Only a few decades back, cannabis was arguably the most stigmatized plant. Globally, there were strict legal restrictions on the "evil weed".
Fast forward – presently, cannabis is arguably one of the most sought-after plants on the planet. Cannabinoids in the plant, each with their own unique properties, are potentially beneficial for an array of conditions. Most notably CBD, right after Tetrahydrocanabinoid (popularly, THC). This compound has gained widespread attention, particularly in the health niche—a common ingredient in lattes, shampoos, gummy bears, body oils, and even dog treats.
In a blink, CBD has grown from obscurity to a household name.
The big question is – why is CBD everywhere? We'll discuss here how CBD became the health and wellness giant it now is.
Why Has CBD Become So Popular?
For twin reasons:
- One, CBD is widely touted these days as a cure-all miracle compound
- It is non-intoxicating
No other compound in the cannabis plant combines these critical attributes as effectively as CBD.
For instance, although THC offers CBD-like health attributes, many would like to avoid the "high" that comes with it.
On the other hand, while compounds like Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN) will not get you high, they do not possess as many benefits as CBD does. However, they are found in trace amounts.
Due to the non-toxic nature of CBD and the legal restrictions onTHC, researchers have focused on former, reporting different benefits as it grows in popularity.
Is CBD Legal?
Cannabis laws are becoming more lenient around the world. The increasing call for legalization is common news across many geographies. However, even more commonly accepted is CBD from hemp, which contains significantly lower concentrations of THC.
This common quest has dropped the legal impediments and opened the CBD doors for research purposes across many borders.
A remarkable twist in the US cannabis community was the 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation federally legalized CBD extracted from hemp.
The social and medical attitude towards CBD has changed a great deal in recent years. But while this law legalized CBD on the federal front, some anti-CBD state laws are still a barrier.
Away in the EU, while cannabis remains largely illegal, CBD is legal in practically all countries – save Slovakia.
Currently, the EU laws allow you to buy and sell EU-approved hemp-based Cannabidiol products from any licensed supplier. EU legislations recognize CBD with not more than 0.2 percent THC. Anything above this benchmark is considered illegal.
This legal leniency has reduced the long-aged stigma associated with the plant. In turn, there’s increasing awareness, trust, and acceptance for cannabis and its health benefits in particular.
Health Benefits of CBD
Currently, Cannabidiol is not recognized by the government as medication or supplement, except in Epidiolex, a CBD-infused product approved for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy – Dravet and Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
Besides epilepsy, CBD can only be sold as a dietary supplement, devoid of any medical claim. Hence, the CBD market is grossly under-regulated, which makes it a bit tricky to get good-quality products.
There isn’t enough evidence to conclude on the therapeutic gains of CBD-based products to be used as definitive treatments besides in the case of epilepsy, however, studies show marked improvements for many conditions.
Particularly CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.
Some other published reports claim CBD doses may help reduce seizure frequency.
On the other hand, many literature promotes CBD as an anti-inflammatory aid, pain reliever, substance withdrawal aid, etc.
However, some experts think the THC component of cannabis may be responsible for the pain-reliever effect.
Although the existing data seems promising, it is rather too early to make a definite conclusion. Besides, there is no defined dosage regimen for these conditions as of yet.
Can one abuse CBD?
The US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), tags drugs/substances based on their potential likelihood of abuse. Here are the rankings:
- Schedule I – Drugs with a high possibility for abuse and with no approved medical gains– Schedule I
- Schedule II – Drugs with high abuse potentiality – but have, at least, one recognized medical use
- Schedule III to V – Drugs with certified medical uses but less abuse potentiality.
So, in what group could CBD be?
Epidiolex falls in the Schedule V group –recognized medical potentials and with little or no abuse likelihood.
During studies, CBD did not trigger any drug-seeking behaviors in subjects as THC does in humans. Results also found no dependence behavior in humans who dosed on CBD products for up to 28 days.
How Do I Consume CBD?
Again, CBD comes in a wide array of dosing forms, offering users the flexibility to use a more convenient option.
This gives users a range of options to select from, which is, perhaps, another reason CBD is everywhere.
Let’s quickly examine some common dosage forms and their unique effects. Your preferred dosage form determines how fast and long-lasting the result will be.
They are CBD concentrates usually dosed with a dropper sublingually (under the tongue). This dosage form sends the CBD into the bloodstream faster than swallowing.
CBD-infused chocolates and gummies are typical examples of edibles. After dosing, the effect may take off in about 20 minutes to four hours. The results are relatively long-lasting.
These alternatives are consumed orally. Optically, they mimic your everyday vitamins and drugs found in pharmaceutical stores, except that they contain either CBD isolate or CBD oil.
Vaporizers like e-cigs entail the use of vapor to inhale CBD oil-infused liquid. Although there is no nicotine scare with CBD vaping, inhalation is generally frowned upon.
CBD lotions, creams, and oils are increasingly common. These applications are designed for application on the hair, nails, and skin. They are primarily intended to treat targeted pain and inflammation, however, some are skin and hair care products.
CBD's increasing list of health benefits and legal acceptance has made it a household name in recent years. From the growing popularity to the new scores of research studies, the future looks promising for CBD.