Cannabidiol—CBD for short—is trending even more each day, but why? Seeing as how stigmatized marijuana still is in this country, it may be surprising to some that people are latching onto it in droves. According to Forbes, CBD is one of 120 compounds called “cannabinoids” found in cannabis. Like its cousin THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD offers several health benefits -- without the high. Thus, people are turning to CBD products to help with both physical symptoms such as pain and inflammation as well as mental ones such as depression and anxiety.
Because of its relationship with marijuana, though, CBD hasn't been entirely embraced by everyone, particularly in the workplace. But there's no denying the popularity of CBD, which is only rising. In fact, experts have predicted that if the cannabis industry continues to grow at its current rate, the American market will reach $20 billion by 2020, according to a report on Rolling Stone. Legalities are muddled and expected to change, so keep an eye on industry news often.
A Natural Alternative
One of the biggest reasons people are choosing CBD over traditional medication is because of its natural derivatives. CBD is becoming a viable alternative for those who have exhausted the potential of using pharmaceutical medications and other natural treatments. CBD works by affecting the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates sleep-wake cycles, mood, anxiety, stress, inflammation, metabolism, pain and brain health. While it has little to do with "getting high," it's an important system playing an integral role in regulation, maintenance, balance, and good health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found CBD to be non-psychoactive and nonaddictive, with a positive effect on patients' health. Numerous scientific studies have shown CBD to be effective at treating pain relief as a healthier alternative to addictive opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal drugs such as heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers you can get by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine and morphine.
Opioids are highly addicting. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people in the United States die every day after overdosing on opioids. This is a serious national crisis affecting public health, along with social and economic warfare. The misuse of and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers for chronic pain, has led to an "economic burden" of $78.5 billion a year, says the CDC. This includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, criminal justice involvement and addiction treatment.