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As people begin to move towards a healthier body and mind, they begin looking at natural alternatives to over-the-counter medications. Pharmaceutical drugs made in laboratories often come with many side-effects and introduce chemicals, as well as toxins, to the body in order to reduce symptoms of various ailments.
For those health-conscious people, Cannabidiol (CBD) may prove to be the natural alternative as it not only offers healing to a wide variety of maladies, it also has many other health benefits. What is CBD? It is an extract of the cannabis plant which is non-psychoactive and may even be useful in countering the psychoactive effects of other medications, as well as those of THC (a psychoactive compound also found in cannabis).
A survey conducted among regular users of CBD showed astonishing results. More than 40% of CBD users stopped using over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and instead relied on various CBD-based products for treating everyday ailments. These CBD products included CBD isolates, full spectrum CBD with some THC, and products containing CBD with slightly higher levels of THC which also produce some euphoric effects.
Anecdotal evidence from those using CBD include the reduction or elimination of anxiety, depression and stress, pain, inflammation and insomnia. CBD also provides relief for everything from acne to headaches.
Instead of purchasing pain killers and ointments, many people are now using the CBD products and finding more relief without introducing dangerous chemicals into their bodies. CBD is naturally- derived from the cannabis plant and it works with our built-in endocannabinoid systems to bring our bodies back into a state of balance.
Statistics from 2015 showed that more than 33,000 people died due to overdosing on a variety of opioids. In contrast, to date there is not one single recorded fatality from overdosing on CBD products. Many opioids, including some over-the-counter (OTC) medications, can result in addiction or to the need for increased dosage in order to achieve the same results over a period of time.
CBD does not cause addiction, so there is no concern of withdrawals should you stop taking the product after an extended period of time. Depending on the OTC medication you are replacing with a CBD product, it may also prove to be cheaper. Many medications come with unwanted side effects that can be almost as debilitating as what is being treated. CBD has minimal side effects and seems to be safe for use for most people. There has been no indication of sensitivity or allergy responses to CBD although there are sensitivity issues with THC products. If you only use CBD or full spectrum CBD which contains small amounts of THC (0.3% or less), you are unlikely to experience any sensitivity problems. Most CBD products are now legal to purchase as well and just as easily accessible as OTC medications.
People are using CBD for pain control, from mild-to-fairly severe pain and inflammation. CBD tinctures and sprays are also being used to treat muscle spasms and pain quite successfully. This is especially good for athletes in training who don’t want to add chemicals into their system which might interfere with their training or conditioning. Care does need to be taken for those in professional sports in case traces of THC may be picked up in their urine during a drug test, and may be a cause for disqualification.
CBD is also being used to treat seizures, but this is a special high-dosage brand for which there is no OTC equivalent. Usually, seizures like these would require prescription-only opioids. CBD may also eventually replace pain killers such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines which can be harmful when used extensively over a long period of time. Many are finding that CBD helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, nicotine and a number of other addictive substances. It can even help people to stay off those substances more successfully than traditional treatments. Eventually, CBD may even replace milder, OTC medications which contain acetaminophen (Paracetamol, Tylenol and similar pain relievers) as it is a natural analgesic. This means that one day CBD may eventually be the compound of choice for relieving headaches, dental pain, back aches, osteoarthritis and various other types of chronic or acute pain, often coupled with inflammation.
Pain relievers containing acetaminophen are usually fairly harmless, with minimal side effects when used occasionally and in the right doses. The problem comes in when people use higher doses or use the medications for long periods. This can result in kidney damage and liver damage to the extent that it can result in death. There is also the possibility of rare skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome which can cause purplish rash and blisters on the body. It can also cause the skin to peel and can effect the mucus membranes. Additionally, there has also been some correlation between paracetamol use and asthma in some people. The upper limit of acetaminophen is not adequately established at this point. These over-the-counter drugs are often not effective in the recommended doses for treating chronic pain. For example, people with back pain and osteoarthritis may only find minor relief using over other medications. CBD appears to be a lot more effective in treating this type of chronic pain, with no chance of overdose and minimal side-effects.
CBD medications purchased for insomnia are also found to have limited side-effects, and show a lot more potential in this area as well. Deaths from acetaminophen are around 300 per year with most of the fatalities coming from accidental overdoses, as opposed to those intentionally overdosing.
CBD shows the potential for symptom relief to a degree that no other medication would be required. CBD should not be used in conjunction with other medications as, at this point, there has not been enough research done on the interaction of CBD with a wide variety of other medications.
Some of the medications tested with CBD showed reactions such as being inhibited by rifampin when both are ingested at the same time. This could reduce the efficiency of the CBD dose by up to 50%. CBD has been tested with a number of other medications and has been shown to increase the uptake of the medications, which can also be harmful depending on the medications ingested. If you are already using medication, it is recommended that you discuss taking CBD with your doctor in advance.
In conclusion, CBD seems to be a lot safer than most other medications and may also prove to be a lot more effective, especially when treating pain and inflammation. There have also been many deaths from the use of various OTC medications, while to date there have been no fatalities from using CBD.
Hopefully once there has been standardization of CBD products and a lot more research results are available, CBD may actually become the medication of choice for treating many ailments currently being treated.
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