DEBATE — We suggest it as a complement to a post-workout smoothie or your morning coffee. It’s incorporated into innovative gourmet menus, tinctures and massage oils. After its legalization in Canada, cannabis has increased in popularity since 2018, and nothing indicates that this enthusiasm will cool off any time soon. The wellness industry believes that CBD, one of the chemical constituents of cannabis, will gradually become an essential ingredient. What is CBD? And why is it suddenly so popular?
How is cannabidiol different from cannabis?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant ingredient derived from the cannabis plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient. CBD and THC have one thing in common: they are cannabinoids, active substances that affect the body’s receptors. But there are also many differences. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive substance that, presumably, does not present any health risks. In fact, a recent report from the World Health Organization confirms that CBD has no effect that could lead to abuse or addiction. To date, no public health problems have been reported in connection with the use of pure CBD.
Benefits of cannabidiol and warnings about its use
CBD is increasingly popular since regulations have changed and the way it works has been better understood. It is now commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, gastric distress and chronic pain, notably due to its antiinflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties. Scientific studies also indicate that it would be effective in treating certain epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. CBD’s benefits can be experienced through tablets, tinctures, oils or topically, as in the case of massages. Many people who use edible products infused with CBD feel relaxed and notice an improvement in their mood. A massage with CBD has the same effects. These include pain relief, a feeling of complete relaxation and stress reduction. Cream containing CBD has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can effectively soothe aching muscles and joints while accelerating the healing process. We recommend it to people with arthritis, fractures, sports injuries, overtaxed muscles, neurological disorders and to all those seeking a moment of relaxation.
In the medical field, warnings about CBD use mainly concern the lack of scientific information, self-medication and the presence of side effects, such as drowsiness and insomnia. It is emphasized that the recommended dosage of products derived from CBD can be approximative, and consumers are encouraged to test by trial and error to ascertain the desired dosage. “We would not allow this kind of approximation with any other drug, but cannabis businesses, without any clinical studies, frequently do this to promote the use of their products,” complains Dr. Didier Jutras-Aswad.
The risk of self-medication without a dosage recommended by scientific research is very real. Side effects associated with the consumption of large doses or overdose are the possibility of vertigo and dizziness, low blood pressure or nausea. Finally, consumed in small doses, CBD oil causes relaxation, but in large doses, it causes drowsiness. Even larger doses could instead provoke a high level of alertness and therefore insomnia. Moderate, cautious consumption supervised by a healthcare professional is therefore recommended.
CBD and Spa Treatments
Since its beginnings, the spa industry has been using various natural remedies to relieve pain and reduce stress (such as arnica and aromatherapy). CBD is a topical herbal product that has interesting advantages for the industry’s needs. The possible combinations enable it to innovate with cutting-edge, effective treatments. Combining, for example, hot camphor and arnica with CBD can obtain real results for pain reduction. Mixtures of arnica and lidocaine combined with CBD could also maximize its anti-inflammatory benefits. Despite encouraging results, scientific research in recent years cannot confirm beyond a doubt the recommended dosage. CBD seems to be a promising avenue for the future of the wellness industry, but certain questions remain. Only the scientific advances of the next few years will answer them.