Understanding CBD: What is it? Safety, Benefits, and How to Use it
Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Did you know that the cannabis plant’s uses have become one of the most sought-after natural wellness remedy herbs available today? Older generations may associate the cannabis plant as being the main ‘drug’ of choice for euphoric purposes for much of the 60s and 70s, but in the recent decade, generations are claiming the plant as a modern-day medicinal miracle. While the well-known psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, THC, has been used to treat illnesses like glaucoma and restless leg syndrome for years, the non-psychoactive component, CBD, is gaining notoriety as one of the strongest pain killers known to humankind, a miracle drug for epileptic seizures, and a household medicine cabinet staple. CBD is also our main focus of this article, with good reason!
The molecular combined use of the plant, which utilizes both THC and CBD, can be dated back thousands of years (long before the Egyptians); however, the CBD component of cannabis is now making a more prominent appearance in modern day society as natural medicine treatment modalities become more of a popular trend. So, what is CBD? Is it safe to use? What are the medical benefits of CBD? And lastly, how can you use it medicinally?
What is CBD?
If you were to dissect the cannabis plant, you would find that there are about 16 natural chemical components that make up its molecular structure called cannabinoids. However, the two most popular ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid (the one that “gets you high”), and cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive one. Both components ignite the naturally occurring “pleasant feeling” cannabinoid receptors (Endocannabinoid system) in the human brain and body, but affect them very differently. In fact, these receptors are found in most animals like mammals, birds, reptiles and even fish, and there are other plants that have naturally occurring cannabinoids in them as well, like Echinacea and Cacao (what chocolate is made out of). Guess we know another reason why chocolate is a favorite among most people across the world (it’s definitely mine!).
Let’s break those two main cannabis chemicals down further. THC has been known to help with symptoms like restlessness, fatigue, weak appetite, and aggression, side effects of chemotherapy, nausea, and inflammation, among countless other illnesses and issues; however, it is still considered a controlled substance in most states, and you may need a letter from a medical doctor to use it (or may not be able to use it at all depending on the state you live in). Actually, up until about five to ten years ago, THC producing plants were considered illegal for recreational and medical use in all states due to its ability to impair motor functions and cognitive thinking. Only recently are THC derived plant products being released for medical use, and in some states, recreational use. NOTE: At the time of writing this article the State of Texas has not approved recreational THC products for distribution.
CBD, on the other hand, is not considered a controlled substance and is readily available now in most states in many forms for consumers, like us, to enjoy. CBD got most of its notoriety by being a powerful method of medication for epileptic seizures as early as 2012, possibly even earlier to around 1970, with recent studies showing a wider spectrum of benefits. The hemp derived cannabinoid is also famously known to combat the symptoms of chemotherapy exposure, and in some cases claims to be a forerunner for curing certain forms of cancer.
According to Diana Martinez, a breast cancer patient and professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, when she began chemotherapy treatment after her diagnosis she quickly experienced loss of feeling in her lower limbs, nerve pain, and ringing in her ears. She decided to quit the chemo treatments, at the behest of her family and friends, and began using CBD to help combat the symptoms produced by the chemo. She claims that in about six weeks of using CBD oil, she regained feeling in her lower limbs, decreased the numbness and pain in her nerve endings of her fingers, and subsided the ringing in her ears with consistent use. With the powerful natural remedy on hand, she started her chemo treatments up again and completed them, then went on to begin testing and producing a pill containing both THC and CBD to help other women facing a similar situation (Velasquez-Manoff, 2019). Her studies and self-testing are a beneficial contribution to the medical field and continue to be an inspiration for many chemo patients.
Is CBD Safe to Use?
Consumerlab.com is a well-known website which boasts over 20 years of clinical testing and studies released to the public. When asked, “is CBD oil (cannabidiol) effective and safe?” their condensed answer is, “yes”. The long answer is that during preliminary testing and observation, evidence suggests that CBD modestly reduces anxiety, calms dystonia (a movement disorder) and reverses glaucoma. These testings included CBD, hemp oils and pills of popular CBD-containing supplements used for both human and pet consumption.
In a different 2017 placebo-controlled clinical trial where a high daily dose of 20mg per kg of body weight of CBD was dispersed to children and young adults suffering from Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, results were staggering. The study concluded that the group that was given the CBD experienced decreased seizure severity and amount of formula was decreased by 44% as opposed to 22% in the group given the placebo formula. This is a highly successful outcome for a naturally derived medicine, and more testing and studies worldwide are producing the same compelling results.
So, CBD is effective, but is it safe? According to ConsumerLab.com, CBD can cause side effects when interacting with certain medications and conditions; however, this has only typically been known to occur when taking very high daily intake amounts of CBD; hundreds of milligrams daily (ConsumerLab.com, n.d.). CBD taken at 300mg has been shown to worsen symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (Int J Neurosci, 1986), and should be used with caution when taking sedative and sleep-inducing medications as they may enhance their effects. Another drug that may interact with CBD is Warfarin, a drug used as an antiepileptic, which mostly just increases blood serum levels. It can be safe to say, that speaking to your medical doctor or natural remedy doctor before taking CBD is a wise decision, but should not hinder your curiosity of discovering if CBD is the right medicinal choice for you.
What are the Benefits of Using CBD?
CBD, as a medical treatment plan, can help with:
· Pain (nerve, chronic, joint, cancer related, etc.)
· Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
· Substance Abuse/Withdrawal
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
· Bacterial Infections
· Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
· and so much more!
How can you use CBD?
CBD derived products can be used in the same ways as its THC counterpart by smoking or inhaling it to deliver the medicine via bronchial exposure, or ingesting it sublingually by tinctures and oils. CBD bath products like lotions and salts can be used topically as well. Here at Cryo Body Works in Austin, TX we carry tinctures, oils, and the natural flower as part of our CBD medical treatment regimens. You can view our full line of CBD products at our location at 3501 Hyridge Dr, Austin, TX 78759 or call 512-522-0221.
Come to our facility at 3501 Hyridge Dr, Austin, TX 78759 or call (512) 522-0221 to schedule a session for as low as $49! We also offer low-cost membership plans and packages that accept payments from your HSA as well. We also offer many other treatments and therapy options like Cryotherapy, Infrared Sauna, Infrared Laser Therapy, PEMF Therapy, Compression Therapy, Ice Baths, and B12 shot injections! We would love to hear your story, introduce you to our facility and get your health and recovery journey started!
Visit https://www.cryobodyworks.com/ for client reviews, testimonials and more featured research.
ConsumerLab.com. (n.d.). Does CBD Hemp Oil Work? Retrieved from ConsumerLab.com: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/is-cannabidiol-cbd-helpful-and-legal/cbd/
Velasquez-Manoff, M. (2019, Mary 14). Can CBD Really Do All That? Retrieved from NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/14/magazine/cbd-cannabis-cure.html
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