Running out of options, the young girl’s family moved to Colorado, one of the few states at the time that had medical marijuana as an option. It was in Colorado where Charlotte was treated with CBD oil. A year later, she was living a fully functioning life and only suffering a couple of seizures a month.
HOW CBD OIL CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE LIKE CHARLOTTE’S
There is a reason why medical marijuana has gained more steam than your favorite vaporizer. Each year, an increasing number of states vote in favor of this form of medicine. The movement that has lead to the sweeping legalization of marijuana can be pointed to the day the world was introduced to CBD oil.
MARIJUANA: THE BAN OF THE CENTURY
Before marijuana legalization started sweeping the States, the plant had a stigma attached to it. Prior to ever hearing the term, “medical marijuana,” novices to the concept presumed cannabis was a recreational drug that would lead you down the rabbit hole to worse situations such as meth or heroin. After all, that’s what people have been taught for generations.
These fears were caused by a trickling down effect of generational folklore based off anti-cannabis propaganda that dates back to the 30’s with Reefer Madness all the way to the “War on Drugs” Nixon-era of the 70’s. A large section of the population’s only introduction to marijuana was through extreme caricatures acting unlike any typical marijuana experience. However, this stigma has latched on through the generations. Like many evolutionary changes in society, it’s been a slow roll-out, but marijuana legalization has gained some traction.
A pivotal turning point came back in 2013 when once again the media was presenting a picture of marijuana. Except this time, cannabis was actually helping a human. As reported by CNN, Charlotte, a five-year old with a severe form of intractable epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, suffered approximately 300 seizures a day. After years of taking addictive drugs like barbiturates and adopting a fully ketogenic diet that caused the young girl to suffer bone loss, the child eventually lost her ability to talk, walk, or eat.
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
What caused the situation with Charlotte to be so controversial, and later eye-opening, was the outrage that her family faced for turning to medical marijuana. Those who were ignorant to the practice assumed the parents were getting their child high. What they were unaware of is that science has created an array of medical marijuana strains that are catered to very specific medicinal needs. In the case of Charlotte, there are plenty of cannabis plants where the psychoactive element of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is almost completely eliminated.
Charlotte was administered a form of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which has no psychoactive qualities. Obviously strong enough to curb symptoms associated with Dravet Syndrome without giving the child a high, more states took medical marijuana seriously and eventually legalized cannabis as a form of medicine, and in some states a form of recreation.
You don’t need to have a severe form of epilepsy to benefit from CBD oil. Studies have shown promising results for CBD oil as a:
THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW CBD OIL WORKS
CBD predominantly resides within a cannabis plant’s trichomes, which are small growths of hair on the skin of the plant. To break it all down, of the 480 compounds in the cannabis plant, over 60 of them are known as cannabinoids. One of the most prominent of the 60 plus cannabinoids is cannabidiol (CBD). This molecule comprises up to 40% of cannabis plant extracts. If you failed math class growing up, that’s almost half. If you are buying weed by the weight, that’s more than a quarter, and less than a half.
Like all cannabinoids, CBD interacts with various cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in the skin, reproductive areas, and digestive tract. These exact receptors are the same ones that opioids interact with to give an overall good-feeling for those in pain. Cannabinoids do the same thing, but without the addictive behavior.
The specific cannabinoid receptors (the two largest and most-researched are named CB1 and CB2), as a whole make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). These neurotransmitters are proteins that influence a variety of functions.
Some of these functions include:
CBD strengthens the system by mimicking and reversing the endocannabinoid it interacts with. Therefore, it helps the body achieve homeostasis. Cannabis oil works to balance out the system.
MARIJUANA VS. HEMP CBD OIL
Cannabidiol derives from members of the cannabis plant family. That means CBD can be found in both hemp and marijuana. The major difference between marijuana CBD oil and hemp CBD oil is THC content.
As mentioned above, THC is the largest of the cannabinoids that contain psychoactive elements. Marijuana is typically cultivated to highlight its THC properties. Whereas hemp has a low concentration of THC. In most countries, anything below a 0.3% THC content is considered hemp. Anything above is classified as marijuana.
The biggest reason for these differences is based upon how these plants were first cultivated. Over time, early civilizations started breeding variations of the cannabis plant that resembled hemp in texture with one another. This created the male version of cannabis known as the hemp we have today. Naturally, the males created more CBD to THC ratio.
As ancestors learned that some strains of cannabis has psychoactive abilities, they began breeding those plants together as well, making the female THC-heavy marijuana plant we know today. Due to the sensitivity still surrounding the psychoactive abilities, hemp CBD oil is legal in America. Whereas, marijuana CBD oil is federally illegal and can only be purchased contingent on the individual state’s laws.
Being from the same family and containing many of the same cannabinoids, marijuana and hemp based CBD oils have similar effects on the body for the ailments it can be prescribed for. There are many theories that marijuana CBD oil would be superior due to the fact that together CBD and THC have an “Entourage Effect.” This means that THC has a positive impact on CBD and accentuates its healing properties. However, CBD on its own does nothing without the help of other cannabinoids in the first place. Therefore, hemp-based CBD oil also contains additional cannabinoids that have the same “Entourage Effect” on the product.