According to a recent survey, around 9 million people in the UK use complementary or alternative medicine, and the percentage of people turning to natural health solutions is increasing every year. CBD, in particular, is helping many people as they look to take control of their own health and make proactive changes to their daily wellness routine. In the UK alone, 6 million adults have used CBD, and 11% of the population has consumed CBD in one form or another in the last year.
But what is at the root of this fundamental shift away from conventional medicine? The two primary areas of concern are vaccinations and conventional medicine.
Mainstream Vaccination and Medication Fears
Concerns About Vaccinations
Fears about the side effects of vaccines are the main reason that people are choosing not to vaccinate their children or, if they do decide to vaccinate, they may modify the vaccination schedule. There is also the much-discussed concern that vaccines can cause autism. Across the UK and Europe, immunisation rates are dropping as fewer people trust the effectiveness and the safety of vaccines.
There are also concerns about the preservatives used in vaccines. Thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, was used in most vaccines in the past but is now limited to multi-done flu vaccines. Other additives are still used, including aluminium, which many parents are hesitant about giving to their children.
Many parents believe that “natural is best”, and the large number of vaccinations required may overwhelm the child’s immune system, thereby harming the child. This, coupled with the worldwide trend towards natural health, has led to parents seeking out non-medical alternatives for their own health, and the health of their families.
The primary vaccination that parents are choosing not to give their children is the MMR jab which offers protection against measles mumps and rubella. Around 10% of parents are electing to skip this injection, and the reasons given include fear of side effects and doubts over whether the vaccine is effective. The recent wave of scandals around the MMR vaccine makes it likely that the number of children getting the vaccine will drop even further.
Corona Virus Vaccination
The anti-vaxxer movement has come out strongly against the idea that people should be getting a vaccination to protect against the Coronavirus. It seems that their sentiments are shared more widely than was initially forecast. There are at least seven COVID-19 candidate vaccines in the clinical evaluation phase (with over 82 in the preclinical evaluation phase). These numbers are unprecedented and underlining the scale of the current efforts to find a vaccine. But a survey conducted in the UK found that at least half of the population would choose not to have a COVID vaccination even if it were available.
Concerns About Conventional Medicine
The stats around prescription medication addiction in the US are alarming, and there are studies showing the same trends in the UK. In the US, it is estimated that around 20% of the population has abused prescription medicine, and 18 million Americans have done so in the last year. In the UK, a review conducted by the Public Health England showed that one in four people take ‘addictive medication’, and the number of fatal overdoses involving prescription medication continues to rise.
There is also a growing dissatisfaction with conventional medicine. For many people, conventional medicine is not effective and, even if the medicine is effective, sometimes the side effects outweigh the benefits of the medication. A study published on the JAMA network found that the two most frequently cited benefits of alternative therapies were, “I get relief for my symptoms, the pain or discomfort is less or goes away, I feel better,” and “The treatment works better for my particular health problem than standard medicine’s.” These insights show natural alternatives exist that may be more effective that conventional medicine, and may come with significantly fewer side effects.
A Movement Toward Natural Health & Taking Back Control of the Wellness Journey
Natural Medicine Has Become Mainstream
The uptake of natural health supplements is linked to a growing desire to become healthier. The use of herbal remedies has become mainstream in the UK (as well as the rest of Europe and other developed countries such as North America and Australia), and it’s because they form part of a balanced and moderate approach to healing. Instead of taking prescription medication that is full of chemicals and can have serious side effects, patients would rather stick with natural options that proactively support their health and wellness and can assist in bringing the body into homeostasis. A study by JAMA found that promoting health rather than just focusing on illness was one of the most important benefits of alternative health treatments.
Advancements and Research in Natural Health
Increasingly people want to have a degree of control over their health care decisions. Traditional medicine can be confusing and overwhelming. In addition, healthcare providers who facilitate access to medication are often in a rush and don’t take the time to adequately explain and equip patients to manage their own health effectively. Alternative therapies put the control back in the hands of the patient as advancements in science are widely available to end consumers online, allowing them to make their own decisions and manage their health, armed with the latest research-backed information.
CBD is Becoming an Important Part of an Everyday Routine
For many the advances in natural science and access to the latest research has meant the integration of CBD into their daily diet. CBD is becoming part of an everyday routine and is seen as playing an integral role in a healthy lifestyle in 2020.
Studies show how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to bring about homeostasis as well as the relief of a range of symptoms from sleeplessness and anxiety to joint pain and acne. And it’s this wellness-supporting action of CBD that makes it an ideal daily supplement as it enhances health and proactively improves wellbeing.
CBD and the Body’s Endocannabinoid System
The body’s endocannabinoid system is composed of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, primarily in the immune system and the central and peripheral nervous systems. Discovered only recently in the 1990s, the system is responsible for the control of a number of function including sleep, mood, immune response, pain perception, memory, appetite and temperature. In the case of a health problem, the system releases natural cannabinoids to restore balance (or homeostasis). And CBD can help to improve the way the system responds to health issues.
CBD works directly and indirectly with the endocannabinoid system to help relieve mental and physical conditions. It is able to bind to CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors throughout the body, as well as also modifying and regulating the transport of proteins and enzymes within the endocannabinoid system.
The Need for Confidentiality
Many patients are uncomfortable discussing their medical problems and fear a lack of confidentiality if they disclose their health information to a practitioner. They are also worried about the possibility of misdiagnosis and receiving the wrong treatment, especially if they don’t feel that they can describe their condition adequately. Natural medicine such as CBD taps into the body’s natural ability to self-repair (depending on the type of condition), and this can often lead patients to use herbs to self-medicate, rather than visiting a doctor. CBD businesses have been quick to offer solutions for individuals who seek privacy and confidentiality. Most offer discrete packaging and delivery, a wealth of information on how to get the best results and give their clients the freedom to purchase online from the comfort of their own homes. And, because CBD is available without a prescription, it can be taken confidentially.
The alternative health market, and CBD in particular (with annual growth in the double digits), is expected to expand significantly in the UK in the next few years as more patients seek to take control of their own health, empowered by the amount of information available to them online and the movement towards balanced, healthy living. For parents who are tasked with managing the health of their families, the daunting responsibility of making safe, effective decisions for their children may mean many will turn to natural sources. It’s because of this trend that CBD is seeing unprecedented growth as it is both effective, through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system, as well as being a completely natural health supplement that is available without prescription.