Three weeks ago, I was telling my wife about some arthritis pain I was experiencing in the base of my left thumb. Being left-handed, this was beginning to interfere with my profession as a writer. She proceeded to tell me about how her friend Judy was having a problem with arthritis on the top of her foot. Judy told my wife that she went out and got a CBD- infused salve at the suggestion of a friend, and it worked like a charm for her foot problem.
Skeptical, I asked my wife to find out the name of the salve from Judy. I picked some up, tried it on my thumb, and boy was I surprised! Using it a couple times a day, it really calmed down my problem thumb pain.
Just what was in this highly effective, at least for me, CBD salve? My curiosity piqued, I decided to do a little research. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a substance that is present in cannabis, which most people associate with marijuana. However, CBD is also present in the hemp plant, and in much greater quantities, than in it is in marijuana.
Hidden benefits rooted from Cannabidol
So today, the increasing popularity of CBD oil in the health, wellness, and fitness space that we are hearing so much about comes not from the marijuana plant, but from organically grown hemp plants. Though closely related chemically, hemp and marijuana differ greatly in one key area- hemp will not make you “high”. This is because the tiny amounts of the chemical THC in hemp are extracted out in the process of making CBD oil. Hemp is used to make clothing, paper, jewelry, food, and personal care products. CBD is actually one out of more than 100 cannabinoids that are made from the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are a subset of a very diverse set of compounds that interact with receptors in the body. They can be made synthetically in a lab, or made naturally by animals and plants. In the case of hemp, it is derived in plant form. Scientists believe it is this interaction with receptors in the body that may give CBD its abilities to be useful in treating various medical conditions. Indeed, we have only barely scratched the surface in fully understanding the complex ways that this interaction with receptors occurs in the human body. Many CBD oils on the market today are also non- GMO in addition to being made from organic plants. Virtually all are THC-free.
It’s legal, so now is the time to get your hands on in it.
CBD oil is now legal in 30 states where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal. Seventeen additional states have laws specific to CBD on their books. The oil is being touted as being helpful for a host of medical problems- from epileptic seizures to anxiety, to sleeplessness and as in my anecdotal experience, inflammation. It is also being studied for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s patients and as a pain reliever for terminal cancer patients.
Thus far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended approval of CBD only for the treatment of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. This is because the evidence to date has shown the FDA that there was enough proof of efficacy in the approval of a new drug used to treat this condition.
For the other touted uses, there simply has not been enough controlled studies in humans to warrant approval. For anxiety and inflammation, there have been a number of animal studies, but not yet enough human studies. It is with epilepsy, pain relief and inflammation that CBD oil seems to hold the most promise from the animal studies done thus far.
Low in risk, high in benefits. Not literally!
Like with any new health supplement that seems to catch the public’s eye, more research is needed before the efficacy and safety of CBD can be firmly established for prescription use. More research must also be done on any possible interactions between CBD and other drugs. But in its present availability as a health supplement, there is no denying that CBD oil is gaining in leaps and bounds in popularity.
At least from an anecdotal standpoint, as even in my own case, CBD seems to hold great promise for some common health problems like anxiety, pain relief, and inflammation, and in some not-so-common ones like epilepsy.
With the growing number of states that have legalized medical marijuana, and now CBD oil as well, it seems inevitable that these studies will be conducted over the next few years and we may see CBD, especially in its organically grown hemp and THC-free form such as can be found at a company like Louisville CBD Company become one of the most widely- used supplements on the market, if not a widely used prescription drug as well, if FDA approval follows its use as a popular supplement.