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More and more people are searching for all-natural ways to remedy the conditions which ail them.
Some don’t trust Big Pharma to have their best interests at heart, whereas others simply don’t like the negative side effects that come with a lot of the prescription medications. This is leading more and more people to CBD and hemp oil for help, hoping to find some much-needed relief.
One cannabis compound that pops up repeatedly when it comes to greater health is cannabidiol, also known more commonly as CBD. But what is it?
CBD is “one of more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals in the marijuana plant,” explains Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a 2015 Senate Caucus address. Because it comes from the marijuana plant, some people worry that CBD-containing products will produce the high normally associated with this drug. However, Volkow says that is not correct.
According to Volkow’s explanation of this compound, CBD doesn’t provide the same brain-based response as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in the cannabis plant. Instead, it simply interacts with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors in a way in which “alterations in thinking and perception caused by THC are not observed….”
Additionally, in this same address, Volkow advised that, although more research needs to be conducted, “there is significant preliminary research supporting the potential therapeutic value of CBD.”
What types of benefits do hemp oil and CBD supplements provide? Before that question can be answered, one must first understand the difference between the two.
CBD and hemp oil differences
Aimée Gould Shunney, ND, is a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine, where her specialty is in women’s health, and she explains that “CBD or cannabidiol is one of over 120 cannabinoids found in hemp oil.” Shunney goes on to say that, unlike CBD, “hemp oil also contains fatty acids, plant sterols, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamin E, and chlorophyll.”
There are also differences in hemp oil based on how it’s sold, says Shunney. “When hemp oil is sold as a food, it contains very low amounts of CBD,” she says. “In the supplement aisle, hemp-derived CBD oil is available with higher amounts of CBD for additional health benefits.”
Benefits of hemp oil and CBD supplements
Shunney says, “I use oral hemp-derived CBD frequently in my practice for anxiety, sleep, and stress resilience.” Scott Giannotti, founder of the Cannabis and Hemp Association (CHA), add to this by stating that supplements containing CBD and hemp are also good “for neurological conditions such as OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder], PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], and inflammatory conditions such fibromyalgia.” Research confirms this.
For instance, one 2013 study published in the journal Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology found that CBD interferes with the serotonin agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine and its effect on 5HT1A, 5HT2C, and 5HT1D receptors, thus resulting in reduced obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Another 2013 study, this one published in the journal Current Clinical Pharmacology, reports that preclinical CBD studies “indicate promising results in affecting the fear conditioning process and thus improving PTSD core symptoms.”
Giannotti also says hemp oil and CBD supplements show positive results for people struggling with “auto-immune disorders and bacterial infections such as colds, flu, and tuberculosis.” An article published in Future Medicinal Chemistry in October of 2009 looked at a variety of studies on this very topic before ultimately concluding that CBD helps suppress the inflammatory response.
The authors of this piece went on to explain that CBD testing on “autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and hepatitis and have been shown to protect the host from the pathogenesis through induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways.” They even cited positive effects of CBD when it comes to cancers that are instigated by constant and consistent inflammation.
Finally, Giannotti shares that CBD “has been shown to eliminate plaques which obstruct organ functionality.” The Higher Path, a collective in Sherman Oaks, California, agrees, stating that CBD is beneficial for Alzheimer’s because of this, essentially helping to restore communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Hemp oil and CBD supplements vs. topicals
While some patients prefer CBD and hemp oil topicals, Giannotti says that there is some added value in choosing supplements instead. “Topicals are great for dermatological conditions (such as eczema), arthritis, joint pain, sciatic nerve pain, and general back, neck, foot pain, etc.,” says Giannotti, “however, with all medicine, you want to have the most localized delivery. Here is where supplements such as tincture, capsule, suppositories, and vapor come in.”
In essence, supplements make it easier to reach the root cause of conditions not associated with the skin or directly below the skin. Thus, if the condition has origins deeper within the body, CBD and hemp oil supplements provide greater value. In this case, greater value equates to greater relief.
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