Q: I have been hearing a lot about CBD oil lately, that it’s an alternative to medical marijuana that can help with pain. I’m interested in it, but wanted to find out more before I tried it.
A: CBD oil has been gaining in popularity lately, so I’m happy to explain more about it! CBD is a non-prescription, legal alternative to medical marijuana. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants, which has been found to be extremely effective for pain relief, anxiety, and a number of other disorders.
The difference between marijuana and hemp plants (also known as “industrial hemp”) is the amount of THC the plants contain. THC is the compound in marijuana that causes one to feel intoxicated or “high”. Research into cannabis and hemp plants, however, has found other substances (of which CBD is the most well researched) that provide a variety of medicinal effects without the “high” from conventional marijuana.
Research on cannabinoids (the medicinal extracts found in marijuana and hemp plants) had a breakthrough when it was found that humans actually had cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This system of receptors is known as the endocannabinoid system, which accounts for the many benefits that are seen when people begin taking CBD oil. These receptors work to confer the benefits of CBD oil throughout the body, not just in the brain, but with benefits that extend to our musculoskeletal tissues, the central nervous system, the immune system, and more.
CBD is best known for its ability to reduce pain from a variety of causes. CBD has shown impressive benefits for reducing inflammation throughout the body, and research has also found that it also works to regulate pain through compounds in the brain that actually help to reduce the amount of pain a person feels. We have a large group of customers who have been taking our organic CBD oil for pain relief that have had very impressive results. CBD can significantly improve the quality of life for people dealing with chronic pain issues.
The second most common reason that people take our CBD oil is for anxiety. There have been numerous very positive studies on CBD and its benefit for reducing anxiety, as well as helping to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Several published studies have also reported the benefits of CBD for a number of different mood and emotional disorders. CBD has even been found to be beneficial in people who have not had success with conventional treatments for anxiety and depression.
New research is coming out all the time with even more benefits for CBD. CBD has been found to aid in cancer treatment and can help to reduce tumor growth in several different types of cancers. Preliminary research has even found that CBD may help with drug resistant tumor cells.
Another study even found that CBD can help with quitting smoking, helping to reduce the desire to smoke. Other research has suggested that CBD may help with Alzheimer’s disease by beneficially interfering with neurodegenerative pathways as well as having neuroprotective effects on the brain. Further research has also found benefits of CBD for diabetes, stroke, COPD, and more.
Even though hemp does not cause the “high” that marijuana does, the amount of THC found in CBD products can vary, since it is legal for hemp extracts to contain as much as .3% THC. That amount isn’t enough to cause a person to feel “high”, but it may be enough to cause problems with a drug test. The certified organic CBD oil from Green Gorilla that we carry at Pass Health Foods contains absolutely zero THC, so there is absolutely no problem with drug testing, even if you were to consume an entire bottle at a time. We have a number of customers who have been using our Green Gorilla CBD oil who regularly undergo drug testing (police officers and fire fighters for example) who haven’t had any problems with their drug tests.
CBD oils on the market range widely in quality, potency, and effectiveness. Conventionally grown CBD from hemp can also contain a large amount of toxins because hemp is naturally a “bio-accumulator” plant, which means that it draws toxins from the soil. There have also been a number of recent cases of fake, adulterated, and synthetic CBD being sold in stores, so it’s even more important to make sure you’re buying a quality product that contains pure, authentic CBD oil.
Because of this, we’ve been very careful in the types of CBD oil that we’ve decided to carry in the store, and have chosen the brand Green Gorilla, a high quality CBD extract consisting of entirely organic ingredients that is also USDA certified organic (there are many CBD oils on the market that say they have organic ingredients, but few that have actually been certified by the USDA).