I’d like you to think for a moment about your daily routine. Visualize all the nuisances that fill your day from the moment you wake up until you finally get to bed. Be it the headaches, traffic, exhaustion, or the anxiety of everyday life, we are bombarded with countless stressors which make our lives unnecessarily difficult. Now imagine that you had the power to persevere through all of it without batting an eye. Imagine how much more you could accomplish without these obstacles standing in your way. This is the promising future of CBD oil.
While many people are already familiar with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, CBD is still largely unchartered territory for many folks. Although cannabidiol is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the United States Federal Government, it is legal in all 50 states. Nevertheless, its legality is more complex, which we’ll get to soon.
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is just one of over one hundred chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Although clinical trials are still relatively limited and the FDA has been pushing off its research, there is still plenty of evidence which suggests that CBD boasts countless proven health benefits. From young children to senior citizens, pets, and athletes, there’s no limit to its potential.
Between clinical trials and personal accounts, there is a staggering amount of evidence testifying to the palliative and curative properties of CBD. While some consider medicinal cannabis a snake-oil and others see it as a panacea, the truth is that our bodies are hardwired to respond positively to cannabidiol CBD. As a result, we are witnessing a CBD boom, in which people of all ages and from all walks of life are turning to CBD oil for its innumerable health benefits and practically non-existent side effects. This has enabled people to reap the benefits of cannabis without any of the psychoactive effects associated with traditional marijuana products and THC.
The FDA has an active program created to assist pharmaceutical companies study and test the marijuana plant and its components. While the United States Federal Government has made it clear that marijuana is still a Schedule I compound, they are urgently investing time and money into researching safe and effective uses for cannabis, particularly cannabidiol.
In fact, we saw the first FDA-approved drug containing a purified drug substance derived from the marijuana plant in June 2018, with Epidiolex. (Note that the FDA has previously approved three synthetic cannabinoids, namely Marinol, Cesamet, and Syndros). This revolutionary pharmaceutical was given the government’s seal of approval for the treatment of specific forms of epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. While the CBD-based oral solution may be newsworthy for breaking the medical marijuana barrier with the FDA, it is also the first drug approved to treat Dravet syndrome.
This seemingly small step has effectively opened the door for further research and development of cannabis-derived medications. More importantly, it promises to deliver patients in need with reliable ingredients and dosages in lieu of unreliable products found on the internet or in local stores. The federal government has already taken steps to promote further development of these pharmaceuticals with the formation of a botanical team, committed to providing the necessary scientific expertise in researching and manufacturing plant-based medicines. Likewise, the FDA is currently working to provide patients with easy and reliable access to experimental therapies while clinical trials are still in their infancy stages.
The FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. has made it clear that the United States is dedicated to furthering medical marijuana research and unlocking important medical therapies. At the same time, Dr. Gottlieb has also shown his determination to eliminate unregulated CBD-based medications.
Dr. Gottlieb posited that, “We’ll continue to support rigorous scientific research on the potential medical uses of marijuana-derived products and work with product developers who are interested in bringing patients safe and effective, high-quality products. But, at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims. Marketing unapproved products, with uncertain dosages and formulations can keep patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.”
Outside of the FDA-sponsored trials, many patients have found relief through medical marijuana and CBD products. Keep in mind that cannabinoids are used to both alleviate symptoms and treat conditions. In reality, the curative properties of cannabis are regularly used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and Tourette’s syndrome, to name a few.
Similarly, researchers have found that CBD has proven anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-aging, and neuroprotective properties. As a result, more and more people are turning to the organic compound for treating a wide variety of ailments, including inflammation, anxiety, pain, nausea, and even neurological disorders. Even many athletes are turning to CBD as homeopathic alternative to traditional pain remedies. In fact, CBD is slowly but surely being adopted by spas and rehab facilities across the country thanks to its high concentration of adaptogens - Natural substances which aid the body’s ability to adapt to stress, maintain a healthy balance, and achieve complete relaxation.
In order to better grasp how the cannabis plant can have so many pharmacological benefits, we must first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This physiological network of neurotransmitters runs through the body - predominantly in the central and peripheral nervous systems - of mammals and is a key component in cellular homeostasis, the process of maintaining a stable internal environment. These endocannabinoid receptors play a major role in several crucial biological functions, including the life cycles of cells, intercellular communication, appetite, pain sensation, and prenatal development.
Moreover, many scientists believe that if supporting the cannabinoid system is such an effective reactive response to biological disarray, then it should follow that stimulating it should also be a powerful proactive measure. In other words, there is a theory that CBD intake can help prevent many physical and psychological issues later in life. As such an integral piece of cellular development, it should come to no surprise that evolutionary biologists estimate that the endocannabinoid system first appeared over 600 million years ago.
The current understanding of the endocannabinoid system is that it is comprised of cannabinoid receptors which, in turn, deliver the restorative qualities found in cannabis. Clinical trials suggest that the first of these - the CB1 receptors - are linked to motor function, pain relief, mood, sleep patterns, and memory processing. Consequently, research indicates that targeting CB1 receptors holds the key to better treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors play a much larger role in the immune system by regulating inflammation and managing intercellular communication. This explains why CBD therapy is so effective at treating conditions like fibromyalgia Crohn’s and arthritis. Whereas our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids such as anandamide, CBD and THC are known as phytocannabinoids, as they are obtained from plants. As with the naturally occurring endocannabinoids, these phytocannabinoids also target the CB1 and CB2 receptors with outstanding accuracy.
