People all over Britain are becoming obsessed with a little molecule called CBD. A quick look online finds tens of different companies in Devon selling or producing CBD, and it has penetrated beauty fanatics, those wary of their health and mental-health enthusiasts alike. What is it and is it worth its reputation?
What is CBD
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoid chemicals that are found in cannabis plants. Besides the chemical THC, which is the chemical that causes the intoxicating effect of cannabis, CBD is the most commonplace cannabinoid in the plant. The human body has a system in place for dealing with cannabinoids – creatively named the endocannabinoid system, which runs through the central nervous system (including the brain) and might be involved in many different processes, including fertility, the immune system, appetite, pain, mood and memory. CBD has been found to counteract some of the negative effects of THC, like anxiety, depression and more.
Full Support of the Law
The CBD legal status isn’t the same in every country, but the UK government have given it the full support of the law. This means that a whole range of products featuring CBD is allowed to be sold and enjoyed in the UK without regulation. CBD cannot get you high as it is separate to THC. Most CBD in the world is extracted from hemp that contains very little-to-no THC at all and is hence legal to grow in the UK. Sales of CBD in the UK are expected to reach £1 billion by 2025, which indicates phenomenal growth and suggests that more and more Brits are becoming interested in this chemical that promises a host of wellness impacts.
The Benefits of CBD
There is a lot of mystery behind CBD, but some benefits have been tested and proven. Here are some of the benefits that have been observed in users of CBD:
- Relieves pain from arthritis
- Relieves chronic pain
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces spasms and symptoms relating to multiple sclerosis
- Reduces nausea and vomiting for patients undergoing chemotherapy
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces depressive symptoms
- Relieves insomnia, helps to improve some sleep
- Helps to treat acne
- Helps to reduce the withdrawal symptoms that those suffering from nicotine and heroin addiction feel
Most research into CBD has centred around the pain-relieving aspects of the chemical. It provides relief from pain via the endocannabinoid system. This is perhaps due to the way that it impacts perceptions of pain, instead of how your body senses pain, but it could also be due to impacting the natural responses issued in reaction to painful stimuli. There was one study of rats that found that CBD reduced the pain they felt from a surgical incision as it happened, and in the long term. CBD is also seen as a great pain management tool for contact sport.
CBD is also a great anti-inflammation agent. This can impact pain as acute inflammation is a contributor to pain and many chronic diseases. Acute inflammation can cause pain, redness, loss of function (like difficulty moving a joint), swelling and heat in the affected area. CBD helps to remove this, reducing redness and improving the natural functioning of the body. As people get older, they are more likely to get inflammation, so CBD is a great drug for older people.
However, there is a growing prevalence of anxiety and mental wellness issues in younger individuals, with some commentators calling it an epidemic. CBD carries substantial benefits that can help these individuals too. It seems to change how the endocannabinoid system deals with anxiety and depression. There have been several studies that have found CBD dosage leading to a significant reduction in anxiety and cognitive discomfort – even when doing something short term like public speaking. Interestingly, when given CBD, negative self-assessments of speech performance are greatly reduced too. Experts aren’t too sure why this is, but they do know that the endocannabinoid system is involved in how the body responds to repeated exposure to stress. Natural cannabinoids in the body are potentially used to regulate stress responses, reducing them when they get too debilitating.
CBD is a completely legal and natural way for people to enjoy boosts to several areas of their wellbeing. It is obsessing people across the globe who are noticing an improvement in their day-to-day functioning. It is a supplement that can be taken every day, just like a vitamin supplement, and can be taken in almost any form you can imagine. It feels like we are still in the early days of CBD, but there is a lot more research to come.