More Good News About CBD
One of the best parts about growing hemp and selling CBD is seeing new research come in every few weeks that seems to bear out what people have been saying about the medical prowess of this amazing plant and its trusty cannabinoid sidekick for literally thousands of years.
From its first appearance in the materia medica of Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C., the healing compounds of hemp have been reported to alleviate a dizzying array of ailments. In the case of the Emperor or, one hopes, several of his subjects, cannabis was used in the treatment of gout, malaria, rheumatism and, interestingly, memory. Louis Armstrong used it to stay regular. And it is said that Queen Victoria used it to assuage menstrual cramps.
Until recently, the science on why cannabis works so well for so many different issues was lacking. The social stigma placed on the hemp plant by an uptight world meant that research was underfunded and breakthroughs were underreported.
Happily, several significant renegade champions of the plant sprouted up in unlikely places over the years. It is their discoveries that led us down the path to our current age of CBD enlightenment. In 1839, despite disapproving looks from the medical establishment, Irishman William B. O’Shaughnessey undertook the first modern study into hemp’s myriad of therapeutic uses, especially its value as an anesthetic.
O’Shaughnessey’s pioneering work led to the isolation of the plant’s healing compounds as technology advanced. This isolation was achieved in the early 1940s when Roger Adams, an American chemist and direct descendant of President John Adams, identified and synthesized both Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabanoid (CBN).
Still, the negative image of cannabis and the alarming euphoric effects bestowed by another of the heroic Mr. Adams’s discoveries, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, led to research into the compounds medical benefits being unsupported or suppressed.
Then, in the late 80s, minds were blown when British researchers discovered that our bodies naturally produce the same healing compounds found in cannabis and that they function as catalysts in one of the body’s most important signalling systems. They named it the Endocannabanoid System and marveled as its receptors were discovered throughout the bodies of all mammals.
What is perhaps most startling was the realization that phytocannabanoids (the compounds from the cannabis plant) will perform the exact same function as those produced endogenously. They tell the body which parts are out of whack and need to be brought into balance.
This discovery coupled with the rise of interest globally in natural modes of healing and alternative approaches to health have helped both science and society get over their issues around the medical value of cannabis. There is ongoing research into CBD’s ability to help with over 50 different ailments, and much of it is promising.
Here’s a look at a couple of things we know CBD can help with:
The painful truth is that pain is everywhere. According to one estimate, 20% of people worldwide struggle with chronic pain. That’s 1.5 billion people, a figure that includes 50 million Americans. If you factor in the time, money, productivity, and happiness lost, pain might just be the affliction that costs us the most.
That the ancient Chinese word for “anaesthetic” was the same one they used for cannabis gives you an idea of how long hemp has had a reputation as a first rate painkiller. The current science does not dispute this. According to Harvard Medical School, “a study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.”
Those who wanted to benefit from hemp’s pain mitigating attributes, however, have in the past been hampered by knowing how much to take and that clarity and coordination can be compromised if there is a significant amount of THC in their medicine.
The discovery and isolation of CBD have helped with both of these issues and now people seeking relief don’t have to worry about dosage, potency, or whether they’ll be ok to pick the kids up from soccer practice. Also, the ability of CBD to appear in many guises means that it easy to find a form that fits your needs.
Don’t panic! One of the most-documented benefits of CBD are its powerful anxiolytic effects. This means it straight up subdues stress. And folks, I can’t stress enough how much stress stresses you or how important dealing with it is.
When we are stressed, the so-called fight or flight response is triggered and our adrenal glands secrete the stress hormone cortisol. And, if you stay stressed, those levels don’t go down. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease.
You don’t need to be told that stressors are rising worldwide and the need for the global village to chill has never been greater. But take it easy, we are not alone in our war for inner peace: full-spectrum CBD is our steadfast ally in this fight. It has been shown to inhibit anxiety in study after study.
One noteworthy Brazilian experiment highlighted that CBD caused “anxiolytic effects in animals,” mice to be exact, and proposed that its efficacy on humans be tested by giving different doses of CBD as well as a placebo to “healthy volunteers performing a simulated public speaking test.” They go on to note that this is “a well-tested anxiety-inducing method,” which makes me wonder if they first made the mice give a speech before testing the process on humans.
What they found was that, for humans anyway, “pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert.” That last part means it chilled them out. Sweet.
Of course, before you begin any new treatment program, you should be sure to ask your doctor if it’s right for you. If you are given the green light to try green medicine, look into whether or not it might help you with whatever is wrong. Given its wide range of therapeutic gifts and ability to balance your systems, CBD might be just what the doctor ordered.