Cannabidiol is being marketed as a cure-all natural extract available in lotions, creams, oils, foods, drinks, and even dog treats. But perhaps this is just another fix for these dangerously anxious times?
It's hard to pinpoint precisely when CBD went from being a hippy’s recreational experiment to a big mainstream health product worth billions. Surely it didn’t hurt that celebrity doctors like Sanjay Gupta promoted CBD on popular broadcasts introducing millions of people to the then still unknown cannabis compound that would apparently heal all sorts of ailments.
Is CBD a new miracle elixir?
Before we look at what popular media has turned this cannabis extract into, let’s define it for the still-not-informed reader. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a hemp extract, but it is also present in cannabis, or marijuana. It is the second most active ingredient in cannabis, after THC, and psychoactive compound. Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not make the user "high," instead, it sobers you up and enhances cognitive function, among other effects.
Its proponents claim it can help treat pain, arthritis, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, acne, and even cancer; and they’ve cited hundreds of research projects and case studies that support this. At the movement, some people are likening the growth of CBD to what we saw with Bitcoin in 2016. But it’s hard to draw comparisons with an online currency because CBD might actually change people’s lives. Consider a senior citizen living with chronic back pain, unable to leave the house to go to the store or an athlete with muscle pain and inflammation from weeks of heavy training.
Both of these people can find relief with CBD, which users claim is more effective at soothing pain than traditional pharmaceuticals. The amount of research in this area is beyond convincing; practically everyone who tries CBD for pain finds relief. Perhaps the combination with other pain medication makes it work better, and even though the long term effects haven’t yet been established, nobody seems worried.
CBD users speak of a body “high” as opposed to the old psychoactive effect of traditional marijuana. So in practical terms, it’s a lot like taking a warm bath after a long day; it melts the tension away and helps you relax. It’s no wonder that people are using it to treat sleeping disorders. There’s research on this as well, and for the majority of users, CBD seems to help balance the sleep/wake cycle.
Still not clear about CBD? Think about the feeling one gets after a long, calming yoga session. It leaves a synergistic, downstream effect that (among other things) improves social connections by making you feel more present, attentive, and creative.
Does it make you eat more?
This is an important question and one that millions of people have wondered about. So does CBD make you eat more food? Surprisingly, the research around his suggests that it doesn’t. While cannabis is associated with a boost in appetitive, there’s no convincing research to indicate that either THC or CBD will make you get fat. In fact, one of the things cannabidiol does, once it connects with the endocannabinoid system, is to balance hormonal function, and suppressing stress hormones like cortisol, thereby eliminating the tendency to overeat.
But one area that has got a lot of attention with regard to CBD is anxiety and PTSD. Researchers are in support of using cannabidiol to reduce stress, and from the look of things, the results are impressive. Based on thousands of posts such as this one, CBD has genuinely transformed people’s lives, and because of this, we can expect an even bigger market in the coming years. It’s those kinds of testimonials that make it seem as if CBD can cure everything – and though medical science has great things to say about cannabidiol, maybe belief and willpower also have something to do with its effectiveness amongst users.