Elana Frankel had retreated to bed rest for a year, having been shocked out of modern life with a traumatic brain injury.
“After I finished a round of anti-seizure medications, there weren’t any other pharmaceuticals available to help me with my brain injury,” Frankel said. “All of the neurosurgeons [who] I consulted said I needed bed rest until the inflammation goes down.”
As a mother and wife who needed to function, Frankel became restless as she struggled with pain due to the swelling in her brain. Then her husband stumbled upon CBD, a natural anti-inflammatory derived from the cannabis plant that could, perhaps, offer some hope.
“The idea of finding relief through plant-based therapy was extremely appealing at the time. I knew about cannabis, but I wasn’t educated about all of the plant’s therapeutic components.”
CBD helped ease Frankel’s inflammation, which had persisted as a result of her brain injury. And as the pain dissipated, she embarked upon a mission to help educate others about cannabis’ potential to provide pain relief in ways that modern medicine was unable to do. Her newly published book, “Women and Weed,” offers a primer to those interested in incorporating cannabis into their lives.
Cannabis is a complex plant with more than 400 chemical compounds, but the two most prevalent cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD – and they’re the compounds responsible for raising cannabis’ profile in the medical community.
While THC is the compound that has psychoactive properties and gives the euphoria or high that people experience, CBD – its nonpsychoactive sister, so to speak – has emerged as a shining star – without the mind-altering potential of THC.
Hemp-derived CBD versus CBD derived from marijuana (cannabis)
CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana, both of which are varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis plant has two main subspecies, Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. But while hemp has been selectively bred to remove the cannabinoid THC almost entirely, the marijuana variety can contain up to 30% THC, according to Dr. June Chin, author of “Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness.” She has integrated medical cannabis in her practice for the past 19 years and is an advocate for better understanding of the science and medicine of cannabis.
In 2019, the Farm Bill made it legal to grow hemp in the United States and legal to sell hemp-derived CBD products grown in the US as well as abroad, as long as