With over 2.4 billion adherents across the world, Christianity remains the largest religion, and as a Christian, it is important to live in accordance with the words of the Bible. This means treating your body right and not abusing it with substances or alcohol. However, it can be difficult to know exactly where to draw the line, especially when it comes to things derived from cannabis. While there have been many users of CBD who have noticed significant benefits after using it, as a Christian, it can be difficult to decide whether or not CBD is for you or someone in your family. To help you better understand whether or not Christians can and should benefit from CBD, here is what you need to know.

What Exactly is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant and is found in marijuana. However, unlike the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana, CBD doesn’t contain the means to produce a ‘high’. In 2017, nearly $124 million of medical CBD was purchased, and users have reported many benefits ranging from pain management to relieving anxiety.

CBD can be found as an oil, an extract, a vapor-liquid, and in capsules. Many users of CDB oil administer it as a tincture that is held under the tongue for a few seconds before being swallowed. However, the FDA has only approved Epidiolex, a CBD oil, with all others being legal, but without FDA approval.

The Benefits of CBD

CBD has many reported benefits, and numerous Christians have turned to CBD as an alternative to other medications. Many people use CBD to help relieve pain, and there is even evidence that marijuana has been used to relieve pain since 2900 B.C. in China. The reason CBD works to relieve pain is because of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in many different functions including pain, appetite, sleep, and immune response. CBD interacts with this system and helps reduce chronic pain by impacting receptor activity.

Along with this, CBD has also been used to help reduce anxiety and depression, especially in those who wish to stay away from pharmaceutical means of treatment. This benefit has been linked to CBD’s ability to interact with receptors in the brain responsible for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate behavior and mood.

These health benefits have been well documented and, while CBD isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, neither are most pharmaceuticals, especially those used to treat mental health problems. As a Christian, trying CBD to help manage these issues can be beneficial as it is a more natural approach without the risk of dependency.

Risks of CBD

With the exception of Epidolex, the CBD market remains largely unregulated by the government, meaning that distributors of CBD products are free to write anything they want on their labels. Because of this, it can be difficult to know exactly what you are getting. In a study of 84 CBD products that were bought from online retailers, more than a quarter contained less CBD than the label suggested, and THC was even found in 18 of the products. This can be significant, especially if you are sensitive to THC. Driver error is the cause for nearly 25% of all trucking accidents, and operating a vehicle after taking a CBD product with THC unknowingly in it, can cause impairment that can put you and others in danger.

That said, CBD on its own has few risks aside from minor fatigue, dry mouth, and potentially nausea. When compared to the health risks of some pain relievers or anxiety medications, these are relatively minor. However, if you do plan on starting to take CBD, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor.

Should Christians Use CBD?

Now that you know more about CBD, let’s take a look at whether or not it should be taken by a Christian. Although the Bible doesn’t have anything to say on the topic of CBD or marijuana, it does give guidance to Christians when dealing with gray areas like this. Ephesian 5:18 states, ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.’ This roughly means that we shouldn’t indulge in substances — alcohol in this instance — to the point of inebriation. However, because true CBD doesn’t contain any of the mind-altering chemicals that THC does, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. That said, because of the lack of regulation, it’s important to only buy CBD products from reputable sources.

If you are interested in CBD oil for you or someone in your family, keep all of this in mind and remember that taking CBD in no way goes against the word of the Lord, so long as you take only CBD, preferably under the guidance of your doctor.