Hemp CBD Oil and Its Potential
It seems everywhere I turn these days, I am seeing advertisements for hemp CBD oil. What exactly is it, and are there benefits?
Here are some basics. Hemp is part of a family of plants called cannabaceae. Different genus and species fall underneath this category and they include both hemp and marijuana. These two plants are similar, but not the same. They are like cousins. They share some characteristics, but are not identical: plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=display&classid=CASA3
CBD is short for cannabidiol. This compound is the “second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis.” It is directly derived from hemp. Harvard Health Publishing shares that the World Health Organization has concluded that pure CBD does not seem to contain potential for abuse or dependence: health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
Harvard also shares that CBD has scientific evidence for treating some epilepsy syndromes, particularly in children. It is commonly used for anxiety and insomnia. And, it may also work to lower pain and inflammation due to some chronic issues, like arthritis. Additional human studies are needed, though.
As with all substances, there exists the potential for side effects. Harvard lists these as nausea, fatigue and irritability. It also may increase the effect of blood thinners and raise the levels of certain medications.
Be forewarned. CBD is like the wild, wild west. CBD products are considered supplements and are, therefore, not well regulated. They are not supposed to contain more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the compound that gets you high: drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/using-cbd-oil-for-pain-relief
Dr. Andrew Weil shares a study on his website from the University of Pennsylvania, and I have seen other research myself. Some CBD products will contain more than they claim, while others contain less. Some had no CBD and some even contained more THC than is allowed. Can you imagine sipping a cup of joe infused with CBD and ending up high? No, thank you.
Personally, I have not gotten on the CBD kick yet. I have considered purchasing some topical oil to try for sore muscles. When a manufacturer that I trust produces a product, I may consider ingesting some.
For the time being, I currently add a heaping dose of hemp hearts to my eggs each morning for breakfast. I joke that I am addicted to the stuff, even though research says it has no addictive qualities. My guess is I really like the flavor and texture and it does seem to give me a little boost.
Kelley Rawlsky has an M.S. in horticulture and is the director of Bringing People and Plants Together, an organization dedicated to bringing horticulture education and therapy to the community. For more information: PeopleAndPlantsTogether @gmail.com or follow us on Facebook.