The United States has seen an unprecedented rise in mental illness cases due to the confinement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental Health America, a nonprofit organization largely trusted in the medical field, has seen a 60 to 70 percent daily rise in the usage of its mental health self-screening tool since the pandemic began.
While mental health worsens, the U.S.’s mental health system seems to be deteriorating, leaving some concerned. For that reason, many people are going around the system to cope with their quarantine anxiety and are turning to naturalistic methods instead.
Across the U.S., dispensaries have experienced an increase in CBD good sales as consumers stocked up on the product before lockdown and continued to purchase it online during stay-at-home orders. But the real questions here are: What is CBD? And can it help with the anxiety?
First off let’s get acquainted with the term. What does CBD stand for?
CBD is the acronym for “cannabidiol,” which is a substance derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. Anything derived from the Cannabis sativa plant is referred to as “cannabis,” but not everything classified as cannabis has the mind-altering properties of what we call marijuana.
Marijuana refers to things derived from Cannabis sativa that have large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC, like CBD, is one of over 100 Cannabis sativa-derived substances called cannabinoids. Unlike CBD, the properties of THC make it the primary substance responsible for the “high” a person feels when using marijuana.
CBD products contain varying amounts of THC depending on the method of CBD extraction. Some strains of Cannabis sativa contain very little THC, so U.S. law classifies them as “industrial hemp” rather than marijuana. While the legality of selling marijuana varies by state, industrial hemp products can legally be sold anywhere in the U.S. as long as THC levels remain below 0.3%.
To answer the health-related questions OutLoud was able to set an interview with Tony Mendez, RPh, pharmacist, and owner of “Remedy’s Nutrition in South Florida,” who finds that the intricacies of CBD extraction can be difficult to understand and explains CBD simply as “the brother of the marijuana plant.”
Here is what he said:
“All the medicinal, all the good of the marijuana plant stays in it, which are terpenes and a lot of essential, good oils. The only difference between marijuana and CBD, is that they take out the THC, which is the part of the plant that gets you high.”
Does it work?
In my eyes, the proof is in the pudding. I know that the patients that take my CBD, feel more relaxed and better. I’ve seen Parkinson’s patients in front of me that have stopped tremoring because of CBD, and no medication has worked for them.
Despite his belief that CBD is useful in treating anxiety, Mendez stresses that CBD is not an all-in-one solution saying. “If you don’t have the proper vitamins in your body, you’re just putting a band-aid on the problem.”
What are the risks?
Using CBD causes synergistic effects with other medications. So if you’re taking a sleeping pill, CBD will double the potency. If you’re taking blood pressure medication, it could lower the dosage. You have to be very aware of what you’re doing and what you’re taking to use CBD.
Who can buy CBD?
My understanding is there are no age limitations on who can buy CBD. I personally don’t like selling it to children unless their parents come in with them, and the parents explain to me why they want their kids on CBD.
The best way to know whether or not you can purchase CBD is to contact your local retailer or police department for specifics. You may need a prescription in order to buy it, parents’ consent if you are younger than 18, etc.
Where can I get it and how much does it cost?
There is a big difference between someone who manufactures their own CBD and a gas station that sells someone else’s CBD. You don’t know if you’re buying full-spectrum or a diluted product. The marketplace is not regulated. You don’t know what you’re getting or who you’re getting it from. You can also buy CBD on the internet. I never suggest that [for] anybody.
Your best bet is to do thorough research and look for labels such as organically grown and a safety and potency report issued by a licensed lab. Quality products will likely cost at least $50 to $60 per 1,000-milligram bottle of CBD oil.
A lot of people seem to be getting on board with this trend, but should we use CBD Oil to treat our “Quarantine Anxiety” if we are suffering from that? Ultimately, that decision is up to you. There is a lot more to know about CBD, and this interview does not cover all. Self-medicating when dealing with something serious, can be detrimental to your health.
So before you start taking anything to treat an illness, you should do extensive research and speak to a doctor to make sure it is safe for you.
By Sabine Joseph