Advocates claim CBD oil outweighs the benefits of modern medicine
Advocates have taken to the revolutionary road to smash the myths associated with CBD oil. The past decade has paved the way for researchers to explore the potential benefits cannabidiol, CBD, has on the human body. The main myth clouding CBD usage is does CBD oil get you high? For anyone who is still in the dark about this now is the time to clear things up. It is THC in cannabis that produces the psychoactive effects which gets you high and not CBD. In fact, CBD-based products have been strongly linked by advocators has having beneficial effects to people who suffer with anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy and insomnia.
This line of thinking is being reinforced by the personal testimonies of mother’s like Vera Twomey and Noreen O’Neill who advocated the use of medical cannabis and CBD oil for the treatment of epilepsy and seizures with which their children suffer. It’s fair to say that these women shone a light on the misconceptions around CBD oil in Ireland and brought national attention to the ongoing debate about the supposed superior qualities CBD oil has over modern medication (1, 2)
Is CBD Legal in Ireland?
There is also confusion about the legality of CBD oil in Ireland. In short CBD oil is not illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act; it is however not yet recognised as ‘legal medicine’ approved by the Health Products Regulatory Authority Ireland despite increasing claims from clinical research studies of the health benefits it has (3).
In 2018 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released clinical studies on the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil for treating epilepsy and subsequently approved the use of CBD (Epidiolex) as a therapy for two rare conditions that are characterised by epileptic seizures (4)
So how does CBD work on our bodies?
Cannaninoids, like CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in our body which produce the differing effects researchers claim. Our body produces cannabinoids of it’s own with two specific receptors, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are found throughout the body but mainly in the brain and are responsible for things like our movements and coordination, and our emotions and thought processes. It is these receptors that THC attaches to.
CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system affecting pain and inflammation. It is suggested by Medical News Today that CBD does not directly attach to either CB1 or CB2 receptors, contrary to historical popular belief; rather suggestion now is that CBD directly influences the body to use more of its own cannabinoids in healing aliments (5).
It’s important to remember that it is not only pro-CBD advocates who claim the effects CBD has on the body. The FDA, along with other medical professionals has also sited associated risks with the use of CBD and, as with any substance you are interested in trying, individual research is encouraged (6).
Is there a correlation between CBD & Fitness?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed Ireland’s fitness frenzy over the last few years. Almost every one I know has become an enthusiastic gym goer, which led me to the question, if CBD oil is said to reduce things like anxiety and chronic pain, what benefits could CBD have on our bodies post-workout?
I guess when one is trying to understand the claim that CBD oil outweighs prescription medication as a source of pain relief a safe bet is to look at what the professional’s say. Whether it’s the NFL, UFC or Bodybuilding, professional athletes put their bodies through an immense amount of pain all in the name of sport.
In 2016 Eugene Monroe – former NFL offensive tackle- became the first player of the National Football League to openly advocate the use of CBD oil as an alternative treatment for chronic pain and sports related injuries, becoming a pioneer for medical cannabis research and policy reform within the NFL.
Monroe’s objective was to challenge the ‘prescription painkiller culture’ of the NFL and discloses that ‘…for too long I’ve watched my teammates and friends battle with opioid addiction and leave the game with a long road still ahead; it’s time to make a change’. Monroe now dedicates his time to educating, researching and promoting policy change to recognise CBD oil as a valuable and superior alternative treatment to sports-related injuries, giving us a unique personal insight into the pro-CBD debate (12)
The use of CBD oil goes beyond the realm of the NFL and it seems more and more professional athletes are advocating its use. The American former Major League Baseball pitcher David Wells, aka ‘Boomer’, has also strongly advocated the use of CBD oil. Wells speaks openly about his use of painkillers for both medical and recreational purposes during, and after, his 21 year MLB career and talks about the negative impacts these pain killers had on his body and mind. After trying CBD oil Wells says he ‘… hasn’t touched an opioid since…’ (7)
Derrick Morgan, the NFL linebacker of the Tennessee Titans, and former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer similarly advocate the use of CBD oil. Both share similar stories of reoccurring sports-related injuries caused by their profession. As with Monroe and Wells, the consistent use of prescription painkillers negatively impacted Morgan and Plummer’s health and wellbeing and both players openly reject opioid’s for CBD oil (8)
Joe Rogan, an American stand-up comedian and mixed martial arts commentator uses podcast as a platform to discuss the benefits CBD oil has had on his body and mind. Speaking with retired Muay Thai Kickboxer Joseph Valtellini, the pair get into an in-depth conversation about the CBD oil benefits they both personal experienced throughout their careers (9)
Knowing your CBD
If trying CBD oil is something that you think may benefit you then, as with any product, it is important to know where your CBD comes from. From personal experience it is important for me to source my CBD oil from trusted, local businesses who use EU certified growers and organic CBD products.
Are there alternatives to CBD oil-based products?
There is an ever growing range of CBD products available on the market for post-work/sports related injuries. CBD topical balm offers an alternative to traditional CBD oil’s and active users of CBD tropical balm’s have promoted the product as having healing properties that combat muscle and joint pain, and go on to suggest that CBD tropical balm can even help tackle skin problems. Vitamin B5, coconut oil, arnica and kernel oil are some of the well known ingredients found in this particular tropical balm. These, coupled with the proclaimed ‘goodness’ CBD oil offers, are said to work wonders for skin and joint problems, while offering novice and experienced CBD users alike a wider range of products. (13)
As with any subject open to debate I encourage individual research. Personally speaking I too can say that I am an advocate for CBD oil. As a sufferer of general anxiety disorder (GAD) I have used CBD as an alternative to prescription medication. Similarly I have used CBD oil post-workout as an alternative to painkillers for back pain.