The A-Z of CBD: Benefits, Legality, and Side Effects of Cannabidiol
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From tinctures and edibles to beauty products, cannabidiol, aka CBD, is finding its place in practically every corner of the wellness industry – for a good reason. Its therapeutic benefits have been praised by many, and with more research being conducted, the possibilities of CBD’s potential are many.
Thailand’s decision to legalize cannabis underscores the country’s commitment to promoting the plant’s medicinal benefits and boosting its economy, with the legal cannabis market projected to surpass $9 billion by 2030. be worth over $9 billion by 2030.
As more people become curious about CBD and the various ways it can be used, there’s a growing need for comprehensive and reliable information on the topic.
The basics of cannabidiol
Cannabis plants contain a variety of naturally occurring chemicals known as cannabinoids, with over 80 identified to date. Among them, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well-known and is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana use. It’s the compound that can make you feel “high” or intoxicated.
CBD (cannabidiol), meanwhile, is non-intoxicating and non-psychoactive. It offers a range of potential health benefits, such as easing anxiety and reducing inflammation, without the mind-altering effects of THC. While both THC and CBD have medicinal properties, some people prefer CBD due to its non-psychedelic nature. Furthermore, research suggests CBD may have medicinal potential in treating a variety of health conditions, including anxiety, depression, pain, and epilepsy, among others.
The source of CBD
There are two main varieties of cannabis plants – marijuana and hemp.
Marijuana has more THC than CBD. Hemp has a higher content of CBD and a lower content of THC.
Most of the CBD products in Thailand source cannabidiol extracts from industrial hemp plants where THC concentration is within legally acceptable limits.
Some growers use marijuana seeds to cultivate high-concentration CBD flowers with a small amount of THC. Therefore, depending on the CBD extraction techniques, your CBD product end up having some THC and may get you a little high.
Legality of CBD in Thailand
CBD is completely legal in Thailand as long as the THC content stays below 0.2% by weight in the product. This limit applies to all types of CBD products, including extracts, oils, edibles, and topicals.
To ensure that the THC content stays within legal limits, it’s important to verify it through lab test results. Most CBD products in Thailand come with QR codes on the label that lead to the results, or you may check it on their websites.
It is also legal to carry and travel with CBD products inside the country; you can fly with CBD oil and gummies anywhere in Thailand. However, you cannot bring CBD items from outside the country. If you are travelling internationally with cannabidiol, please research the local laws.
Please note that the laws are subject to change.
Benefits of CBD
CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining equilibrium in the body. When the human body is ‘out of order’ due to pain, stress, or any other reason, the ECS kicks in and does its magic to restore harmony.
Scientists have noted that the benefits of CBD supplements emerge due to the cannabinoid’s ability to help with the performance of the endocannabinoid system and assist in restoring balance.
CBD offers a range of potential health benefits, many of which are supported by scientific research and trials. More are underway to understand its long-term effects, effectiveness, and potential to treat different conditions.
CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Research suggests that CBD may be effective in reducing chronic pain associated with conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathy. It may also have fewer side effects and addiction tendencies when compared to traditional drugs.
CBD may also promote better sleep. Studies suggest that CBD can improve sleep quality by reducing anxiety, which is often a leading cause of sleep disturbances. Additionally, CBD may help regulate the sleep-wake cycle, which can lead to more restful and restorative sleep.
Anxiety and stress
CBD may help reduce anxiety and stress levels. The ECS plays a critical role in regulating mood and emotions, and studies suggest that CBD may help regulate these processes by interacting with the ECS. Research suggests that CBD may have anxiolytic effects that can help with anxiety and mood, but more studies are needed to understand its use for treating different psychiatric disorders.
CBD may also have antidepressant effects. Studies suggest that CBD may help regulate serotonin levels in the brain, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Additionally, CBD may have neuroprotective effects, which can help protect the brain from damage and degeneration.
CBD has been shown to be useful in reducing seizures in people with epilepsy. Research has shown that CBD may help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in patients. It may also be a better alternative to anti-seizure medications. In fact, CBD has shown the most promise in the field of epilepsy.
For example, Epidiolex is the only approved CBD-based medicine by the US Food & Drugs Administration for treating two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
CBD may also have benefits for the skin. Studies suggest that CBD may help reduce inflammation and regulate oil production, which can lead to healthier, clearer skin. Additionally, CBD may have antioxidant properties, which can help protect the skin from damage and premature ageing.
CBD research in Thailand
Mentioned below are a few instances that support the case for using CBD as a medicinal remedy in Thailand. You can learn more about these studies in our outlook on Thai medicinal cannabis research trends.
- One research showed that Thai parents who use CBD for their children to treat epilepsy reported a reduction in seizure frequency.
- Another survey among medical cannabis users in Thailand showed treatment of cancers, anxiety and depression, and pain as the top reasons for choosing marijuana products.
- In 2021, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation published a study that suggested that CBD-enriched medical cannabis could potentially alleviate symptoms of drug-resistant epilepsy in children.
- The government is also actively researching the medicinal properties of cannabis. Since the plant was legalised in 2019, over 60 research studies have been undertaken to understand cannabis-based medicines in hospitals and universities.
How to take CBD
CBD oil is a versatile product that can be ingested sublingually, added to food or drink, or applied topically. It is known for its rapid onset and user-friendly nature, making it a popular choice for natural pain, anxiety, and sleep management. CBD edibles are discreet and tasty food and drink items infused with cannabidiol, such as gummies, chocolates, and teas, and are perfect for those who do not like the taste of CBD oil.
CBD flowers are similar to traditional cannabis buds, except that they have a higher CBD content and lower THC content. Smoking them may still produce some cerebral effects, but not as intense or overwhelming as THC. Topical CBD-infused creams, balms, and salves are applied directly to the skin and are ideal for localized pain relief or skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
To achieve the best outcomes, it’s crucial to determine the right CBD dosage for your specific condition. Although CBD is generally well-tolerated, taking an excessive amount is not advisable. If you’re seeking relief from sleep or anxiety issues, tinctures and gummies are the preferred options, while combining oral and topical products is recommended for pain relief.
Consulting with a medical professional at a medicinal marijuana clinic is the ideal way to obtain product recommendations that are tailored to your individual medical history.
Adverse effects of CBD
Medically speaking, CBD has a good safety profile. According to a June 2018 report by the World Health Organisation, CBD is well-tolerated in adults there is also no potential for abuse or addiction.
There are a few side effects of CBD that you should know; many of these are minor and will go away with time. They are:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Low blood pressure
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
CBD interacts with certain medications, leading to unwanted effects (also known as the grapefruit warning). It can also cause more or less of the medicine to enter your system, thus drastically impacting its effectiveness. In some cases, it can even impact liver health.
As a result, mixing cannabis with medicines is not recommended. If you want to mix CBD with your existing medicines, speak to your doctor beforehand.
CBD has shown great potential in treating various medical conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders. However, as with any medication, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effects and consult with a healthcare provider before use. With proper education and guidance, CBD can be a safe and effective tool for promoting wellness and managing symptoms.
To have the best CBD experience, you should buy your products from reputed brands with a certificate of analysis (COA). Third-party lab-test results are a good way to check the product as this tells you what’s mentioned on the label is what you will get.
For your convenience, Weed Review has done the heavy legwork and compiled a list of Thailand’s top CBD products and brands. Visit the products and order them online for a smooth experience.