The medicinal power of plants is nothing new to mankind—a species reliant on the healing properties of vegetation thousands of years before bottled ibuprofen and Prozac hit the market and were exchanged across pharmacy counters nationwide. As the reputation of the mainstream drug industry continues to drop—due to factors such as biased research, falsified claims, and profit-driven motives--people seem to be gravitating more towards the tried and true medications of their ancestors, choosing natural remedies in favor of “big pharma” alternatives.

In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has stepped into conventional pharmaceutical territory as one of these plant-based drugs and is increasingly growing in scope and popularity. Derived from the cannabis plant, this sought-after compound is the non-psychoactive counterpart to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Unlike its mind-altering cousin, CBD does not give patients any sort of “high” sensation. On the contrary, the hemp-stemmed chemical can be used to support the human regulatory system by essentially rejuvenating the body-produced cannabinoids, which help to monitor and balance mood, memory, appetite, and immune system functions.

While long-term research on CBD and its benefits is still in its early stages, countless investigations have shown the compound to be extremely effective in lowering anxiety, relieving pain, reducing blood sugar levels, curbing nicotine cravings, and alleviating arthritis. Several studies have even discovered properties of the drug that prevent seizures and treat epilepsy.

In terms of usage and consumption, medicinal CBD is typically extracted in oil form and administered through a variety of ways, such as by capsule, spray, or tincture dropper. The dosage and concentration will depend upon which method a patient chooses.

While CBD is not currently FDA-approved, the cultivation and marketing of products derived from industrial hemp (non-psychoactive cannabis) is legal in the United States. Each particular state has its own set of laws and regulations regarding permissible prescription and dosage, however, so it is important to be mindful before purchasing any CBD product. Consumers should also research the company and origin of their CBD in order to ensure quality, safety, and legal status of any given product.

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