CBD is growing in popularity for insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain. But the cannabinoid has so more potential. Here’s Herb’s guide on the most underrated uses for CBD.
Photography by Georgia Love for Herb
Everyone in the cannabis industry knows these days: the CBD market is booming. According to The Hemp Business Journal, a division of data analytics firm New Frontier Data, the CBD market will grow 700 percent between 2016 and 2022, reaching a total of $2.1 billion in sales. So why’s CBD so popular?
CBD, a compound which comes from the cannabis plant, began gaining national attention after stories emerged about young children using it to treat their epilepsy when nothing else worked. Today, a number of conservative states like Texas and Georgia, which still ban medical marijuana, allow CBD with a small amount of THC for serious conditions.
In the meantime, much like with cannabis, people around the country are experimenting with CBD for a variety of conditions from anxiety to insomnia. It’s received a reputation for being a sort of “miracle drug” as it doesn’t get consumers high and, if it doesn’t have THC, it can be purchased online in all 50 states. Currently, the highest number of people are using the cannabinoid to treat the side effects of cancer treatment, psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, insomnia), inflammatory conditions (arthritis, Crohn’s disease), and pain. But CBD is showing promise for so much more. Here are the 5 most underrated uses for CBD.
Nicotine is one of the hardest habits to kick—only six percent of people do it successfully each year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s why CBD for smoking cessation is such an exciting prospect.
As with cannabis in general, the federal prohibition of CBD has made it difficult to research. There are, however, some small trials looking at CBD for cigarette addiction. One study from 2013 found that 40 percent of smokers using a CBD inhaler reduced their cigarette intake while those given the placebo saw no significant change.
In May, a small, double-blind trial also found 800 mg of CBD reduced the irritability caused by cigarette triggers, like being at a party or surrounded by others who are smoking. This gets to the heart of why CBD is such an effective treatment for so many different kinds of conditions. It not only treats physical symptoms like inflammation and pain, but the anxiety that comes with them. Thus, it’s working holistically—on the mind and body together—to give patients relief.
Anyone who likes to experiment with cannabis has been there. You hit a dab rig for the first time or eat a bit too much of an edible and, all of a sudden, your eyelids are feeling heavy or the room is spinning. Some people say CBD is the cure for this hellish situation.
CBD can counteract the anxiety and paranoia that often accompanies too much THC. Research has shown it does this by modulating excess cannabinoid activity in the brain.
You can give it a try by keeping a high CBD strain with your stash or dabbing a high CBD oil. These are the fastest ways to find relief. In the rare case that you get so high you’re still feeling bad after more than three hours or so, try a high CBD oil or some CBD capsules. It’s not guaranteed to work as everyone’s body responds to cannabinoids differently. It can hurt though.
CBD isn’t only gaining a reputation as a miracle drug for humans. Pets, also, cope with a variety of conditions—from arthritis to anxiety—that lack effective treatments. A growing number of pet owners are finding that CBD is the solution.
CBD pet sales reached $13 million last year and are expected to grow to $125 million by 2022, according to New Frontier Data. In an online survey, soon to be published, 44 percent of pet owners said cannabis worked more effectively than traditional pain meds for their pets.
While there’s hardly any research on CBD for pets (the first major study was published by Cornell University in July), it makes sense that CBD would work in cats and dogs as they also have endocannabinoid systems.
Pet owners, too, often don’t like giving pain meds to their beloved animals for the same reason they don’t like taking them—they come with side effects including exhaustion and loopiness. Here’s Herb’s guide on how to give dogs CBD and here’s some CBD for pet products worth trying, some of which are available in all 50 states.
Have you been trying to get mom to smoke with you? It might happen, but until then that doesn’t mean she—or any of your other loved ones—shouldn’t experience the miraculous potential of the cannabis plant. CBD can be the perfect way to put people who are resistant to the herb at ease: it doesn’t get people high; it doesn’t come with the stigma of cannabis; and it can be consumed in a lot of non-threatening ways like in tea or as a lotion.
CBD, in particular, is said to have benefits for conditions that ail people as they age. While there’s been no research looking at CBD for menopause specifically, CBD has shown promise in treating the symptoms of menopause including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and bone density loss.
These symptoms also plague a significant number of seniors who, according to a 2016 report, are now the fastest-growing demographic of cannabis users in the country. The majority of experts recommend that patients use CBD products with some THC in them for the greatest effect. CBD-only products, however, can be a good place to start.
The legality of CBD is still iffy. In fact, experts all seem to have differing opinions on the matter. The Federal Government still places CBD in the most restrictive category possible—Schedule I—alongside heroin and LSD, because it can come from the cannabis plant. Some folks in the industry, however, push back saying the Agricultural Act of 2014, known as the “Farm Bill,” legalized CBD derived from hemp. That’s the stuff that’s available online in all 50 states and it doesn’t contain THC.
As mentioned above, many experts argue it’s not as effective as products that are more tightly regulated and sold at dispensaries, but many patients are finding success with them. While we don’t expect you to give up smoking, it might be worth having some hemp-derived CBD for when you’re dry and desperate. Besides—who knows?—maybe you’ll discover there are times you prefer CBD over flower. A lot of herb lovers alternate between the two to strike that perfect balance between recreational use and everyday wellness.