What are the real benefits behind CBD Oil?
In the past few years, CBD oil has been popularized for its purported legion of health benefits. But what is CBD oil? Where does CBD oil come from? And why––up until a few years ago––was it widely illegal?
CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is one of over 150 phytocannabinoids that are extracted from cannabis plants. CBD is typically extracted from hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant.
Hemp has likely been cultivated for over 10,000 years, because it has so many useful applications. In antiquity, hemp was used to make rope, textiles and paper. From the birth of the United States into the 20th century, hemp was widely cultivated throughout the growing country.
Despite this, cultivation of hemp was largely halted for much of the 20th century in the United States. Following the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, special permits were needed to cultivate hemp, and any production was heavily regulated by the government. This was partially because hemp was mistakenly roped in with other types of cannabis plants by the 1937 legislation. Paper companies of the time, however, certainly had some part in hemp’s fall from grace. These companies lobbied heavily for hemp to be made illegal, because hemp was (and is) so much more efficient and sustainable for producing paper when compared to trees. Hemp paper companies simply had an unfair advantage that companies that produced paper from trees simply could not compete with.
Hemp was made completely illegal in 1970 in the United States by The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This legislation set the tolerance for THC––the psychoactive component in marijuana––to zero. This made hemp production illegal in the United States, because despite coming from a different plant, hemp still contains a detectable amount of THC (although not enough to achieve the psychoactive effects of marijuana).
This is where some of the confusion abounds about CBD. CBD is one type of cannabinoid. CBD is non-psychoactive and might possess some truly amazing health benefits. It is nothing like the other well-known cannabinoid, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana, or the cannabinoid responsible for mind-altering effects associated with feelings of “getting high”. While there is a minute amount of THC detected in hemp plants, it is not enough to render any sort of effect; hemp plants, instead, are rich in CBD. CBD oil is extracted from the buds of these plants, and while there might be detectable levels of THC, typically it remains at less than 0.3%, which is far below the level that would be needed to produce any psychoactive effect with any reasonable dose of CBD oil.
Fast forward into recent years; largely, cultivation of hemp plants was made legal in the United States by the Federal Farm Bill of 2015. This was not without reason: Hemp plants contain enormous economic value for their wide range of industrial and commercial uses. Hemp can be used to make a wide variety of products, such as food, paper, clothing, textiles, plastics (often biodegradable plastic), paint, insulation, fuel, feed for animals. Components of hemp have even been explored as substitutes for graphene––a rare earth element used in superconductors.
As a plant, hemp is fast growing, sustainable, and adaptable to many different climates. Hemp is often used to decontaminate areas that have been polluted by industry or chemical spills; hemp plants assist in cleaning the soil, soaking up a wide array of toxic components, helping remove them from the environment.
While hemp has many beneficial industrial and economic uses, what about benefits for our health? The legalization of hemp means that CBD oil is now legal and readily available. What are the benefits of using CBD oil, and is it a beneficial addition to your Kaufmann 1 supplement regimen?
The Benefits of CBD Oil
1. CBD Oil is highly anti-inflammatory. Perhaps among the most exciting benefits known about CBD oil is that it is highly anti-inflammatory. This likely is what confers CBD oil’s painkilling properties. This makes CBD oil great for all-natural pain management. However, given what we have learned about the relationship between inflammation and serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, the benefits of CBD oil likely extend beyond just pain management and into disease prevention.
2. CBD Oil is beneficial for stress and anxiety. CBD oil does not have the psychotropic effects of marijuana, but it still may have many of the relaxing, calming and anti-anxiety effects that are sometimes associated with marijuana without the altered mental states or impairments. CBD oil is worth trying for those who are under enormous amounts of stress or struggle with anxiety. Supplements should never replace a medicine regimen prescribed by a doctor, and you should always ask your physician before trying a new supplement, but the results many have achieved with CBD oil as a treatment for stress and anxiety are promising. Even with these properties, however, CBD is not thought to be addictive.
3. CBD might have heart health benefits. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a risk factor for heart disease, and there is some evidence that CBD oil might have some benefit for those at risk for high blood pressure. One study found a significant benefit for those who took 600mg of CBD oil vs. a placebo. CBD should not take the place of your HBP medication if you are on one, but perhaps it is worth talking to your doctor about trying CBD oil.
4. CBD oil has benefits neurological benefits. CBD oil might have some benefit for those with neurological diseases like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. CBD oil has been shown to help reduce seizures in those with epilepsy as much as 35%. There is also some promise for CBD’s benefits against diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Ultimately, for those concerned about neurological disease, CBD oil might be a beneficial supplement to take preventatively or as part of a doctor-approved treatment plan.
CBD oil is known to interact with some medicines, so please talk to your doctor before trying CBD oil. Also, it is best to find brands that do purity testing; CBD oil is widely unregulated and it is important to find companies with high-quality products that have been tested for purity.