Ask the average person about what they think about cannabis and the likelihood is you’ll get one a number of different responses. Some see it as some kind of stepping stone or gateway to serious drug abuse, while others view it as a harmless "bit of fun" to be enjoyed recreationally, much in the same way that people drink alcohol.
There is however a third group that is growing at an exponential rate, those who see the cannabis plant as a source of benefit to the body as a whole and the complex systems contained within. It is this last group that is perhaps the most notable, as it includes those who have sampled CBD Oil, a derivative of the cannabis plant and enjoyed the gentle lift it provides to overall health.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabis Sativa L.:
Despite being manufactured from cannabis, aka the marijuana plant, the resemblance of hemp-derived CBD to cannabis ends there. The reason for this is that the process used to extract the health promoting cannabinoids from the raw plant material completely eliminates the high inducing element known as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) found in cannabis. Also, the Cannabis Sativa L. strains used for CBD oil extraction – also called industrial hemp - are naturally much lower in THC than those used for the extraction of cannabis oil (which is THC rich).
A THC-free CBD oil means no high, no psychoactive effects - only a gentle boost to the body’s inner workings. There will of course still be people who hear the word cannabis and instantly jump to the wrong conclusion but with more and more information in circulation we are rapidly moving towards a time where CBD’s non-psychoactive nature is becoming a widely accepted fact.
Let’s have a little look at the science behind what CBD does...
The Endocannabinoid System:
Inside every living mammal on earth, there is an endocannabinoid system, which controls almost everything that makes us who we are. It is responsible for regulating pain, mood, cognitive function and much more. Our body produces endocannabinoids in small quantities, which stimulate the CBD receptors and help our bodies to work well and efficiently.
Phytocannabinoids, found in abundance in CBD oil carry out the same function as endocannabinoids when consumed and exist in much greater quantities than the body produces on its own. The result is a more balanced, better functioning endocannabinoid system and in turn, a greater sense of health and wellbeing.
Sounds good, doesn’t it!
Medical Skepticism Around CBD
It could be said that historically speaking, the medical industry has viewed CBD with a great deal of scepticism and allowed long held misconceptions about cannabis cloud their judgement on its potential health applications. Look at the United States and what you see is a revolution of sorts, as cannabis use has already been legalized recreationally in 11 of its 50 states and medically in 33.
Couple that with the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have already licensed cannabis derived medications for conditions like epilepsy and it immediately becomes evident that for cannabis, the general consensus is no longer that of a negative substance, or at least is in the process of doing so.
The Pioneer That is CBD Oil:
The start of this polar shift in opinion with regards to cannabis has come in large part from the adoption of CBD Oil into the routines of people across the Western world. More and more people are taking the product primarily because of the way it makes them feel - healthier.
We could tie ourselves up in knots trying to avoid making unsubstantiated medical claims about what CBD can be used for - in fact we frequently do when trying to stay within UK’s tight laws on the subject - but what has to be said is that so many are enjoying the support that CBD offers that the weight of anecdotal evidence can’t be ignored for much longer.
The facts will out, as they say and with 250,000 now routinely using CBD Oil in the UK alone, the image of cannabis could well have been changed forever. We may still be some way off CBD’s full benefits being fully recognized by science, but with each study that’s conducted the more affirmation of its efficacy that’s being brought to light.
It can only be a matter of time until CBD and indeed cannabis completely sheds its sinister image in the minds of the wider public and is finally appreciated for the beneficial herb that it is.
We can but wait for that day to come, but the process would seem to be well under way.