By Winston Lee L. Ac, Ph.D., KMD
If you live in California, you’ve probably seen a Cannabidiol (CBD) sign on the street at least once in recent years. It is now common to see shops that advertise on billboards next to highways and with signs like this CBD next to the green cross on the street. It is very common, especially in Las Vegas. What is this? Is this a drug or marijuana?
In conclusion, CBD is similar to marijuana but different. Personally, I was very curious about this, so I searched and researched based on various papers and reports. As a physician, we need to know about this one to advise our patient. Actually, I have been asked by patients many times so far. The term itself is controversial, and even the people who sell it are often confused about it, so here’s an article published in the March 2019 Times.
‘The drug marijuana, also known as weed or pot, is the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound that is found in cannabis plants. CBD can be extracted from the same plant as marijuana or hemp – another cannabis plant that is now legal in the States. Hemp has very low levels of another cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Evidence suggests that THC – not CBD – causes the symptoms people associate with getting high on marijuana. ‘
Simply put, CBD is nothing like the psychoactive compound THC that comes from marijuana extraction. Since CBD, widely known recently, is extracted from hemp rather than marijuana, there is almost no THC component. Any remaining THC is removed through special processes such as heat and carbon dioxide, sometimes called pure CBD.
CBD is particularly effective in reducing anxiety and depression caused by any stress or tension. On the contrary, caffeine, which is high in coffee, makes the heart beat faster and wakes up, whereas CBD, on the contrary, relaxes you, relieves depression, and improves concentration. Therefore, it is effective for sleep disorders caused by tension. In particular, it is effective for epilepsy, so it has been artificially synthesized and released as a treatment for epilepsy called Epidiolex, which a doctor can prescribe. In addition, studies show that it activates the overall human immune system in a way called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
However, many people confuse hemp seed oil with CBD. CBD is extracted from the leaves and stems of hemp, but hemp seed oil is only the seeds pressed to extract the oil, and there is no CBD in it. The hemp seed oil has many nutrients like soybean oil and corn oil, but no special effects can be expected because CBD does not.
It has no psychoactive effect, is safe, and is effective for many mental disorders, producing and distributing by numerous companies in the States. However, since this has not been widely known for very long, the process of growing, harvesting, and processing hemp is not clear, and many products have not been thoroughly tested. Some even claim to be completely free of THC but contain significant amounts of THC. The PGA, the US professional golf tour, also allows CBD, but of course, THC regulates it. Recently, the PGA has officially announced that the use of CBD is permitted but that some low-quality products contain THC, which is regulated differently from the label, so each athlete must use it responsibly and with caution.
Therefore, it is necessary to carefully determine whether the quality control is clear and the product is frequently inspected for authentic ingredients when choosing CBD. Reliable products usually have the exact ingredient names and test results published on the product label or packaging. In addition, prescription drugs and vitamins whose safety has been secured in the States and whose effects have been confirmed clinically are listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). There are a couple of CBD listed in this PDR, so I recommend finding it and taking it.
Although CBD is legal for medical and recreational use in 50 states across the United States, including California, CBD is subject to strict regulation along with THC in Korea. Therefore, despite these various useful effects and functions, it is impossible to send it to Korea by mail or take it directly, so you must be careful.
If you live in the States, if you fully understand the raw materials and processes of these CBD, select high-quality products, and use them in appropriate doses, patients will see enough effects in their daily lives and solve various health problems.