This is a great question. So great, that I still find myself walking delicately through the answer because of the negative stereotype cannabis has as a counterculture. My goal is to educate people on the power of this plant, not scare them. So in order to answer this question, I think I have to call out the elephant in the room...THC. You will hear me say "cannabis" which refers to the cannabis plant and part of that cannabis plant are numerous cannabinoids, including ∆9-THC, more commonly known as the molecule that will alter your mind (aka get you "high").
Now here the great news, in a full-spectrum CBD dominant oil, there are minute levels of ∆9-THC, and there should be, because ∆9-THC is used to help alleviate pain and suffering, but that does not mean that there is enough to alter your state of mind. I personally do not like ∆9-THC because I like having my faculties about me, but, I know from experience that when dealing with chronic pain there is no substitute for nature's very own ∆9-THC. At levels well below 0.3% (legal limit of THC in Industrial Hemp) there is ∆9-THC present in all full-spectrum oil bases (as opposed to "broad-spectrum" oil bases which have non-detectable ∆9-THC levels) but not enough to cause for concerns about altering your mental functions.
∆9-THC is hands down incredible at helping people who suffer from chronic pain, and thanks to scientific achievements in AG, we can now enjoy a full-spectrum cannabinoid profile with minute amounts of THC (not enough to get you "high")! So don't be nervous about making a fool of yourself by trying a Full-Spectrum CBD Product, chances are good no one (including yourself) will notice a change!
So let's talk about Cannabis the "Drug"
The use of cannabis as a “drug” has undergone a remarkable change of direction in the last 10 years: considered once as a symbol of countercultures, it is presently being hailed as a cure for any number of diseases and conditions from cancers to Alzheimer’s.
Cannabis DOES NOT only mean THC, the component of the Cannabis Sativa plant that will get you “High”, cannabis should refer to nearly 120+ individual cannabinoids within the cannabis sativa plant that support daily functions within our bodies. When asking about cannabis regarding health and well being, you are opening the floor for discussions regarding personal beliefs and science, so be careful. When I am asked to speak with people, I try to ask questions regarding why that person is looking for options to pharmaceuticals, and I would only ask that you do the same - not everyone is a celebrated users of cannabis and some are simply trying to better understand the whole plant, and education is key.
Despite concerns about personal safety when using cannabis products by "conservative" personality types (you know who you are), the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been legalized throughout the United States. The promise of cannabinoids for therapeutic use has continually advanced, despite the counter cultures that have been negatively stereotyped for decades. But yes, the negative stereotypes can sometimes be justified, we have all seen the stereotypical "Stoner" personality, that screams from a soapbox that cannabis isn't "addictive" or "been the cause of a car accident" - in truth, it is addictive when abused, just like any chemical ingested into our bodies, and yes, people have been to "high" or "stoned" to drive and yet they still gave it the old college try, resulting in a negative situation. We aren't going to discuss getting "high" we are going to address proven medical advancements in the science of cannabinoids.
So let's get the main "fear" out of the way...THC
∆9-THC is hands down the most well-known cannabinoid on the planet. ∆9-THC was the 1960's "hippy movement", it's the very soul of the recreational cannabis movement, BUT, it's just 1 out of 120+ cannabinoids that are essential in helping the human body in achieving homeostasis (balance). ∆9-THC is the MAJOR PSYCHOACTIVE MOLECULE in the cannabis sativa plant makeup, but there are other important molecules such cannabidiol (CBD) which have shown incredible promise combating disease within the human body.
There are over one hundred and twenty additional cannabinoids besides ∆9-THC that have been identified in the cannabis plant and the human body SUPPORTS and CELEBRATES each cannabinoid uniquely.
Cannabinoids have been studied for their effects on the human body and here are several commonly understood areas that show the greatest promise:
The modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system to combat neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease
Controlling inflammation by signalling receptor events throughout the human body
Suppressing pain (analgesia) by targeting glycine receptors
The therapeutic treatment of disorders such PTSD and Insomnia by modulating serotonin levels
The regulation of cardiovascular responses involved in cardiovascular pathology
So you are asking yourself "how are cannabinoids able to help so much" within the human body? Well there is a "simple" answer to this question, unfortunately that answer can also get quite complex. But, its because all humans (actually all mammals) have something called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which relies upon cannabinoids to achieve balance within it.
Within the body, cannabinoids can target trouble areas because of endocannabinoid “signalling”. Think allergies - when you are suffering from an allergy, you take an allergy medication that triggers a receptor within your body. That trigger tells the body to work harder in that particular area in order for you to find relief. The same explanation applies to cannabinoids, cannabinoids unlock CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout your body, this allows your body to trigger a response that is needed to heal.
Endocannabinoid "signalling" & neurodegenerative disorders
Endocannabinoid signalling can alter the paths of many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Endocannabinoid Signalling can also disrupt disorders in the human body like insomnia and PTSD by moderating serotonin levels within our bodies, or by signalling receptors responsible for pain management and cell proliferation, and this is all accomplished with the support of our Endocannabinoid Systems – a system all mammals have unique to them.
The identification of cannabinoid receptors (yes there are many) within our bodies and their endogenous lipid ligands has triggered an exponential growth of studies exploring the endocannabinoid system and its regulatory functions in health and disease. In the past decade alone, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs. More importantly, modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from:
mood and anxiety disorders,
movement disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease,
Trauma related disorders like PTSD,
multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury,
to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis,
to name just a few.
But back to "signalling", by signalling the CB1 and CB2 receptors with cannabinoids we are regulating our bodies homeostasis, as well as mitochondrial function, trophic support and inflammatory status. Through multiple lines of evidence, this evolutionarily conserved neurosignalling system cannabinoids have shown neuroprotective capabilities and are therefore a "potential cure" for neurodegenerative disorders. The cannabis industry’s primary function should be to review and details the beneficial effects of cannabinoid in numerous treatments throughout the human body, instead of trying to find the perfect "high", but I digress. The industry obviously has a ways to go, hence people like me that are trying to calm the fears of people that will benefit the most from cannabis (people suffering from any of the above mentioned ailments and diseases).
Does cannabis sound like a "snake oil"? Well it should! IT DOES SO MUCH FOR SO MANY! But in truth the scientific evidence is limited and growing by the day. Partially because most research is based off of government grants and funding - unfortunately the government is still on the fence about cannabis, so research is limited in the US. But, that does not mean you cannot look to private organizations and foreign countries for scientific research!
As for asking our doctors, well, can you blame them for shying away from the subject of cannabis, they spent their lives borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to put themselves through medical school and there is a lot of risk associated with stepping out of the shadows and saying "Yes" in support of a plant that grows literally like a weed!
Let's not even mention BIG Pharma's role in the day to day lives of our medical providers, where would they be if the world knew that a simple plant was capable of so much? They wouldn't be able to charge astronomical prices for insulin when a $35 CBD tincture helps to regulate blood sugar disorders!
So should you try a full-spectrum CBD product? Well, that is for you alone to decide. My suggestion is to do your own research and reach out to trusted members of the cannabis community. I'm always available to take a call from.
Ethics begin where compliance ends!