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Understanding Cannabidiol: The CBD Compound

Make the rounds of any online support group for individuals, and their caregivers, with chronic conditions and you will probably see an increasing number of questions about medical marijuana and Cannabidiol (CBD). It has been the subject of numerous clinical studies, antidotal stories and is even patented by the United States’ National Institutes of Health for its health properties.

Hemp is part of the cannabis sativa L. species, but hemp, and the CBD oil from it, has no psychoactive properties of other

cannabis species — meaning you get all the health benefits with no high or side effects. It is possible to create a high concentration of CBD in unique cultivars of hemp, and extract the oil to be sold, but it has only recently become widely available. In addition to CBD, the oil contains many other healthy cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutritious omega fatty acids and vitamins.

For those of us who have never smoked marijuana, CBD without the psychotropic properties of THC, can be a more comfortable starting point — especially if we live in a state that has not yet permitted use of medical marijuana.

Many ask “can hemp CBD oil cure/treat my…?” However, CBD oil has not been FDA approved as a cure or treatment for any disease, so medical claims can, and should not, be made until the FDA has made determinations based upon clinical evidence. Having said this, Hemp CBD oil is an extraordinarily innovative product, and it is available for anyone to purchase across the country. Although the FDA has not categorized it as a food or a drug, individuals can conduct their own research using reputable clinical publications to determine if CBD oil can help.

How does CBD oil work?

Cannabinoids, including CBD, interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a system of receptor found in all mammals and are located in the brain and nervous system (CB1 and CB2 receptors).

Numerous studies have shown the ECS to be directly involved in the processes that keep our bodies balanced day to day. Overall, clinical research concludes that the endocannabinoid system is largely responsible for

managing homeostasis: the body’s natural condition of balance. It has also demonstrated, that when you ingest hemp CBD oil, the CBD interacts directly with the CB2 receptors throughout your body, stimulating your endocannabinoid system.

When is the last time you, or someone you know, had a significant serving of cannabinoids? If you’re like most people who are just hearing about CBD oil, you probably haven’t had one — ever. Twenty years ago, the researchers who discovered the endocannabinoid system began to suggest that many of us are suffering from an endocannabinoid deficiency. It’s not hard to believe, since the average modern diet contains no cannabinoids. Based on this research, many believe that it is very beneficial to supplement diets with CBD.

But, where do you begin?

When you’re trying to find the best CBD product for you, there are a few important things to consider:

Amount of CBD — CBD oil products can contain anywhere from 5mg of CBD per serving, all the way up to 190mg per serving. In general, it is best to start with lower concentrations of CBD, and work your way up if necessary.

Budget — Price typically varies with the amount of CBD in a product. This means cost must be balanced with quality, which includes the best natural ingredients, state of the art manufacturing, and thorough laboratory testing. The goal should be to get the best results from your CBD product as cost effectively as possible.

Taste & Convenience — Pure CBD oil extracts are the most potent products, but they’re not necessary for everyone. They can have a bitter taste. If you’d prefer something with a great flavor (or no taste at all), or a product you can take with you on the go, there are options ranging from capsules, liquids, chewing gum and more.

When my aching hands and back pain kept me awake, or my spasming legs woke me up, more often than it was healthy, I knew it was time to try something different. I had been watching the developments with medical marijuana public policy and considered the potential benefits given my research. It was time to take the next step and actually give CBD a try. I use a salve on my hands and elbows when the aches intensify as temperatures cool. The concentrated oil taken just before bed helps me go to sleep more easily and stay asleep until morning.

Leave a comment to share your experience with CBD or let me know if you have any questions.

Originally published at




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Christina Beach Thielst

Christina Beach Thielst

A former hospital administrator with new insight into the patient and family caregiver perspective. Blogging since 2005 at

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