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Harvard University Examines What is CBD and How Cannabidiol Works



CBD is Cannabis Big Deal

Cannabidiol or CBD is taking over social media and other outlets as a natural remedy. You may have even seen products that promote the use of CBD as an add-in booster for smoothies and beauty products. But there are still several questions that are left unanswered. What is CBD? How is it different from marijuana? And why is it so popular? To answer these questions, you first have to understand a few underlying facts.

CBD: What is it?

To break it down, CBD or cannabidiol is an active compound found in cannabis or marijuana plant. However, CBD is produced directly from the hemp plant which is a distant cousin of the marijuana plant that produces THC. THC is the chemical that induces the ‘high' or ‘stoned' effects when someone uses it.

Alone, CBD does not create a high nor, is it an addictive substance. Various studies conducted on CBD and its medicinal properties have shown that human consumption of CBD is not associated with any public health-related problems. That being said, states all across America are starting to understand that CBD can offer the population several medicinal uses if only it can be legalized.

The Laws Surrounding Cannabidiol

In many states, cannabidiol can be purchased without a permit or any doctor's note. You can find it in foods, oils, beauty products, and even in supplements. But the exact legal stance on CBD is in constant flux due to uneducated people trying to say CBD is just like marijuana. This misinformation is what is causing a lot of confusion and issues with legalizing CBD across all 50 states.

After all, each state has a different set of laws. While the chemical compound THC found in marijuana and is associated with getting the user ‘high' is legal in Colorado, you won't find the same product in states like Arizona where marijuana for recreational use is prohibited.

Every state within America does have set laws in place for the use of CBD, they each also have varying degrees of restrictions. Of course, it doesn't help that the federal government places CBD in the same class and category as THC or marijuana. So those traveling across state lines can be slapped with heavy fines if found in possession of CBD substances while in other states officials turn the other way.

Another issue that is brought up is how the government views CBD. The census relies heavily on whether the CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana. However, with the studies that have been conducted over the last several years show promising results from CBD, the government still hasn't approved over-all consumption of the products with CBD.

On the plus side, the FDA recently approved of CBD-based drug Epidiolex that helps those with severe seizure disorders. So, naturally, it is only a matter of time before the United States government lifts the ban on all states and makes CBD legal across the board.

Health Benefits of CBD

CBD is coming out on top as a natural remedy for many illnesses and ailments. According to a recent Harvard Study have shown that CBD can help those with arthritis and other chronic pain issues as well as those with Alzheimer’s, Huntington's, and even Parkinson's. Other studies have shown promising results for Dravet and Lennox-Gastuat which happen to be the two worst type of childhood epilepsy syndromes. There are videos you can find online that show the results of introducing CBD to patients with severe seizure disorders.

But CBD is more than just used for seizure patients and those with life-threatening issues. CBD is also used for those who have sleeping disorders like insomnia. Patients who have used CBD have also shown signs of breaking an addiction to other prescription medications without relapsing. However, CBD is most commonly used for anxiety. CBD offers is as an anti-inflammatory with calming effects. However, further tests needed to be conducted to comprehend the healing properties of CBD on humans for pain control.

The Downside

While you will find several people defending CBD saying there are no negative side effects, science says otherwise. Nausea, irritability and fatigue are known side effects of using CBD. CBD may also increase coumadin, a blood thinner while raising levels of other medications. It is always advised that should you choose to begin using CBD, speak with your healthcare provider first.

Despite all the benefits of CBD, tests still need to be conducted for its side effects on medication. So if you are planning to start a new supplement with CBD, which by the way, supplements are not regulated with the FDA, you really need to discuss what could happen when taking CBD. It is also important to state that CBD is still an unknown element. Although it has shown to reduce inflammation, help with sleep disorders, and calm seizures, doctors do not know the specific therapeutic dose to use on patients for any medical condition.

Final Thoughts

CBD is hands down one of the best natural products. But there are still things we don't know about cannabidiol. Tests still need to be done to understand CBD and all its medical properties. However, CBD isolated products should be avoided. Many researchers and experts on cannabidiol say that in order to get all the benefits of using CBD there has to other cannabidiol properties. This is known as the “entourage effect.”

So before you start using CBD, check with your doctor and discuss all the ways CBD can benefit you.

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