Cannabidiol, best known by three letters — CBD — continues to perplex. A growing number of consumers in the US and internationally support the sale of CBD as a beneficial medical treatment, while others are concerned about the inclusion of THC in a CBD product. In addition, studies are noting the medical benefits of CBD based on medical research. We are also seeing a social acceptance in mainstream society for the use of cannabidiol for medical purposes for both humans and pets. So let’s take a look at the most common uses of CBD and how this natural substance helps patients.

CBD and Its Most Common Uses

CBD or cannabidiol is a component of Cannabis sativa that is also known as marijuana. The CBD is a cannabinoid, a molecule that binds to the brain’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. Another molecule is THC. This is the cannabinoid that is famous for getting people high or stoned. CBD does just the opposite and blocks the CB1 binding receptor that allows the THC molecule to bind to the patient’s brain.
CBD and THC are the two most commonly found cannabinoids in marijuana out of 113 identified cannabinoids. Along with terpenes, such as myrcene and limonene, cannabinoids offer health benefits to the patient when a cannabis product is consumed.

The primary health purposes of CBD include:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Reducing nervous tension
  • Relieving muscle tension
  • Reducing physical pain
  • Managing chronic pain caused by inflammation
  • Nerve conditions and nerve disorders, such as sciatica
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing nerve pain
  • Treating acne caused by skin inflammation
  • Weight loss management
  • Managing cancer treatment side effects including vomiting and nausea
  • Dealing with depression
  • Treatment of symptoms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders
  • Boosting immune system responses
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Reducing rheumatoid arthritis pain
  • Managing sleep disorders

Patients have many ways to consume CBD for its health benefits. Breath mints, under-the-tongue drops, juice-flavored beverages, and smokable herbs are just a few of the ways that patients use CBD. Lotions, serums, and extracts that are vaped or added to hot beverages are also popular among the CBD patient community. Foods like baked goods and chewy candy, as well as edible products including capsules and lozenges, can all contain some form of cannabidiol.

How CBD Benefits Patients

The use of CBD on the brain is the most prominent effect. It offers neuroprotective benefits, including maintaining the longevity of neurons. Neurons form pathways in the brain that are needed for motor skills, learning, speech, memory, pain and cognition. Alzheimer’s disease may also be treated using cannabinoids, according to a medical study in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
This is associated with the protectant properties of the CBD in the brain and its neural networks. Another result of this neuroprotective benefit is that CBD is purported to be useful for patients suffering from chronic muscle pain and weakness, such as from fibromyalgia or arthritis.

Medical News Today reports CBD could be beneficial for preventing certain types of cancers. In a 2015 study, researchers found out that users of cannabis were 45 percent less likely to get bladder cancer than those who did not use cannabis. From that same report, a more surprising study came out regarding tobacco versus cannabis smoking and cancer-related illnesses.
Out of 64,855 participants in the US, it was discovered that cannabis did not cause the same tobacco-related cancers as smoking cigarettes. That is a positive indicator for patients worried that smoking cannabis sativa or hemp to obtain CBD benefits will have adverse effects.

Furthermore, the production of edibles, topicals, oils and extracts containing cannabidiol eliminates smoking-related cancers. By eliminating smoking to obtain cannabidiol, patients help protect against those types of cancers associated with smoking.

Cannabidiol is also important medically because there are no highs, dependency issues, or indications for abuse of CBD, as noted by Harvard Medical School. For patients who are children, this is key to protecting their still-developing bodies and minds while treating their ailments. Adults who consume CBD without THC are also able to work legally in jobs requiring drug testing.

History of CBD in Medicine

The source of CBD is cannabis, more formerly known as Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis sativa is a genus of plant that includes many varieties of cannabis typically divided by sativa, indica, or hybrid seed when sold in stores or by seed catalogs. The L. represents Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus who named the plant in 1753 (THC Museum). The cannabis flower used for cannabidiol can be either the non-THC hemp kind or the high THC-containing strains.

Most CBD starts as a Cannabis sativa L. plant. However, synthetic CBD can come from other natural sources like citrus terpenes from oranges grown on yeast. Oranges are certainly legal, making this form of CBD completely free of residual cannabinoids, most notably THC. In fact, in the European Union, countries only permit CBD products that are non-hemp sourced.
Cannabis sativa L. also comes into play for making hemp and other non-psychoactive products, including CBD. Therefore, while CBD can be obtained almost nationwide in the US, that does not mean it is legal in all 50 states unless it comes from a non-hemp-derived source.

The federal government is researching CBD for potential medical benefits, and law enforcement is not habitually enforcing the sale or use of CBD. Therefore, the legality today stands that most Americans can obtain CBD products pretty easily. This makes this type of medicine more accepted among the mainstream.

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