Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many phytocompounds produced by the cannabis plant and a term many people are familiar with. One doesn’t turn around in health markets today without hearing about CBD and its many purported benefits.
Many people wonder about this sudden interest in a plant that has existed for a long time. A couple of decades ago, no one had heard of CBD, and today it’s center stage as a viable remedy for an extensive list of health conditions or just for maintaining good health. Why is this?
The return of cannabis to prominence in society has come at a time when individuals are really looking for remedies for common, preventable health issues. Read on to learn more about some of the illuminating facts on CBD that have changed minds and laws, amazed the scientific community, and bolstered its popularity in the world today.
Reasons Behind Rising Cannabis Use
A Time-Honored Herbal Medication
According to established archaeological evidence, the cultivation of medical cannabis began around the same time as the first cereals and legumes were planted to feed human populations.
In addition to providing useful materials and nutritious seeds, special varieties of cannabis were used to remedy a variety of physical and mental conditions. However, nothing was known about the special chemicals within the cannabis plant that provided these medicinal benefits.1
Cannabinoids and Their Affinity with Biochemistry
It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the first cannabinoid was identified. A hundred years later, Dr. Raphael Mecholum’s laboratory identified the chemical composition of CBD.2
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After this discovery, scientists worked to understand why cannabinoids like CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have such profound effects on human physiology. Their research led to the discovery of a previously unknown intrinsic neuronal signaling system that human health depends on.3
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) uses a range of endocannabinoids to affect biochemical processes that lead to good health. This includes processes that modulate the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues.4
CBD and other exogenous cannabinoids mimic the actions of these endocannabinoids and can modulate certain functions of the ECS. CBD also affects the adenosine (A2A), serotonin (5HT1A) and vanilloid/capsaicin (TRPV1) receptors, providing a range of benefits, from anti-inflammatory to neuroprotective.5,6,7
CBD Isn’t Psychoactive
The idea that one of the world’s oldest medicines could still be its most effective is almost too good to be true, and in a way it is. The psychoactive effects of THC, a compound with the same molecular structure as CBD but a different arrangement of atoms, have created a more negative perception for the entire family of cannabinoids.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an important component of the full spectrum of benefits available from cannabis, but its psychoactive effects make it less suitable for many situations because it can impair perception. Luckily, high-tech extraction and isolation methods have allowed CBD alone to be extracted from cannabis. This allows CBD products to be used for their health benefits, and THC products can then be used as desired when and where its psychoactive effects are most expedient and legal.10
Few/No Negative Effects
Today, the world is awash with pharmaceuticals of every type, some of which have a range of undesirable side effects. For instance, pain medications are used to treat everything from headaches to fibromyalgia symptoms. Unfortunately, in excess, or when taken for prolonged periods of time unnecessarily, these synthetic pills made from petrochemicals might be causing more harm than good.11,12
Studies have shown that CBD has the potential to address some of these painful conditions and contains few or none of the side effects associated with other analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications available today.
Though CBD is a good analgesic on its own, studies have shown that the combination of CBD with THC and the rest of the phytocompounds in the cannabis plant is the most effective for remedying painful conditions.13
There is nothing as bad as hoping to get relief from one condition while risking a lengthy list of unpleasant side-effects.
CBD addresses physical health like many holistic and natural treatments would. Rather than attacking symptoms, CBD boosts the body’s capacity to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and maintain good health. This way, it comes with a considerable list of potential secondary benefits, like good sleep or better skin health.
CBD’s rise to popularity may be greater today than ever before, but what has really changed is scientific understanding of how exactly CBD creates its effects. In addition to CBD’s inherent benefits, when individuals adopting a natural remedy into a treatment plan, making healthy lifestyle changes that potentiate the remedy also becomes essential. This leads to cumulative benefits and better health for longer life.
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