If you mentioned the use of cannabis to someone a few years ago, you’d get an odd look. In fact, cannabis and related products were banned in most countries. But the situation is actually not the same currently. You can now confidently that you are using prescription cannabis products. well, researchers have found that the cannabidiol compound in cannabis has a wide range of health benefits. For a beginner, what is cannabidiol and how can you use it?
What Is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. it’s actually one of the over a hundred compounds but it’s more prominent due to its numerous health properties. This includes anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, anti-tumor, anti-anxiety, and anti-epileptic properties among others.
What are the Signs of Quality CBD Product?
While CBD’s popularity continues to increase, it’s essential that you purchase a quality product. There are several elements that you can use as a checklist to determine the quality of CBD products. They include:
- Organic hemp: High-quality CBD can only come from organic hemp plants. It’s worth noting that hemp is a hyperaccumulator plant. this simply means that it absorbs anything within its surroundings. as a result, it should come from organic sources for the sake of purity.
- Supercritical C02 extraction: This is the industry standard at the moment. The supercritical CO2 method ensures that all the desired compounds are safely extracted. Besides that, it ensures that the compound extract is free from additives and residues.
- Independent 3rd-party results: This is important in helping to verify the quality of CBD products. Note that the results need to be the latest and readily available on the manufacturers’ official website.
- Contains less than 0.3% THC: Quality CBD oils usually contain less than 0.3% THC. THC is a psychoactive compound that normally alters the way the mind functions.
- Ingredients on the product label: The most reputable companies usually indicate the type of ingredients used to make the CBD products. besides that, you get to know the amount of CBD that’s available by checking the label.
Forms of CBD Products
CBD is available in multiple forms. This makes it possible for consumers to utilize various in multiple ways to manage various health conditions, ease of use, and meeting the specific needs of different users. This makes it easier for customization. The following are the most common forms of CBD:
- CBD oils and tinctures: This is the most common form of CBD. It’s basically the hemp compound’s extract that has been mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. CBD oils and tinctures are normally used by placing them under the tongue or mixing with your favorite foods and drinks. Tinctures for sublingual intake usually provide speedy relief, especially against conditions such as pain and anxiety.
- CBD topicals: They are for external application and so they need to be applied directly to the skin. CBD topicals usually provide localized effects and that’s why they provide targeted relief. They can be ideal for managing joint pain, psoriasis, acne, and eczema.
- CBD edibles: These products are ideal for oral intake. CBD edibles mostly come in the form of gummies that are sweet, delicious, and offer discreetness. These products are ideal for treating pain and other chronic discomforts since they provide the body with lasting effects.
- Pills and capsules: They are the same as those drugs you buy from pharmacists. The only difference is the ingredients found in both. Capsules and pills are mostly used to managed long-term conditions such as digestion complications, seizures, and related disorders.
- Vapes: Vaping has quickly become popular, replacing the traditional way of smoking. You need to use it just like an e-cigarette. However, you should understand that vaping is only good if you know how to use vaporizers.
Therapeutic Benefits of CBD
CBD works naturally with the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote wellness. It modulates the effectiveness of the body’s existing mechanisms to try and restore a sense of normalcy. This includes treating the symptoms of various diseases and inflammation. So, what are some of the therapeutic benefits of using products with this organic compound?
- Treating Chronic pain
- Easing Anxiety and Stress
- Epileptic Treatment
- Managing Type 1 Diabetes
- Acne Treatment
- Sleep Disorders Management
Treating Chronic Pain
Cannabidiol has strong pain-relieving properties but how does it interact with the body to control pain? Well, several research studies indicate that CBD usually works by influencing specific chemical characteristics of the endocannabinoid system i.e., the anandamide. This is one of the neuro-modulatory molecules that is linked to pain perception.
Besides that, there are other studies that indicate CBD usually works by activating certain receptors. Note that these are the receptors that are associated with the chronicisation and transmission of pain. Based on these two mechanisms, cannabidiol has quickly become effective in treating pain due to inflammation, chronic pain, and neuropathic pain.
- CBD and Inflammatory Pain
Cannabidiol can be an effective treatment in managing inflammatory pain. There are many studies that currently point to the effectiveness of CBD in managing various inflammatory conditions including arthrosis. Well, this means that taking CBD in case of joint pain due to arthritis can help to reduce serious cases of inflammation and joint damage.
- CBD and Neuropathic Pain
CBD’s working mechanisms make it possible for it to treat neuropathic pain such as chemotherapy cycles and trigeminal neuralgia. For instance, it has proved to be effective in minimizing the side effects of cancer treatment as a result of chemotherapy drugs. The organic compound has powerful effectiveness in treating peripheral neuropathic pain. That’s why it’s one of the most sought-after sources of alternative medicine.
