Many of our patients are interested in the health benefits of medical marijuana — but are understandably concerned about the high. They’re not interested in taking something that’s psychoactive. They’re worried about how cannabis could affect their thinking. And yet they suffer serious pain — cancer, fibromyalgia, AIDS, severe back pain. Is there a way to tap into the pain relieving and inflammatory benefits without the side effects of THC?
Yes! That’s the beauty of CBD oils, pills, and tinctures. CBD is just one of the more than 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. It can be derived from either hemp or marijuana but contains very little to no THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes the high.
Numerous scientific studies have found that CBD can be quite effective at treating chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
CBD Calms You Down — Relaxes You
CBD can be great for stress relief. A recent study has found it to be highly effective at calming the nervous system.
“In one trial, people with social anxiety disorder who took CBD were less stressed during simulated public-speaking sessions than those who didn’t use it. My patients find it helps them sleep better too,” says Donald Abrams, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
CBD Can Relieve Chronic Pain
Numerous studies have found CBD to be highly effective at relieving chronic pain in the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. CBD reduces inflammation and interacts with these neurotransmitters.
In fact, CBD can be effective at relieving not only chronic pain but even pain felt after recovering from a workout.
Treatment for Anxiety & Depression
Numerous studies have shown promise for CBD as a treatment for anxiety and depression with far fewer side effects than prescribed pharmaceuticals.
In one study, 24 people who suffered social anxiety were given a public speaking test. The group that used CBD reported significantly less anxiety. Moreover, they exhibited less cognitive impairment. Not only did they have less anxiety — but they were still able to perform the speech in front of a group.
Numerous studies have found it to be effective as an antidepressant and in treating PTSD.
Treatment for Insomnia
Do you suffer from insomnia and have difficulty either falling or staying asleep? CBD may help. A number of studies have shown that inducing CBD can help patients fall asleep. A 2013 study found that CBD increased the amount of sleep time in rats. Dosage is important as too high a dose can do just the opposite effect and cause jitteriness and sleeplessness.
Treatment for Epilepsy
CBD’s effectiveness as an epilepsy treatment is probably its most researched and documented benefit. In fact, the FDC recently approved a CBD pill to treat seizures. This step is great progress for patients who wish to use CBD oil as the medical benefits become more documented and mainstream.
CBD: Over-the-Counter vs. Medical Marijuana
Now that CBD is legal in Ohio, available everywhere from health and wellness stores to the local gas station, you might be wondering what the difference is between over-the-counter CBD oils and products and medical marijuana.
To be legal in Ohio outside of Ohio’s medical marijuana laws, CBD must contain less than .3% THC and be derived from hemp, not cannabis. The catch is that CBD works most effectively when there is a higher rate of THC involved. The good news is you don’t need to use cannabis that has high psychoactivity to benefit from a mixture of CBD and THC. You can choose a strain that is high in CBD and low in THC but higher than the state mandated .3%.