It is unquestionable that societal norms are changing rapidly when it comes to the use of cannabis. This shift in attitude is fueling a movement to promote the use of things like hemp and CBD flower for what they are – medicines from the most potent medicinal plant on Earth. For those interested in learning more about the use of cannabis products for health purposes, read on.
Before discussing uses and benefits of hemp and CBD it is important to provide the reader with some basic definitions of relevant terms we will use in this article.
What is the difference between CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
CBD and THC both come from the cannabis plant. They differ from each other in the effects they produce in the system. THC is psychoactive meaning it creates that feeling of being “high,” and as a result, is a controlled substance. CBD on the other hand is legal for use in all 50 states provided its levels of THC are low. THC is a major property in marijuana whereas CBD is more prevalent in hemp.
The side effects of THC include –
- Impaired memory
- Heart rate will increase
- Balance and coordination hindered
- Decreased reflexes
- Red eyes and dry mouth
The side effects of CBD, on the other hand, are minimal and include –
- Red eyes and dry mouth
- Becoming drowsy
- Becoming lightheaded
Cannabidiol or CBD oil is a compound derived from the CBD flower (stems and leaves). Because of its low levels of THC, the product can be used to treat a wide range of health issues with altering brain chemistry.
The methods using the oil specifically include taking it orally, in a cream or as a tincture you add to food or drink. It can also be used in combination with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed that helps get the CBD oil into the bloodstream efficiently. Another name for carrier-oil is base oil.
Cannabidiol functions as an –
- Pain reliever
What is high-CBD oil?
Oil is deemed high in CBD concentration when it contains a higher than normal amount of CBD although the levels will still not produce any feelings of euphoria, paranoia or anxiety that may be associated with the use of marijuana. High-CBD oil is recommended for conditions like anxiety.
What is a hemp-based CBD flower?
Hemp is traditionally used as an agricultural crop that is grown for fiber to make textiles and clothing. However, the flowers, resin, and seeds are more and more being used as supplements intended for health and well-being. Hemp does not possess much THC, only around three percent and not exceeding eight percent. The dried buds of the hemp plant are the flowers. The CBD hemp flower comes from hemp plants. These buds contain higher levels of CBD, but lower levels of THC. Accordingly, a nice benefit to the oil is the ability to benefit from the medicinal properties without becoming intoxicated.
What does low-THC cannabis flower mean?
Any time the word flower is used it refers to a bud of the cannabis plant. Any cannabis bud that has low levels of THC is designated a “low-THC cannabis flower.” Like hemp, a low-THC cannabis flower will not make you “high” because it is non-psychoactive.
What types of conditions are treated with CBD flower?
- Relief from strained muscles and joints, and soreness
- As a sedative, CBD oil calms the system mentally, emotionally and physically
- Spasms and seizures alleviated by the oil
- The effects of the oil may counter feelings of depression and anxiety
What are some specific ailments for which high-CBD and low-THC compounds can be used?
CBD has already been addressed to help treat chronic pain, so it being helpful in specific diseases and ailments is no surprise –
- Multiple sclerosis
- Dravet’s Syndrome – this condition is a type of epilepsy that begins to develop in infancy and lasts a lifetime
What are the benefits of using CBD flower?
CBD flower can be smoked or vaped in order to address an issue requiring acute attention. However, a word of caution to people with respiratory issues, minors or seniors that it is advised to avoid smoke inhalation whenever possible. As an alternative, vaping is a viable option. So is the use of the CBD flower in preparing meals or tinctures. Hemp flowers and CBD oil and flowers are all considered safe for use by humans.
It should be noted that as a rule, the quality of the CBD flower (or oil) is the main factor in how effective it is to treat a condition. Because flowers are not processed they remain in their most natural state. This is the ideal condition since it ensures that the properties and compounds remain fully intact. This includes –
- Terpenes – a terpene is chemical responsible for the aroma of a cannabis compound
- Flavonoids – responsible for the pigmentation, color
CBD Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
CBD, when combined with terpene oil (also derived from the hemp plant), can be used to treat many different ailments. Each cannabis strain has its own version of terpene that, when combined with CBD, have what is known as an “entourage effect”. What this means is that their effects are magnified by each other. Thus, each different strain has a different effect that is magnified when mixed with CBD.
One strain of terpene is the beta-myrcene strain. This terpene is said to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and help relax the muscles naturally. Limonene, another terpene, has a slight citrus smell and can fight tumors, infections, and digestive problems. A third strain, beta-caryophyllene has been found to reduce inflammation and lessen nerve pain.
What are some of the specific uses for low-THC cannabis?
If you are looking to use low-THC cannabis for medical purposes, consult your physician to see if you fit the criteria that allow the use of medical cannabis is legal in your state. In many instances, if the patient is a minor, two physicians must agree that use of low-THC cannabis is appropriate. Among the illnesses for which medical cannabis may be acceptable in your state include (check your law to be certain):
- HIV and AIDS
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Any similar condition to the aforementioned illnesses
- Any terminal illness which a physician has diagnosed
In the age of enlightenment about holistic medicine, more in the medical community are confirming the benefits of using cannabis products, specifically cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol. The social stigma is fading and the use of the plant whether for medical or recreational purposes is becoming acceptable. The plants are the source from which so much of our medicine comes. If medicine can be defined as anything that helps relieve suffering, repair, or at the minimum, control pain and provide comfort then products from cannabis should be a viable option.