CBD is a part of a family of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. They exist in many plants, including marijuana and hemp plants. Products made with CBD oil have become highly popular in recent years and can now be found in everything from sunscreen to beverages.
CBD burst on the scene in 2013 due to a story that received widespread news coverage. A six-year-old girl named Charlotte, who lived in Colorado, suffered from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Meaning she was having multiple seizures, up to 300 seizures a week. Her parents were desperate until someone suggested using marijuana. Medical marijuana was already legal in Colorado at the time, and they found a strain that was very high in CBD. Her doctors were skeptical, but the seizures dramatically reduced. This strain of marijuana was renamed Charlotte’s Web, and it’s now world-famous.
The human body, as well as other animals, has a system called the endocannabinoid system. It’s involved in a variety of processes, including cognitive function, appetite, pain, sensation, memory, mood, metabolism, concentration, sleep, and inflammation.
Cannabinoids are a group of 120 chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors. They can also be made by our bodies and found in plants.
THC is well-known as the psychoactive component of marijuana. CBD and TBC are both cannabinoids but completely different compounds that act very differently in the body. THC produces the psychoactive effects or ‘high’ feeling, while CBD has no psychoactive effects.
Some of the more outlandish CBD claims include that it can be used to treat multiple sclerosis and cure cancer, but no human studies support those assertions. The more reliable and scientifically tested claims about CBD refer to clinical research performed on humans. Animal studies don’t rise to the same level of evidence.
But there’s solid research supporting the use of CBD for epilepsy, a condition where drugs are sometimes ineffective. One study showed a 42% reduction in seizure frequency and children and adults taking 20 milligrams of CBD oil per kilogram of body weight per day for 28 days.
In one study, CBD effectively reduced psychotic symptoms compared to the most commonly prescribed drug used to treat schizophrenia. CBD oil is also said to help manage pain due to diseases like cancer and arthritis or relieve soreness in the muscles after exercise.
Unfortunately, according to a recent review of 11 systematic reviews and observational studies, there’s insufficient evidence to suggest that CBD is effective at reducing pain related to cancer and serious rheumatic conditions.
Pure CBD is a non-intoxicating compound, so you can’t get ‘high’ from it. Addicts have reportedly been using CBD oil to break the addiction to cigarettes and drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
But many CBD products do have THC in them, usually less than 0.3%.
This is especially important to consider for athletes as THC is a prohibited substance, and consuming it violates anti-doping rules.
But if you’re taking pure CBD oil derived from the hemp, there are no addictive properties and no psychoactive effects.
CBD comes in many forms. The most common is usually oil in a tincture, But you can also use pills, chewable gels, vape cartridges, cream on your skin, and foods like chocolate. But the amount and quality of CBD oil found in these products often vary greatly.
The recommended dose of CBD is still yet to be thoroughly studied. Some studies indicate that increased dosages work only to a certain point and then become less effective.
The FDA has not currently approved CBD oil as a medical treatment in the United States, but the National Institute of Health has researched CBD. Their findings indicate that CBD may have potentially positive effects on mental health issues and inflammatory conditions.
A World Health Organisation report found that CBD is safe and non-addictive, with doses up to 1500 milligrams per day shown to be well tolerated.
CBD is not without potential side effects. Some studies have noted nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, decreased appetite, and diarrhea.
Because CBD is an unregulated supplement, it isn’t easy to know precisely what you’re getting. One FDA study showed that out of 80 CBD supplements, 68% contained a different amount of CBD than was listed on the label, and 21% contained detectable levels of THC.
This issue applies to all nutritional supplements. You need to know where your product is coming from. There are many poor-quality supplements from major retailers that don’t have enough active ingredients or aren’t effective.
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