Since the World Health Organisation published their landmark report into CBD, it’s become widely available in shops and through specialist online retailers like Dayzed, and increased levels of research are helping us understand more about its therapeutic properties. Today we’re asking ‘is 2020 the year of CBD?’
How is it Legal?
If you know where CBD comes from you might well be surprised to find it being sold legally and over the counter in your local pharmacy. CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a compound known as a cannabinoid which is derived – as you may guess – from cannabis. This is a controlled substance in the UK, and possession is (theoretically at least) punishable with up to five years in prison.
The key that unlocked CBD’s potential was that report by the World Health Organisation. It looked at the potential for harm in this specific compound: not at Cannabis as a whole and not at THC – tetrahydrocannabinol, the intoxicant, psychoactive component of the drug. The WHO found that CBD has what they describe as no “potential for abuse” meaning that it isn’t addictive, doesn’t intoxicate you (or get you ‘high’, as THC does) or affect your judgement.
With this judgement any opposition to products based on CBD collapsed and people were free to explore the benefits.
What Does CBD Do?
There are lots of claims around the effects of CBD products, and because the research on them is in its infancy, it can be hard to see the truth for the marketing. There are two areas where it appears to be of genuine help: managing some kinds of chronic physical pain and helping with some mental health issues.
Research indicates that CBD can act as an anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it useful when you’re trying to manage chronic, inflammation based issues, like arthritis. There’s also some indications that CBD has neuropathic painkilling properties: if it does suppress pain at the level of the neuron, it could be used to treat pain generally. The true efficacy of CBD can be measured by its users: the Brightfield Group found that 42% of the people they surveyed had stopped using their old painkiller medication altogether after finding the right CBD product for them.
On the mental health side, CBD appears to act on the brain in similar ways to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. It activates your endo-cannabinoid receptors to produce similar effects to some clinical medicines, but is in general better tolerated – it has fewer side effects. While it shouldn’t replace a visit to your doctor and the medication they can provide, it appears to work well as a compliment to standard medication.
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