How often does it happen to us that we we end up imagining things & developing perceptions regarding things without having complete knowledge of it? Quite often, right? There are certain things which when talked about, shape up & appear in a separate form as thought bubbles at the back of our minds, not to forget that it’s just a direct effect of perception which is either based on our experiences or references derived from peers & knowledge we gather through our senses. Cannabis & Marijuana fall under this category & are often perceived as harmful substances which lead to abuse & messing up lives of individuals who go near it. However, this role is just one side of the coin which covers certain harms for sure. But, the other side has a treasure of extracts & benefits that can help cure people of their ailments & help them sustain life normally without any side-effects as is the case with almost all medical recipes. One such extract is CBD or Cannabidiol that has been talked about extensively ahead in this article.
A TOUCH OF HISTORY & A PINCH OF MAGIC OF SCIENCE
There’s a weird essence that ancient history carries with itself. Despite being a bygone thing, it succeeds to catch attention, always. And it’s not just the attention, it unfolds to us many such things which not only enlighten us but also open for us the doors to jaw-dropping amazement. Two such gifts that history has given us are Cannabis & Marijuana which are believed to have been originated thousands of years ago in Asia. Having spread its offshoots across the world since then, Cannabis & Marijuana have carved a colorful history in this span ranging from endless usage in ancient China to the mention in India’s Sanskrit Vedic poems whose name translates into “Science of Charms” where it has been celebrated as one of ‘Five kingdoms of Herbs.’
Being used mainly for spiritual & medicinal purposes, Cannabis & Marijuana have been popular topics of debate on this planet for long especially when it comes to their usage as a treatment for ‘medical ailments.’ There have been both sides of the story given the fact that the Cannabis plant alone is the source for 104 chemical compounds. Out of these 104 compounds, two of them, namely – Cannabidiol (CBD) & Tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH) have been the center of attraction when the debate gains pace. With several pieces of research under the kitty, Cannabidiol, more popularly known for as CBD has been at the top for its supporting roles. The fact that the Cannabaceae family has its footprints as far back as in 2900 B.C. for treatment of pain speaks volumes of the various layers of benefits that its family of plants promises for good use & is yet to be scratched deep into. It is hence not wrong to say that this is not just a gift of science but a legendary heritage as well.
What is CBD OIL & why is it different from TCH?
Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil is a directly derived product from the cannabis plant, a type of cannabinoid – an omnipresent chemical in the Marijuana plant. What makes it different from others? It isn’t just different but is miles ahead of TCH & other derivatives of the family for one very big & strong reason that it doesn’t result in any sort of “high” or “trance” effect that is caused by other cannabinoids. It hence doesn’t leave the patient dull & drowsy swinging in the arms of an unreal & addictive feeling, thus cutting off the basic problem of other cannabinoids & pharmaceutical recipes of being psychoactive. This quality makes CBD a preferred option for those who seek relief from pain & other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana & certain other pharmaceutical drugs.
Want to dive deep into the antipsychotic effects? While the exact cause for such effects is still under the searchlight, cannabidiol is anticipated to prevent the breakdown of a certain chemical in the brain that reverse-effects pain, mood & mental functionality. Hence, the breakdown of this chemical & increase in its levels in the blood reduces psychotic symptoms post-consumption including schizophrenia, reduce pain & anxiety. This feature of being non-psychoactive along with having an abundance of other benefits (as claimed by various researches) like reduction in anxiety, pain, seizures, depression, cancer-related symptoms is giving wings to its popularity in recent times.
The Advantages of using CBD Oil:
There are a series of advantages that have been derived & proven from researches across the world.CBD has been turning popular of late with study & research still in its adoption phase across the labs world over. However, since it has been so far so good with most researches, it is being studied & explored further into, thus gaining popularity as a possible cure & relief for certain medical problems & ailments as researches.
- PAIN RELIEF
Coming to the most basic advantage for starters, marijuana has been used to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. In recent studies, scientists have returned back to the circle’s starting point & discovered that CBD is responsible for its pain-relieving effects. Extracting CBD & the idea of using it as oil more often has hence become all the more speedy.
The science here is as simple as the English alphabets.Our human body has a specialized system named the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This, in turn, regulates various functionalities like sleep, appetite, pain & immune system response. The body itself produces Endocannabinoids- neurotransmitters that bind to Cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. According to the studies, C BD helped reduce chronic pain by impacting Endocannabinoid receptor activity & reduced inflammation while interacting with these neurotransmitters.
Not just this, but it has also been found in several studies that CBD & THC, when used as a combination, is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis (estimated 400,000 diagnosed cases in Americans) & arthritis (estimated 54 mn diagnosed cases in American adults). An oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is approved in several countries to treat pain related to multiple sclerosis & continues to be used still.
- REDUCTION IN ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
CBD has also been claimed as a means to help manage anxiety. Researchers are of the view that CBD changes the way the brain’s receptors (Tiny proteins attached to the cells that receive chemical messages & help the cells to respond to different sorts of stimuli.) respond to serotonin- a chemical linked to mental health.
According to one study, CBD assisted people suffering from social anxiety to deliver a better speech as compared to the other group who didn’t take any such dose. The group that received CBD showed significantly lesser anxiety, cognitive impairment & discomfort in their speech performance.
Anxiety & depression are common mental health disorders that have taken the world in their grasp gradually. As the World Health Organization states- “depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders are ranked sixth.”
The benefit that CBD has over traditional pharmaceutical medicines is the no. of side effects carried by the latter which range from drowsiness to agitation, insomnia to headache & so on. Apart from this, certain times, people develop substance abuse as they fall into addiction (say to benzodiazepines).
