The media is increasingly talking about cannabidiol and its powerful properties. CBD, the active ingredient extracted from the hemp plant, has been known for thousands of years in alternative medicine to treat ailments and diseases.
More and more people are attracted to cannabidiol products: according to data compiled by Statista, the CBD market will generate 3.47 billion euros in Europe in the coming years.
According to scientists, it is a valuable ally in keeping the body healthy and fit.
But what exactly is CBD? How does it interact with the body? What are its properties? In short, why has it gained so much fame?
To answer all the questions, we took a cue from the article on CBD by CBDTHERAPY, one of the most important Italian companies in the field.
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most famous components of the hemp plant along with THC.
Hemp is in the Cannabaceae family and is known worldwide for different uses.
Unlike THC, CBD is a natural non-psychoactive substance. It therefore does not provide any sensation of a high. On the contrary, it is an active ingredient with countless beneficial properties.
HOW CBD IS PRODUCED
In Europe, the production process begins with cultivation regulated by EU laws with a THC content of less than 0.2 percent. The agricultural phase can take place in different ways:
The most valuable crops are organic, where no pesticides or other chemicals are used.
When the plants acquire their final form, they are harvested to move on to component extraction. The industrial process using supercritical CO2 is the one that ensures the highest purity of the product. CBD can in fact be more or less refined. In practice it can be isolated from the other substances in the hemp or remain united with them.
IS CBD SAFE?
Scientists have carried out, and are continuing to carry out, numerous scientific tests to fully understand all the properties of CBD. During these experiments cannabidiol was always well tolerated.
Since it is not psychoactive, unlike THC, it does not provide any form of high, making it safe for even the most sensitive individuals. CBD products may contain a small percentage of THC but it is still too low to cause mental alterations.
CBD is in fact extracted from the hemp plant, which is different from the marijuana plant. While marijuana contains a high concentration of THC, hemp has much lower levels.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF CBD
During studies, only rare and mild side effects emerged such as:
- Dry mouth;
- Altered appetite;
- Feeling of nausea.
No serious contraindications have ever occurred, as also confirmed by the World Health Organization.
In most cases, side effects have turned out to be a consequence of interaction with other drugs. In fact, those who want to turn to CBD to treat some disease should consult their medical professional for advice on treatment compatibility.
It even appears that CBD is so potent that it neutralizes or at least reduces the side effect induced by THC, thus precisely the sense of high.
THE LEGALIZATION OF CBD
The legalization of CBD is a very broad and complex topic because each country regulates the field independently. In Italy, the reference legislation is Law No. 242/2016, which has been supplemented by several pronouncements of the Supreme Court.
In Italy, legal cannabis is that with a THC level between 0.2 and 0.5 percent. Given its low percentage of psychoactive active ingredients it is precisely called “light cannabis.”
The sale of medical hemp is also permitted, i.e., products with high levels of THC that can only be purchased, however, in pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription.
HOW DOES CBD INTERACT WITH THE HUMAN BODY? WHAT DO SCIENTISTS SAY?
Scientists have found that cannabidiol is effective because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This was a groundbreaking discovery, to say the least: the human body already produces cannabinoid-like substances called endocannabinoids.
Through receptors found in the central and peripheral nervous systems, cannabinoids can then interact with every single organ in the body, from the skin to the heart.
This process thus allows for deep healing of certain disorders by rebalancing the body. For this and other reasons, CBD is attracting increasing interest among scientists or consumers.
THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF CBD
Below we are going to analyze what are the therapeutic properties of CBD.
For thousands of years, cannabidiol has been used as a natural remedy for the treatment of pain, including chronic pain. CBD, in fact, affects anandamide by controlling the body’s response.
It is therefore able to provide relief for more common pains such as back pain or headaches. But it is also able to treat more powerful and long-lasting pain such as pain caused by nerve damage.
Scientists have found that CBD products are effective for treating pain in both people and animals.
Closely related to the analgesic effect is also the anti-inflammatory effect.
CBD is able to reduce inflammatory pain that can occur in conditions such as arthritis, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, etc. It is therefore able to treat chronic and acute inflammation that is widespread in the body.
It is equally effective in treating inflammation topically; that is, at the time it is applied to the portion of the skin affected by the disorder. This is why it is making its way into the cosmetic industry for the treatment of inflammation due to acne, dermatitis, or psoriasis.
For both humans and pets, CBD is proving increasingly effective against anxiety and stress. These are extremely common disorders that can arise due to a really large number of causes, from emotional to environmental factors.
Scientists have extensively studied CBD’s anxiolytic effect, even noting that it can treat severe cases such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which manifests itself through anxiety, hyperexcitation, sleep disturbances and depressive symptoms. The findings were reported in a review on cannabis and pain that appeared in the National Library of Medicine.
CBD is also effective in the treatment of insomnia. It is a dual effect, on the one hand working as a tranquilizer and on the other enhancing the deep sleep phase.
In addition to treating anxiety and stress, CBD is also a powerful aid in depression. Scientists have found that the effects of cannabidiol are very similar to those of antidepressant drugs, but with countless qualities.
Studies on the anxiolytic and antidepressant properties of CBD have been conducted since the late 1970s. According to a contribution that appeared in the National Library of Medicine, the antidepressant effect was rapid and prolonged during the tests.
The brain is an area of the body in which there are many receptors and, consequently, on which cannabidiol has a particular effect.
CBD, according to some research, helps treat hallucinations and blackouts by enabling patients to remain more lucid. Those suffering from schizophrenia may experience situations that are not real as well as fail to recognize people or remember past episodes.
Scientists have begun studying cannabidiol as a potential treatment for psychosis because traditional antipsychotics are often inadequate in treating some symptoms, especially cognitive symptoms.
Cannabidiol is also effective in treating epilepsy, again researchers say. Please note: there are no drugs for the actual treatment of epilepsy. What doctors try to do with patients is to reduce the duration, intensity, and frequency of seizures that characterize diseases such as this or Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
CBD oil for muscle recovery is having tremendous success among athletes. In the 24-72 hours after workouts it is normal to feel pain in the muscles, especially the classic feeling of muscle tension. This is a normal reaction of the body to exertion.
To feel relief, rest is certainly necessary, as well as the right amount of protein. But this may not be enough to ensure total recovery before the next workout.
Applied directly to the affected area, CBD reduces pain and inflammation, giving an immediate feeling of relief from contractures.
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