The COVID-19 pandemic continues on into the new year. Not only has it broken down seemingly healthy bodies, but it also has a massive dent in the worldwide economy. But if there are positives to COVID-19, CBD suppliers and manufacturers can attest to the increased sales of their products.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular dietary supplement derived from the cannabis plant, like hemp and marijuana. There are a few published studies that suggest that CBD may have some significant health benefits, but the FDA has yet to approve CBD as a medication, and CBD should never be taken as a substitute for prescribed medical care or regimens. However, many have been compelled by the promising research and anecdotal evidence that allege CBD’s potential benefits. Aclara Research found that 42% of their June 2020 respondents were purchasing foods and supplements to help build their immunity against the virus, including CBD. The following are some of the most likely reasons why the demand for this substance has soared:
CBD vs. COVID-19
Researchers who have looked into CBD purport that it could possibly help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce mortality rates as a coronavirus treatment. Given that the coronavirus propagates through respiratory droplets, CBD is thought to hinder ACE2 expression and cytokine production, which promote lung inflammation. Researchers from Augusta University later suggested in their published study that CBD could potentially affect acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a dangerous lung inflammation caused by COVID-19, and CBD is now viewed as a possible supportive measure for it.
Other Health Benefits
CBD is confirmed to act effectively against epilepsy and seizures. In fact, it’s an active ingredient of Epidiolex, which is used to treat childhood epilepsy. It is the only known drug approved by the FDA that contains CBD. That much is confirmed about CBD’s benefits, but more and more people are starting to use it for various other reasons:
COVID-19 is still very much around, and vaccines are only recently being released to the masses. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 53% of adult respondents reported their mental health suffering because of the pandemic. The uncertainty regarding our industries, jobs, health, and financial well-being are inducing stress and anxiety in people of all walks of life.
A full spectrum hemp oil may potentially help calm a racing mind and relieve other anxiety and depression symptoms by binding with the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) receptors. Along with these possible effects, CBD may relax the nerves and help prevent other behavioral issues stemming from stress, anxiety, and depression, such as:
- Heart racing
- Excessive sweating
- Feelings of helplessness
COVID-19 has greatly impacted the mental well-being of people all over the globe. Aclara Research concluded that anxiety is among the top two reasons why many are now using CBD products.
Pain relief is another reason why CBD is trending, according to Aclara Research. Respondents are using CBD due to its alleged benefits for chronic and acute pain from conditions like back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, and even cancer. CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn would help to reduce painful symptoms of inflammation in the body, like in the case of arthritis.
Relaxation and Sleep
Users also believe that CBD provides them with improved sleep. A dose of CBD at 160mg may increase the length of sleep for users. The chances of waking up suddenly at night may also decrease with a dose of up to 600mg. CBD is thought to reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which may be related to insomnia.
CBD For Skin Health
Even before the current pandemic, CBD topicals were popular for their alleged positive effects on the skin. Its potentially anti-inflammatory components are used for skin conditions like eczema, redness, acne, and more. CBD is also thought to have calming properties that reduce breakouts and excess oil production. CBD oils also have antioxidant properties that block early signs of aging. Today, many beauty products on the market use CBD as an active ingredient. Currently, brands are releasing skincare infused with CBD and other natural ingredients. These include clay masks, eye and face serums, and bath bombs.
Again, it is worth noting that the FDA has not approved CBD for use as a medication or medical treatment—excepting Epidiolex—so consult your doctor before incorporating this supplement into your wellness regimen.
President Biden Tackling CBD Issues
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have both indicated their interest in bringing about cannabis reform while serving their terms in office. Some of those goals include:
- Decriminalizing cannabis use
- Removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act
- Adding 5% tax on cannabis products to help aid communities affected by the War on Drugs
The federal legislation of cannabis is receiving much approval from the public with initiatives in New York, Virginia, Rhode Island, and North Carolina.
More CBD Products in the Future
CBD already has a wide range of products available, from oils to tinctures, topicals to edibles. But manufacturers can broaden their horizons even more. Currently, various brands are creating CBD-infused beverages using nanotechnology. Aside from drinks, those in the supplements and cosmetics industry are increasingly adding CBD as a component. CBD’s possible benefits for sleep has also resulted in companies like Therapedic producing mattresses and other bedding items that include CBD.
Growing Global Demand on Medical Cannabis
Dutch and Canadian exports are not the only ones leading in filling the demand for medical cannabis. Portugal, Spain, Israel, and Australia are also catching up, becoming major suppliers themselves. South American exports can significantly impact the supply chain, but European regulators are expected to put restrictions even on their own countries as well. Spain is showing much promise this year, and Israel and Colombia are not far behind as suppliers. But they will need to go past European restrictions first successfully.
CBD is no doubt making waves for its alleged health benefits. The way CBD is viewed is set to face a transformation that will enable more people to experience its effects. With more manufacturers also coming up with new ways to serve CBD to the public, its future looks bright.