This month celebrates the revolutionary comeback of one of the most useful and versatile plants - hemp. Despite its lack of intoxicating ingredients, laws banned cannabis along with hemp for more than 80 years. July offers consumers the opportunity to rediscover hemp and it’s beneficial qualities to people, pets, and the environment.
Agricultural hemp was legalized on an experimental basis by federal law under the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the “farm bill”. Under a provision in the 2018 farm bill, commodity hemp production was federally legalized as it is a cannabis species that CBD can be extracted from but that is not psychoactive. Cannabidiol, aka CBD, can be easily described as a child of the cannabis sativa plant with it’s more popular sibling being THC.
One of the many benefits of hemp is that it provides an all-natural and eco-friendly fiber within many applications from clothing to paper. The crop itself also helps clean pollutants from the soil. But hemp's most popular identity is the benefits it provides to people and pets within hemp derived CBD topicals and ingestibles. CBD’s main ‘selling points’ to consumers is that it is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression, pain, and can assist in helping individuals sleep. It’s point of attraction is that it is classified as “non-psychoactive” where consumers can enjoy the benefits of the plant without experiencing the high that THC induces.
So, does it work? The human body has a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate various functions including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. The body produces endocannabinoids - neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Over time, studies have suggested that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity which additionally reduces inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. To summarize that science lesson for you, CBD interacts with intricate things in the human body that end up working together to help alleviate negative symptoms you may be experiencing like pain or anxiety. Make sense? Recent studies have also shown CBD has similar beneficial effects for pets as they also have endocannabinoid systems.
Given that every human body is different in it’s own way, CBD’s effectiveness may depend on each individual. It’s important to try out different products and dosages to find the perfect balance that works for you. And what better time to do this than National Hemp Month!