By Bretton Love
It’s more than obvious that we live in troubled times. There’s a feeling of confusion and uncertainty floating in the air as people are trying to adapt to the changes imposed by the coronavirus outbreak. Sure, the world has dealt with many pandemics over the course of time. The 1918 Spanish Flu, considered to be the most severe pandemic in recent history, wreaked havoc across the globe, claiming the lives of more than 600.000 Americans and nearly 50 million people worldwide. But that was then and this is now. There’s only so much you can learn from past experiences and this new virus comes with brand new challenges.
At the moment, it seems like the COVID-19 pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks. It’s no wonder there’s a significant rise in anxiety and depression all across the world. As a consequence, more and more people are turning to CBD to help them cope with this unprecedented and worrying situation. The CBD marked was already booming even before the coronavirus outbreak began. But right now, with so many people in lockdown, and the fear of catching the virus spreading faster than the virus itself, the number of CBD consumers is reaching new heights.
Let’s get acquainted with CBD
Since CBD is far from being a recent discovery, chances are you’ve already heard about it. It’s quite hard to ignore the CBD hype since it’s all over the media. Everywhere you look, there’s a CBD advocate parsing its amazing health and wellness benefits and ensuring people that CBD has the power to transform their lives.
CBD or cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It comes from Cannabis sativa, a plant that has been known and used for its therapeutic effects since ancient times. There are over 400 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, but the most famous and researched are of course CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
Because CBD and THC come from the same plant, people often associate and confuse the two. But there’s a big difference that sets them apart. THC is a potent psychoactive agent and that’s why people experience a euphoric sensation when using it. On the other hand, CBD has no psychoactive properties, being used exclusively for therapeutic reasons.
CBD sources – hemp vs. marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are both strains of the Cannabis sativa plant and CBD can be extracted from both of them. It’s the THC levels that make the difference. While marijuana plants can contain up to 30% THC, the hemp variety has very low traces of THC. Thanks to breeding techniques, growers are able to eliminate the THC from hemp almost entirely.
In the USA, the Farm Bill signed in 2018 stipulates that CBD products derived from hemp can be legally sold in the US and abroad. The plants from which CBD is extracted must contain less than 0.3 percent THC to be considered legal, but the bill mentions nothing about CBD derived from marijuana. As a result, hemp-derived CBD can be sold over the counter. But marijuana-derived CBD can only be purchased from certified dispensaries (each state has different regulations) and it requires a medical prescription.
Health benefits of CBD
Medical marijuana is already famous for its therapeutic benefits. It can be used to treat health issues such as chemotherapy-related nausea or muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.
Whether it’s derived from hemp or marijuana, CBD could help with a wide range of health conditions. Some of its potential benefits include reducing chronic pain, calming inflammation, lowering anxiety levels or improving sleep quality.
Apparently, stress and anxiety relief are the main reasons why people use CBD nowadays. Experts claim that CBD can help calm the nervous system. It does that by interacting with neurotransmitters responsible for regulating certain receptors in the brain. So it’s easy to see why CBD has become such a staple in the wellness world.
CBD and anxiety in the time of coronavirus
There’s been a noticeable shift in consumers’ behavior due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing and lockdown measures have put a great deal of stress on the population and anxiety levels are going through the roof. To help them cope with the fear and anxiety of isolation a great number of people have been turning to CBD products.
Coronavirus anxiety can have a serious impact on mental health, and while wellness trends such as yoga or meditation are growing in popularity, it’s CBD that steals the spotlight. Those who are dealing with anxiety caused by lockdown, job loss, disrupted routines or uncertain future are finding a reliable ally in CBD products. What’s more, CBD could be of great help for healthcare workers who are being exposed to high levels of stress and exhaustion. Many of them can use CBD to help them relieve anxiety, pain and inflammation after their long shifts.
Luckily, people can choose from a wide range of CBD products, depending on their specific needs. From CBD oils and tinctures to organic CBD nugs or CBD edibles, there’s something for everyone. With physical stores being closed down, consumers are now going online to purchase their CBD favorites, so the CBD hype is still going strong.
The need for further research
While the interest in CBD products is on the rise, experts warn that we should be cautious when it comes to CBD claims. It’s still early to say what CBD can and cannot do, since research on CBD properties is only at the beginning. Many rely on anecdotal reports and positive reviews, but that can’t replace scientific evidence.
For example, some studies suggest that CBD could provide relief for people suffering from insomnia. Other studies show that CBD can help reduce oil production and thus it could become a useful ingredient in acne treatments. But these are just small studies and there are still many questions that scientists have yet to answer. More tests need to be carried out on a clinical level before making any claims.