Cannabidiol, or CBD as it's more commonly known, is just one of 80 compounds exclusive to cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike it's more popular cousin THC, however, CBD has no psychoactive qualities, meaning it does not induce the psychological effects or “high” associated with cannabis. In fact, the compound is most commonly extracted from hemp plants, which produce no psychotropic ingredients themselves, leaving hemp to be utilized around the globe for fibre production.
The plant does, however, boast an unusual and impressive array of medical benefits - with an alleged 50 or more applications from PTSD to fibromyalgia. Most importantly, CBD is now popularly found - without a prescription - in a variety of forms, from topicals to sparkling CBD water.
Cannabinoids like CBD are utilized throughout the human body by an elaborate cellular system. The Endocannabinoid System was first discovered in the late 1980’s. Endocannabinoid cells are found all over the nervous system of all mammals and are named after, you guessed it, cannabis, for the remarkable similarly of chemicals created by the plant to those created by our own bodies.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for modulating an astonishing number of physical mechanics throughout the human body, including (but not limited to): appetite, energy balance, metabolism, stress response, immune function, female reproduction, autonomic nervous system, analgesia, sleep, physical exercise, and thermoregulation.
It's kind of a big deal, especially for a system inside of you that most folks have never heard of.
The Endocannabinoid System is used to create and transmit cannabinoids throughout the human body (or any mammal body). Oddly enough, cannabis and hemp plants create molecules so identical to what our bodies create, that those molecules can serve the same purpose.
CBD is just one of those molecules found in both hemp and cannabis plants that serve a tremendous amount of functions in the body. It doesn't produce the “high” associated with cannabis or marijuana, but it does have a remarkable potential to alleviate stress - among a myriad of other common diseases. As the system that utilizes these compounds are found in all mammals, you might not be surprised to find that CBD has shown to be a tremendous help for treating ailing, old puppy dogs as well as their human companions.
According to Project CBD, which sites PubMed research, the natural compound is able to help with over 50 common diseases including, but not limited to:
Acne, ADD, ADHD, Addiction, AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer's, Anorexia, Antibiotic Resistance Anxiety, Atherosclerosis, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Bipolar, Cancer, Digestive Issues, Depression, Diabetes, Endocrine Disorders, Epilepsy and Seizures, Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, Huntington's Disease, Inflammation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Migraine headaches, Mood Disorders, Motion Sickness, Multiple Sclerosis, Nausea, Neurodegeneration, Chronic Pain, Obesity, OCD, Osteoporosis, Bone Health, Parkinson's Disease, Mad Cow Disease, PTSD, Rheumatism, Schizophrenia, Sickle Cell Anemia, Skin Conditions, Sleep Disorders, Spinal Cord Injury, Stress, Stroke and TBI.
The reason that CBD can (somewhat miraculously) help all of these seemingly unrelated conditions is the extensive nature of the Endocannabinoid System. It pervades throughout the whole body, helping to regulate cells and distributing cannabis molecules (homemade or not) throughout all parts of the body.
The market for CBD products is now booming and popular media outlets like the New York Times and Bon Appetit are praising the ever- growing expanse of CBD-infused products. Vaporizers and E-cigarettes used to be the standard means of consuming the natural compound, but not anymore.
Today you can find it in anything from dog treats to CBD-infused sparkling water, the latter of which is turning out to be a crowd favorite and boasts all the health claims you would expect from such a product: vegan and gluten free with no GMOs and no preservatives to boot.
Other CBD products might surprise you: coffee beans infused with CBD have gotten popular in cafes around the country and gummy bears infused with the compound are advertised in newspapers now (even in the South!). E-cigarette varieties for CBD are now almost as commonly sold as their nicotine counterparts and all of these products can be found over the counter, without legal discrimination in every US state and throughout the globe, alike.
Despite all the popular press that CBD has gotten in recent months, the media had initially promoted some controversy about the subject, and for very interesting reasons.
Major pharmaceutical companies have been interested in cannabis compounds for decades, and CBD seems to be the chemical they were looking for - something that would treat the myriad of conditions that cannabis and hemp products were known to help with, while not suffering the stigma of Reefer Madness.
The problem was, and remains, that it is very hard to patent plant-related chemicals or anything not synthesizable. Recently GW Pharmaceuticals has gotten around that and has now patented a plant-based CBD-rich product marketed exclusively towards individuals with epilepsy.
The company had reportedly spent some money on creating negative press targetted at over-the-counter CBD products - the same products that have become so popular and are now consumed all over the globe without much in the way of government regulation or market pressures. My guess is they couldn't have their gummy bears and eat them, too.