In recent months, CBD use among the general population has skyrocketed, with many claiming their use of the supplement as medical. Almost 62% of CBD users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition, with the top three medical conditions as pain, anxiety, and depression. Many claim that this one compound found in industrial hemp can treat a wide variety of conditions, but how true are those claims? What is the evidence supporting the use of CBD to treat chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and more?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a compound naturally found in hemp. While hemp that is used for its CBD is technically related to marijuana and comes from the same plant family, the two are separated based on their THC levels. THC is the psychoactive chemical typically associated with marijuana; however, CBD products are under regulation that keeps THC levels under 0.3%. This prevents CBD products from having many of the undesirable effects associated with marijuana use. While hemp has been used historically to treat many medical conditions, nowadays research is underway to prove just how effective CBD is as modern-day medicine.
Is CBD organic?
As CBD comes from a natural plant, CBD products can be organic if created correctly. To determine whether or not CBD products are organic, we have to look at two steps of their production. The first is the growth of the hemp plant. In order to be considered organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) standards, the hemp needs to be grown without the use of genetically modified organisms, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge.
CBD products then need to be extracted and processed from organically grown hemp without the use of any synthetic chemical additives. As an increasing number of farmers in the U.S. are realizing the value of growing organic hemp, producers of CBD oil are ensuring their part of the process is organic as well. When you purchase CBD products, be sure to look for a “U.S.D.A certified organic” label that indicates the product meets organic standards. By using organic CBD, you can treat various medical conditions with a natural solution, rather than synthetic medications.
What can CBD treat?
While the overwhelming enthusiasm for CBD can make it seem like another new snake oil “miracle cure,” it’s actually been proven to have some success in medical trials. CBD has been shown to be helpful with some forms of chronic pain treatment, which will likely be highly beneficial for an aging Baby Boomer generation. By 2030, six out of 10 Baby Boomers will be managing a chronic condition, and for many, CBD will be a helpful supplement to other treatment plans. Because CBD can be effective in some cases for pain management, it can also be involved in recovery from other procedures. For example, in Follicular Unit Strip Surgery, a strip of scalp from a non-balding area is surgically removed, and placed in incisions in balding area. While this is generally a lower-pain procedure, CBD can help during surgery recovery to limit pain.
CBD has also been shown to be effective as treatment options for some mental health conditions. Those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and schizophrenia may find relief through treatments involving CBD as part of a broader treatment plan. CBD has also found its strongest evidence in the treatment of several epileptic disorders, offering relief to many.
What can’t CBD treat?
Unfortunately, despite CBD’s many proven uses, there are those who claim the compound can treat more conditions than it’s been shown to. CBD does have many anti-inflammatory effects, as well as helping to potentially regulate blood pressure; however, that does not mean it’s approved for treating conditions that involve these issues. CBD is still being tested for use in a variety of conditions, so be sure to do your research before looking to use CBD oil as a treatment. For example, many claim that CBD has been helpful in regulating blood sugar. While this may sound like good news for the 4.1 million adults in the U.S. with pre-diabetes, there is no proof as of yet that CBD can be used in this manner.
CBD is a treatment option that’s rapidly growing in popularity, leading many people to praise the compound’s benefits. However, much research still needs to be done on the full extent of its healing capabilities. Before you add CBD oil to your daily routine, do some extra research to see if it will help your specific conditions.