CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is a chemical in the Cannabis Sativa plant. What is the Cannabis Sativa plant? It is just the biological name for cannabis or hemp. CBD has little to no amount of THC and has effects on some chemicals in the brain that are different from THC! Cannabis is a genus of plants that contains many different compounds that can have different effects on the body. Two different cannabis plants are marijuana and hemp. Two chemicals in these plants are THC and CBD. Marijuana has higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD and hemp has higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC.For those that seek medical marijuana, CBD is an essential component, it is derived directly from the hemp plant – a “cousin” or another form of the cannabis plant. CBD is also something that can be manufactured in a lab as there are many different form of CBD. Oils, capsules, drinks, extracts, etc. It has taken the industry by storm as it is not intoxicating you can find various forms of CBD in grocery stores, gas stations, and gift shops. It's even something you can buy from the airport!
CBD is an aspect of cannabis that has been more researched than its counterparts such as THC, CBN, CBG, etc. It has been said to be beneficial to those that suffer from chronic pain and inflammation, this includes both musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain which is difficult to treat. It has been said to help relief lower inflammation in the joints and muscles and can be beneficial to those that suffer from arthritis, multiple sclerosis, nerve damage, cancer, back pain, osteoarthritis etc. Including providing relief for those that suffer from Dystonia which is an abnormal muscle tone that results in muscle spasms and abnormal posture from a neurological disease or unfortunately a side effect of drug therapy.
CBD is also extremely beneficial for those that have trouble falling and staying asleep or suffer from insomnia. CBD can provide calming and soothing affects and can help relax the brain and body into sleep. This also can be correlated to soothing and aiding anxiety and depression as well as other mental health disorders such as Schizophrenia and PTSD. CBD can help alleviate symptoms caused by depression by altering serotonin levels in the brain. With anxiety CBD can help to mellow out the nervous system with in flight or fight response and can calm down the body and remind both the mind and body that you are safe. CBD has also been researched on its effectiveness with PTSD and has appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported on frequent symptoms of their PTSD such as nightmares. However CBD is not a cure all and should be combined with therapy and other healthy mental health practices.
A unique aspect of CBD is its ability to help reduce cravings caused by addiction and mind-altering drugs such as opiates, alcohol, stimulants, etc. Another aspect of CBD that has been heavily researched is its ability to combat seizures associated with epilepsy! In fact, the FDA has approved the first and only CBD drug – Epidiolex to help specifically Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome which are two rare forms of epilepsy. These are some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes that typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. In numerous studies CBD has been able to reduce the number of seizures and in some cases stop them altogether! CBD has been researched to help aid Parkinson's disease by having no adverse effects, a decrease in psychosis symptoms, no physical setbacks and can also play a part in cognitive challenges that Parkinson's can have.
Lastly, CBD can be beneficial and provide relief for those with Diabetes. The studies have been limited to rats and mice but research has found that CBD can cut down hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, lower cholesterol and bad fat levels as well as upping insulin production. Research has also said that CBD can ease swelling and pain from nerve damage, can boost the bodies ability to use glucose, and might even ward off the disease. There also can be benefits for THC when combined with CBD. Everyone’s dosage and bodies are different thus the combination of just CBD or CBD and THC will vary from person to person. However, THC is said to catalyze CBD and work together synergistically inside the Entourage Effect. Meaning that with all of the compounds in cannabis work together, when taken together, can provide and produce a better effect than when taken alone. CBD is also said to bring you down from the high that THC provides, so if you are too high take some CBD and it can help bring you back down.