You’ll hear and read a lot about CBD products that can cure different forms of cancer and about hemp oil that has miraculously healed patients from anxiety, tumors, diabetes and whatnot. My advice? Beware of products whose benefits sound too good to be true. CBD oil is a powerful antioxidant whose strength is greater than that of vitamin C and E, and I’m sure we will soon have strong medical evidence for different health effects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. It was discovered in 1940 and initially thought not to be pharmaceutically active. It is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract. As of 2018 in the United States, Food and Drug Administration approval of cannabidiol as a prescription drug called Epidiolex for medical uses has been limited to two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
Juliana Birnbaum is trained as a cultural anthropologist and skilled in four languages and has lived and worked in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Nepal, Costa Rica and Brazil. In 2005 she founded Voices in Solidarity, an initiative that partnered with Ashaninka indigenous tribal leaders from the Brazilian Amazon to support the development of the Yorenka Ãtame community-led environmental educational center featured in Sustainable [R]evolution. She was the first graduate of the Cornerstone Doula School, one of the most rigorous natural birth programs in the U.S., focusing on a holistic model of care. She is engaged variously as writer, editor, teacher, midwife assistant and mother when not attempting new yoga poses or learning how to garden.
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How do you take it? CBD products comes in a variety of forms, including tinctures, gel caps, and topical applications. One athlete-focused company, Floyd’s of Leadville, offers a protein recovery powder and a carb drink that contain CBD. (That’s Floyd as in Floyd Landis, the former professional cyclist who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for failing a drug test and who helped to expose Lance Armstrong’s doping.) Another athlete-focused company, PurePower Botanicals, offers capsules that combine CBD with herbs and other purported medicinals, such as turmeric. PurePower says that the non-hemp-derived ingredients increase the effectiveness of the products’ CBD.
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
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