By Cameron Hattan and Shannon Hattan, Founders of Fiddler’s Greens

CBD is the new buzzword.  You can find CBD products in cannabis dispensaries, at the corner store, online, and even at your pet store.  In Part 1 of this series, we talk about the due diligence required to find a safe, quality CBD product, but really WHAT IS ALL OF THE HYPE ABOUT?  You have seen claims that it can do everything from cure cancer, calm anxiety, treat arthritis, stop Alzheimer’s, and manage pain.  Is it possible that CBD is the miracle remedy we’ve all been looking for and the proverbial fountain of youth?  Not likely, but it certainly has its benefits.

IF CANNABIS HAS BEEN AROUND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, WHY ARE WE JUST HEARING ABOUT CBD?

There are 2 reasons for this…both resulting from prohibition.  First, cannabis was classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance (meaning no known medicinal value) making it nearly impossible for researchers to get federal approval for real scientific studies.  Second, as was the way with alcohol bootleggers, cannabis cultivators needed a way to get the most bang for the buck, so they focused on breeding strains with higher and higher THC content, essentially breeding the CBD out of strains that are common today (Consider the value of a jug of vodka compared to a jug of beer). 

It wasn’t until 1992 that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was identified by researchers in Israel.  As it turns out, every living creature with a spinal cord has an ECS.  The ECS controls every function of the body including mood, appetite, body temperature, and immune function. The ECS acts as the ‘conductor of the orchestra’, controlling much of the signaling within the body and working to bring the body back into balance, or homeostasis.    There are receptors through the brain and body that are configured specifically to interact with the endogenous cannabinoids our body naturally produces, anandamide and 2AG, as well as plant-based cannabinoids like THC and CBD.   Since the discovery of the ECS, research has slowly been trickling in that consistently shows that our bodies need cannabinoids and that many of the ‘illnesses’ that we see are a result of cannabinoid deficiencies or imbalance.  It is believed that prior to prohibition, we were getting supplemental cannabinoids in our diet through our milk, eggs and meat because the chickens were eating hemp seeds, and the animals were grazing on the leaves and stems of feral hemp, and cannabis remedies were a part of the pharmacopeia.   With prohibition came a lack of access to a component that our bodies need to function.

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SO, IF CBD ISN’T A CURE ALL, WHAT DOES IT DO?

As mentioned above, CBD is a soloist in the orchestra that regulates our bodies and one of the thousands of components required to keep our bodies in homeostasis.  Think about it in terms of what happens to the body when there is a calcium deficiency or a protein deficiency…it does not operate at peak performance.   There are studies that show that CBD helps with inflammation-based issues like autoimmune diseases, depression, neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, and diabetes as well as being effective at managing stress and anxiety. Additionally, there has been huge success in treating certain types of epilepsy and managing nausea and anticipatory nausea, making it a reliable companion for those undergoing cancer treatments.  It also improves mobility, loosens muscles, improves mood at low doses, and improves sleeps which allows the body to naturally detox.   It has recently been discovered that the largest concentration of endogenous cannabinoids in the human body occurs in breast milk and that there are more cannabinoid receptors in our brains than all of our other neurotransmitters combined.

So, NO, CBD is not a cure all…. but, it is certainly a key element of balancing your endocannabinoid system and improving your body’s natural quest for homeostasis.  Stay tuned as we continue to explore cannabis’s ever abundant gift of health and wellness.