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Is Cannabidiol (CBD) snake oil?

 

A few days ago I had lunch with an old friend.  As we caught up after all these years, the topic turned to CBD and my fascination with it. He had never heard of CBD before and he was somewhat skeptical.

"You're talking about this stuff like a snake oil salesman," he said.

He was probably right, but it was clear as I continued that he was also genuinely curious--asking questions, thirsty for information. I told him about the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in 1992, how the ECS has been shown to be widespread throughout the brain and body. I explained that because of the pervasiveness of the ECS, studies on cannabinoids like CBD are showing signs of relief for a surprisingly diverse variety of conditions.

"It doesn't get you high, and any side effects are entirely benign. Try it for a few days and you will almost certainly feel a difference." I said.

I told him about the odd regulatory environment that CBD has to operate within. Since the newly-budding hemp industry has the capability to disrupt a large number of other industries, (textiles, food, pharma) the entire family of plants is demonized to guard against that. I told him the history as I understand it, attempted to provide him with a wider knowledge of hemp and cannabinoid supplements like CBD, and told him about the myriad benefits I have personally witnessed.

I ought to mention that my friend is a college professor.

"Testimonials don't work for me. Where is the science?" 

In response, I accessed the CBD Studies page on hemplucid.com, which provides links to peer-reviewed clinical studies for dozens of conditions. With the resources on this page, the incredulity began to disappear from my friend (as much as that is possible for a philosophy professor.) He realized then, I think, that medical cannabis might be more than snake oil, and there is a reason that the citizens of this nation and others are beginning to recognize the vital need for full, unfettered, unobstructed legalization of the cannabis family of plants.

"I am excited to review this website, and to try CBD," he said. 

The conversation has lingered with me for days.

Learning about CBD presents gateways into numerous fields of knowledge

Endeavoring to learn about CBD opens the mind to the pursuit of education in various fascinating fields. 

Botany / Ethnobotany

Different strains of hemp contain varying levels of biochemical compounds called phytocannabinoids. These compounds have effects on the human endocannabinoid system, sometimes in profound ways. The study of these and other botanical characteristics of hemp possess a tremendous amount of value for our society. 

Anthropology and Archaeology

Did you know that a neolithic campsite was discovered in Taiwan which included pottery with hemp cords, hemp leaf designs, and a rod-shaped stone beater used to pound and grind hemp? Did you know that ninjas trained by jumping over cannabis plants? Hemp grows very quickly, so every day ninjas-in-training had to leap higher, enhancing their skills! There is a very long and rich history of humans interacting with this family of plants.

Law

Cannabis only has a legal history because vested interests worked together to illegalize it in 1937. Given time, we might think of cannabis prohibition the same way we think about the prohibition of alcohol. Currently, the desire to reform cannabis laws is leading to intensified civic engagement from every race, color, and creed. Be a part of history, and stand to be counted among people who value the produce of nature in addition to the innovations of humans. Law and order is a wonderful achievement, and we are right as a society to value it as we do, but if a law is causing medical harm to a large segment of society, then it needs to be scrapped, plain and simple. 

Health Science

The nutritional profile of the hemp plant is off the charts, filled with Omega-chain fatty acids, proteins, and amino acids which contribute spectacularly to human health. As part of a healthy lifestyle, it can't be beat. It's up to each of us, individually, to learn what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, and to strive to exemplify the principles we learn. 

High-Tech

New technologies are being applied to ancient ingredients. There will be industry-changing innovations in a number of categories as hemp becomes more ubiquitous in the United States.


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