Is cannabis oil really effective? Or is it a fad?
In the 19th century, thousands of workers from China entered the United States as workers on the Transcontinental Railroad. They brought with them Eastern traditions and folk medicines, including snake oil.
Snake oil is oil extracted from the fat of the Chinese water snake, and is used in many Chinese medicines. It is said to relieve pain, especially when applied topically to the skin. The oil is rich in omega-3 acids that can fight inflammation, and workers applied it after working all day on the railroad. Their American counterparts tried, and soon some business-minded Americans began selling snake oil as a remedy for everything from arthritis to headaches to “female complaints.”
Snake oil may have healing properties, but the term “snake oil” came to symbolize false advertising for products that don’t work. This is because in the late 19th century, vendors created snake oil products from rattlesnakes, which do not have the same omega-3 acids as the Chinese snake, or they sold products under the name ‘rattlesnake oil. snake ‘that had no snake oil at all.
A man named Clark Stanley stole the spotlight when he took a live snake and opened it at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, claiming that it had great healing powers that he had learned from Native Americans. Stanley then put the snake in hot water, extracted the fat from the water, and made “Stanley’s snake oil,” which he sold at the time.
Some years later, federal investigators tested a batch of Stanley’s product and they found it did not contain any snake oil,Instead, it was made from mineral oil, fatty oil (probably beef tallow), capsaicin from chili peppers, turpentine, and camphor. In 1917, Stanley found himself in court and was eventually fined for selling fake snake oil.
Consumers discovered that they had been misled, and “snake oil” became a term that represents any product that is just a hoax, or does not live up to its claims.
CBD or Cannabis Oil: Today’s Healing Properties or Snake Oil?
Perhaps the most popular product on the market in 2019 is CBD (cannabidiol), which is predicted to be a multi-billion dollar industry in the next two years. CBD is a cannabinoid derived from parts of the hemp plant.
Cannabidiol gets a bad rap, sometimes, because hemp is in the cannabis genus, just like marijuana. However, hemp does not contain THC (or contains only trace amounts of 0.3 percent or less), the psychoactive cannabinoid that increases the number of users.
Cannabidiol or cannabis oil does not intoxicate its users, but it is believed that it interacts with the natural body systems of humans and animals in such a way that it can help or cure many ailments, from arthritis pain to eczema, and from seizures to panic attacks.
How could one type of plant by-product help in so many ways? And why should Christians care?
The God-given endocannabinoid system
In the Bible, King David wrote in Psalm 139 about many of the ways God knows his creation and loves people in particular. David says in verses 13 and 14 (New International Version):“For you you created my most intimate being; you wove me in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am an admirable creation! Your works are wonderful!
Part of the way God made humans and animals wonderfully is with a built-in or endocannabinoid system. Doctors and medical researchers are still learning about this system, which was first discovered in the early 1990s.
Scientists discovered that humans and animals have cannabinoid receptors in our brain, lymphatic cells, blood vessels, heart, liver, intestines, and more. As studies continue, researchers and medical professionals believe that CBD or cannabis oil, based on hemp, causes our cannabinoid receptors to activate.
When receptors are activated correctly, bodies remain in homeostasis or equilibrium. That means all systems are working properly and there is no inflammation. Humans and animals today, especially in the United States, are plagued with inflammation that causes leaky gut, joint and muscle pain, skin conditions, psychological conditions like anxiety and panic attacks, and other ailments.
These conditions show signs of calm or relief if our cannabinoid system is working properly. And CBD oil seems to help in that good function.
Real benefits or false advertising? What oil is “good”?
How do you know if the cannabis oil you are testing is actually full of the potential health benefits of cannabidiol, or if the product you buy is full of placebo, a modern snake oil?
CBD products are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration in many countries, so there is no government regulation or guarantee that the products actually contain the good things they say they have, or if they contain harmful ingredients that are supposed not to have.
However, many producers will provide information that consumers need to make informed decisions. Here are some ways you can do your “homework” to decide which CBD product might be right for you.
-Find out where your CBD product comes from.Where was it grown? Hemp absorbs everything from the soil it grows in, so if it was grown in soil full of lead or other pollutants, the CBD oil is likely contaminated as well. If you don’t know where it came from, the best recommendation is not to buy it.
-Learn to read product labels and understand the real amount of CBD contained in the items you buy. Many commercial oils and creams claim to contain CBD, but they actually only have hemp oil, which comes from the seeds of hemp and has no CBD (or only trace amounts). Or it can also happen that CBD is the last ingredient on a label that lists a variety of fillers like vegetable oil or coconut oil first.
A medium chain triglyceride like coconut oil is a good delivery system for CBD, but there must be enough CBD in the product to make a difference. Although there are not yet universal regulated dose lists available, theMayo Clinic suggests doses of CBD for some disorders, for example 200 to 300 milligrams daily for epilepsy and 40 to 160 mg for sleep disorders.
-Look for companies that offer transparency about their products,from farm to finished package. Reputable CBD companies will post or allow you to view third party lab test results on every batch of CBD oil they use in their products. The results of these tests show exactly what is in CBD oil, good or bad, and prove that the oil tested contains the percentage of CBD that it claims to have.
CBD: Does It Really Help?
When CBD is grown, extracted, packaged, and used in the right way, there are thousands of positive testimonials. In fact, the reason the CBD industry is outpacing the government’s ability to regulate it is precisely because many people are excited about the fact that companies are launching new products on a daily basis. Positive media and word of mouth are gaining thousands of CBD followers and users.
Personally, my hairdresser just shared with me how the knee pain from an old injury disappeared the first time she used CBD, while her husband said that her sleep had improved a lot.
A mother I know bought CBD for her husband who had served in the military overseas and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. She thought that would help him and, in turn, help their marriage. This wife and mother not only believe that she helped her husband, but also improved her anxiety levels so much that she became a distributor for a large CBD company.
Another woman I interviewed claims that CBD helped her overcome an addiction to pain pills that she developed after two accidents. These are just a few of the stories that I have personally heard in recent weeks. The list goes on.
Jeremiah 30:17 says, “I will regain your health and heal your wounds.”
Perhaps recent scientific discoveries endorsing CBD as beneficial, and overwhelming support from the public, reveal that this plant extract may be a natural, God-given tool for healing.
As always, seek the advice of your medical professional before making changes to your health routine.
Translated and adapted by Fernanda Gonzalez Casafús.
Natalie Gillespie’s original article: CBD: Natural Healing Agent or Modern Day Snake Oil?