What is CBD?

CBD (a.k.a. cannabidiol) is a natural compound derived from the hemp flower, a member of the cannabis plant family with a history of therapeutic healing that dates back thousands of years. While cannabis has been used to treat ailments and promote wellness since around 500 B.C., it’s only recently that doctors and scientists have begun to test and confirm what CBD and marijuana users already knew: this is a medically magical plant with a great potential to heal and treat a vast variety of maladies. Research and anecdotal evidence shows CBD has the ability to help alleviate and manage inflammation, chronic pain, anxiety, depression and more!

The cannabis plant boasts such an impressive therapeutic profile because it is enriched with over a hundred phytocannabinoids; the two most widely known and researched of these medicinal facilitators are CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the latter known not only for its curative but also its psychoactive properties that can make the user feel “stoned” or “high”. While pleasant for some, plenty of people want to find relief and benefit from the healing power of the cannabis plant without feeling intoxicated. CBD is a wonderful alternative: therapeutically potent and enriched with the same healing power of THC but stripped of the high. For this reason, it can be helpful to think of CBD as “marijuana without the high”, however, they’re actually two different components of the same plant that work differently on different receptors of the brain and body. CBD and THC work well both on their own and in tandem.

Many people have begun to look for alternative treatments to pharmaceuticals which often come with harsh side effects in tow. By looking for medicine and a regimen that is more in tune with natural processes and tapping into how our bodies function on a biological level, it’s possible to eliminate these unpleasant reactions and streamline your path to wellness. CBD is a safe, non-addictive substance that often offers unparalleled relief from a host of ailments ranging from neurological disorders to depression to dermatitis.

Mounting research and accounts from both physicians and patients continues to confirm what CBD believers have known all along: that CBD therapy is an excellent, often unmatched potential treatment option for:
• Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, brain injury, stroke, migraines and more)
• Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, arthritis)
• Neuropsychiatric disorders (autism, PTSD, alcoholism)
• Cardiovascular dysfunction (arrhythmia)
• Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
• Skin disease (acne, psoriasis, dermatitis)

Perhaps the best known and most fascinating CBD story of all is that of Charlotte Figi, a young girl with Dravet syndrome who began alleviating her life-threatening seizures with CBD use at only age three. With the help of CBD, which had been derived from a low-THC strain of medicinal hemp (which would later be named Charlotte’s Web) Charlotte went from suffering a seizure every thirty minutes, to not having one for seven days after beginning treatment.

Cannabis’ full potential as a multitasking medical marvel is still being discovered, the anticancer properties of CBD are being researched at several academic research centers and the findings continue to stun the medical community. CBD has been shown to stimulate neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells) in adult mammals and it also has the potential to make THC more potent as an anticancer substance.

Continue to Chapter 2 - The Endocannabinoid System