With the legalisation of Cannabidiol (cbd) earlier this year, here’s what you need to know about the uses, benefits and safety of one of marijuana’s most effective active ingredients.
If you’re hesitant about using a product derived from marijuana, you’re not alone. Although CBD was legalised for certain uses and in specific amounts as of May this year, many still have their reservations. But CBD’s gaining popularity as a common ingredient in skincare, health and beauty products (the Life Retreat Lifestyle Shop now sells a range of CBD balms, creams and tinctures) and foods (Col’ Cacchio recently announced ‘Green Goddess’ and ‘Not-So-Plain Mary Jane’ pizzas, developed with leading African CBD brand Africanpure). So what do you need to know?
CBD won’t make you high
CBD is one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants, known as cannabinoids. Another is
the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which provides the ‘high’ typically associated with smoking, vaping or ingesting cannabis. CBD isn’t a psychoactive compound like THC, however, and doesn’t produce the same results. According to a report from the World Health Organisation, there are no health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD and no indication that it has the potential for dependence or abuse.
CBD has a range of potential health benefits
Although more research is required, CBD is regarded as a promising new development in various areas of healthcare:
Depression and anxiety
Studies conducted in relation to anxiety disorders have shown great promise, with participants being able to complete anxiety-inducing tasks, such as public speaking, with significantly reduced discomfort, cognitive impairment and anxiety after taking CBD oil. It’s also been shown to have an effect similar to antidepressant medication, which has been linked to its ability to act on serotonin receptors in the brain.
Heart health and lowering blood pressure
Studies have revealed that CBD could effectively lower blood pressure and minimise the amount by which blood pressure rises during stressful events. This is thought to be due to its anxiety- and stress-reducing properties. Testing on animals has also delivered encouraging results regarding heart disease – CBD could effectively be used to reduce cell death, oxidative stress and inflammation associated with heart disease, and prevent cardiac damage.
While research conducted on animals has found CBD to be an effective pain-reliever, human studies have found a combination of CBD and THC to be most effective. The two cannabinoids can be found in treatments for multiple sclerosis and arthritis-related pain.
CBD may be helpful in reducing symptoms related to cancer, as well as common side-effects of cancer treatment such as pain, vomiting and nausea. During studies, a number of cancer sufferers claimed CBD to be more effective than the standard treatments for these symptoms alone, to which some people are resistant.
CBD may cause side-effects
While CBD is generally considered safe, it does have potential side-effects, including fatigue, irritability, nausea, and – like grapefruit juice – could raise levels of certain other medications in your blood. There’s also concern about CBD being sold primarily as a supplement instead of a medicinal product, which means it may not be strictly regulated or ‘pure’. Moreover, there aren’t yet any strict guidelines for the amount of CBD needed to effectively treat specific medical conditions. Consult your doctor before using it and ensure it doesn’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking.
FEATURE: CAITLIN GENG PHOTO: STOCK.ADOBE.COM
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always consult your GP or a doctor for specific information regarding your health.