CBD is the buzzword of 2019, and no, we’re not talking about the Christian Book Distributors who had to change their name in July due to confusion over their acronym. Otherwise known as Cannabidiol, CBD oil is an active ingredient found in hemp, a certain strain of the Cannabis sativa plant.
CBD is known for its healing properties, having entered the mainstream of late as a proposed panacea to pain for various ailments like arthritis, diabetes and nausea caused by chemotherapy. This is partly due to pre-clinical trials suggesting the oil may have anti-inflammatory properties, although the vast amount of research has only been conducted so far on animals due to CBD’s contested legal status. Many also swear by CBD in helping to moderate mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.
DOES CBD COME FROM THE MARIJUANA PLANT?
In short, no. The Cannabis family is better known for the marijuana plant, but it’s a mere cousin of hemp. The marijuana plant is manipulated most commonly for its ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which has psychoactive properties. The CBD ingredient however, deriving from hemp, does not cause a ‘high’ in the same way. According to the World Health Organisation, “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential” in humans and there is “no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Instead, CBD has been praised anecdotally as a “miracle cure” for both pain and stress relief.
It is perhaps no surprise that this alleged “wonder drug” originates from hemp, as the plant has been used by humans for centuries, for numerous different functions. It is used in many commercial and industrial products including rope, textiles, clothing and shoes. Hemp oil is also used in food and beauty products, hailing from the seeds of the plant. CBD oil is extracted from the stalk, stems, leaves and flowers.
While a plethora of online testimonies claim that CBD tinctures and topical creams have been beneficial to their health, easing aches and pains and calming nerves, the jury is still out. In-depth research and tests have not been sufficiently carried out to reach a reliable conclusion as of yet, due to the disputed legal status of the oil in different countries. However, this is not to be confused with the legalisation of medical marijuana, which is a much more divisive issue worldwide. The controversy surrounding marijuana comes from the fact that it contains THC, known to produce psychotropic effects.
CBD oil is legal in a vast array of countries nowadays. Therefore, despite some previous confusion, it would not show up on a drug test as it is not an illegal substance. Countries with legalisation include the United States, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Uruguay and the United Kingdom.