Touted as a natural alternative to relieve a plethora of ailments, cannabidiol (or CBD) is rising in popularity, for the most part in a shift in people’s perception surrounding natural therapies and the change in our desire to lead healthier lifestyles via what we put on and in our bodies.
It’s likely you’ve heard of THC, the psychoactive in cannabis that gets users high or stoned. A cannabis plant is grown specifically for their high THC levels to ensure users feel a state of feeling high when smoked or consumed via edibles.
Unlike THC, however, CBD is completely non-psychoactive meaning it doesn’t overstimulate your endocannabinoid system (or ECS—essentially the receptors that control the smooth functioning of your brain, endocrine and immune tissues) so cannot cause a high.
CBD derived from industrial hemp plants, grown for their seeds and stalk, contain very low levels of THC, but because it is still a derivative of the cannabis plant, will always have some trace of THC, hence the strict, and often complicated laws surrounding goods made using CBD.
Why is it getting so much, er, buzz? In recent clinical studies, CBD has been proven for its analgesic effects (read: pain relief), it’s anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression, even its help in maintaining a healthy weight.
Currently in Australia you are unable to buy, sell or import any CBD products that contain over 0.03% traces of THC under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 so companies provided with licences to sell CBD products must adhere to the incredibly strict guidelines. And, while in the USA products are far more readily available where laws on hemp products vary by state, they too have incredibly tight regulations they must follow.
Over in New Zealand, CBD laws have recently relaxed (it's been all over the news this past week). It is considered a B1 controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, but it too has tight policing protocol. Watch this space as NZ leads the charge, joining Canada in an overhaul of controlled drug legalisations.
Many overseas websites, particularly in the US, do not currently offer international shipping for their products, so differing are the many laws passed country to country. With the recent changes (and likely further relaxing on import/export laws globally as more research becomes available on the long term health effects of CBD usage) it is on you, the purchaser to be fully aware of the laws and regulations surrounding any imports from overseas. So, bear that in mind…
The use of CBD in products is only set to grow, so watch this space.
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