CBD has put the conversation about hemp and marijuana into overdrive. With the first CBD prescription drug passing the FDA’s protocol, stigmas are washing away about hemp. If you want to get caught up, here is a brief history lesson and educational overview on where things stand with CBD today.
A is for….Alternative
Recent studies are buzzing about cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural alternative to prescription drugs to relieve pain, anxiety, and other chronic ailments. CBD has been restricted from research in the US, so trials need to prove these anecdotal reports and studies. What we do know is CBD works with the the Endocannabinoid System that regulates pain, memory, mood, inflammation, appetite, and more in our body. There are two primary receptors in this system:
CB1 receptors: Found primarily in the brain, they are responsible for controlling perception and memory.
CB2 receptors: CB2 receptors that are more abundant in the stomach and peripheral organs where they regulate symptoms of anxiety, nausea, inflammation, and even control immunity.
CBD interacts with these receptors to regulate and balance our bodies.
BC... is for BC
Evidence of cannabis as medicine in the eastern world date as far back at 11th century BC. The western world adopted medical cannabis practices as recently as the 17th century CE, but he honeymoon didn’t last long. In the 20th century, industrial hemp got some bad press from companies in competing timber industries, pharmaceutical companies, and propaganda like reefer madness.
C… is for Cannabis
In 1970, Nixon’s war on drugs declared cannabis as “public enemy number one” in the fight against drug abuse. Despite the negative declaration, the known compounds found in cannabis, namely THC and CBD, have many medical benefits. Regardless, propaganda won out and cannabis was moved to a schedule I drug where it was declared to have little medicinal use and consequently limited the ability to test its potential medical benefits.
But the times they are changin’ and the 2014 Farm Bill cracked open the door for Hemp CBD oil to be sold because it qualifies as industrial hemp by the USDA and DEA because there is less than .3% THC present. The DEA moved the marijuana derived drug, Epidiolex to from schedule I to schedule V allowing CBD to be researched for the first time in decades, and his research leads us to today where CBD's fate will be decided within the halls of Washington.
B is for Benefits
CBD is viewed as a healthy alternative to prescription drugs by most and everyone agrees that hemp is a productive crop for farmers and the economy. Unfortunately, little research has been done because laws prevented that research. Today, we are seeing positive study results that CBD has medicinal benefits and is safe, however, the lack of breadth and depth in that research makes the benefits unproven to some professionals and consumers. In fact, it almost seems for every article that champions CBD, the next says it’s no more than a placebo. Sometimes the contradictory statements fall within the same website (thanks, WebMD...)
D is for Decisions
Decide for yourself. CBD is not a miracle drug nor is it a placebo. It’s something in between. Think of CBD as a way to enhance a balanced routine of exercise, healthy eating, and rest. CBD helps balance our bodies, to help workout recovery, appetite regulation, and eases our mind.
The future looks bright for CBD, but the number one thing consumers can do is educate themselves on the true health benefits of this incredible compound. Look at the facts and try to decide for yourself.