By now, most people have heard about something called “CBD.” It stands for Cannabidiol, a substance that is extracted from the hemp plant (otherwise known as marijuana). Recent legislation that has legalized the substance in all but three states in the U.S. has created a frenzy of researchers, journalists, doctors, and consumers clamoring to know more.
What Is CBD?
From a scientific view, CBD is a chemical compound that has taken center stage due to the immense media attention it has received as well as the growing desire for alternative medicine options among pain sufferers.
The opioid epidemic that has swept the country, as well as the various drug issues with people getting addicted to prescription drugs has made people more cautious of the types of drugs that have addictive properties
The types of drugs that are often prescribed for chronic pain, mood disorders, depression, and many others have left in their wake thousands of patients who have found themselves becoming dependent on the addictive properties of some of these traditional drugs.
This has many people worried that it will add to the already growing problem of prescription drug addiction. This has, in turn, motivated physicians and patients, researchers and curious people alike to seek answers as to what value it holds.
For years, pharmaceutical companies tried to play down the idea that people could get addicted by telling doctors and caregivers to “use their own judgment” when prescribing such medications to patients with pain or other maladies.
Why did they do this?
Pharmaceutical companies have an immense number of drugs that they need to sell and they have an agreement with physicians and insurance companies to do things that keep them all making a profit. Unfortunately, this is just business. But when it comes to the well-being of patients, they often make some decisions that are not necessarily in the patients’ best interest.
How is CBD Created?
One thing that people do not understand regarding the manufacture of CBD is how it is made. They hear that it is made from the marijuana plant and immediately withdraw from looking into it.
But it is essential to understand the basis of CBD and how it is derived from the marijuana plant which has gotten such negative attention in the past. Below is a list of steps that hemp growers and producers go through to produce the CBD that you later see on the pharmacy shelves.
Step 1: Hemp Source
First, CBD creators must select a hemp source that has CBD at high levels. This is why most state agencies require that you purchase your hemp source only from licensed growers who know what they are doing. Quality of the hemp plant is critical to the production of clean, usable CBD that is derived from the original plant.
Step 2: Extraction
Once the plants are cultivated, they are sent for extraction through a process that includes whole plant extracts or “isolates.” If the producer uses whole plant extracts, the entire plant is used, which is preferred by most medical marijuana experts.
Whole plant extraction may capture the entire cannabinoid group of various components using this method. If the “isolates” extraction method is used, this involves capturing only the CBD compound from the rest of the plant. This may make the resulting CBD more potent and concentrated.
Step 3: Alcohol Extraction
Alcohol extraction involves a process of extracting the entire plant using alcohol by soaking the hemp plant in grain alcohol or a similar solvent. Since alcohol has a drying element, after absorbing the hemp in alcohol, the alcohol will eventually evaporate, and the remaining substance will contain only CBD and other cannabinoids from the original plant.
Step 4: CO2 Extraction
CO2 extraction is another method by which cannabis is extracted from the plant. You have to force the CO2 through the plant to extract the oil in this process. Only experienced cultivators of CBD tend to use this method of extraction since you need a series of chambers to perform this method.
Step 5: Collect
5. Finally, once the cannabinoids are collected using the method of choice, many producers of CBD will separate the various parts of the plant into unique chambers so that they can market the various components in different products. If someone is growing hemp to sell oral CBD oil, they usually flavor it in some way so that it will taste better than it does in the raw form. Additionally, hemp producers will decide whether they want to dilute the product or keep it in its original form. Less dilution means the plant will maintain its original potency levels. Most consumers want a choice in terms of how potent it is, so producers usually decide whether to dilute it based upon consumer need or specific product goals.MDs Turn to Alternative Medicine for Some Patients
CBD Is Recommended by Doctors
Many doctors have decided to recommend alternative therapies to their patients at times when they think their patients would benefit from alternative therapies.
Dr. Allen Shackleford, a graduate of the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine in Germany, discovered the benefits of CBD oil when a woman called him about her daughter who had severe epilepsy at an early age.
The woman had read about CBD oil and asked if he would prescribe CBD for her daughter. He was reluctant to do so at first, but it led him on a long journey of research about CBD and its benefits. He remembered back to his early days in medical school and recalled how he pledged to use all of his training and never to refuse anyone who called him for help. So he saw Charlotte, the woman’s daughter and she had at least three seizures in his office. He saw her suffering up close and personal and wanted to do anything he could to help her.
He had read a study about it and decided that he would try her on a regimen of CBD oil. Dr. Shackleford was nervous at first to hear whether it had helped Charlotte or made her worse. But her mother called to tell him that she had not had one seizure for an entire week after only one dose of medical cannabis (CBD). Shackleford said that he had to think “outside the box” to get to this point. But once he did, he realized just what a blessing this was to some people.
Since then, Dr. Shackleford has been prescribing medical marijuana and CBD to patients who were in a potentially high-risk group for addiction for dangerous traditional painkillers and who could benefit from the components of CBD oil.
Shackleford, like many physicians, have come to realize that recommending cannabidiol to patients for whom traditional or conventional therapies are unsuccessful. He remembered the Hippocratic oath he took in medical school and how he had vowed to use all of the resources he had at his fingertips to bring health and wellness to his patients.
Because he was innovative and courageous enough to break that mold, many of his patients and others who were possibly the patients of his co-workers and fellow physicians, are pain-free or at least more comfortable and living a higher quality of life because of this action.
Regardless of what you think about CBD oil or medical marijuana, what the world needs are more doctors like Dr. Allen Shackleford.
Be Your Own Best Friend
Sometimes, especially if your doctor doesn’t want to step outside the box and do what Dr. Shackleford did, you have to decide for yourself. That means trying some CBD on your own. Luckily, CBD does not require the prescription of a physician, and you can find it in more locations than ever before. This is due to the attention it has received in recent months and years in the media, as well as the trend of states to accept this form of medical marijuana as a viable alternative to pain relief.
Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD is not just for pain relief. Many people take it for a variety of other symptoms, as well. Some of the most common maladies that it is prescribed for are listed below.
For many people who suffer from chronic pain, CBD gives them another option that does not require the use of habit-forming drugs such as Percoset, Paxil, or opioids. Many people prefer the alternative medicine route when other drugs pose too high of a risk for dependence or adverse side effects.
Anxiety is something that affects a large percent of the population at one time or another. Some users of CBD products have reported that their anxiety levels decreased with regular use of CBD oil. This is not conclusive, but reports of various patients suffering from anxiety seem to indicate this idea.
Acne and Skin Disorders
Some people use CBD to clear up acne or other skin disorders. Some people report an improvement in skin conditions, as well as possible anti-aging elements that may be present in the oil.
Thousands of people have arthritis. To the arthritis patient, any type of relief is better than none. Some people have successfully used CBD to control the symptoms and effects of arthritis that limits their mobility. Many say they have felt pain relief from arthritis as well as other benefits from taking CBD.
Inflammation is present in a wide variety of disorders and medical or health conditions. Many people have experienced reduced inflammation when using CBD oil regularly, especially when coupled with a healthy diet and exercise plan.
It is estimated that up to 21% of people in the US alone suffer from Depression at some point in their lives. Around 7% suffer from chronic depression.
This means that these people are likely to have problems coping with relationships, career obligations, and other challenges due to their mood swings, general feeling of sadness, or other issues. Traditional medications include Valium, Xanax, and even Prozac, all of which carry the risk of dangerous side effects and addictive qualities with prolonged use. CBD gives these people another option if they do not want to start taking the more dangerous drugs.
PTSD and OCD
Both PTSD and OCD are chemically-based mental disorders that cause people to experience maladaptive behavior patterns and outbursts, especially with PTSD. OCD is a disorder that involves an obsession and a following compulsion that often makes someone have impulses to perform some ritual such as washing their hands over and over again or checking a door to make sure it’s locked.
For people who have not had success with conventional drugs, CBD may offer an alternative for them that does not require a prescription. If your PTSD is severe, however, we recommend that you check with your doctor before stopping or starting any medications, especially with disorders that involve psychotic episodes.
May Help Prevent or Fight Cancer
The jury is still out on whether there is scientific evidence about the link between CBD and the prevention or treatment of cancer, it is believed that it may be able to slow or prevent some kinds of diseases that are related to inflammatory disorders.
May Improve Heart Health
Cardiologists like Dr. David Allen of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) believe so strongly in the discovery of CBD that he stakes his reputation on the importance of this discovery. (See video link).
This is a long list of symptoms that are sometimes treated using CBD. While the results are mixed, there is an increasing number of people who claim that their conditions are greatly helped or improved by the use of Cannabinoid oil.
How to Treat Yourself with CBD
If you are curious about the positive effects of CBD oil, chances are it is perfectly legal in your state. Unless you live in one of the three states where CBD is still illegal, you can try CBD for yourself to see if it makes a difference in how you feel.
If you have any severe health conditions or mental disorders for which you are currently taking medications, you need to consult with your doctor before stopping or starting any drug therapy, including the use of CBD. While the results of CBD use are inconclusive, many studies illustrate the potential value of this fascinating substance that was once overlooked because it was considered an illegal plant.
Remember, it’s not CBD oil that gets you “high.” You are not getting one shred of THC in CBD oil. The THC is removed from CBD oil so that you only receive the benefits of the good part of the plant, without the negative results received from pure marijuana leaves. CBD is derived from the oil of the leaves which contain no THC.
If you are undecided as to whether CBD is a good alternative for your condition or if you just wonder about the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD oil, do your research or ask a friend who has taken it if they derived benefits from using it. Chances are, they will say yes. But only by trying the compound yourself will you discover the benefits of it for yourself.
More people are opting for self-therapy today using CBD oil for their health and wellness than ever before. The chemicals that are present in the conventional medications prescribed by doctors may help people in the short term, but how long can you continue to take these medications without starting to worry about their long-term effects.
One major difference between conventional treatments and alternative medicine is the fact that alternative medicine tends to take the approach of using natural processes that are already in the body to allow the body to heal itself. If you have ever been to a chiropractor (as opposed to a medical doctor), you will notice that this is the approach that they take. They tend to approach health and wellness from the idea of healing by using natural processes, while traditional medications “treat” symptoms to relieve them rather than solve the problem.
This is one of the reasons many people are drawn to alternative means of handling their chronic pain, sleeplessness, depression, and other ailments.
If you want to know how to ingest CBD, this article is for you then.
Federal Legislation on Hemp and CBD
Regarding the legality of CBD, you are okay as long as you follow the guidelines put forth by your state legislature, so get familiar with the laws in your state before purchasing. You may also be interested in knowing that, though it is still not legal on the Federal levels, the FDA has approved its use by individual states due to its ability to offer some relief to epilepsy patients and others for whom more conventional medications have failed.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky, presented a bill to Congress in which he asked them to consider a bill to legalize hemp on the federal level. If this bill is passed, this may pave the way for future legalization of hemp and even CBD products on a federal level in the future. We will have to wait and see about that.
Regardless, right now it has been left to the states to decide. Recent attempts at deregulation of consumer products have provided the way to more freedom regarding health and wellness and more options that allow individuals to choose for themselves what is best for them.
Check out the research on CBD for yourself and decide for yourself whether it might be a good alternative for you.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVlIZkbdwF4 (Dr. Allen Shackleford discovers CBD for epileptic patients and those in pain for whom conventional therapy did not work (Ted Talks)