Every once in awhile, you hear a story of someone who claims to be cured of some medical condition thanks to CBD. If once you were afraid to ask what CBD is, or thought it has something to do with marijuana, today people seem more open than ever to consider alternative ways of treating their pain. One of those ways is CBD, which actually has everything to do with cannabis, but not necessarily the way you think. Let’s start from the beginning.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and is considered the second most prevalent of the active ingredients, as it accounts for up to 40 percent of the plant’s extract.
CBD is considered an essential component in producing medical cannabis. Evidence from clinical studies suggests that it has medicinal qualities that help in dealing with pain, as well as anxiety, cognition, and movement disorders.
Unlike the major prevalent active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not considered intoxicating nor addictive. However, in some cases, patients prefer consuming balanced CBD and THC doses, as they are considered most effective for pain relief. It is worth noting that they are also considered far less effective when it comes to reducing anxiety.
How CBD Works
Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how CBD works. On the chemical level, current studies suggest that unlike THC, which binds to the CB1 receptors in the human endocannabinoid system, CBD increases or improves the production of new endocannabinoids. Studies also suggest that CBD alters the effect of other chemicals in the body, such as serotonin (that regulates mood and stress), adenosine (that impacts the sleep cycle) and vanilloid (that contributes to pain modulation).
Furthermore, some studies show that in combination with THC, CBD appears to reduce some of the psychoactive effects of THC, such as anxiety or paranoia. CBD also has proven neuroprotective effects and it may as well possess some anti-cancer properties, which are still being researched.
Several studies have been conducted to test the possible effect CBD may have on different conditions. Whereas in some cases there is insufficient for the use of CBD for medical purposes (like Parkinson’s and autism), it has a proven benefit in the case of these conditions:
· Arthritis pain: a significant drop in inflammation and signs of pain has been observed in rats with arthritis. Human trials are still required to confirm these findings
· Multiple Sclerosis (MS): a report found that using CBD oil could reduce the levels of spasticity in muscles over the short term
One can benefit even more from the advantages of using hemp-derived CBD thanks to the “hemptourage effect”, a term that relates to the advantages of consuming the whole plant. Hemp is known to contain chlorophyll, that offers protection to the cell structure, and vitamin E, which offers protection to the DNA structure. The botanical source also contains essential fatty acids that are highly recommended for maintaining general health.
Because there is little to no regulation of CBD, it is important to be careful when measuring the dosage and to consult a doctor before treatment. It is also important considering that using CBD oil with other medications may make them less effective, or effective at a more intense level.
Though CBD is considered safe to use, there are reports on side effects such as dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, diarrhea, changes in appetite, weight gain or weight loss and drowsiness. To remain on the safe side, it is recommended to take CBD by mouth and appropriately by adults only.
Ways of Consuming CBD
At this point, you are beginning to understand why many people are considering to use CBD even if they don’t have a specific medical condition with symptoms that CBD can alleviate. However, people who have certain conditions should consider using CBD either way.
Several studies have been conducted to test the hypothetical effect CBD may have on different conditions. Whereas in some cases there is insufficient for the use of CBD for medical purposes (like Parkinson’s disease and autism), it has a proven benefit in the case of these conditions:
● Arthritis pain: a significant drop in inflammation and signs of pain has been observed in rats with arthritis. Human trials are still required to confirm these findings
You can benefit even more from the advantages of using CBD derived from a cannabis genus called hemp. The reason for that is the “hemptourage effect,” a term that relates to the advantages of consuming the whole plant. Hemp is known to contain chlorophyll, that offers protection to the cell structure, and vitamin E, which offers protection to the DNA structure. The botanical source also contains essential fatty acids that are highly recommended for maintaining general health.
Because there is little to no regulation of CBD, it’s important to be careful with dosage and to consult a doctor before treatment. It is also important considering that CBD oil can make other medications less effective, or effective at a more intense level, so be careful.
Though CBD is considered safe to use, there are reports on side effects such as dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, diarrhea, changes in appetite, weight gain or weight loss and drowsiness. To remain on the safe side, it is recommended to take CBD orally and in exact dosage by adults only.
Ways of Consuming CBD
You won’t believe in how many ways you can consume CBD. Hemp was recently legalized in many countries for recreational purposes, which flooded the market with hemp-derived CBD products.
Even though the safest way to consume CBD is by the mouth, after consulting a doctor, there are some different ways to enjoy the benefits of the cannabis compound:
● Combusting or vaporizing flower
● Consuming concentrates, including raw CBD oil, using vape pens, syringes and more
● Measuring and ingesting CBD isolate, a crystallized form of cannabidiol that looks like a white powder
● Infusing into readily usable products, such as edibles, elixirs, and capsules
History of CBD
The chemical was first discovered in 1940 by a prominent organic chemist at the University of Illinois named Roger Adams. Later, researches that tested the effect of CBD over mice found that the chemical had no observable effects in the animal’s behavior.
The big leap was made in 1964 when Dr. Raphael Mechoulam identified the structure of THC. By isolating THC from CBD, scientists were able to study the nature of both chemicals separately. Doing so, they discovered that CBD not only has a different effect on humans than THC, but it may help in reducing the psychoactive effects of the other chemical.
Another study by Dr. Mechoulam and his colleagues in South Africa, conducted in 1980, presented a possible link between cannabis and the treatment of Epilepsy. It showed that out of 16 adults and children with epilepsy, all subjects reported a relief in their symptoms, with little to no side effects. In 1993, a similar study on the effect of CBD over anxiety found that the chemical has potential anxiolytic qualities.
Laws and regulations
Whether or nor to use CBD is also a question of where you live. While in some countries CBD is obtainable in more than one way, in others the request to eligible CBD for legal commerce is still pending.
Nowadays, CBD is potentially obtainable in most parts of the United States, but its legal status differs from one state to another. Even so, CBD extracted from marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance, meaning that it is not approved as a prescription drug or dietary supplement. CBD derived from hemp, however, is legal to sell as a cosmetics ingredient.
The 2014 Farm Bill defined hemp as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent of THC within the regulatory framework of the Hemp Pilot Program and legalized the sale of “non-viable hemp material” grown within states that participate in the program. The 2018 Farm Bill regulated the interstate commerce of hemp-derived products.
An announcement from the European Commission in 2019 states that CBD and other cannabinoids would be classified as “novel foods,” meaning that their consumption would require authorization under the EU Novel Food Regulation. The recommendation applies to all CBD products, including CBD oil. If approved, safety tests would be required during the production of CBD products. However, CBD products are not expected to be eligible for legal commerce until 2021.
The United Kingdom enables the sale of an oral-mucosal spray, combined with THC, for the relief of severe spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. Up until 2017, products containing CBD were classified as medicines but could not be marketed without regulatory approval for the medical claims. Cannabis oil is legal to possess, buy, and sell in the UK as of 2018 if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC and is not advertised as providing a medicinal benefit.
As CBD is becoming more obtainable across the US and Europe, many people are discovering its benefits and are trying it to relieve pain and alleviate symptoms of various conditions. Many of these people are not recreational users of cannabis, which is no surprise: CBD itself lacks the notorious intoxicating effect associated with the plant and it is not considered addictive. However, remember that CBD is a substance like any other and it might have side effects, as well as risks when using in large doses. Before using, stop by at the clinic and consult a health care professional who can recommend the right label and dosage for you.