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Sean Willard, Pharmacist and Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, writes for SEED INC on the fact there is a lot more to CBD than meets the eye./

CBD is not all smoke and mirrors.

As one radio presenter recently said to me in an interview, “CBD is buzzing right now.” Yes, there is a lot of excitement about this ‘new’ kid on the block, however, there is a lot more to CBD than meets the eye.

When I first began to explore this category a few years ago, there were many Healthcare Practitioners and Pharmacists like me who were rather sceptical about whether or not there was any reason to even get mildly excited about CBD.

Much of what I knew about Cannabis and more specifically, CBD, was very limited in scope and depth and was mainly based on what I had heard about CBD through the grapevine. My opinion on CBD was definitely not a result of any ardent research. Consequently, I decided to change this landscape and enrolled to study and become a Holistic Cannabis Practitioner.

That was over two years ago and the studies and research that followed has allowed me to open my eyes and see that ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!’

Now, to be clear, there is still a lot of research and work that needs to be done on CBD. As one Doctor said, “the more we know – the more we know we don’t know!”

There are hundreds of clinical trials underway, not only on CBD (Cannabidiol) but also on another cannabinoid, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).

I believe that these studies will consequently result in many more CBD medications being launched into the market. Consequently, those who choose the more natural route and prefer taking a health supplement will also have more clinically proven research and evidence to read up on.

Health supplements are just that – a supplement to your health regime and standard of care.

SAHPRA (The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) has stipulated that only low-risk claims can be made on any Cannabidiol health supplements. This includes claims such as ‘health maintenance, health enhancement and the relief of minor symptoms.’ Claims that cannot be made are those related to ‘a specific disease or disorder.’

Although there is an FDA approved CBD medication overseas that has proven efficacy for a specific form of epilepsy, most of the evidence of therapeutic health benefits for CBD globally is anecdotal. Nevertheless, as the adage says, ‘facts tell, stories sell.’

Many people have had incredible symptomatic relief with their CBD supplements and thereafter, have shared their ‘success’ stories with others.

Hence, the best form of marketing continues to be word of mouth, still ….

The concern is that people begin to assume that everyone will have the same results and consequently, they start making disease claims about how a supplement can ‘heal, treat, cure or mitigate a disease’ – which is not only illegal, but also irresponsible.

Although CBD may be able to assist you with your health concerns in some way or another, no generic claims can be made.

What I can share with you is that CBD has been shown to modulate a system in our body known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS was discovered by scientists back in the late ’80s and 1990s.

Research suggests that one way CBD works is by increasing the concentration of one of your body’s own Endocannabinoids, Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit word, Ananda, meaning bliss).

According to Prof. Vincenzo Di Marzo and his colleagues, our endocannabinoids – interacting with receptors in our body – could influence aspects such as “relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect.”

Anecdotally, supporting this system has been shown to assist in various physiological health benefits such as pain, inflammation, anxiousness, and other symptoms.

To conclude, as a Pharmacist, I may well have started out thinking Cannabis and CBD, specifically, was just all ‘smoke and mirrors.’ Yet, after doing my own research and after all the feedback I have received from customers over the last 2 years as the PR Manager of Releaf Pharmaceuticals, I can say with certainty that a quality CBD product is worth investigating ( see links below) and consulting with your Healthcare Practitioner about.
Sean Willard
Holistic Cannabis Practitioner