Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the dozens of cannabinoids found in the cannabis/hemp plant. It is the second most researched and well-known cannabinoid, after THC. In recent years the amount of research and knowledge regarding CBD has sky rocketed, as scientists have discovered a wide range of medicinal uses for the substance. Today we know much more about CBD than we did even five years ago.
One of the most interesting recent findings into CBD is that it counteracts the more dangerous aspects of THC. It reduces the feelings of paranoia and anxiety that some THC users report, and even lessens the feeling of intoxication THC can bring.
Given that CBD has this capacity to take the sting out of THC, it’s a great misfortune that for about 40 years CBD has been almost entirely grown out of cannabis strains. This has been done by growers to give recreational users what they want: the world’s biggest high. And by increasing the THC to extreme levels, growers have clearly satisfied an existing demand, but this mutation of the natural plant has led to negative consequences for many people, and for the good name of cannabis.
A relatively small number of cannabis smokers have suffered mental health problems as a result of this excess of THC combined with insufficient CBD. Sadly, this has been the case for many young people. In turn this has led to a widely held misconception:
Cannabis causes mental health problems.
This is not true. It is a false statement. It is not the cannabis plant, but an imbalanced cannabis plant with too much THC and not enough CBD that causes mental health problems.
Yet, it is a prevalent belief stated often in newspaper columns and political speeches. So much so, that the general public have taken it to be a fact.
It is time for a reappraisal and re-education.
The truth is this:
THC without enough CBD as a counter-balance can cause mental health problems.
However, CBD in large quantities is GOOD for mental health.
How is CBD Good For The Brain?
CBD acts in many different ways to assist the brain. While THC causes anxiety and unease, CBD causes relaxation and mood elevation. This combination of good mood and relaxation is enormously beneficial for mind and body. When people say “stress is a killer” they mean it. Stress and anxiety take years off people’s lives
Not only does CBD assist relaxation, it has been shown to be good for anxiety disorders.This study into CBD found it has significant scope to treat social anxiety. The study concluded that those who were given CBD prior to public speaking performances encountered significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort as compared with the placebo group.
Beyond how CBD makes people feel is how CBD alters the brain. This is where the true wonder of CBD can be seen:
- CBD is a neuro-protective – which means it protects the brain.
- CBD is an anti-inflammatory
- CBD is an anti-oxidant
- CBD reverses Alcohol-induced Brain Damage
- CBD is an anti-psychotic
- Early research suggests CBD may reverse the effects of dementia
This last two in particular have potentially profound implications for millions of us. More clinical studies need to be undertaken – but the early word is enormously promising.
The bottom line is this: CBD is remarkably good for the human brain.
CBD and Cancer
Something else we should all be excited about: CBD has been shown to kill cancer cells. Further, it has been shown to “switch off” the gene that causes cancer cells to metastasize.
It’s difficult to underestimate the potential significance of this information. Frankly, it should already be common knowledge. When a patient is first diagnosed with cancer their doctor should immediately explain about CBD and THC, and the importance of getting cannabinoids into their system as soon as possible.
Yes, CBD and THC. Where as for certain conditions where high CBD and low THC appears optimal – possibly including epilepsy and MS – in the case of cancer there is little doubt that high doses of THC are also essential.
Rick Simpson recommends strong indica cannabis with roughly 4:1 THC to CBD levels. If anyone alive knows what kind of cannabinoid content to give cancer patients it’s Rick Simpson.
Here’s Run From The Cure for those of you who haven’t yet watched this essential documentary on the subject:
Going back to what I said earlier about THC and CBD, a good quantity of CBD will protect the patient from the ravages of excess THC. To put it in context, many of the strongest strains of cannabis you can buy on the street have a 20:1 THC to CBD level.
Such extreme strains are not healthy, especially for anyone with a pre-existing mental condition. 4:1 is a different ball game altogether. At that level the CBD’s medicinal power is utilized – in fact, the THC and CBD potentiate each other, effectively making each of them more powerful medicinally.
Smoking Medicine? Huh?
We would never recommend smoking a medicine. Have you ever known a doctor to ask you if you’d prefer a bottle of pills or a “medical cigarette”?
Not only does smoking produce toxins, it’s an incredibly inefficient delivery system. In the case of serious diseases like cancer a gram of cannabinoids a day is the recommended dose. You would need to smoke hundreds of joints, one after the other, to get anywhere near that quantity of cannabinoids into your system – and were you to smoke that much you would also be taking in lots of toxins found in smoke, including some carcinogens. Not a good idea.
Conclusion: What Is CBD?
What is CBD? CBD is many things. It is an anti-oxidant, it is neuro-protective, it is an anti-inflammatory, it is a pain killer, it can help you sleep, it can help you to relax.
Above all, if someone was to ask me, what is CBD? I would tell them this: CBD is a medicine.
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