Plant or herbal medicine has been around since humans began their existence. While myriad plants have been accepted for use either in their natural state or as a compound that has been refined and manufactured into a pharmaceutical drug, marijuana and hemp have only recently reemerged as players in this field after having been blacklisted longer than most of us have been alive. While herbal medicine as a term conjures visions of 1970s counter culture hippies, plant medicine as a term is taken seriously as more medical professionals have sought to embrace “alternative” solutions into their “western-based” practices and others have gone to school specifically to become doctors that specialize in naturopathic medicine. Enter CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol, one of more than 100 known cannabinoids found in and which can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. The difference is that CBD extracted from hemp has no psychoactive properties because the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - that which causes the “high” are by law under .03 percent. Because this is such a trace amount, CBD can be used without any concern about mind-altering effects. CBD oil is also legal in all 50 states. Early studies of CBD’s implications for positive outcomes related to various issues have shown promise. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that CBD is changing lives for the better. And while we’re in the infancy of understanding what is possible, what has been shown so far is intriguing.
As touched on in an earlier blog, we actually have cannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies. This network of receptors is called the endocannibinoid system (ECS), linked to physiological processes including appetite, anxiety and stress response, mood, sleep, immunity, energy, pain and more. In simplest terms, our bodies have been designed to work well with CBD. While medical professionals urge caution about how patients use CBD especially when other medications may be part of a person’s regimen, no one has been known to overdose by taking too much. As these same a professionals are either just beginning to understand CBD’s benefits or who by their course of study entered practiced with a broader knowledge, we’re seeing CBD’s use becoming mainstream. Every person’s body and metabolism is unique, which makes specific dosing recommendations difficult. And while dosing charts and recommendations abound in the ether, when starting anything new, including CBD, any questions or concerns should be discussed with a medical professional.
What we do know is in many instances, CBD has brought relief when other approaches have not. Anyone that has ever lived with chronic health issues knows how debilitating those can be to their overall mind, body, spirit balance and are quite open to non-traditional approaches. CBD is one more tool in the proverbial garden.