CBD, a non-psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, has recently emerged as one of the most popular wellness products.
Only a decade ago, nobody could have predicted that one constituent of the stigmatized and demonized marijuana plant would become so popular. Yet here we are: now they sell CBD oil almost everywhere and add it to almost anything – from creams and lotions to food and beverages to pet snacks.
Ever since CBD was widely publicized as a miracle cure for children’s epilepsy, people started trying its efficacy for other conditions and, as often as not, found the results very satisfying. So, what is exactly CBD and what are its health benefits?
Just One of the Dozens of Chemicals Produced by Cannabis
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many natural chemicals that the cannabis plant produces. It was discovered and isolated as early as the 1960s by Israeli scientists, but only recently did this compound make such splashes as to almost eclipse the notoriety of the other cannabis compound – THC. It’s because, in contrast to THC, which produces very noticeable mind-altering effects in users, CBD is almost non-psychoactive. It may make you calmer, but it’s nothing like your regular weed high.
At the same time, CBD is a very biologically active substance. What makes it so powerful is the fact that it acts upon the receptors of the so-called endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. ECS is an essential part of our regulatory system and, as such, directly influences our health.
In which African countries can you grow your own CBD plants?
Lesotho, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, eSwatini, Zambia, Uganda, and Rwanda are countries that allow growing cannabis plant varieties with less than 0,3% THC. If you live in one of the aforementioned regions, you are able to plant your own CBD plant. For beginners, autoflowers are the best option to go, since they are easy to grow and don’t require much supervision.
How Can CBD Benefit Your Health
Though a lot of research is underway, there are only a handful of clinical trials confirming that CBD is effective for particular conditions.
Severe Epilepsy in Children
There’s only one CBD-based pharmaceutical that has been approved by the FDA. It’s Epidiolex. In a large percentage of kids, it can dramatically reduce or even eliminated seizures associated with such severe forms of epilepsy as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet. But if you’re one of those unfortunate parents whose kid has one of these syndromes, you need to go the usual route – consult with your doctor about using this CBD medicine or a generic CBD oil.
Anxiety and Depression
People use CBD products to calm their nerves the most often. And there are studies proving that this can indeed be effective. However, experiment with dosages as some may calm you while others can make you even more anxious. Some animal models suggest that CBD can also treat depression but human studies haven’t been done.
Alcoholism and Opioid Addiction
CBD may protect your liver from the harmful side effects of alcohol consumption. To drug addicts, CBD can be helpful by reducing their anxiety levels, improving sleep, and relieving pain. As a result, the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings won’t be as acute.
CBD, especially its topical application, has been studied as a way to relieve pain, especially neuropathic pain. However, the existing research indicates that CBD is most effective when it acts not in isolation but together with the mind-altering THC. So, if you don’t mind some psychoactivity, you may find more relief from your pain by smoking weed with a balanced THC-to-CBD ratio or using a whole-plant extract. After all, the use of medical marijuana goes far beyond high-CBD strains, and many patients treat their conditions with the whole spectrum of cannabis compounds.
By Staff Writer.