Science has done many great things for us, such as prying open ancient herbal remedies to find out what really makes them work. Armed with that knowledge, labs can make life-saving medicines in mass quantities. Growers can focus on plants that make more of the good chemicals while containing less of what is not useful or even harmful. Recent advances in medical science have given farmers this edge when it comes to cultivating cannabis in ways which isolate the beneficial effects, specifically by growing hemp as opposed to marijuana plants.
CBD in Hemp
Although hemp and marijuana are generally indistinguishable in appearance, hemp contains far less THC and far more CBD (cannabidiol). While THC causes users to “get high,” that is, has intoxicating effects with little medical value, studies have shown numerous beneficial effects from CBD. The two chemicals are highly similar, both classified as cannabinoids, but their effects are very different. Unlike THC, Hemp CBD is not a controlled substance and is perfectly legal to buy over-the-counter, as an oil extracted from hemp and then packaged for human consumption.
The Medical Benefits of CBD
CBD is essentially a soothing chemical, one which provides relief from an assortment of neurochemical disorders. Ongoing studies have shown that CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation, including tumor reduction in certain cancers. It can act as an anti-psychotic and help prevent or reduce seizures. Due to its neuroprotective properties, CBD has even been found to help slow the effects of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, like MS and Parkinson’s. In addition, CBD relieves anxiety by altering serotonin levels. For those addicted to various illegal and controlled substances, CBD can help addicts get clean by reducing the urge for these drugs.
Challenges to CBD Research
With all of these clear benefits, you may well wonder why CBD is not more well known. Why hasn’t modern science devoted itself wholeheartedly to exploring the medical benefits of CBD? There is so much that we know – and so much left to know. Unfortunately, the close ties between marijuana and hemp, have until very recent times quashed CBD research in the United States. In 2014, Kentucky finally began to grow hemp again, almost 70 years after cannabis of any kind was declared a controlled substance. Hemp production in the United States continues to be a subject of controversy despite the many benefits, simply because hemp is so much like marijuana. In other parts of the world, especially China – currently the leading producer of industrial hemp – this has not been an issue, but legal issues in the U.S. have naturally impacted the growth, study, and use of this chemical worldwide. Scientists and politicians alike continue to wrestle through these concerns while making continued research possible. In the meantime, individuals interested in using CBD for its various health purposes will doubtless continue to purchase CBD in Hemp oil over-the-counter as needed.