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Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
How is Cannabidiol different from marijuana?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential element of medical marijuana, it is consequential directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
The substantiation for cannabidiol health benefits
CBD has been advertised for a wide range of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its success in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether.
CBD is commonly used to discourse anxiety, and for patients who writhe through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may aid with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study established the mechanism by which CBD impedes inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is required in this area to corroborate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
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