Cannabis oil industry throws a lifeline to the South African economy

Bleak financial headlines have become the standard over recent months, with sub-Saharan Africa experiencing a three percent drop over the course of 2020.

The cannabis industry might not be the first thing to spring to mind. Yet cannabis has undergone a revolution of its own, and is no longer merely associated with illicit weed used for getting high. The therapeutic benefits of CBD, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, have been hitting the headlines across the globe over the past year or so. Products are flying from the shelves in health food stores and online specialists are selling everything from edible oils to cannabis-based creams to Cibdol CBD capsules and tinctures.

Benefits of CBD

Take a look at a handful of web pages devoted to CBD and you might wonder whether it is all hype. The cannabinoid is claimed to be effective in treating a huge range of conditions, both physical and psychological. These include, but are not limited to, pain, inflammation, arthritis, skin conditions, epilepsy, anxiety, fibromyalgia, insomnia, multiple sclerosis and even some forms of cancer.

Given the size of the list, it is understandable that there is degree of scepticism. However, while studies are still ongoing regarding some of the more fanciful claims, there are certain things we know for sure. CBD has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it an effective treatment for certain types of pain relief, and to ease the symptoms of inflammation-related conditions like arthritis.

The way the compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system within the human body also has certain psychological consequences that are backed up by scientific research. These include improving focus and enhancing mood through the release of serotonin.

Studies that have taken place so far have supported more of the anecdotal claims than they have disproved. As a result, people are turning to CBD to help manage medical conditions, to hasten recovery from sporting injuries and to give themselves a mood lift through massage oils and bath products. Demand has been proven throughout the western world and South Africa is in a prime position to follow the leads of the USA, UK and mainland Europe.

Changing perceptions

In the final analysis, the only thing that can really hold back the progress of CBD and stall its impact on the South African economy are the outdated perceptions and misconceptions that still prevail. There is still a tendency for people to hear the word cannabis and associate it with youngsters loitering on the streets and smoking joints.

The sooner the nation wakes up to the realities of the new cannabis economy and how CBD is revitalising the complementary medicine sectors in Europe and North America, the better it will be able to help guide South Africa to a more stable economic future.

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