CBD in a nutshell: ignoring the noise, knowing the facts
The noise that surrounds CBD feels overwhelming to sort through. We’re going to break it down from plant to product, from myth to science, and stay relevant on the proven ways that people use CBD for desired effects in their self care routine.
Breaking it down. What is CBD?!
To understand the cannabis plant and its properties, picture something akin to a family tree, shown below. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two most prevalent active ingredients of cannabis sativa, a flowering plant indigenous to Asia, yet due to its popularity it can now be found growing all over the world (3). CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), alone it does not produce a “high”. The “high” that people report is due to the other of the two most prevalent active ingredients in the marijuana plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient of the marijuana plant. (1)
It’s also important to dissect the cure-all myths and far-reaching medical claims touted by certain experts, blog posts and websites, and place CBD in its proper place as an essential part of your self-care routine. Claims such as, ‘CBD cures cancer’ is a far cry from the truth, but current research indicates that CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, treatment for pain relief as well as stress management (4).
Pain relief from CBD - a myth?
Recent studies show that people with chronic pain use topical CBD products, in particular CBD oil, to manage their symptoms. The human body contains a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a specialized system involved in the regulation of functions such as sleep, appetite, immune system response and pain. (4)
The body also produces neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids, which bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
Recent studies have shown that CBD helps reduce symptoms of chronic pain. Evidence pointed to CBD impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, interacting with neurotransmitters and reducing inflammation. (4)
Mental health, too?
The endocannabinoid system is also integral to regulation of emotional behavior, being essential to mechanisms of learning in the brain. It is within this pathway that CBD has also been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. CBD has an ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior. (1)
Is it safe?
The complexity of cannabis has created a lot of confusion and complications for those attempting to use CBD as an alternative and healthy form of healing and treatment.
If you experience anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, or chronic pain, it is important to remember that few studies have investigated chronic CBD dosing as a potential standalone treatment. Evidence from human studies have determined that CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, and there are many proven benefits of using CBD to manage stress. (1)
- Non-psychoactive, appealing for those looking for pain relief and relief from other symptoms without mind-altering effects of marijuana and other pharmaceuticals
- Eases symptoms affiliated with chronic pain and anxiety
- Effective in reducing pain associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis
Is it legal?
YES! Buying CBD is legal in Germany, as long as the product has less than 0.2% THC. Any last words?
A proper self-care routine requires slowing down, taking the time to reflect on aspects of your life that you can shed to make room for things that are serving you. CBD has been proven to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and reduce symptoms of anxiety. By taking the time out of your day to relax and listen to the needs of your body, CBD enables you to rest and restore.
If you’re considering taking CBD oil to alleviate chronic pain or other serious medical conditions, it’s always a great idea to consult with your doctor. There may be some unknown risks associated with taking CBD when pregnant or breastfeeding, so best to avoid it until the experts are sure of the science.
(1) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1?handl_url=https://successtms.com/blog/ new-treatments-for-depression
(2) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414 476#:~:text=CBD%20is%20commonly%20used%20to,different%20types%20of%20chronic%20pain.