In every great debate, there are winners and losers. Sure, both sides argue their points passionately, at times vehemently. In recent years, one of the loudest debates surrounds a plant. The cannabis plant is in the center of passionate debates and has been for years. The controversy stems from the medicinal benefits of a derivative found in the plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid which can be extracted from the cannabis plant and used to make oils, lozenges, edibles, or topical substances. Of course, it can also be smoked. Why is this a debate? It would seem that a plant that occurs in nature would be free from controversy. After all, it’s just a plant, right? Well, it appears that cannabis is something more than just a plant.
The issue stems from another substance found in cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC as it’s commonly known is the major chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis, also known as hemp or marijuana, creates over 80 chemical compounds. However, THC and CBD are the most abundant. The major difference between THC and CBD is a property known as psychoactivity. In other words, THC is the thing that gets you high. So, if THC makes you high, what does CBD do? CBD has proven medicinal benefits for ailments like acne, ADHD, diabetes, Schizophrenia, chronic pain, MS, and much more. CBD is non-psychoactive and is legal in most places. THC is regulated and is illegal in most places. How can two compounds that come from the same plant have such different properties?
The answer to that question is more complex but it is seen by some as the root of the controversy. Researchers and scientists say that CBD is safe for use once separated from the plant. CBD will not get you high. Research indicates that CBD can be beneficial to almost everything that ails a person. California cannabis thinktank, Project CBD, attributes CBD-rich cannabis to easing menstrual cramps of 19th century British Queen Victoria. CBD was mostly ignored as Big Pharma churned out medications and the government tightened the leash on marijuana. Project CBD gives credit to a British scientist for the re-emergence of CBD in the late ’90s. Before that, marijuana growers bred THC-rich cannabis plants. Since the early 2000s legal growers in in the US have had success with CBD-rich strains.
Now that the history lesson is over, let’s see what the hype is about. It is said that hype is exaggerated importance. Research indicates that CBD is far more than hype. The medical industry has slowly recognized the health benefits of marijuana and now medical-grade CBD derived from the hemp plant can be legally purchased in all 50 states. You can read more HERE about where you can find it and have it legally delivered to your front door no matter what state you live in.
Proponents of this CBD vs. THC debate are split on whether the whole plant has benefits or whether focus should remain on CBD. Others stress that THC and CBD combined is the best solution. The best course of action if you’re considering cannabis as an alternative medication is to perform research. Depending on individual circumstances, one should evaluate how to use the plant for medicinal purposes. It may be tempting to just roll up a joint and get high. However, most CBD patients prefer not to smoke. Some combine THC and CBD for a one-two punch effect. THC lessens anxiety and CBD relieves pain. Some research points to this combination as the most effective. Other studies prove that terpenoid and flavonoid compounds increase the efficacy of cannabis. Terpenoid and flavonoid are other chemical compounds found in cannabis.
No matter how this debate concludes, there are likely thousands of folks who feel that CBD has cured or alleviated their ailments. Science has proven the benefits are real. Believers in 28 states and the District of Columbia have the option to walk into their local dispensary and heal themselves. Those in states with pending or no legislation now also have the option to get it legally from the hemp plant, as mentioned above and you can learn more about it HERE.