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What is CBD?
"CBD" is short for Cannabidiol. It is a naturally occuring compound found in cannabis plants. CBD does not get you "high". Instead, CBD is thought to be responsible for many of the therapeutic effects cannabis can have. These benefits include reducing anxiety, improving sleep quality, reducing pain and helping in health conditions such as epilepsy, fibromyalgia and more.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
CBD helps with a wide variety of conditions. The most common reasons people use CBD are:
but CBD also helps with a host of other conditions such as:
How Do You Use CBD?
As with any supplement, consitency is key with CBD. Using a little bit daily is the best way to make big changes in your health. Recommended starting dose is between 20mg and 50mg per day, however, experienced users with very serious conditions can increase doses up to 300mg per day or more. There are several ways to take CBD:
Is CBD Safe?
A great deal of research on CBD shows that is is relatively safe. While a common dose is around 50mg/day, doses ranging between 20mg and 1,500mg daily have been studied. Research shows that even continued use of up to 1,500mg per day is well-tolerated by humans.
In rare cases where CBD does cause side effects the most common are:
Does CBD Help Anxiety?
Anxiety is the number one reason people take CBD and science confirms there is good basis for this. Study after study shows that CBD can reduce anxiety from a number of causes. Whether it is trait anxiety, such as someone with PTSD, or situation anxiety, such as public speaking, CBD is effective at keeping people calm. Even brain imaging studies show that CBD activates and deactivates areas of your brain to reduce anxiety.
Does CBD Help with Back Pain?
Many people with back pain are using CBD to help them recover and alleviate pain. CBD is shown to help inflammation, which is a big factor in back pain. Chrinic pain also tends to foster anxiety, which is another symptom CBD can help you with. If back pain is keeping you up at night, CBD can also help you get better sleep. The causes of back pain are often mechanical, such as strained muscles, ligaments or discs, which will require proper physical rehabilitation. However, CBD can help with the symptoms, getting you feeling ok, moving better and sleeping better.
Does CBD Help with Cramps?
Most of the evidence that CBD can help with period cramps is anecdotal - there's not a lot of direct scientific studies on CBD and menstruation. However, there is lots of science showing that CBD can help with pain and inflammation in general. CBD is shown to reduce levels of prostaglandin, a chemical which drives inflammation and pain in both PMS and other inflammatory conditions. Women with lower prostaglandin levels tend to have less painful PMS contractions. Ultimately, your personal experience is your best guide - many women use CBD to help with discomfort but you will have to try for yourself to make your own opinion.
Does CBD Help with Seizures?
Yes, CBD can help with certain kinds of seizures. In fact, the FDA has already approved some CBD-based medicines for use in epilepsy. The CBD industry boom, which started in the early 2010s, was ignitied by the story of Charlotte Figi - a young girl whose seizures were improved by using hemp-derived CBD Oil. It isn't completely known how CBD reduces seizures, but it seems to be by interacting with our body's endocannabinoid system. It is very important to speak with your doctor before taking CBD for seizures, as it may interfere with medicines you are already taking.
Can CBD Lower Blood Pressure?
While high blood pressure can be caused by a number of factors, CBD oil can lower high blood pressure which is caused by stress and anxiety. In studies with both humans and rats, CBD lowered blood pressure in stressful situations. However, another review of 25 studies says there's no evidence that CBD lowers blood pressure in non-stressful situations. The takeaway is - consider taking CBD if you feel stress is contributing to your high blood pressure, but consult your doctor as well.
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
CBD and THC are the two most active compounds in cannabis. Very generally, CBD gets you Healthy while THC gets you High.
CBD is known for delivering therapeutic effects without getting you "stoned". Although CBD does not get you "baked" in the same way as THC, many users feel cognitive changes such as mental clarity, calm, quiet and focus.
People use CBD in various forms such as Oil, Tinctures, Gummies and Creams. The most common reasons people buy CBD is to help with anxiety, stress, sleep, pain, depression, arthritis, tobacco addicton, muscle recovery, joint care, epilepsy and more.
CBD comes from Hemp plants. A "Hemp" plant is any cannabis plant with THC levels below 0.3% by dry weight. These plants will not get you high, but provide tremendous amounts of CBD. Hemp is grown widely throughout the US and most CBD in consumer products is from hemp grown by American farmers.
In contrast to CBD, the other major active compound in cannabis is THC. Although THC has medical uses, it is culturally significant as the thing that gets you "high" in cannabis. Cognitive changes after THC use include euphoria and elevated mood. As a medicine, THC is used to help appetite, muscle spasticity, pain, glaucoma, nausea and more.
"Marijuana" is the term to describe cannabis plants with THC levels above 0.3% by dry weight. Typical medical or recreational marijuana plants contain 10-30% THC. Although Marijuana is now legal in many countries throughout the world, it is still heavily regulated and generally less accessible than Hemp.
Although CBD and THC both have possible medical benefits, CBD is available off the shelf, while THC products are often available only through licensed distrbutors, or to those with a medical permit. The reason is because CBD has very few possible risks, while the intoxicating effets of THC put it in a higher risk class.
Want to learn more about the best CBD brands in the world? Check out this Best 50 CBD Oil Brands Infographic.
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