CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is one of the cannabinoids extracted directly from processed hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not induce the feeling of being “high”, which is often associated with cannabis. It is also not psychoactive, hence you do not feel intoxicated when you consume CBD as opposed to THC.
Discovered in 1940, CBD is one of the most medically researched cannabinoids. There are many forms in which CBD can be taken, often through the inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as well as orally in the form of liquid solutions, capsules or oil extracts. CBD as an alternative form of medicine has become so popular these days that there are even CBD products for your pets.
However, given its association with cannabis, there are questions about the legality of CBD, as well as the benefits it can bring.
Is CBD legal?
In 2018, CBD was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the name Epidiolex, to be used for the treatment of children between 2 and 5 years old, who have been diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
In most countries around the world, cannabis is illegal, while CBD is legal. This is because cannabis contains more than 0.3% of THC, which is a mind-altering drug, while CBD has less than 0.3% of THC. However, the laws surrounding production, purchase, and use of cannabis varies and changes from country to country. Always Shop CBD products after checking the laws.
Here’s how laws regarding CBD differ depending on the location:
- In America, federal law only allows CBD to grow from processed hemp with a concentration of less than 0.3% of THC. However, individual states have the final say within their borders.
- In Europe, every state makes its laws, interpretations, and restrictions on the use of CBD while the European Union governs its sale.
- In countries such as Albania, Belarus, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, Serbia, and Slovakia, CBD is illegal. For these countries, cannabis and all its by-products are considered illegal as there is no clearly defined distinction between marijuana and hemp, hence any form of its vending may result in punishment under the law.
- In countries such as Belgium, Finland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands, CBD is legal while the nitty-gritty of its possession and the standard composition of THC requirements are specific to a country. In France, for instance, the concentration of THC in CBD products should be 0%, while in most states, the accepted concentration of THC is up to 0.2%.
- In Australia, cannabis for medicinal purposes was made legal in 2016, making CBD legal under medicinal cannabis. As a result, CBD can only be accessed through the Department of Health for prescription and purchased from a few approved vendors.
Benefits of CBD
There are so many benefits that can be derived from the consumption of CBD, including pain relief, CBD reduction of anxiety and depression, treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and cancer symptoms. CBD has also been proven beneficial in acne treatment.
1. Treatment for Epilepsy
CBD is used to reduce and, in some cases, stop seizures in epileptic children. The two epileptic syndromes treated by CBD as mentioned are the Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. CBD oil is used to alleviate nausea and vomiting, which are epilepsy-related symptoms.
2. Reduce Anxiety and Depression
According to the World Health Organization, depression is a common mental disorder and, globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Apart from therapy and antidepressant medications, CBD oils are used for the treatment of anxiety and depression. They are becoming an alternative means to escape the side effects of pharmaceutical medications.
CBD oils are said to have an antidepressant effect as they impact the brain’s natural neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin levels are linked to depression and anxiety. Low serotonin levels cause depression and CBD has a positive effect on the serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to increased serotonin.
3. Pain Relief
For the longest time, the marijuana plant has been used for the treatment of chronic pain, but now scientists have discovered CBD, among other components, to be responsible for pain relief. CBD has an effect on pain receptors in the nervous system by increasing the effect of glycine receptors, therefore, reducing pain.
4. Improves Quality of Sleep
CBD oils are now being used for sleeping disorders and insomnia as it could reduce symptoms of insomnia and its severity after a month of treatment. So, if you struggle with sleep at night, CBD oils might be what you need. When taken in high quantities, CBD is known to induce drowsiness, which leads to sleep.
5. Skin Remedy
Though it is often identified in teenagers, acne can affect people of all ages. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 80 percent of people between ages 11 and 30 have breakouts on the skin.
Test studies on CBD oil have been proven to be a promising treatment for acne. CBD oils produce an anti-inflammatory effect on the sebaceous glands, thus reducing the oil on skin that triggers acne.
A report in 2017 issued by the World Health Organization concluded that, as of recent, there seems to be no potential for CBD to cause harm, but further studies are being conducted continuously due to the increasing demand for CBD because of its touted benefits.
The benefits of cannabidiol are numerous and can be enjoyed by everyone. CBD is a healthy supplement that is quickly making its way into people’s lifestyles through tinctures, vapes, skincare routines, and even lattes. However, as you factor in CBD as an alternative supplement, make sure to consult your doctor and to buy cannabidiol only from authorized dealers.