by Tracy E. Hill, Ph.D.
CBD has been around since the early 1900’s when chemist Roger Adams isolated cannabidiol compound while researching prophylactics to potential gas attacks during the trench warfare in Europe. Working at the National Research Council in Washington DC a few decades later, Adams presented a paper to the National Academy of Science in 1939 titled, “The Chemistry of Marihuana.” And the rest is history.
CBD is now a $20 billion dollar industry. Why? Well let’s find out.
CBD has the exact same molecular structure as THC (C21H30O2). It’s just configured differently providing a different result when ingested, inhaled, etc. CBD is one of the more than 100 compounds found in the cannabis plant. The main difference is that CBD does not have the psychoactive component that THC has. Meaning? It will not get you high. But there’s more.
Humans and other mammals have receptors in the brain that respond specifically to cannabis compounds. These receptors are called the endocannabinoid system or ECS. Everyone has an ECS. Your ECS works whether you use CBD or not. The ECS helps regulate mood, memory, sleep, stress, appetite, female reproduction, and energy. The use of CBD is to enhance the ECS system so it’s all a well-oiled machine.
The federal government regulates CBD. The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, legalized hemp with a concentration of less than .3%. The FDA is quite strict in ensuring that no person or entity claims that CBD can cure or prevent any diseases. However, a $20 billion dollar industry can’t be that wrong.
COVID. CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. An April 2021 study by Health Canada and picked up by the National Institute of Health suggests that CBD may be able to help block COVID-19. Considering that COVID -19 has a high lung inflammation component, this is huge. Thinking inflammation and cancer, CBD may help those people and pets with inflammation issues or certain forms of cancer. Since CBD is non-addictive, what do you have to lose?
Sleep. Unlike THC (marijuana) which gets you high due to the structural nature of the compound, CBD does not. Which also means CBD may be more helpful for those with insomnia. A quick review of science indicates that THC may help reduce anxiety and increase sleep, however, the long-term benefits may not be so beneficial. Why? When using THC regularly as a sleep aid, it can disrupt your REM sleep which means you are not cycling through all six sleep cycles. Even worse in my opinion is that those who use THC regularly to fall asleep, typically do not dream. No REM = No dreams. I love my dreams! Dreams help you in so many ways. But that’s for another article.
Anxiety. CBD is known to help people and pets who have anxiety and stress. Log into any major forum (i.e, Reddit, Quora, Final Thoughts) and it’s apparent that the majority of people who use CBD are doing so to quell stress and anxiety for themselves and their pets. According to Chicago based firm Brightfield Group anxiety is the number one reason that people use CBD with pain management, depression and insomnia as two three and four on the list. More than 33% of Americans have used CBD across all age groups.
The list goes on for the benefits of CBD. In fact, the list and bountiful research studies are too long to report them all in one article here. But rest assured we are not done with the topic of CBD and how it can help our Silver Sagers.