By Jack Giddingson on Chicago Now
If there’s a marijuana-related compound you’ve heard of, it’s likely Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
THC is what makes you high and the reason most recreational users partake. What most don’t know is the medicinal value of the plant comes mostly from a different source: cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that possesses a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When present in high quantities, CBD enhances THC’s positive effects while negating many of the negatives. It’s clear both cannabinoids coexist in the plant for a reason, often acting synergistically.
The problem is growers realized decades ago that THC is what sells; it provides the floating, euphoric feeling people associate with marijuana. In order to enhance THC content, CBD has been bred out of many strains, leaving users with a highly psychoactive experience but not necessarily the healthiest, especially for those with preexisting mental disorders.
Thankfully, the objective of growers is beginning to change. Recent research suggests CBD is the most important part of the plant and growers/medical dispensaries have increased their focus on high-CBD strains, oils, edibles and tinctures.
Here are some things that should prompt us to give CBD a much closer look…
CBD reverses alcohol-induced brain damage.
According to a recent University of Kentucky study, cannabidiol can prompt physiological brain changes that could help offset the damage caused by chronic alcoholism. The study found that administration of CBD resulted in a 48.8% reduction in entorhinal cortex neurodegeneration. Stoners have known forever that a few tokes provide incredible hangover relief, but this study takes the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids to a whole new level.
CBD is a very effective treatment option for severe social anxiety.
Many people claim to find relief from anxiety with marijuana while others say the opposite. It appears CBD content may be the deciding variable.
A study aimed at determining CBD’s impact on social anxiety in public speaking demonstrated that those pre-treated with CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during their speech performance. The placebo group experienced noticeably higher levels of anxiety and discomfort. The study’s authors stress that CBD holds many advantages over standard social anxiety treatments such as anti-depressants due to its quick onset of efficiency and absence of severe withdrawal symptoms or side effects.
CBD “turns off” the cancer gene found in metastasis.
Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center found that CBD turns off a gene that causes cancer cells to metastasize, or spread. This finding adds credibility to the growing evidence that marijuana is one of the best things a cancer patient can consume, whether for symptom relief or actual prevention. It also makes UCLA’s marijuana-doesn’t-cause-lung-cancer study that much more interesting; is it possible the cannabinoids themselves offset the carcinogens found in smoke? Could marijuana truly be anti-cancer?
CBD is a potent anti-psychotic medicine.
A clinical trial in Germany found CBD to be as effective in treating schizophrenia as common anti-psychotic medication with far fewer side effects. This further clarifies the yin-yang relationship of marijuana, since THC has been shown to trigger psychosis in high doses. CBD is what offsets the negative mental effects of THC alone, and thus, should be the focus of any marijuana user with a history of mental illness.
Last but not least…it’s LEGAL!
That’s right! If you’re an American reading this right now, you can have a CBD-infused product sent to your home safely and legally. CBD is consumed in a variety of forms including oil, tinctures, edibles, capsules, lotion and even chewing gum.
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