Every once in a while, a substance comes along that everyone suddenly thinks is the next best thing. In the 19th century, for instance, aspiring entrepreneurs boiled rattlesnakes and skimmed the oil that rose to the surface, bottling it and calling it “snake oil.”
Ever since “snake oil” has been used to refer to any substance that is much-hyped but only doubtfully offers legitimate benefits. Jaded by encountering many such substances over their lifetimes, some Americans are still afraid to give cannabidiol (CBD) a shot.
Unlike snake oil and the dubious substances that followed, however, CBD has been thoroughly researched and has even been formulated into a prescription drug. Yes, there’s a lot of hype around CBD and other cannabinoids, but for once, all the hubbub seems justifiable. Learn why.
What Is CBD?
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound naturally found in Cannabis sativa. Originally only present in cannabis in concentrations of around 1%, selective breeding has led to modern strains that can contain as much as 25% CBD.
Biologically speaking, CBD comes from cannabis, but it comes from hemp from a regulatory perspective. The 2018 Farm Bill separated the illegal drug delta 9 THC from other natural cannabinoids, making CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC “industrial hemp,” a category of products you can sell online and ship across state lines.
Why Do People Use CBD?
People originally used CBD almost exclusively for pain. Over the years, however, this non-intoxicating cannabinoid has evolved into a lifestyle substance that is increasingly used for mood, relaxation, and sleep.
That’s not to say CBD is suddenly no longer used for serious medical reasons. Epidiolex, the prescription form of CBD, is prescribed for a variety of debilitating seizure conditions, for instance. Lots of people still use CBD for pain, and some now also use it for multiple sclerosis, diabetic neuropathy, and a whole host of other conditions.
Does CBD Really Work?
Whether you’re hunting for the best CBD oil for pain or want to use CBD for other reasons, there’s one thing you’ll want to know before anything else: Is this worth my time? If CBD doesn’t actually work, there’s no reason to use it, and there’s no reason to regard hemp as anything more than hype. Luckily, that’s not the case.
CBD appears to be so massively beneficial for such a wide range of conditions that dozens of scientific studies are conducted to determine this cannabinoid’s medical benefits every year. Scientists from around the world are very interested in just how much CBD may be able to help with sleep, anxiety, pain, and many other conditions. If CBD were mere hype, this international research initiative would have petered out long ago.
Combining with this massive scientific interest is the testimony collected from average CBD users everywhere. People who have used this cannabinoid firmly attest that CBD has improved their lives and helped them overcome conditions they thought they would never conquer. Even if we don’t know everything there is to know about CBD yet, we’ve certainly learned enough to fully determine that something amazing is going on here.
What Other Cannabinoids Are There?
CBD is far from the only non-THC cannabis substance receiving significant attention. Also coming to the fore are fellow non-intoxicating cannabinoids cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN), which each have unique chemical structures and potential medicinal benefits.
Rather than dying down and fading into obscurity, the popularity of CBD has led to the recognition of other similar substances that may be just as beneficial. CBD isn’t just some fad that will eventually disappear — the advent of hemp-derived CBD opened a Pandora’s box of healing potential spread across dozens of unique cannabinoids.
What Is the Entourage Effect?
Adding to the benefits of CBD is a phenomenon scientists refer to as the entourage effect. Cannabis researchers theorize that this hidden synergy is what’s responsible for the increased effectiveness observed when multiple cannabinoids are used together.
Used alone, CBD is one thing. Used with other cannabinoids, CBD becomes another thing entirely. It still won’t get you high, but it might become even more powerful. Snake oil doesn’t get more effective when combined with other substances — it just stays snake oil.
The Bottom Line: Is CBD Just Hype?
At this point, it’s only reasonable to be jaded against health claims made about natural products. Even though it’s good to be skeptical about the health benefits of any substance, that doesn’t mean we should discount legitimate evidence when we see it.
CBD may seem too good to be true, but the honest truth is that CBD is much more than just hype. We may not know exactly what CBD is yet, but we at least know what it isn’t: a fraud, a scam, a danger, or a disappointment.
Thousands of people have experienced their lives being transformed after using CBD. Scientists continue researching cannabinoids at an ever-increasing pace. Something’s going on here — now, it’s time for you to discover the benefits of CBD for yourself.