Are you struggling with anxiety? Having trouble sleeping? Suffering from chronic pain? If so there might just be something for that, and then some.
In the last few years, CBD has gone from relative obscurity to being praised as a multi-purpose cure for almost every medical or beauty problem you can think of. But is CBD really the cure-all it has been touted to be?
What exactly is CBD?
Let’s start with the basics. CBD is one of a group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more than 100 different cannabinoids, however, scientists still don’t know much about most of them. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well-known — it’s what makes you feel high when you smoke or ingest marijuana.
While people have been enjoying THC for years, CBD has only recently risen to popularity. Just five years ago, most people had never even heard of it, but now you’ll be able to find CBD in just about everything from food and drinks, to supplements and beauty products (there’s even CBD infused sex lube)!
Unlike THC, CBD does not have an intoxicating effect. Instead, it has become popular because of its variety of health benefits (including as a treatment for epilepsy, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, and pain).
According to a recent report by the Hemp Business Journal, in 2018 total CBD product sales in the US reached $535 million. This is up from only about $100 million four years earlier. The Journal predicts that by 2022 CBD sales will reach $1.9 billion. Not bad for a newbie!
Why is CBD so versatile?
You may be wondering how one substance can work for so many different health issues. How is it possible to treat both anxiety and acne — which seem to have nothing in common — with the same substance? Researchers believe it’s able to help with such a wide range of health concerns because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
While you may have never heard of this system, you probably couldn’t live without it. The ECS is believed to play a key role in maintaining homeostasis, which means keeping everything in the body balanced and running smoothly. Amongst other things, it’s thought to help regulate the immune system, sleep cycle, metabolism, cardiovascular system, and stabilize mood.
Show us the evidence!
In 2018 the FDA approved a prescription CBD medication called Epidiolex (the first-ever FDA approved CBD medication in the US) for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. Currently this is the only medical use of CBD that has been sanctioned by the FDA, despite multiple studies which show it to be beneficial to other health issues.
A 2011 study showed test participants who took CBD experienced significantly less anxiety and discomfort in a public speaking situation than those who received the placebo. In another study conducted on rats, researchers used CBD gel to treat arthritis of the knee and found that it greatly reduced pain. A study conducted between 2017 and 2018 saw researchers polling approximately 2,400 CBD users about their experiences with the most common uses being for chronic pain, arthritis or joint pain, anxiety, and depression. Almost 36 percent of study participants said that CBD treats their medical condition “very well by itself.”
Is it for you?
While CBD’s effects can vary depending on who is taking it, what it is being used for, and how much is being taken, many experts insist that the only way to definitively answer the question of whether or not CBD will work, is to try it for yourself.
If you do decide to experience CBD, experts advise starting with a small dose and gradually increasing till you find what works best for you. Researchers have found that more CBD is not necessarily better. Instead, there seems to be a sweet spot which varies by person. Fortunately, in contrast to many other medical treatments, CBD is not known to be associated with any negative health effects.
So, is CBD a magic cure for all your health problems? Not necessarily. But is it worth a try? It just might be… it works for us!
Written by Andrea C. Nakaya for Svn Space.
Svn Space is a modern, female-focused online shop and media platform aimed at exploring the depths of the cannabis plant with an emphasis on hemp. (Check out their new print mag here — it’s absolutely gorgeous.)