The stigma around cannabis is keeping people from accessing possible treatment options.

When people think of cannabis there is often an stigmatized accusation of it being a gateway drug. However, this stigma does not reflect reality.  There are many different uses for the plant, both recreational and medical. Cannabis is slowly being legalized or decriminalized across the U.S., but this is not happening fast enough, particularly when it comes to medical cannabis. 

The positives that CBD can bring to people is sometimes life changing and has the ability to help them get back to living everyday life as they were before. Some will not be in pain and over time can rely on CBD in order to stop taking medications that have harsh side effects.  

The important thing here is to understand the difference between cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, which are both found in the plant. 

The commonly known uses of marijuana come from THC, which has a psychoactive compound that gives people what is known as a head high. A head high provides the feeling of “an altered state characterized by euphoria, pleasure, or heightened sensory perception,” as stated in the Healthline article, “Can You Get High from CBD or CBD Oil?” 

CBD on the other hand does not give you this same feeling. Instead, it provides a body high, or feelings of extreme relaxation throughout your body, but still enables users to function mentally and physically the same way before taking any CBD.

Another thing that people should understand when dealing with CBD is knowing what the difference is between hemp and marijuana. While they both come from the same cannabis plant, the difference between CBD and THC levels are drastic. 

An article titled “Are Hemp and Marijuana the Same?” from websiteministryofhemp.com explains the difference between the two. Hemp can be used in items like dietary supplements, skin products, clothing and accessories. The reason for this is due to the very high CBD levels and the contrastingly very low THC levels. In hemp, the THC level is less than .3% compared to marijuana, which has a level of 5-35%.

In WebMD’s article, “Health Benefits of CBD,” which was reviewed by M.D. Dan Brennan, Brennan explains that CBD can help “treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression and anxiety.” It’s crazy to think how this one compound from a controversial plant can have such a positive impact on people’s lives, yet it is still not federally legal due to stigmas and a lack of understanding of the plant.

The ways that CBD can help people is so amazing. One of the most remarkable examples I have seen is how it can help kids with epilepsy try and live a normal life. I have seen videos of these kids having really bad seizures before their parents administer the oil, and once the CBD gets absorbed into the child’s system, the seizures start to become less violent in just a matter of seconds. 

Then within a couple of minutes the child returns to the activity that they were doing as if nothing happened, the CBD helps reduce the length of the seizures making the recovery time quicker. CBD can be a much more natural route to help those with epilepsy compared to medications that take longer to work and often have severe side effects. 

I use CBD based products to help with joint pain and migraines. Before I started using it for my migraines, trying to concentrate on anything was incredibly difficult during an episode. Since I deal with pain behind my eyes and around the front of my head, all I wanted to do was be in a dark room away from bright lights or a computer that only make the symptoms worse. 

Since I have started using CBD I have seen a difference. I am able to do more work on class assignments with only a mild headache compared to not being able to concentrate on anything. So, not only have I seen the benefits that CBD can do for others, but I have also experienced what CBD can do for myself. I have also witnessed individuals who have struggled with addiction to pain medications slowly wean off of them due to CBD’s help with not only making them feel better, but also curbing the side effects that the medications often come with.

The article “4 Different ways to Consume CBD for Natural Health” on theislandnow.com goes into detail about the different ways to use CBD along with the pros and cons of using it in each. 

The first way to use CBD is through inhalation by smoking or vaping it and is the quickest way to get the effects since it goes straight to your lungs and into the bloodstream. The main difference between the two is that vaping is less harsh on the lungs and throat. 

Another way to use it is by topical creams or balms. This method works best for sore muscles, skin conditions and migraines by rubbing the cream in the area that has pain. Another way of taking CBD is in the form of edibles, which is usually a candy that has a percentage of CBD put into them, the only downside to this method is that it can take a while to feel the effects since it needs to be digested first. 

The last method is getting sublingual CBD oil, with this, it is placed under the tongue for a few seconds and then swallowed. This method allows one to control the dosage much easier. It can take some trial and error to find which method works the best and knowing what percentage of CBD you need, but once you know it truly is a life saver. 

People should be able to use CBD products for medical conditions or physical pain without much hassle, yet we are not there as a society. Some states make it easy for individuals to be able to get the products that they need, while others are still making it hard. At the federal level it is still illegal which is keeping a large number of individuals from being able to access this medication that can be a much better alternative compared to pharmaceutical prescriptions. 

We all need to come together and understand that this part of the plant can help so many people who are living in pain everyday or are struggling with addictions to opioid medications that help with severe pain. If this taboo over a plant would just go away and it was made fully legal, many people would be living pain free lives. This would then give everyone an opportunity to be able to have access to natural treatment which can lead to a better life.

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