What is the deal with CBD?
There is a lot of “buzz” around about CBD and using extracts from Marijuana for the treatment of many health conditions. Some states like Washington State have made it legal for the use of recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and CBD extracts. There still are so many questions by the public about the differences, safety, and what you should use for pain relief.
Let’s dive in to answer some common questions about CBD.
What is CBD?
Before we can talk about CBD. We need to understand the origin of the plant itself.
Cannabis is a family of plants that has two classifications: Indica and Sativa. Marijuana plant can originate from both Indica and Sativa while the hemp plant comes from the Sativa family. While some marijuana species derive from Sativa with hemp they do have some similarities but structurally are very different. Think of hemp as the cousin of the marijuana plant. Hemp has skinny leaves and grows taller while marijuana has more broad leaves and short bushy appearance.
The composition and compounds
The cannabis plant contains several (actually hundreds) of active compounds that have been found to help several health conditions called cannabinoids. The most commonly known are cannabinoids contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabindiol).
Both THC and CBD have health benefits but THC can produce psychoactive properties what creates the “high” when using marijuana. CBD does not contain those properties.
According to the,World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Hemp vs. Marijuana
When comparing hemp and marijuana for use, there are main differences on why you should use one over the other. Hemp has very low (0.3% or less) THC, and mostly contains CBD as main compound. Marijuana is mostly composed of THC compound (15-40%). Therefore, marijuana is primarily sourced for its psychoactive properties for recreational or medical use. While, hemp is mostly sourced and used for use in making products like paper, biofuel, oils, and more. Do note that most work drug-tests are looking for THC. That is why it is crucial to use hemp or THC-free CBD products if treating pain or other condition based on your workplace policies. In addition, since hemp contains more of the beneficial CBD (THC-free), it is ideal for daily pain-relief oils and creams. (Cadena, 2018) (Grinspoon, 2018)
What are the health benefits of CBD?
CBD has been found to be effective in treating several health issues. There is strong scientific evidence that CBD is effective at treating childhood epilepsy. In many studies, CBD was found to reduce the number of seizures and even stop them all together. This lead the FDA to approve the first cannabis-derived medication for epilepsy, Epidiolex.
In addition to epilepsy, CBD has been shown to help with anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. I believe more and more studies will come out showing that CBD will play a part in the treatment of chronic pain as a safe and effective alternative to opioids.
In a study from European Journal of Pain, it showed that when applying CBD topically, on the skin, it helped to lower pain and inflammation of arthritis. This is just one of many studies that show these effects (Hammell, 2015). (Lowin, 2019).
Is CBD safe?
There are very few side effects from CBD products. Quality matters, just like with any other supplement. Reported side effects from CBD include nausea, fatigue, and irritability. Caution should be used if you are taking blood thinners as it can increase the blood level of Coumadin.
*Be informed and aware of each state’s laws regarding recreational and medical marijuana use. In most of the US, because of the low THC-content found in hemp it is becoming more commonly used. However, the use of marijuana is different due to its THC content and is still illegal in most states.
If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, suffer no more! We offer many natural pain-relief treatments and carry a highly effective CBD pain roller only available at our office. Give us a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help you find relief in an all-natural way with no risk of harmful side effects.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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