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What is CBD Oil?

As medical and recreational use of marijuana is rapidly becoming legal in more and more states across the US, consumers are suddenly looking at a whole new market of products they may be interested in exploring, but know little about. One of these potential new health resources is referred to as CBD oil. But what is CBD oil? And how does it work?

CBD is a term used to describe one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. The most widely known compound, and the most active ingredient in marijuana, is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is psychoactive and produces the “high” a person receives when smoking or consuming it. CBD is different. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, and will not produce a high. Instead, CBD directs the body to use more of it’s OWN cannabinoids.

Yes, you heard that correctly! The human body naturally produces some types of cannabinoids on it’s own, and in fact, has two types of receptors, called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, and affect movement and coordination, mood and emotional state, pain, appetite, and multiple other areas. CB2 receptors are typically found in the immune system and affect pain and inflammation.

CBD is created from hemp plants. While hemp and marijuana are both derived from the same plant (Cannabis sativa), historically, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to emphasize high levels of THC. Hemp farmers, however, have rarely modified the plant, thus making it the best choice from which to obtain CBD.

Once the CBD has been scientifically extracted, the product is typically combined with another oil, such as coconut or olive oil, to create the final product available to the consumer.

So what does it do for you?

Well, while the product is fairly new to the market, and as such there is still plenty more research to be done, the list of claims is significant. According to manufacturers and consumers who swear by it, it’s possible it can help to relieve stiffness and pain, including chronic pain; reduce anxiety in individuals with conditions such as PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and OCD; reduce inflammation in the pancreas and delay the developement of type 1 diabetes, treat acne, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, treat a variety of neuropscychiatric disorders, and even fight cancer. CBD has even been approved by the FDA as a treatment for certain types of epileptic seizures.

But is it legal?

The laws pertaining to CBD oil and maijuana differ, so there is a fair amount of confusion regarding legality. You’ll need to do some research for the laws in the state where you reside. If you are considering CBD oil, you should first speak to your healthcare professional. They can help to determine whether it is an appropriate treatment option for your specific needs, and point you in the direction of other resources. Most states require a prescription.

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