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What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many different active compounds that have been identified inside the tissue of hemp and marijuana plants. The scientific community has been aware of the compound since the 1940s, but it only garnered significant attention from the public, media and medical professionals in recent years. While there are still many unknowns and limited studies to consult, there is some evidence that shows that it has potential therapeutic applications for people suffering from a wide range of health issues.

The Basics of Cannabinoids

Cannabidiol is one of over 100 types of cannabinoids found inside cannabis plants and is typically one of the most common in botanical extracts. Exact ratios of different cannabinoids, including CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), depend on the variety and cultivation of individual plants. Like other cannabinoid compounds, CBD is compatible with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. The ECS is part of the nervous system and is responsible for regulating several essential functions, including memory, appetite and sensitivity to pain.

Proposed Therapeutic Applications

There are hundreds of health claims regarding CBD, although many haven’t been properly tested in a controlled environment or over an extended time-frame. There is some scientific support for the use of cannabidiol supplements to ease the discomfort associated with arthritic pain, according to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network. There is also evidence that it could be used to manage certain forms of epilepsy. At least one derivative medication has been approved for limited use by federal authorities. Some psychologists and therapists have also voiced the benefits of cannabidiol for conditions like chronic anxiety, depression and various mood disorders.

Dosing and Other Considerations

One of the chief advantages of these products is their relative safety, especially in regards to overdose potential. While adults are at very little risk of overdose, it’s possible for products to be contaminated or mixed with other substances. Buyers should always check the ingredients and purchase products from legitimate manufacturers. There are several options for consuming cannabidiol, including vaporization, consumption and topical application. Each application method has its benefits and drawbacks, so individuals should carefully consider the implications of each option before deciding.

Legal Status in the United States

While the United States federal government still prohibits the use and sale of products derived from marijuana plants, this doesn’t necessarily impact cannabidiol. As long as the substance is extracted from hemp plants, rather than bred cannabis, then it’s allowed. The products also need to contain no traces of other psychoactive compounds naturally found in cannabis plants. In addition to federal legislation, every state also unique laws regarding marijuana and hemp products. Prospective users should check regulations in their home state to make sure they don’t break the law as they proceed.

As a relatively affordable and safe substance, cannabidiol is a natural therapeutic tool with possible applications for a wide range of health conditions. While prospective consumers should be mindful of the limited scope and number of studies conducted on the compound, CBD appears to have minimal health risks and the ability to provide relief for thousands of patients.

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