CBD oil just might be one of the most beneficial emerging health supplements your government doesn’t want you to have. Im taking a Swiss Stance on the topic, which is to say, Im remaining neutral because quite simply I am not educated enough to make a call. This is a relatively new area of study.
Also, full disclosure, having spent the majority of my life in the Army and as a Police Officer, my focus was more geared toward the laws created around it. I will say the reading I have been doing on the topic has been enlightening to say the least. The US government recently made a move on Dec. 14th, 2016 that makes illegal substance, however not so in Canada.
My intention for writing this is to provide you with information to stimulate your own discussions on the topic.
Marijuana has been, and continues to be, one of the most controversial topics in the country. On one hand, you have critics who cite the many potential side effects of marijuana, including short term memory problems, anxiety, lowered reaction, time, coordination problems, and more. On the other hand, you have advocates who claim that marijuana is highly beneficial, potentially useful for treating HIV, autoimmune disorders, pain, glaucoma, seizures, and many more problems.
So which is it? Is marijuana good or bad, or (and this is more likely) somewhere in between?
Well, in order to understand the truth about marijuana, you need to know about its two most important ingredients: THC and CBD.
What is THC?
THC is the easy-to-pronounce name for tetrahydrocannabinol. Simply put, it’s the ingredient in marijuana that “makes you high”.
There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain that are associated with time perception, pleasure, coordination, thinking, and memory. When these receptors absorb THC, they are activated and your memory, perception of time, coordination, and concentration are negatively affected. “High” is the collection of side effects caused by the THC receptors in your brain being activated.
THC stimulates your brain to produce dopamine, which triggers a sort of euphoric feeling. It also alters the way your hippocampus processes information. Seeing as the hippocampus is responsible for creating new memories, you can see why THC is associated with memory problems.
THC has been known to have more severe negative side effects, such as triggering anxiety or panic attacks. Some people experience hallucinations or delusions. Motor skills are impaired, and coordination suffers as a result of the THC. Some people experience altered thinking.
As you can see, THC is definitely not the “good” part of marijuana when it comes to your health. It can have serious negative consequences on your activity, mental state, and wellbeing. Imagine trying to drive, operate heavy machinery, or even put in a full day’s work while in an altered state. The THC in marijuana is what makes so many opposed to legalizing it.
What is CBD?
On the other hand, CBD, or cannabidiol, is 100% good without any of the negative side effects of THC. You can ingest CBD without worrying about “getting high” or suffering from any of the impairments of THC.
CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t cause the hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, panic, and altered mental states that are caused by THC. You see, CBD doesn’t attach to the same receptors in your brain as THC. There is no activation of the THC receptors, meaning there is no risk of getting high. There are minimal side effects to the ingestion of CBD, but studies have proven that there are A LOT of benefits of this compound.
Below is a list of some of the many amazing uses of CBD:
Reduces “High” Feeling – Did you know that CBD can actually prevent THC from activating the THC receptors in your brain? Simply put, it means that CBD can stop you from feeling high.
Now, this may not sound like a benefit for recreational smokers who want to experience that sensation. However, for those who want to enjoy the medical benefits of marijuana without the negative side effects, high-CBD strains of marijuana will be the safer choice. Not only will the CBD provide the many health benefits listed here, but it can actually prevent your THC receptors from being activated, thus reducing the “high”.
Treat Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a condition involving increased pressure in your eyeball, which can damage your optic nerve and impair your vision. But the intraocular pressure can be reduced by CBD. It can restore normal pressure to your eyeball, potentially restoring vision. At the very least, it can prevent the damage from getting worse.
What’s interesting is that this was discovered back in the 1970s. Medical marijuana has been used for decades to treat glaucoma. The CBD in medical marijuana (which has a higher concentration of CBD and low THC) can help to slow the progression of the disease, which may help to prevent blindness.
Improve Lung Health – That may sound like utter nonsense. After all, you’re SMOKING, so how could it improve your lung health?
Well, TIME published an article detailing the results of a 2011 study into the benefits of marijuana on the cardiovascular system. The study found that those who used marijuana only occasionally showed improvements in their lung function—better than non-smokers in some tests! Moderate use of marijuana can increase lung capacity and improve lung function.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD may be useful for dealing with the damage done to your lungs by tobacco (cigarette smoke). As long as you don’t over-consume marijuana (more than 20 times per month was considered “high” in the study), you should experience the benefits of marijuana for your lungs.
Fight Seizures – A study out of Virginia Commonwealth University discovered back in 2003 that the CBD in marijuana proved highly effective at regulating the central nervous system and the other bodily functions that play a role in spontaneous seizures. CBD, simply put, reduces the risk of epileptic seizures, even in patients who aren’t responding to anticonvulsant medications.
CBD activates a protein in the brain called the CB1 receptor. This is more than just the part of the brain that makes you feel “high”; it also controls your relaxation and excitability. CBD’s anticonvulsant properties are highly effective at reducing seizures and preventing epilepsy.
Note: The above-mentioned study was conducted on lab rats.
