that are strong than advertised or even include trace levels of THC because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD.
Decoding the Hype: CBD Impacts on Various Concerns
There is evidence that CBD is effective for some conditions, but not necessarily for all the ones for which it is currently being advertised. People claim that using oral CBD reduces anxiety and pain while also improving sleep. The same might not be true for a variety of different CBD products currently available on the market. Due to inadequate testing, it is difficult to determine whether these have any clinical benefits.
According to some experts, CBD eases anxiety by calming down the nervous system and preventing you from having a heightened “fight or flight” response. There is some evidence that CBD can effectively reduce pain when paired with trace amounts of THC.
On the topical front, controlling inflammation is one of CBD’s marketed benefits. We are aware of two CBD receptors in the body: CB1 and CB2. CBD works with these receptors when administered to the skin to reduce the inflammatory response.
Therefore, it is possible that CBD creams may aid in reducing dryness and redness as well as offer some relief from skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. Some anti-acne solutions are also claimed to contain CBD as an ingredient. It appears that CBD affects how much sebum cells produce and may have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent acne from forming. Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on sunburns, it is also utilized in some sunscreens.
However, studies around these effects are also still very limited, and only more studies will prove whether CBD truly possesses the transformative potential it claims.
Is CBD Safe?
The fact that CBD is largely marketed and sold as a supplement rather than a medicine raises serious safety concerns. The lack of regulation for cannabidiol-derived goods may result in safety concerns when the purity of the products cannot be properly assessed. Additionally, current research suggests that consuming cannabidiol may cause negative side effects like weariness and diarrhoea, as well as more significant drug interactions.
By vying for the liver enzymes that break down blood thinners and other medications, CBD can boost their concentration in your blood. It is also best to avoid consuming CBD on a regular basis. Blood tests relating to the liver may reveal abnormalities in those taking large dosages of CBD.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) itself made it clear in its 2017 declaration that there were no public health hazards related to cannabidiol consumption. The usefulness of CBD in treating some of the harshest juvenile epilepsy syndromes is supported by the strongest scientific data, besides a other health concerns. Research and self-reports have also indicated that CBD use may help with moderate to significant reductions in anxiety, sleeplessness, and chronic pain.
Is Cannabidiol Legal?
Most of the United States enjoys easy access to CBD, even though its actual legal status has been up for debate. With different degrees of limitation, CBD is allowed in all 50 states. The FDA loosened the rules in December 2015 to allow researchers to undertake CBD experiments. It became very hard to keep CBD illegal in the United States once the Farm Bill legalized hemp in 2018.
What is the Best Way to Consume CBD?
There are numerous ways to consume CBD, including oils, extracts, pills, patches, vape pens, and topical skin preparations. A topical CBD-infused oil, lotion, cream, or even bath bomb may be your best bet if you’re thinking of using CBD for muscle and skin related concerns. As an alternative, CBD can enter the bloodstream directly through a CBC patch, tincture, or spray that is meant to be applied under the tongue.
The best approach to consuming CBD would still be to get in touch with your doctor and get their recommendations.