CBD is the talk of the town these days. With its myriads of medicinal and therapeutic effects, CBD is being hailed as the future of the pharmaceutical industry. So what basically is CBD and why is everybody talking about it? Stay with us to know more.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol or hemp, is one of the many chemical compounds called cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, an annual flowering herb that belongs to the family Cannabaceae. The plant is also known as ‘hemp plant’. The most commonly cultivated species of this family is Cannabis sativa.
Previously, the most commonly known compound extracted from the cannabis plant was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the most psychoactive compound found in the cannabis. It is known to stimulate the nervous system and induce a ‘high’ state.
Recently, CBD has started stealing the spotlight, owing to the fact that it lacks the psychoactive properties associated with THC. Since it does not cause intoxication and has a wide range of therapeutic uses, CBD and its related products like CBD oil have caught the attention of the medical community, recently leading to its legalization.
CBD works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors, which are present throughout the body but are primarily located in the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord). CBD basically enhances the activity of endocannabinoids, the CBD-like chemicals that are naturally synthesized by the human body.
Contrary to the action of THC, CBD does not directly act on the CBD receptors, which is the basic reason why it does not induce the euphoria produced by THC. What it does instead is that it causes degradation of the enzymes that inhibit endocannabinoids, prolonging the duration of action of endocannabinoids.
The effects of CBD have been extensively researched upon for years. The most well-known of its uses is its neuroprotective effects due to which CBD can be used make the symptoms of various health conditions more manageable. For example, CBD has become an excellent alternative for the treatment of infections, spasms, lethargy, and fatigue. It is also known for its potential benefits in the treatment sleep disorders and certain endocrine abnormalities.
By prolonging the action of endocannabinoids in the body, CBD helps in reducing pain and inflammation. Research is already underway to study the role of CBD injections in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammatory conditions.
CBD has mood stabilizing properties, making it an excellent therapy for the treatment of different anxiety disorders. CBD is also known to alleviate nausea and vomiting associated with taking medications. Due to its anti-inflammatory potential, CBD has also been shown to help with acne and other types of skin eruptions as it helps combat the bacteria and toxins that cause these conditions.
Studies also suggest that its anxiety-relieving attribute may help lower elevated blood pressure, thereby exerting a positive effect on the overall heart, cardiovascular and kidney health. There are still a lot of gray areas where CBD is concerned which is why further studies need to be carried out to explore the full range of medicinal uses of CBD.
Recent researches have brought the therapeutic effects of CBD to light which led to the legalization of CBD oil in 30 states of America. According to the 2014 Farm Bill, CBD extracted from hemp was made legal for academic activities. A state license was instituted to grow hemp for research purposes only. However, the state laws regarding CBD and hemp vary to a great deal.
The wheels to get CBD legalized at the federal level are already in motion. The federal law states that CBD is a schedule 1 drug, which means that since it has a high potential for abuse, its production should be closely monitored. In June of 2018, the Canadian Senate passed the Cannabis Act, a.k.a Bill C-45, for the legalization of industrial hemp after which the processing of hemp for extraction of cannabidiol was made legal.
After years of research, in June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CBD based drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of epilepsy. It is also the first drug to be approved for the treatment of Dravet syndrome, a congenital seizure disorder. This approval is being heralded as the stepping stone for the use of CBD based drugs for the treatment of other diseases in the future.
Ever since the medical uses of CBD oil have hit the news, CBD has made its way into myriads of consumer products. Sodas, gums, and beers are being infused with CBD for therapeutic purposes. Various sorts of health supplements and CBD rich pills are now being marketed in states where CBD has been legalized.
For people who are wary of ingesting CBD, topical products like gels, shaving creams and even certain beauty products like lipsticks have now been introduced. Even CBD-based pet products and foods have hit the shelves. It came as no surprise when Coca-cola, the world-famous soda brand, expressed its interest in introducing CBD infused beverages due to its potential health benefits.
CBD has become more of a “trend” now while science is still lagging behind, trying to discover the many mysteries of CBD. With rapid industrialization, CBD products are expected to become the largest revenue-generating industry in near future. For now, it is difficult to put a cap on the true worth of CBD industry and the full range of therapeutic and medicinal uses of CBD are yet to be unraveled through further research.