Fight Cancer – This is one of the most amazing beneficial properties of CBD for the human body! Simply put, CBD turns off the ID-1 gene. Cancer produces more ID-1 gene than normal cells do, which plays a role in the spread of the cancer cells. By turning off this gene, CBD essentially stops cancer from spreading.
This study was published in 2012, and has become the foundation upon which the CBD proponents built their claim that CBD could help fight cancer. What makes it interesting was that the study was conducted on breast cancer cells in a lab. Instead of examining the effects on animals, it was tested on human cancer cells and proved effective.
Reduce Anxiety – It’s a well-known fact that marijuana can lead to increased anxiety and panic attacks. However, did you know that this is primarily the case with strains of marijuana with a high THC content? Low doses of THC can act as a sedative, helping to calm you down and reducing your anxiety.
High-CBD strains of marijuana are highly effective for helping to reduce anxiety and nervousness. In fact, a high number of medical marijuana users report less instances of anxiety and panic attacks, while many recreational marijuana users (smoking high-THC strains) are the ones most likely to experience these negative side effects.
Slow Alzheimer’s Progression – Alzheimer’s is one of the most insidious of diseases, one that slowly shuts the brain off without the patient realizing what’s happening. Alzheimer’s patients often have no clue that they’re forgetting things—their brains are slowly degrading, and there’s little they can do about it.
Perhaps they could try CBD oil. A study from way back in 2006 found that THC can inhibit the ACE enzyme that leads to the degenerative disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can also reduce the formation of plaque in the brain. The lower THC content of CBD oil or medical marijuana makes it a safe yet effective treatment to slow the progression of this neurological condition.
Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis – CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory, meaning it can reduce swelling (inflammation) in the body. For those with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, it can be a highly potent pain reliever.
Of course, the low THC content of CBD oil adds to the effectiveness of the treatment. In low doses, THC is a powerful pain reliever and sedative, and it can help to alleviate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. The THC has an analgesic effect that will reduce the anxiety experienced by sufferers of chronic pain.
These are some of the primary health benefits of CBD, but there are many more, including:
- Digestive aid. CBD can stimulate your appetite, ease nausea, and reduce the risk of vomiting.
- Fight schizophrenia. CBD may be able to relieve the psychotic symptoms common with schizophrenia.
- Reduce swelling. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD make it useful for reducing inflammation in the body.
- Minimize pain. CBD can diminish nerve pain, muscle pain, chronic pain, and even unexplained pain.
The truth is that CBD offers a lot of health benefits, which is why so many marijuana activists are pushing so hard to legalize it. If marijuana is no longer a restricted drug, scientists would be able to study its effects more to find more benefits of this amazing compound in marijuana.
The Best Source of CBD OIL: Hemp
Hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, one that’s usually grown for industrial purposes. Hemp has been used for centuries to make rope, food, paper, plastic, biofuel, insulation, textiles, and clothing. It’s a truly multi-purpose plant!
But here’s an interesting fact about hemp: it has a VERY low THC content. So low, in fact, that it’s considered almost nonexistent. The THC content of hemp is just over 0.3%–nowhere near enough to get you even slightly high. Medical marijuana tends to have a THC content of 5 to 20%, while recreational marijuana (the sort intended to get you high) has a THC content closer to 30%.
What this means is that hemp is NOT a plant that offers the psychoactive properties of marijuana. What it does offer, however, is a very high CBD concentration. Marijuana plants tend to have a higher THC than CBD concentration, but hemp’s concentration of CBD is much higher than marijuana. It’s why hemp is usually used to produce CBD oil.
CBD oil is a potent form of CBD that can be injected orally, used for cooking, or mixed into your food. The oil has been extracted from the hemp plant, so you get all the CBD naturally found in hemp. CBD oil will provide all the benefits listed above, with none of the drawbacks you get from smoking—either medical or recreational marijuana.
The truth is that CBD oil is a much safer way to ingest CBD. When smoking, you run the risk of damaging your lungs. You have to be very careful to use a strain of marijuana that has a higher CBD than THC content, else you risk getting high when all you want to do is experience the medical benefits of CBD. But with CBD oil, you get a concentrated dose of CBD without the risk of excessive THC ingestion. The low THC content of the CBD oil offers the pain relieving, anxiety reducing benefits, but without the psychoactive, brain-impairing side effects.
Another great thing about CBD oil is that it’s not a restricted substance like marijuana. As mentioned above, hemp is grown around the world and used for industrial purposes, so it’s easy to get your hands on CBD oil extracted from hemp. Hemp oil is sold like any other commercial hemp property, due to the fact that it has no risk of getting you high.
Hemp oil is an amazing supplement, one that will help to improve your health without the risk of impairment. If you want to benefit from all that CBD can offer you, it’s a much safer, healthier route to consider. Plus, it’s cheaper, and you won’t risk breaking the law by getting your hands on CBD-rich hemp oil.
As I mentioned at the outset, this article merely scratches the surface on this topic and should only be considered as a tool for furthering your own education. I encourage you to do your own research and decide for yourself.