Despite being used historically as part of hemp medicine, CBD has often been misunderstood because it is from the same family of plants that contains THC, a cannabinoid with psychotropic properties. In 2019, we finally started noticing an overall societal understanding that CBD and THC are dramatically different. This increased awareness should continue in 2020, giving more people access to an affordable natural substance that might hold the key to alleviating chronic problems without further increasing healthcare costs.
Chronic illnesses in the U.S. are often treated and diagnosed using synthetic drugs, which is one reason why health insurance and other healthcare costs are so high. Synthetic drugs have a significant research and production cost that is largely subsidized by high drug prices. It can therefore be very costly to fix a minor health issue so people those with chronic illnesses can be treated with synthetic drugs. CBD could change all that.
Overcoming the “Reefer Madness” Stigma
Although research results have not yet been conclusive, CBD has shown the potential to end our dependence on synthetic drugs to treat and possibly prevent a whole host of health problems. To get there, we first need to overcome the “reefer madness” stigma and CBD myths that follows hemp and its strain designed to produce maximum THC: marijuana.
THC by itself can cause negative effects on the human mind, such as hallucinations and other unwanted mental effects. However, this seems less likely to be the case when THC is taken together with CBD, which happens when regular hemp or hemp extracts are used. The two show a synergistic effect that is still not fully understood, but is being explored by the medical industry that released two drugs containing CBD: Sativex and Epidiolex.
CBD Medication So Far
In 2010, the UK saw the release of its first THC/CBD medication: Sativex aka nabiximols, for treating the pain of multiple sclerosis patients. A 2014 review of hemp medication conducted by the American Academy of Neurology titled “Systematic review: Efficacy and safety of medical marijuana in selected neurologic disorders” states nabiximols is “probably effective” for reducing:
- spasticity (spasms and cramps)
- central pain
- bladder dysfunction
In 2012, Sativex was approved in Poland and in 2013 in France, but the demand for it is still low.
In June 2018, Epidiolex, used for epileptic seizures that are otherwise resistant to synthetic drugs, became the first FDA-approved medication containing high concentrations of CBD. Prior to its approval, there was at least one high-profile case of epilepsy symptoms being decreased using cannabis. However, many banks and investors still shy away from hemp, THC, and CBD, possibly due to the “reefer madness” stigma.
A 2019 U.S. study titled “Epidiolex as adjunct therapy for treatment of refractory epilepsy: a comprehensive review with a focus on adverse effects” says CBD has “no known abuse potential”. That study cites the 2013 case of a Colorado girl suffering from Dravet syndrome (infant epilepsy), Charlotte Figi, whose parents used CBD-enriched cannabis to reduce her seizures by 99.2% within three months of starting therapy, from 1,200 to 10 a month. After 17 more months of cannabis therapy, Charlotte was able to walk and talk again.
Overcoming CBD Skepticism
Naturally, there’s still a lot of skepticism to overcome before there is acceptance that CBD and THC can exercise synergistic effects. For example, some mainstream media articles and other news stories have suggested users may simply be experiencing a placebo effect.
Skepticism will lessen once there are more high-profile positive cases that show hemp and marijuana aren’t the same, and that CBD can synergize with THC. In the case of Charlotte Figi, it was fortunate that her mother was a medical professional who could argue for administering THC/CBD as a therapy.
The negative stigma surrounding cannabis products means some banks and investors still don’t want to cooperate with hemp growers or CBD manufacturers, who they may see as risky and unreliable. This limits the market share any hemp grower or CBD manufacturer can capture and how far their products can spread. The same uncooperative attitude often meets hemp growers who apply for a loan or an investment for a CBD or hemp-oriented business.
Introducing CBD Standards
By 2015, CBD products were already sold over the counter, but the FDA examination of them showed about a third contained no CBD, particularly those aimed at pets. This should serve as a warning to anyone trying to find a cure-all in CBD products currently on the market – there are not as many government-approved quality standards for these products as there are for, say, hoverboards or chocolate. As we develop more and more quality CBD products, we should eventually overcome the skepticism that’s still keeping banks and investors at bay.
CBD also has no government-approved recommendations for therapeutic doses or toxicity warnings. In April 2019, a statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested it could take an additional couple of years before a clear CBD quality standard might exist. Banking and financing standards are also missing from the field, which again reinforces the myth of a risky business endeavor.
Despite the lack of CBD quality, therapeutic, and banking standards, some expert analysts predict that CBD will outpace the marijuana market and become more popular than THC within five years.
Conclusion: CBD is About to Revolutionize the Health Industry
We need alternative options to help end the healthcare crisis in the U.S. and assist people in treating their own health problems. If the results from CBD research are positive, CBD may someday provide a way to treat chronic illnesses at a comparatively low cost.
There are a whole host of natural, herbal medicines available that could have therapeutic properties, especially when used in synergy with other such medicines.
Politics and misinformation have played a large part in THC and CBD being illegal. However, as more politicians were exposed to the potential benefits of cannabis products, hemp finally became fully legal on a federal level in 2018.
As the reefer madness stigma gets debunked and CBD becomes a fully legal, standardized product, we can expect to see more of it in products such as shampoos, moisturizers and hand lotions. That doesn’t mean CBD will necessarily add any therapeutic value to those items, but simply that it will have become an accepted household product.
Are you excited to try CBD for yourself? Once you are ready, browse what we have to offer at buy CBD products online. Every single product is produced to meet high quality standards, and contents are analyzed in a third-party lab. Our products are 100% GMO-free and organic ingredients for your peace of mind.
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