“What’s the big deal with CBD?” I get asked this question at least once a week. Either that or, “CBD, what’s in it for me?”
What do I tell those inquiring minds? “A Lot!”
First of all, CBD, just like THC is a cannabinoid. CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana. It isn’t the element of marijuana that gets you high (that’s THC!), but instead is the therapeutic, symptom-relieving part. In fact, many credit the vast and wide successful medical treatments using CBD as a big reason why marijuana is becoming accepted in the mainstream again and a huge driver of legalization.
The list of illnesses and health issues treated with CBD is long and includes pain relief , arthritis, anxiety, epilepsy, cancer, hypertension, and Alzheimer’s, among many others. CBD is even known to treat phantom limb symptoms, such as those experienced by injured soldiers returning from war.
The great thing about CBD and other medicinal elements in marijuana is that they can be presented in many different forms. While it might be difficult to picture your grandmother with arthritis lighting up a joint (those lighters can be tricky!), it’s easy to see imagine her taking a pill or using a lotion to treat her pain. And, the way to consume cannabis that is high in CBD is up to the user. There are several ways to consume it!
Like the vitamin tinctures you would buy at the health food store, marijuana tinctures are applied beneath the tongue in liquid form. Tinctures are created by immersing the plant extracts in alcohol (or sometimes vegetable oil) and letting them soak. Tinctures often have a lower concentration than hemp oil, which is a good thing. This creates ideal treatments for milder pain symptoms, low-grade anxiety, and general stress relief. As you’ll see below, there are other options for more severe symptoms.
Taken orally, hemp oil is a liquid produced through high heat or alcohol extraction, separating the CBD from the actual plant and producing a highly concentrated oil. These oils can be mixed into food, swallowed in capsule form, or taken straight orally (though the taste may be too much to bear for some). Hemp oils are often used to treat harsher symptoms, simply because of the strong concentration.
Topicals are newer to the market but quickly gaining ground. Used to treat pain, severe itch, or recurring skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, among other things, these cannabis-infused balms and creams are applied directly to the skin. Many say the relief from topicals is quick and lasting, and the benefits come from a combination of compounds in the plant, not only CBD. The great thing about applying a salve is that the consumer does not experience any psychoactive effects. He or she can treat pain or a skin condition and still be productive for a day of work or physical activity.
Strains with a High CBD Content
There are several strains of marijuana with a high CBD content. Many strains have been bread to have a low THC content, so while you get the medicinal value, you’re not getting the psychoactive high effect. Strains like Charlotte’s Web are becoming incredibly popular for treating seizures, even in children. After exhausting traditional medicine, many families have moved to medicinal states to access high CBD strains to help their loved ones.
Just remember, always consult your physician before trying anything new and take it slow.
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