Natural hemp extract Cannabidiol – CBD – is one of the world’s most widely studied compounds yet confusion over its legality and the safety of CBD products is commonplace. There are so many myths surrounding hemp products this article is intended to help you separate fact from fiction. Whether it’s the fear that hemp products are illegal, or confusion over the effects that they have, it’s understandable that people have questions.
Teams from around the globe have been examining the extract for its impact on a wide variety of conditions including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy heart health, inflammation and anxiety. There is also significant evidence to suggest that CBD can provide pain relief offering a potential alternative to strong medications such as morphine. Despite the volume of studies, the public understanding of hemp extracts is very low with many believing the products to be illegal or harmful to the brain. We’re keen to debunk some of these common myths and end the confusion around these products.
What are the Facts about Hemp?
- Firstly, let’s explain what we mean when we talk about hemp extracts. There are two active ingredients present in the cannabis plant: THC (delta-9-tethrahydrocannabinol) and cannabidiol (known as CBD);
- CBD is the component that is responsible for the many health benefits of hemp extract products, whereas THC produces the psychoactive effects that many people associate with cannabis;
- Hemp extract products are made from CBD-rich cannabis sativa, an entirely legally produced substance derived from approved strains of specially grown hemp plants with extremely low THC levels;
- THC is the component within cannabis that is responsible for creating the ‘high’ or sense of euphoria associated with the drug. Due to the methods used in the processing and extraction of CBD hemp extracts, the levels of THC present are negligible. The legal limit for approved hemp strains is less than 0.2% THC, and so there are no psychoactive effects from CBD products. This means that users can harness the benefits of CBD while being in complete control.
Whilst we would not advocate using CBD products as an alternative to seeking professional advice, there is a growing weight of scientific evidence to support its use as a health supplement.
In recent years, millions of pounds have been invested in the scientific study of the potential health benefits associated with CBD. There is already strong evidence to support the treatment of major issues such as epilepsy, inflammation and anxiety. There is also significant evidence to suggest that CBD can provide pain relief, offering a potential alternative to strong medications such as morphine.
There are also studies looking into the use of CBD to treat some conditions associated with ageing. Hemp oil is high in omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 and it is thought that hemp oil could delay the onset of age-related conditions that result in mental deterioration. Currently affecting more than 35 million people worldwide, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of neurodegenerative disorders and results in a progressive loss of cognitive processes. Patients with Alzheimer’s experience build ups of amyloid-[beta] as well as inflammation and signs of oxidative stress. Recent studies have indicated that taking CBD extracts can reduce amyloid-[beta] production as well as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially slow down the effects of the disease for many people.
CBD products are available in a wide variety of forms, including liquid drops or capsules which can be consumed directly or mixed with food and drink, as well as e-liquids for use in electronic cigarettes and vaporisers. CBD can also be infused into a body salve, which when applied to the skin can encourage the activation of the receptors in the body’s own endocannabinoid system. This can help to stop inflammation, as well as combatting skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also be used as a moisturiser to increase the elasticity of the skin and to hydrate dry skin.
Because of the confusion between CBD and THC and uncertainty over the legality of hemp products, some people think that they can only be purchased from unregulated ‘head shops’ or hidden websites. In fact, CBD is a fast-growing industry in the UK with an increasing number of reputable high street vendors alongside established online shops.
We know that educating the public will continue to be an important challenge for the CBD industry, but as awareness of the benefits of hemp extract grows we hope more people will be able to separate the facts from the fiction.