Additionally, CBD has been found to possess notable antiseptic properties, making it a natural and effective tool to add to your grooming and personal hygiene repertoire. For instance, studies show the anti-inflammatory agents present in high doses of cannabinoids help improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. As a naturally-occurring protective agent, CBD hemp seed oil is arguably one of the best cosmetic oils you can put on your face and skin. In addition to being a safe and natural antiseptic, hemp seed oil also offers powerful hydration without clogging your pores.
The simple truth is that people are tired of expensive, dangerous, and artificial pharmaceuticals. As of now, all the evidence suggests that CBD is a completely safe, natural, and versatile treatment for an unparalleled number of diseases and ailments. Furthermore, cannabinoids have shown promise in their ability to improve one’s overall quality of life by strengthening the immune system, promoting self-healing, and decreasing everyday stress and anxiety.
CBD vs THC
Medical marijuana is a subject of much debate and controversy. However, CBD products afford many of the benefits of cannabis while circumventing the potential issues of traditional medical marijuana. Although there are proven medical benefits to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there are many people who can’t legally procure it or don’t want the effects of the psychoactive cannabinoid.
A study published by researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv reported that THC reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in cardiac tissue and effectively protects heart muscle cells from hypoxia, a dangerous condition in which there is insufficient oxygen in the blood. They noted that the presence of delta-9-THC plays a crucial role in preventing irreversible cell damage in these cases.
Similarly, research at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology found decisive evidence of neuroprotective properties in cannabis. The clinical experimentation demonstrated that extremely low doses of THC protect the brain from long-term cognitive damage, especially in cases of hypoxia as a result of seizures or drug use.
Nevertheless, marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule I drug by the United States Federal Government. As a Schedule I drug, marijuana is classified as having severe safety concerns, high abuse potential, and no known medical use. Keep in mind that other Schedule I drugs include heroin and ecstasy, while cocaine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl are all Schedule II drugs. It’s important to understand that CBD and THC don’t function independently.
Although each cannabinoid has its own set of benefits and functions, the two compounds were developed by Nature to work together. In fact, clinical trials indicate that the antipsychotic qualities of CBD help moderate the psychoactive effects of THC. Many pharmacologists believe this is why Marinol, a synthetic THC prescription medication, provoked such intense psychoactivity.
As a result of this, many CBD companies have turned to hemp as their source, as opposed to THC-rich marijuana. While hemp plants typically contain less than 0.3% THC, they are also richer in CBD. Though both hemp and marijuana are both varieties of cannabis sativa, their legality differs tremendously. As of now, the U.S. Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill) removed decades of federal restrictions on industrial hemp but still mandates that legal hemp must not have a THC concentration higher than 0.3%.
Is CBD Oil Legal
Much like the status of state-approved/federally illegal medical marijuana, the legality of CBD is complex. For starters, any legal CBD products would have to be derived from hemp plants and not marijuana, and even then it’s not so clear. There are, however, close to a dozen states which have legalized recreational marijuana, clearing the way for all forms of CBD without a prescription. Then you have nearly every state which allows some forms of medical marijuana and CBD, with the exclusion of Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska. However, the DEA still recognizes CBD as a derivative of cannabis and therefore, classifies it as a Schedule I substance.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recently sat down to evaluate the current status of cannabis and made several noteworthy decisions. According to the 1961 and 1971 International Drug Control Conventions, cannabis and cannabis resin were categorized alongside hard drugs such as heroin.
The international committee concluded that there was sufficient evidence and scientific research to reclassify cannabis and made a landmark decision regarding CBD. The ECDD recommended that pure cannabidiol be removed from international drug control as it possesses no psychoactive properties and “presents no potential for abuse or dependence.”
While this meeting illustrates a major shift in potential CBD legislation, the international committee has already scheduled another council meeting to undertake a full critical analysis of cannabis and related substances. At the end of the day, hemp-based CBD products are available in all 50 states without the need of a prescription. Nevertheless, it’s best to stay updated with the current laws and regulations in order to fully understand the legal risks involved in purchasing CBD products.
CBD oil may be controversial and exist in a legal gray area, but there’s no denying the simple truth: CBD works. The World Health Organization recently concluded that “Animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions.” WHO also determined that CBD exhibits no indication of dependence or abuse potential, a significant factor in its drug classification.
Likewise, the international committee added that there is “no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Their Expert Committee on Drug Dependence review report went on to say that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
A 2017 study published by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine warns that while CBD is safe and beneficial, not all CBD products are created equally. The university study found a general oversight of the sale of products containing CBD. So although there’s no point in denying the benefits of CBD products, there may be reason to doubt your CBD product. In fact, they discovered that over 50% of cannabidiol extracts sold online were mislabeled. This underlines the importance of third-party testing and shopping with verified brands.
Thomas Edison famously said that “You can’t improve on Nature” and CBD illustrates just that. Medicinal cannabis might just be the most prolific remedy to treat the widest variety of human diseases and conditions out there. While CBD is still very new to the market, it has a bright future to look forward to.
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