CBD is Changing People’s Lives for the Better, More Than They Realize
There’s a cannabis boom sweeping North America. Dubbed the “green rush” as an homage to the gold rush that sent people west, there’s been sweeping movement to legalize cannabis and the products made from it. And while most people immediately think about marijuana, the green rush has also given way to a major wave of CBD products.
What is CBD?
To understand what CBD is, we first need to review the difference between hemp and marijuana. While both are plants in the cannabis family, they’re very different in their utility. Marijuana tends to be a recreational plant; hemp is the industrious one. This is due to the cannabinoid profile in each type of plant.
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis family, along with THC. Most people are familiar with THC—found in high levels in marijuana plants—as the compound that gets you “high.” Despite being another cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t get you high. In fact, it’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that affects the body in many different, positive ways.
Benefitting from CBD
With interest in natural medicine on the rise, many people have experimented with cannabis. For health-minded individuals, it’s not about getting high—it’s about supporting the body’s natural processes. This is why CBD has become even more popular than THC as a cannabinoid compound. Instead of smoking marijuana, people are ingesting hemp to introduce CBD to their system—often, in the form of a tincture.
The reported benefits of CBD are extensive and, in many cases, life-changing. Some of the many evidenced benefits include:
- Reduced anxiety: CBD’s interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system has been linked with a reduction in anxiety. People suffering from social anxiety or anxious tendencies have reported feeling calmer and more assured, able to avoid panic attacks and nervous outbursts after consuming CBD.
- Better sleep: As a calming agent, CBD has also helped people fall asleep and stay asleep. While CBD doesn’t make you drowsy, it’s relaxing properties help induce REM after a person has fallen asleep. The result is more restful, restorative sleep and the many health benefits that come with it.
- Better focus: CBD’s ability to calm the nerves and induce relaxation makes it a great complement for focus. People have reported feeling more locked-in and attuned to their tasks after using CBD.
- Alleviated pain: Perhaps the biggest benefit associated with CBD is reduction of chronic pain symptoms. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, helping persons suffering from pain and discomfort in their daily lives. It’s used by everyone from cancer patients to athletes to quell muscle pain, nerve pain and soft-tissue pain.
- Lowered addiction cravings: Early research shows CBD to be effective at helping to reduce cravings in people who are addicted to different substances. It could very well be used in place with other medicines in cases of recovery treatment.
Many of these benefits came to light after the first major CBD health breakthrough—as a treatment for epilepsy. The case of Charlotte’s Web put the national spotlight on CBD as a medical product, rather than a recreational one.
The next step for CBD
As CBD products become widespread and more people begin to explore the benefits of this cannabinoid, there’s still a long way to go in making it a staple of modern medicine.
For starters, more work needs to be done to educate the public on the differences between cannabinoids. Too many people associate CBD with THC and marijuana, despite it being an entirely different cannabinoid, derived from a different plant. People need to understand that hemp and CBD are a far cry from marijuana and THC, despite being in the same cannabis family.
Second, legislation needs to allow for hemp legalization and testing at the national level. While big strides have been made in making hemp legal and useful, there’s still much to be done. Companies need to be able to study hemp cannabinoids without jumping through the many hoops of dealing with a “controlled” substance.
Finally, it’s important to address the stigma cannabis carries with it. For too long, people have linked cannabis with weed culture. There are lingering stigmas that suggest using CBD is akin to taking drugs or that hemp and marijuana are both illicit substances. The fact is, hemp can be used to make a broad variety of products and is far from weed culture in terms of its uses.
As individual states push for legalization of cannabis, CBD continues to become a popular option for people seeking wellness benefits. Whether it’s help relaxing or relief from chronic pain, it’s undeniable the effect CBD has on people’s everyday quality of life. All that’s left is for the tide of public perception and legal definition to change, to accept hemp and CBD as medical opportunities instead of recreational substances.
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