(Updated 04/02/17)

With a growing number of states legalizing cannabis, hemp is gaining popularity for its many benefits–and for good reason. Hemp is basically a cannabis plant but is grown to have almost none of the properties of a standard cannabis plant that get you “high”. Both cannabis and hemp contain cannabidiol or CBD, and studies are showing how CBD has several medicinal benefits. Unlike regular marijuana, medicinal hemp is grown to have under 0.03% THC and in most cases, there is no chance of getting high from its extracts. Marijuana can have up to 20% THC and when concentrated its extracts can have up to 99% THC.

So what does all this mean?

While this is quite a contrast, it’s important to know that hemp grows at a much faster rate than cannabis and hemp cultivators can get a few harvests each year. What this means is that although it takes more hemp to make the same strength CBD product, hemp is still very beneficial to treating a variety of medical conditions. Also, marijuana contains the psychoactive THC. While much of the debate focuses on the psychoactive properties of the marijuana plant, many do not know they can legally access CBD from hemp in all 50 states. You can browse a recent article regarding this HERE

Here are some health benefits of CBD

One of the health benefits CBD is in giving patients with neurodegenerative or neuropsychiatric disorders much-needed relief from their symptoms. A growing number of studies are showing that CBD aids in the reduction of seizures and spasms associated with neurological illnesses. Preliminary studies are also showing that CBD also helps with cognitive function which could help Alzheimer’s patients and those suffering from schizophrenia. This is very encouraging. This news gives hope to millions of people and could offer them a chance to live healthy lives without painful and often debilitating symptoms. Whether CBD is a cure or a treatment remains to be seen, but any opportunity to better the quality of life is welcome.

Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia aren’t the only disorders that could potentially be treated with CBD from hemp. Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric, and autoimmune disorders are also being studied to see how CBD can help relieve symptoms. Again, the preliminary studies are encouraging. It’s already known how CBD can reduce tremors and seizures. But studies are also finding that CBD can help slow cognitive decline. The details are still new, but this is very encouraging for Alzheimer’s patients. Also, because cognitive decline is common with schizophrenic patients, CBD is being studied as a treatment. It seems with every CBD study being done, the results are favorable and edging the field of medicine towards more definitive treatments and possible cures.

What is the most popular way to take CBD?

There are several different ways CBD can be administered to patients, but inhalation by smoking or vaporizing through an electronic device seem to be the most effective. This method appears to demonstrate how the lungs can deliver the needed CBD quickly with near immediate effects. Vaporizing is preferred so the patient doesn’t have to worry about the complications of smoking. For patients suffering from tremors, seizures or spasms, this means they could get relief from these symptoms in very little time. This type of treatment is currently being seen with asthma patients using inhalers during an asthma attack. CBD oil infused inhalers are already available, however, in some countries and states, it’s still illegal. Yet as evidence and studies continue to show the health benefits of CBD, it may only be a matter of time until every patient has access to CBD, in one form or another, as an effective treatment.

There are other methods of delivery when it comes to getting the health benefits of CBD although the effects may not as immediate or as strong. Soft gels, sublingual drops, lozenges, nasal sprays, and transdermal patches are all currently being studied as ways patients can get relief, and while the results are varied, they are all very positive. Some treatments like sublingual drops and nasal sprays, although fast acting, are less effective. These treatments may be ideal for patients with mild or occasional symptoms. Other methods like transdermal patches might be good for patients who need steady doses of CBD to keep symptoms at bay. It really is just a matter of time until everyone will have access to treatments that will give them the ability to live a happy and healthy life.