It can be hard and challenging to cope with some serious illness. All of us wish to be as healthy as possible at all times, while at the same time having as few treatment side effects as possible. In order to improve our health, we often turn to many of that complementary and alternative side of medicine (CAM). Nobody is really sure do they really work or are they safe. In this article, we will try to determine the pros and the cons of Cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD and other CAM treatments always carry some kind of risk, exactly like any other medical treatments and medication. Some of the CAM treatments are more effective, while the others are safer. Before you decide to try a CBD product for medical purposes, or any other CAM treatment, you must do some research, talk to your doctor, and expect realistic outcomes. Never ignore traditional treatments and medicine completely in favor of CAM therapies and products.
Cannabis plant extract
Cannabidiol naturally exists in cannabis plants. This extract is different because it does not give us the “high” like other marijuana products, but it may give us some important health benefits. The thing that makes us high is called THC, and it is present in marijuana.
The hemp plant is the most common and most legal term used for the types of cannabis that have less than 0.3% THC. On the other hand, marijuana is the common and legal term for cannabis that has more than 0.3%. Other than THC, marijuana plants contain more than 100 other chemicals.
What can CBD help with?
This is a tough question because much more research has to take place. Nobody can tell for sure what the benefits of CBD might be. A World Health Organization (WHO) report from 2018 determined that CBD proved to be an effective treatment for epilepsy in adults, children, and animals. In addition, the same report says there is some preliminary evidence that CBD also helps with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cancers, psychosis, and other rough conditions and states.
There is some also some evidence that suggests CBD could help us relieve pain. Still, there has been a very limited amount of studies as of yet, so we have to rely on the growing number of anecdotes and claims how CBD helps with pain. One study carried out on rats showed that topical CBD application relieved arthritis pain behaviors and lowered the inflammation without side-effects. Other studies and research found that CBD may reduce inflammations related to pain. What is more, some preliminary human trials proved there is a chance that CBD may alleviate pain caused by nerve damage. Combined with THC, it might also help cancer patients manage their pain. As you can see, much more research is necessary in order to determine these things.
What do the customers think?
In 2018, a survey of CBD users took place. It showed that 62% of CBD users used it to treat medical conditions, mostly pain, anxiety, and depression. Some 36% of them stated CBD treats their condition(s) very well on its own. In comparison, only 4.3% stated it did not treat their conditions very well. One third of the users from the study reported no serious side effects.
The question of CBD legality is not an easy one to answer. Last year, in 2018, the US government legalized hemp and related products, as well as CBD. Still, it can be quite confusing. Hemp is legal, but there is no system in place that allows people to grow it freely on their land. The government also still considers marijuana illegal, and because CBD comes from it, there is a wide gray area here.
To make everything even more confusing and tough to judge, all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., have different laws in power regarding both hemp and marijuana. Around the world, the situation is pretty much the same, as some countries legalized both, while some legalized one, or none.
Is it safe?
There is nothing suggesting CBD is not safe, but then again, there is not enough research to say otherwise either. The WHO report from 2018 found no side effects or some potential for addictions or abuse. Marijuana has been illegal in the US for a considerable amount of time, it was always hard for serious researchers to study the plant and the impact on health. To determine the safety, we must battle many of the unknowns like the appropriate dosage, absorption methods, and interacts of CBD with other medications.
In addition, this is an unregulated industry at the moment, where new products and online stores entering the market all the time. Some manufacturers are not as trustworthy as the others because they use chemicals like butane and hexane to extract CBD. This potentially leaves unwanted residue in the product. Others use “green” techniques and extract CBD with CO2, a much safer method.
Labels on CBD products can also be very inaccurate. A study from 2017 raises concern, as researchers tested 84 CBD products and determined 70% are mislabeled. If you do not know the dosage or the ingredients, how can you take it? One example is a label that claims the product inside contains 100 milligrams of CBD, when in reality it has 200, or only has 5.
Where can one buy CBD products?
You can actually get them anywhere, because they are still not properly regulated. The CBD industry is huge, and it is constantly getting bigger. Some products only contain CBD, while others also have THC in them, and in different amounts.
That being said, you are able to buy CBD products almost anywhere, especially in countries like the USA. Some gas station and pharmacies carry them, including wholefoods stores and others. Even more accessible and easier to buy from are the countless online stores. According to sarahsblessing.de, positives outweigh the possible negatives and you should try a product and see if it helps.
What products contain CBD?
CBD products come in various shapes and sizes. These include oils, lotions, creams, shampoos, candies, cookies, makeup, and even beer. But always be cautious with these products, and make sure you know what you are buying.
CBD products are widely unregulated, and it is currently a form of Wild West out there in the world. You may even buy a product that has THC and never know it, until you get high, or worse, in legal trouble.
If or when the pharmaceutical industry begins developing CBD products, there will also be an increase in approved CBD products safe to use, with clear labels and proven benefits and side effects. This will give us as customers a sense of clarity and security when purchasing and using them.
Even in this state of uncertainty, around 7% of adults in the USA use CBD products, between 15 and 20 million people in this part of the world alone. There is a big market to explore here, as you can see, but before that happens, researchers and governments have to get on the same page and once and for all determine if and how CBD products can help people in need.