For this reason of pharmaceutical medicines’ ability to cure with a curse, people are showing more interest & diverting themselves to the herbal side of medical science of which CBD is developing as a known & gradually acceptable remedy for anxiety & depression. CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia too.
These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
- POSSIBLE GUARD AGAINST CANCER
Surprisingly, CBD may provide to be helping hand to reduce symptoms not just related to cancer but the side effects related to cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting & pain as well.
A study on 177 people experiencing cancer-related pain was done to study the effect of CBD & THC on pain alleviation during treatment. It was found that those treated with the extract containing both CBD & THC experienced a significant reduction in pain as compared to those who were treated with only the THC extract. Studies suggest that CBD may also help lower nausea and vomiting (two very common side-effects) during chemotherapy.
Though alternatives are there, yet sometimes the alternatives fail too & hence looking up to a new option is all the more essential. Not just this but certain test-tube & animal studies have suggested that CBD may home anti-cancer properties. For example, a test-tube study concluded death in human breast cancer cells with the use of concentrated CBD.
- ACNE REDUCTION & SKIN BENEFITS
Studies indicate that application of CBD topically as an infused lotion, oil, etc. can repair damage like UV rays and environmental pollutants caused to the skin. Cannabinoid receptors are present in the skin & are speculated to aid in the regulation of oil production in the sebaceous glands. Such CBD-based topical products are hence being developed in many parts of the world to treat related issues from acne to psoriasis & faster healing of damaged skin. In fact, history suggests the use of cannabis preparations for wound healing in animals and people alike in a range of cultures across the globe.
There are known cases of melanoma & carcinoma type cancers being cured by the use of CBD extracts through topical application. The case of Rick Simpson is quite famous because he cured his basal cell carcinoma with cannabis oil and now has his widely distributed line of products.
- NEUROPROTECTIVE PROPERTY
Researchers are of the view that CBD’s ability to befriend & influence the endocannabinoid system & other brain signaling systems may prove helpful those with neurological disorders.
Studies on CBD treating neurological disorders like epilepsy & multiple sclerosis new but the results have been on the positive side.
Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC, has been proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. Another study revealed that CBD oil significantly reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder, compared to a placebo group. Not just this, treatment with CBD has helped improve quality of life & sleep quality for those having Parkinson’s disease.
- FRIEND FOR THE HEART
Cannabinoids have a direct effect upon the vascular system. CBD in this case is capable of inducing vasorelaxation, i.e. reduction in the tension of blood vessel walls.
CBD has the ability to reduce resting blood pressure, & also control it when faced with stress is around. A 2017 research paper published within the journal JCL Insight investigated & concluded the blood pressure-lowering effects of CBD on humans. Nine healthy males participated in it & were either given 600mg of CBD or a placebo.
The results indicated that CBD brought down resting systolic blood pressure (the maximum arterial blood pressure during heart contraction) & reduced stroke volume (volume of blood pumped per beat). These results have important shades especially given the fact that high blood pressure is a contributing factor to ischaemic heart disease.
- OTHER BENEFITS
CBD has been studied for its role in treating a large number of health issues other than the ones talked about above. Although the research are still on, CBD is thought to provide the following health benefits:
Antipsychotic effects: Studies point towards CBD’s positive role in aiding individuals suffering from schizophrenia as well as those with other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms.
Anti-tumor effects: CBD has demonstrated various anti-tumor effects in test-tube & animal studies.
Reiterating the initial part of this blog, the ill-effects of wrong perception along with a feeble knowledge & awareness on the authentic researched facts have ended up the entire family of Cannabis & Marijuana plant into a dumpyard of troubles from where, returning is tough if not impossible. Due to illegal & over-consumption by people, CBD has gone far out of the reach of those who actually need it as a cure (due credits to the smugglers & drug dealers too for this). Misinformation from the various anti-marijuana campaigns have spoonfer people with profound fears & misunderstandings that continue to confuse the issue & twist the tail further — both for cannabis in general and for CBD. The main sources of CBD, i.e Cannabis & Marijuana have been deemed illegal in various nations worldwide that have resulted from not just overuse but also the hype created by protests & ban-imposing demands from the public as mentioned earlier. It is said that half-knowledge is dangerous & this situation is the best example for the explanation. While the awareness bar is raising gradually, it is still taking time to penetrate to the legislative & the judiciary levels which makes the journey longer than expected. However, on the bright side of things, it is available for legal usage for both medical & recreational purpose in some states of the USA namely – Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, etc. In such states, you can collect CBD oil as long as you’re an adult visiting the dispensary. Despite these bunch of popular states legalizing some or all forms of marijuana, federally the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is still cemented at its stand of classifying CBD as a Schedule I drug. In a nutshell, Schedule I drugs are defined by the DEA as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use & a high potential for abuse.” this definition & classification applies to the entire family of the cannabis plant.
There is something to learn for the DEA from the UK government out here with respect to the imposed ban in this regard on the Schedule I drug named Marijuana. The fact that UK has legalised medical marijuana & cannabis last year in October,18 is an eye-opening global occurrence which should melt the butter for the nations world over. This gets them their task cut out to consider the matter when they face the positive music of the realisation of medicinal benefits of CBD & its extensive family of medically beneficial extracts. The researches, definitely have shown both negative & positive impacts but it’s up to us to extract the positives & ignore the negatives. Once this mindset gets developed, the awareness will automatically trickle into the thought process of the rigid decision makers. Needless to mention that the day it happens, people will have their access to treatment through the magic of CBD & its extracts. However, until that day comes, the world shall continue driving the car as it was running before. It is definitely the biological version of rocket science as research continue & hence the wait is pretty much understandable. Nevertheless, the end of the tunnel is not too far away.