In case you haven’t heard, CBD (cannabidiol) has of late become the medication of choice for countless people from all walks of life who are seeking relief from any number of ailments that afflict people from all age groups – all the way from pre-teen children up to and including a growing number of seniors.
So, what exactly is CBD, and what’s all the fuss about?
It’s important to know that CBD is a chemical extracted from marijuana.
What makes it so attractive to not only users but also growing numbers of physicians, is the fact that it is a non-psychoactive stimulant. Psychoactive is defined as: “A chemical substance that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior.” (Wikipedia).
CBD has been hailed as an effective cure or, at the very least, a management agent in treating numerous ailments and the debilitating symptoms that accompany them.
The chemical is a naturally occurring element that’s used in products in the form of oils and edibles, generating feelings of relaxation and calmness to recipients.
Unlike THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not contain or have a mind-altering effect on users. On the other hand, THC, which is also found in marijuana and is the main chemical in cannabis, is psychoactive.
Studies show that CBD does possess anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, and anti-psychosis properties, where psychosis is a condition in the mind that makes it difficult to distinguish what is real and what is not for affected individuals. Oftentimes, those who struggle with this disease believe they see or hear things others do not. This can be accompanied by incoherent speech and bizarre behavior that is considered generally inappropriate.
Overall, users believe CBD helps them relax, despite it not having psychoactive properties. Some proponents even believe regular doses of CBD help stave off Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Exactly What Does CBD Do Once It’s Inside the Human Body?
CBD (and THC) both work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (neurotransmitters that feed the central nervous system).
These endocannabinoids transmit messages throughout the body via the central nervous system that help to maintain a constant state of homeostasis (equilibrium). Cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid (central nervous) system found inside two known receptors known as CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are mainly present in the human brain. They regulate cognition, memory, motor skills, and pain, as well as the peripheral nervous system, liver, thyroid, uterus, and other organs.
THC attaches itself to these receptors, inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters and possibly increasing the release of others, changing the normal functions within specific parts of the brain.
Are There Health Benefits Associated with CBD?
Various tests and studies indicate that CBD may help fight anxiety, ease symptoms related to schizophrenia as well as reduce pain (though the treatment of pain is often done by combining CBD with THC).
The strongest evidence to date as regards the effectiveness of CBD is concerning epilepsy. Having said that, other ailments being effectively treated with CBD include:
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- General anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Joint pain
- Cancer treatment side-effects such as nausea etc.
What Are the Risks of Taking CBD?
As recently as 2017, the world health organization found that CBD, ingested in its pure form, is safe, well-tolerated by humans and animals, and not likely to cause physical addiction or lead to abuse. The next time CBD comes up for discussion, you will now be well qualified to discuss the topic. Be sure to share this information with others.
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