Dr. Sharolyn Dihigo, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC,FNP-C // Feb 21, 2019

So what's with all the CBD oil hype?
With the recent passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2019, better known as the Farm Bill, the hemp plant is no longer considered a controlled substance. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil produced from the hemp plant can now be legally sold in all fifty states. Advertisements for purchasing this latest health craze are popping up everywhere from social media to your chiropractor’s office to your local nail salon.  So what is all of the hype about and what do you need to know about CBD oil before you purchase it to try for yourself? Recent years have brought about a wealth of research into the health benefits of CBD oil.  But what exactly is CBD and where does it come from?


What is the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants; however, there are major differences between the two. Hemp is grown and used to produce the majority of CBD oil used for medicinal purposes whereas marijuana can be used for medicinal or recreational use. The major difference between the two plants is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive part of the plant, or the part that would give you “the high”.  While marijuana plants have 25-30% THC, the hemp plant has a maximum of 0.3% THC making it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect.  Hemp contains a full array of cannabinoids as well as beneficial vitamins and minerals, proteins, chlorophyll, fatty acids, flavonoids, and terpenes.

What are the Health Benefits of CBD?
Every day new research emerges stating the health benefits of CBD, and literally, thousands of studies have been conducted studying CBD for its neuroprotective and antioxidant properties. These include using CBD for the treatment of seizures, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy. CBD has also been used for successful treatment of pain, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and joint pain. It is effective in reducing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and is currently being evaluated as a potential cancer treatment. It has also been studied for balancing the immune system; CBD is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory abilities in relieving the joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis and bowel conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease. CBD has also been used successfully as a treatment for acne and calming menopausal symptoms.

Should I use full spectrum or isolate?
Full spectrum hemp has all the beneficial properties where isolates are limited and may be synthetic. Full spectrum hemp has the full array of cannabinoids and other naturally occurring ingredients designed to work together.  This is known as the “entourage effect.”  The full array of cannabinoids and terpenes work so well together, these two components are sought for their healing abilities.  Any isolate CBD product will lack the beneficial entourage effect.  Thoroughly review the source of the CBD, the dosage and concentration, and request a report for outside testing for contaminants before purchasing CBD oil.

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