CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is becoming more and more common. In fact, January is National CBD Month. The extract can be found in name-brand stores across the country and in various products, including lotion, pet treats, bath bombs, and candy. As cannabidiol’s popularity grows, so does the industry's overall worth. Currently, the CBD industry in the United States is projected to hit $23 billion in sales by 2025. To say the non-psychoactive extract is in high demand would be an understatement.
But what is CBD exactly, and why do people use it?
The cannabinoid is just one out of the 100+ other compounds found in the cannabis plant, and it comes with a list of pretty incredible benefits. While cannabidiol is related to and commonly associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are very different. Certain THC strains are known to cause or increase anxiety, and the chemical can lead to cravings or addiction, and CBD is not known to possess psychoactive properties or cause anxiety (it’s currently being studied to assist those in addiction recovery).
With so much information out there, it can be hard to differentiate fact from fiction. That's why we've combed through trusted sources and compiled the information you need to know—including the benefits, side effects, and common misconceptions related to CBD.
The Benefits of CBD
CBD is being studied more and more as the legalization of marijuana gains momentum throughout the country. So far, research has shown that CBD interacts with the body's receptors, including the serotonin and opioid receptors. It does not, however, readily bind to cannabinoid receptors that affect the endocannabinoid or central nervous systems; THC does. Studies also found that CBD has many benefits; it has been noted that CBD can help alleviate and, in some instances, cure the symptoms and side effects of chronic conditions or other ailments, including:
- - Epilepsy
- - Pain and inflammation
- - Depression and anxiety
- - Addiction management and treatment
- - Skin conditions
- - Neuroprotection
- - Relief from chemotherapy
- - Sleep
- - PTSD
- - Diabetes
- - High blood pressure
Ultimately, cannabidiol research still has a long way to go; while the product's effectiveness is still up for debate, the current findings are promising. Still, it is essential to consult with a medical professional before using CBD in any form.
What are the Side Effects of CBD?
As mentioned above, there is limited research on CBD and its effects on one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Many note feeling less anxious, energetic, and well-rested after taking pure CBD. However, due to a lack of regulation and knowledge, some adverse side effects have been documented. Possible side effects may include fatigue, dry mouth, changes in appetite, or diarrhea.
CBD has also been known to interact with certain medications; it's crucial to speak with a medical professional before incorporating any CBD products into your lifestyle.
Myth vs Fact
CBD comes with a list of myths and misconceptions—but it’s time to set the record straight.
1. Myth: CBD is addictive.
Fact: In 2017, the World Health Organization found that "CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential" in humans.
2. Myth: There’s no clinical research dealing with CBD.
Fact: The same report by the World Health Organization reported that CBD has "been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy." The WHO also found the extract showed preliminary evidence for effectively helping those with cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, psychosis, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
3. Myth: CBD works the same for everyone.
Fact: Many factors play into how CBD affects you. Your state of health, genetics, metabolism, and other bodily functions can ultimately affect the cannabinoid. Your body's endocannabinoid system can also alter how the compound reacts.
4. Myth: CBD is non-psychoactive.
Fact: Although CBD does not produce the same effect as THC, many people report less anxiety and brighter moods. Since CBD affects your serotonin receptors, it is pretty common to experience a euphoric feeling when consuming CBD. Studies also found that CBD has the ability to increase your body's production of anandamide, the same chemical the body releases after exercise.
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