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What on Earth is CBD?? The Cannabis Fad

by Dr. Shannon Connolly

If you have been treated by me, I may have asked “Have you heard of CBD?”  Some people immediately light up and say, “Yes, I have.” Others look at me with complete confusion!  So here’s an attempt to clarify and explain exactly what CBD is, what it does, and what it is used for.  

What does CBD stand for and what is it??

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a type of cannabinoid. This compound is most commonly found in marijuana or its close cousin, hemp.  The most popular cannabinoid most of us know is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the major active component of marijuana and what gives marijuana its psychoactive properties.  However, marijuana is typically made up of 40% of the non-psychoactive CBD.

Most cannabinoids are produced naturally by the body, in order to regulate a collection of cell receptors and molecules located in brain, organs, connective tissue, glands, and immune cells. The overall goal of this system is to maintain homeostasis, or balance within the body.

Since these receptors are located within almost every part of our body, they are absolutely vital for optimal health.  They play a significant role in operating functions such as:

  • sleep
  • appetite/digestion
  • mood
  • immune function
  • pain

Is CBD legal?

Yes! And as we have seen, CBD is gaining popularity every day. Despite laws regulating domestic production, hemp-derived products such as food, clothing, and supplements have been and remain legal to purchase and use in all 50 states.  It is legal to ship hemp-derived CBD oil to all 50 states. A medical card, prescription, or ID are not necessary.

What conditions do people use CBD for?

Slowly, as CBD and its association to marijuana has become more socially accepted, research has increased exponentially on the major health benefits of CBD. CBD, in a nutshell, acts as a therapeutic agent in your endocannabinoid system, which constantly works to get your body into a place of homeostasis. As it is already naturally is produced by the body, the consumption of CBD provides additional regulatory molecules to keep your body in homeostasis. With all the external environmental and social/emotional stresses in life, this can be an additional tool to keep your internal biology in balance.

To simplify, there are numerous already known uses for CBD and the list is continuously growing! The most recognized are as follows:

  • reduce pain and inflammation
  • reduce anxiety
  • fight cancer
  • reduce nausea
  • treat seizures and other neurological disorders
  • promote cardiovascular health
  • and more!

Clearly, CBD can help with almost everything. It has been labeled an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent. Essentially, CBD is magical! Cannabinoids have a vital role in almost every physiological function in our body so it makes sense that this compound has such universal applications.

Where can I get it?

In compliance with Federal Law and the Farm Bill of 2016, CBD extracted from industrial hemp can be “transported, processed and sold” nationwide. Therefore, consumers are able to purchase CBD products without needing a medical marijuana card and without living in a state where cannabis products are sold.

But be aware: Not all CBD products are made equal. CBD is not approved by the FDA so companies are not required to state how much, if any, CBD is in their product. It is important to remember when buying a CBD product:

  • Find out where the hemp or marijuana came from
  • Price does not determine quality
  • Not all extraction methods are safe. Safe solvents only!

What are the other ingredients? Look for organic, natural substances such as coconut oil, essential oils, and beeswax.

In summary

There is still much to learn about this special compound, but recent studies have shown promising results on the potential effects of CBD on our physiology. CBD is a superior alternative to many pharmaceuticals that can have more severe side effects such as narcotics/opiates, anxiolytics, and antidepressants.

If you have questions, or would like to talk about CBD as it relates to your health profile, feel free to talk to your Core Therapies provider.

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