Cannabidiol (CBD) has gone mainstream over the past year, and it seems that everyone has something to say about it. But why consume CBD—and specifically CBD derived from the cannabis hemp plant? Because CBD is CBD whether it comes from the cannabis marijuana plant or from cannabis hemp.
Just to be clear: The difference between CBD from cannabis and CBD from hemp is that they come from two different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. The former contains a plethora of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, whereas the latter contains 0.3% or less of THC, meaning it’s non-psychoactive. What this also means is hemp may not have the full complement of other cannabinoids and terpenes that the marijuana plant has.
However, many are finding high-quality, lab-tested hemp CBD from organic sources to be helpful. So, for those of you who want to get the benefits of CBD, but aren’t interested in consuming cannabis or getting high, then hemp CBD may be the right option for you.
Here are six reasons you should consider consuming hemp-derived CBD.
I’m a big proponent of cannabis legalization and access to the medical properties inherent in the cannabis plant. However, even in legal markets, accessibility to cannabis marijuana can still be an issue. In many legal states, qualifying medical conditions may be restricted or the limited number of dispensaries available may make accessibility an issue. For others, the thought of entering into a dispensary is too daunting.
Hemp CBD is more readily available across the United States than CBD derived from cannabis marijuana is. The latter is only permitted to be sold within licensed dispensaries or delivery services in marijuana-legal states. You can find hemp CBD in many different types of places:
Hemp CBD has many of the same medicinal properties of cannabis marijuana, without a lot of the same restrictions that make purchasing CBD from cannabis marijuana challenging.
Many years ago, long before I entered the cannabis industry, I took my three young kids to Hawaii, where each got a terrible sunburn. It was late at night, stores were closed, and the only thing I had on hand was a facial oil where the main ingredient listed was hemp oil. I felt terrible as I slathered their inflamed skin with the oil and hoped they would sleep through the night.
The next morning when I woke them up, I was shocked to see three faces without sunburns and not one of them was in pain. I’d never heard of hemp oil, so I immediately googled it and read about its anti-inflammatory properties. I instantly became a fan of CBD-based skin topicals and have religiously used it on my own face as well. And yes, I get a lot of compliments on my skin.
Sometimes, CBD oil may be labeled as hemp oil, sometimes as CBD, but essentially, they mean the same thing. Some folks swear by combining CBD oil with coconut oil or other oils such as lavender or tea tree oil, which are rich in terpenes.
That said, CBD is known not only as an anti-inflammatory that can help with sunburns, but also as a topical that effectively deals with tough skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. CBD is also a great moisturizer.
In addition, CBD—when used in combination with the terpene caryophyllene oxide—can also work as an effective antifungal. A friend recently battled a nasty foot fungus, which got so bad he could barely walk. I suggested he try CBD oil. Within a few days, his cracked and swollen foot healed to the point that it was barely noticeable.
Does CBD replace all of your daily vitamin supplements? Well, no, it doesn’t replace other minerals, multivitamins or even your probiotics. CBD does, however, contain extremely unique properties that may make it a great addition to your daily health regime.
CBD’s primary job is to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis within all of the other systems in your body. For instance, the ECS is thought to modulate:
Recently, CBD has come into the limelight for being an excellent pain reliever and a powerful anti-inflammatory. CBD also contains powerful antioxidants, more powerful than those found in vitamins C and E. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation, which is what leads to more free radicals that in turn damage our cells. Diets that are rich in antioxidants are linked to reduced risk of diseases like Parkinson’s disease and even arthritis.
CBD, and cannabis in general, has also been shown in research to help improve the gut biome. Overall, CBD is an excellent addition to dietary health supplements due to its wide-ranging list of therapeutic benefits.
Let’s face it, we all get stressed out, and for many, chronic anxiety is a way of life. Prolonged feelings of stress can lead to anxiety, which may cause a host of issues including a sense of fear, uneasiness, nausea and insomnia, among other uncomfortable symptoms. New research indicates that cannabinoids, including CBD, are an excellent way to relieve anxiety naturally without the nasty side effects common to many pharmaceuticals. It’s thought that CBD specifically boosts serotonin receptors, which can help reduce anxiety overall.
CBD may provide immediate relief for anxiety by relaxing muscles, easing feelings of bodily pain and providing an overall sense of calm. Anxiety-related disorders that seem to respond positively to CBD are:
Anecdotally, CBD also seems to work well for people under immediate pressure, like when they’re giving a presentation at work or dealing with a looming deadline.
CBD helped me with my own anxiety, as there was a time when I suffered from panic attacks. My doctor had put me on propranolol, which calmed me, but also left me feeling out of sorts. Unfortunately, panic attacks put you into a downward spiral, because it leaves you wondering when it will happen next. And once you start thinking about it, the thought of a panic attack is often enough to bring the next one on.
But, after starting on CBD for my migraines, I noticed an amazing side effect: My anxiety levels dropped significantly. After many years of taking CBD, I can easily say I rarely, if ever, feel anxiety. In fact, I attribute CBD for allowing me to feel comfortable giving presentations on stage to hundreds of people—without any of the intense feelings of anxiety that used to plague me.
CBD helps promote new growth of neurons within the brain, which is great news for your brain. Researchers from a hospital in Madrid recently published a study regarding CBD’s neuroprotective qualities stating that, “[their] findings demonstrate that CBD exerts robust neuroprotective effects.”
CBD also seems to decrease inflammation in the brain, which is good news for those who endure traumatic head injuries. So far, it appears CBD is not only a good preventative, protecting against damage, but may also encourage healing.
Interestingly, the U.S. government has a patent, #6,630,507, which states, “cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties,” and also that they have “particular application[s] as neuroprotectants—for example, in limiting neurological damage following … stroke and trauma, the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, [etc.].”
After taking CBD for over a year for migraine prevention, I started to notice something extraordinary. It seemed I was able to maintain a much lower body weight—something that hadn’t come easily beforehand.
In fact, by consuming CBD along with exercise and a healthy diet, I dropped two pant sizes and have since maintained the same weight I was at in my early 20s. There’s all sorts of evidence that as we age our metabolism slows down considerably, and yet suddenly, weight gain wasn’t an issue for me anymore. I began to wonder why.
According to World Health, “CBD stimulates genes and proteins, which play roles in increasing fat breakdown; CBD can boost activity and numbers of mitochondria increasing the body’s ability to burn calories; and CBD decreases expression of proteins which are involved in creating new fat cells within the body.”
A new Korean study published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry focused on CBD’s ability to prevent obesity. Researchers found the cannabinoid was able to better break down and increase the oxidation of fat, increase the number and activation of mitochondria (read: it was able to burn more calories), and decrease overall fat generation.
Lastly, it appears that CBD may create what’s known as “fat browning.” Essentially, this means white fat, which stores energy, is converted to brown fat, which burns it.
Still not convinced you should give hemp CBD a try? I encourage you to read our articles covering all things hemp—from 101s to spotlights on top hemp brands—to help you decide if it’s right for you. CBD has been a game changer for many, improving peoples’ lives in numerous ways—including mine.