Easing Anxiety and Stress
Consistently taking CBD products for anxiety can ease the constant feeling of worry and fear. Anxiety and stress are two of the most common mental issues that occur side by side. They are known n to affect millions of people worldwide. While there are several clinical medications that you can use to treat anxiety and stress, there is still no cure.
Research that was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders indicates that cannabis has significant benefits to those suffering from anxiety and stress. This is because a CBD-rich cannabis plant has potent anti-anxiety properties with calming and relaxing benefits. Its interaction with the receptors found in the serotonergic system has made it possible for patients with these conditions to cope.
There has been ongoing research for years regarding the effectiveness of CBD for treating epilepsy. However, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug in 2018 for epilepsy treatment. According to the FDA, Epidiolex can be used as a clinical treatment option for people aged 3 years and older to treat:
- The Dravet Syndrome
- Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
It should be noted that these are some of the rarest forms of epileptic conditions. They usually involve seizures that are quite difficult to control with prescription clinical medications.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes usually occurs when the immune system decides to attack the cells found in the pancreas. As a result, the patient normally ends up with an inflammatory pancreatic organ. There are several studies that link this attack to high glucose levels.
But with its strong anti-inflammatory properties, CBD could be what you need in order to fight inflammation. The organic compound has proved to be helpful in naturally offsetting the significant damage done by Type 1 diabetes to the pancreas. You can also use it for general management as it can protect you against or cause a delay in the onset of this diabetes.
While there are numerous acne products available, this skin condition still has no cure. Besides that, some of these products usually heighten the severity of acne inflammation, leading to constant flare-ups.
Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that CBD can help to ease the severity of acne. This is possible since this compound has anti-inflammatory properties. So, it can be quite effective in reducing the overproduction of sebum which is the leading cause of acne.
Sleep Disorders Management
Having an irregular sleep-wake cycle can easily disrupt your life and health. You spend hours every night tossing and turning and by the time you are waking up you are struggling with fatigue. this means that you can’t be productive during the day. An ongoing sleep problem can lead to serious health issues including unhealthy weight loss.
But the fact that this compound helps to treat underlying medical complications makes it effective in managing sleep disorders. Pain, stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the major causes of sleeplessness and insomnia. However, CBD can effectively handle all these health issues, ensuring that you get sufficient 7-8 hours of sleep daily.
Even though CBD can greatly help with the aforementioned conditions, studies and research are still not conclusive. Trials have been mostly made on animals such as rodents. Meanwhile, only a small number of human populations have undergone these trials. As a result, there is still a need for more research studies to determine the effectiveness of CBD in treating these medical conditions.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of CBD
Just like other forms of therapeutic treatment, using CBD comes with serious health risks. For instance, it may interact with certain clinical medications and supplements, thereby resulting in unwanted health risks. Besides that, it may result in:
- Dry mouth
- Digestive discomfort
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleep patterns
- Fatigue and tired
Note: In case you are taking prescription medication or are worried about the safety of your CBD product, consult your doctor first.
CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Should I Take?
CBD doesn’t have a universal dosage since there isn’t a universal regulatory body in the medical cannabis industry. Generally, you are advised to always start with a smaller dosage and then increase the amount gradually until you find what works for you. You can increase the dosage by 2-3 mg after 3-4 days until you achieve a dosage that suits your needs.
Understand that the dosage varies depending on the severity of your medical condition, weight, age, and sex. For a normal adult, experts estimate that you can take at least 40 mg per day but you can stretch this amount to 1,500 mg daily. Just make sure that you start with a lower dosage first!
How to Use CBD
How you use CBD depends on your medical condition and the type of CBD product. Since this compound can be found in many forms, there are also several ways to use it. This includes:
- Swallowing capsules
- Using oil drops as tinctures
- Mixing the oil drops with food
- Massaging the topical product into the skin
- Taking gummies and cookies, etc.
The Legality of Cannabidiol
With the passing and legalization of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD attained a legal federal status in the US. But the hemp and hemp-derived compounds need to have less than 0.3%. But as a consumer, make sure that you do your own comprehensive studies. This is because there are some states where CBD is still illegal.
Where to Buy CBD
The FDA doesn’t regulate the cannabis industry and CBD products. This means that it’s up to you to decide how you will choose and buy quality products. while there are many retailers, your chances of buying low-quality products are high. To be on the safe side and get value for your money, buy CBD products directly from the manufacturer’s website.
The Bottom Line
The popularity of CBD isn’t just based on hype. This cannabis compound has significant health benefits. It’s versatile and so you can find it in many forms. Besides that, CBD is also readily available in different potencies. As a result, you can conveniently use it to treat various medical complications. CBD is legal federally in all 50 states. However, you need to check your state’s laws before making purchases because different states have different requirements.