The healthcare field has had many challenges over the past several years, with the opioid addiction crisis being in the forefront.

It is sad the number of medications that are prescribed for conditions such as pain, insomnia, and mood disorders such as anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and depression.

It is believed that most doctors know little about the alternative choice of hemp CBD products available to help these patients.

Research of medical marijuana is limited by current law, and these types of products are out of the question in South Carolina. However, there are legal alternatives that might offer help.

Cannabinoids, or CBD’s, are the key compounds found in hemp. These compounds have helped with many conditions for both people and pets. Interestingly, phyto-cannabinoids can also be found in chocolate, echinacea and in the kava plant.

The hemp plant has the highest levels of CBD, which produces positive effects on various conditions, without the risk of getting high, with little chance of side effects and no addictions.

Both marijuana and hemp come from the same cannabis species. The difference is that hemp contains higher amount of CBD and less then 0.3 percent of TCH, the hallucinate found in marijuana.

South Carolina gave out 20 industrial hemp licenses in 2018. This crop was harvested this fall.

During a recent conference at MUSC, it was shared that in 1992, Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medicinal chemistry at the Herbrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, discovered endogenous cannabinoids within our own bodies.

We have CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout our brain. CB1 receptors, as antagonists, work with our brain and central nervous systems. CB2 antagonists works with our immune cells and organs.

These cannabinols act like neurotransmitters binding and assisting with homeostasis. The No. 1 condition CBD can help with is inflammation. This conclusion was presented by Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D. at MUSC after extensive research.

There are many ways to take or use CBD products: tinctures, drops, concentrates, vapes, edibles, salves, balms, lotions, beverage enhancers and pet products are just a few.

Tinctures, drops and concentrate are all taken orally, directly under the tongue or mixed into a beverage. These products can be water-based or oil-based. This delivery method takes 20 to 30 minutes to take effect and will last from four to six hours.

Vapes work almost immediately and last about 45 minutes to an hour.

Edibles include gummies, lollipops, chocolate and beverage enhancers. They will take 20 to 30 minutes to work and last about two to three hours.

Topicals, such as salves and balms, are applied in a thin layer over the affected area, and in some case it works within minutes.

For pets, there are treats, tinctures and ear drops that have helped with thunderstorm or fireworks anxiety. They should be given 20 to 30 minutes prior to an event.

The suggested starting dose is about 15 mg for people; however, each person will need to find the dosage that works for the individual. These products are not “one size fits all.”

Cynthia Groff, CCMA is the owner of Sativa Health Products on Hilton Head Island.