Of the many developmental disorders, autism and its associated spectrum of disorders are perhaps the most pervasive. Autistic children suffer from insomnia, irritability and a loss of appetite, to name a few. Practitioners have been experimenting with the use of CBD oil in curtailing the social anxiety and psychological manifestations vicariously caused in victims of autism.
If you haven’t been bombarded with CBD marketing or raves about it from friends, get ready. This extract—which comes from either marijuana or its industrial cousin, hemp—is popping up everywhere. There are CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids for vaping plus CBD-infused lotions, beauty products, snacks, coffee, and even vaginal suppositories. Already some 1,000 brands of CBD products are available in stores—and online in states that don’t have lenient cannabis laws. This is a tiny fraction of what’s to come: The CBD market is poised to exceed $1 billion by 2020, per the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group.
Plants that qualify as industrial hemp, by the standards of the 2014 Farm Bill, must contain less than .3% THC. But the sale of hemp products is seemingly only permitted when derived from the stalks and seeds of the plant (as opposed to the flowers, where a lot of the good stuff is). Mix in the phenomenon known as the "entourage effect" — which demonstrates that CBD is most effective when used in combination with other cannabinoids, leading many to seek a "whole plant" or "full spectrum" version of the compound — and that's where it gets tricky. Are producers of hemp-derived CBD really only using stalks? Would that product be very effective? It remains unclear.
That leaves those touting CBD’s effectiveness pointing primarily to research in mice and petri dishes. There, CBD (sometimes combined with small amounts of THC) has shown promise for helping pain, neurological conditions like anxiety and PTSD, and the immune system—and therefore potentially arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and more.
Oh, was I just talking about Girl Scout cookies? I prefer showers over baths—we all have an allegiance to one or the other—but we can’t ignore how many memes have come out of #bathbombs. It’s satisfying to watch them fizzle, they turn your bath into fun colors, and they claim to provide aromatherapy benefits, too. They’re also much tidier than traditional bath salt products; just chuck one in and wait!
Cannabinoids (CBD) have been used to manage symptoms in patients with cancer and are present in small amounts in hemp seed oil. One study showed that cannabinoid extracts inhibited the growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells. Further tests have demonstrated antiproliferative, proapoptotic, and antiangiogenic effects of CBD on breast, prostate, and skin malignancies. However, it is important to note that other studies have found that cannabinoids may also stimulate tumor growth.
A CNN program that featured Charlotte's Web cannabis in 2013 brought increased attention to the use of CBD in the treatment of seizure disorders. Since then, 16 states have passed laws to allow the use of CBD products with a doctor's recommendation (instead of a prescription) for treatment of certain medical conditions. This is in addition to the 30 states that have passed comprehensive medical cannabis laws, which allow for the use of cannabis products with no restrictions on THC content. Of these 30 states, eight have legalized the use and sale of cannabis products without requirement for a doctor's recommendation.
Why support the endocannabinoid system? The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is gaining attention in the public eye for its role in contributing to an individual’s overall health and well-being by supporting the body’s physiological homeostasis. The ECS regulates nearly every metabolic process in the body system. A well-balanced ECS encourages favorable conditions in the body system, impacting the body’s ability to manage metabolic stress1 and may support overall health and well-being.2