What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is currently enjoying a surge in popularity. In Australia, low-dose CBD products have been approved by the country's drug regulator and can now be purchased over the counter in pharmacies. Celebrities, influencers, and podcast hosts have also been praising the potential benefits of CBD, such as alleviating anxiety, insomnia, and pain. However, it's important to distinguish between truth and hype. What scientific evidence exists to support the efficacy of CBD oil? What are the possible uses for CBD, and when might it be best to avoid it?
What Makes CBD Different from THC?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, or tetrahydro-cannabinol, it does not produce a "high" sensation. THC is primarily consumed through smoking or ingestion via edibles, oils, or capsules. Both THC and CBD interact with the body's systems, but research suggests that THC interacts primarily with CB1 receptors, which are linked to the euphoric feeling. Hemp plants contain a higher percentage of CBD while maintaining very low levels of THC.
How Does CBD Work in the Body?
CBD works directly with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. It intercepts both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, which are responsible for transmitting messages to the brain. The ECS regulates various biological and physiological processes, including pain management, inflammation, sleep, mood, digestion, and more.
What Are the Health Benefits of CBD?
CBD's health benefits are becoming more widely recognized. In June 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, the first prescription medication containing CBD, to treat rare and difficult-to-control forms of epilepsy. CBD also shows promise in the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases, according to early research. Proprietary research suggests that CBD could help with inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, seizures, arthritis, and even act as a pain pill or opioid replacement.
While CBD is gaining popularity, more clinical trials and studies are needed to confirm its full impact and effectiveness. There is some evidence of side effects accompanying CBD use, but consulting a doctor or medical professional is always a good place to start, especially if you are a first-time user.
Is CBD Legal?
Cannabis- and hemp-related laws in the United States are evolving rapidly. Hemp, when produced at levels below 0.3% delta-9 THC, is not considered a controlled substance at the federal level. Hemp-derived CBD is accessible in most of the 50 states. Companies producing industrial hemp must be transparent in their manufacturing process and label claims, and each state has its own laws and regulations regarding CBD.
Takeaways About CBD
The hype surrounding CBD is real and relevant. While more research is needed surrounding its impact and potential side effects, anecdotal evidence and early-stage studies have shed some positive light. If you're curious about using CBD, start with a reliable source and choose independent companies with labs like Real Tested CBD to explore which CBD products have tested accurately to label claims and serve you best. Always turn to third-party lab test results to ensure the quality, potency, and purity of your CBD product.