Doctors Are Calling CBD Oil A Miracle Substance, But Some Families Are Forced To Extremes To Get It
What is CBD oil? The alleged miracle substance has emerged out of nowhere to become one of the most talked about products in modern memory. There are a variety of documented medical uses for CBD oil, but more comprehensive research has remained ephemeral.
When it comes to facts about CBD oil, this much is known for sure: CBD - short for cannabidiol - is one of the active chemical compounds found in weed. When it is harvested, extracted, and distilled from the plant, CBD does not generate the high that accompanies another active cannabis compound, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
This makes it ideal for those who want to reap the purported health benefits of CBD while not becoming full-fledged pot users. And why do doctors prescribe CBD oil? Well, that depends on many factors; mostly, what medical condition is being treated and how informed - or misinformed - your doctor might be.
CBD Is Non-PsychoactivePhoto: Jeoy Pena / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
Because there is no THC in CBD oil, you won't get the same psychoactive effects as you would from smoking it or taking a THC-infused medication. From a physiological standpoint, CBD does not stimulate the brain's receptors in the same way as THC, making it impossible for someone consuming CBD oil to feel the impact in the same way. Technically speaking, CBD
"docks at the receptor, it does not initiate a signaling cascade. But it does impact how the CB1 receptor responds to stimulation by THC and the endogenous cannabinoids. Allosteric modulation of CB1 changes the conformation (shape) of the receptor, and this can have a dramatic impact on the efficiency of cell signaling."
In layman terms, you will likely feel better, but you'll also retain a clear head.
It Alleviates Symptoms Associated With Epilepsy And CancerPhoto: TheHempOfficial / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
Supporters of CBD oil point to the countless individuals who have experienced significant healing or pain alleviation from regular CBD usage. Childhood epilepsy is one of the conditions shown to benefit most from CBD oil, specifically in regulating and decreasing seizure activity.
The side effects of cancer and cancer treatment can also be brought under control with CBD oil, and it may even shrink cancer cells. CBD is an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever. While it's long been understood that weed can give you the munchies, CBD oil is known to stimulate appetite and eradicate nausea, which is important for seriously ill patients who can't keep food down.
CBD Oil May Help Some Mental Health Issues, TooPhoto: Josh Rimmington / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
The advantages of CBD oil aren't limited to the physical. The brain can reap the rewards of CBD, too. It reduces panic and anxiety - especially social anxiety - making it easier for those who struggle with these conditions to get through the challenges of daily living. CBD can also be a lifesaver for those with post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Both of these conditions are marked by a fixation on unhealthy or detrimental thought patterns, and CBD oil can help people break free of these.
American Scientific Research On CBD Oil Is Limited Due To Government Roadblocks
Unfortunately, scientific understanding of CBD oil is still in its infancy. The U.S. government considers pot a Schedule I substance, and this makes it virtually impossible for American scientists and researchers to conduct any comprehensive studies.
Therefore, the world has to rely on the few, relatively poorly-funded studies that have been carried out in the United States, or on studies conducted by other countries. The vast majority of this research has concluded that CBD oil is not only safe, but also effective at treating a variety of health problems.
CBD Products Are Not Regulated By The US Federal GovernmentPhoto: Sherpa SEO / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
Since weed is a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the U.S. government, any product derived from it - even non-psychoactive ones - are illegal to sell. However, CBD oil derived from hemp is legal.
Confused? You're not alone. It comes down to the small differences between the pot and hemp plants. As HempMeds explains,
"If it’s under .3% THC content then it’s hemp and is classified as legal for academic and educational purposes, according to federal law. What is commonly referred to as cannabis (or medical cannabis) contains THC levels above .3% and can extend into levels between 15-30% THC."
It's important to remember the American government does not regulate hemp-derived CBD oil. So, like vitamins, you essentially have to take the manufacturer's word that the product is safe. In other words, do your homework before you buy.
There Are No Major, Documented Side Effects
There are no major, documented side effects of taking CBD oil. The biggest adverse effect of cannabis in general is taken out of the equation by virtue of how CBD works on the brain. And yes, the pharmaceutical industry and the government both consider getting high an adverse effect.
CBD does not have a negative impact on things like heart rate, body temperature, or glucose levels. The most frequently experienced minor side effects are dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and sleepiness, but even those are relatively rare.