CBD - The What, Why and How of this popular medicine

LIVE WELL now carries CBD products!  Read on to learn more about what it is, why you may want it and how to use it…..

The popularity of CBD products has skyrocketed!  Many claim this plant compound has helped them with a wide array of conditions.  Is this something you should try?  Lets find out.

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WHAT IS CBD?

Cannibidiol, known as CBD, is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant (also known as marijuana plant).  

Often times when people hear of the marijuana plant they think of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in the plant, and causes the sensation of getting “high.”  However, unlike THC, CBD has zero psychoactive effects.  Hence, it can be legally distributed along with other natural herbs and supplements.


HISTORY OF CBD USE:

The rise in popularity of CBDs are founded on recent scientific studies that prove medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant.  However, even before this modern day research, there exists documentation of using the plant to treat chronic pain as far back as 2900 B.C.  Also, European health practitioners in the 19th century , have written records of using it to treat pain, seizures and convulsive disorders as well as psychological conditions. The United States officially entered the plant into its Pharmacopeia of the United States in 1851, as a medicinal agent.  But it was removed in 1941 due to public concerns about the THC element.

Currently, the United States’ FDA has licensed 3 drugs based on cannabinoids that successfully treat seizures, the side effects of chemotherapy and the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer.  One drug has only CBD while the other two have a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC.


BENEFITS OF CBD PRODUCTS:

The benefits of CBD are wide reaching and are as safe to use as other over the counter products.  

The following list is backed by scientific research.

  1. Relieves Pain - Acute and Chronic:   CBD works by decreasing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters to reduce the sensory response in the brain.  This has helped in cases of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms, pain associated with MS and overall musculoskeletal pain.

  2. Treats Depression and Anxiety:  CBD acts on the brains receptors that create serotonin. Increasing Serotonin in the brain to a moderate level can have a relaxing, soothing effect.  Studies have shown that CBD has an anti-depressant effect and can treat social anxiety as well as anxiety and insomnia from PTSD.  Many pharmaceutical drugs that are currently used to treat these conditions create unwanted side effects whereas CBD does not.

  3. Lessens Chemotherapy Side-Effects:  Cancer patients treated with CBD experienced a reduction in pain, nausea and vomiting.  Although studies showed the combination of CBD with THC showed more benefits than either cannabinoid alone.

  4. May Aid in Treatment of Neurological Disorders: Studies have shown that CBD use can aid in reducing and possibly eliminating epileptic seizures. Patients with Parkinson’s, showed improvements in motor abilities, rigidity and pain. And culture testing proves that CBD reverses the inflammatory response of M.S.

  5. Many Potential Benefits Still Under Review: The list is long for conditions being tested with CBD treatment, so far some benefits have been shown for the following: insomnia, pms, digestive disorders, weight loss/metabolism and cardiovascular health.


HOW TO USE CBD:

  • Tinctures: Tinctures are CBD oils that come with a dropper. In my opinion, this is the best way to take CBD because you are in control of the exact serving. Typically, one dropper is a serving, so make sure to read the label carefully to determine your CBD dosage.

  • Capsules: This is another easy way to take CBD orally. You’ll find capsules available in several doses.

  • Topical solutions: CBD lotions, balms and salves can be used topically, as desired and for specific areas of the body.

  • Powders: Powders are another form of oral CBD. They can be added to your smoothies or just combined with liquid.

  • Edibles: Another popular type of CBD is edibles, which are preferred by people who enjoy the ease and pleasant taste.

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When choosing a CBD oil product, choose a product that is lab tested and has received a certificate of analysis, or COA. This means that the product is regulated, meets lab standards and has been tested for contaminants. And make sure the serving or dosage guidelines are clearly stated on the product label.

And with all plant medicine, be patient and commit to a consistent dose over several weeks to determine if the benefits are true for you. The body responds slowly to herbal medicines and change that comes gradually is usually the healthier route to be on.

I’d recommend trying CBD for a full month to determine if its right for you. The dosage should start small for the first week and if needed up the dose slowly only changing the amount every 7-10 days. If you have questions speak to the health practitioner that recommended this or a qualified consultant from the company that creates the product.