Botanical medicine is simply the use of a plant, or parts of a plant, as medicine to treat or heal a certain condition. Think using Lavender flowers in your bath at night to help with sleep or Peppermint tea to help with a belly ache. CBD (Cannabidiol) is a component of the cannabis plant and is an essential active ingredient that gives this plant its medicinal properties.
Plant medicine has been used for as long as man has been on earth as there are documents, drawings and even medicines themselves that have been found that are centuries old. In the past, plants were typically used in whole form, whether it be the fruit, berry, root, bark, leaves, stem or flowers of a plant. These parts were generally cut, sifted, ground and used topically or mixed with a liquid such as alcohol or water to take internally. As well, using the whole plant or whole parts of a plant has been preferred in botanical medicine so that the action on the body is a combined effort of the plant’s properties (sometimes called the entourage effect).
In modern medicine our technology has allowed more precise extraction of the parts of a plant to target specific actions in the body. This contemporary science generally does not use the entire plant as medicine, rather it aims at using one component of a plant for a focused act in the body. This evolution has allowed the pharmaceutical industry to utilize plants in their drugs and currently around 40% of our medications are plant derived.
CBD is a constituent that is extracted from the cannabis plant and can be used as a stand- alone medicine to treat a variety of conditions. There has been a surge in recent studies that have shown CBD to be helpful in treating headaches, insomnia, nerve pain, chronic pain and seizure disorders. Because CBD is an extract it can be used without the other components of the cannabis plant that can cause a person to become “high” and can be taken safely on a regular basis.