What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Simply put, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound naturally derived from the cannabis sativa plant. While CBD comes from the same plant species as recreational marijuana, they are not the same. CBD is extracted from a variety of medicinal hemp, which has only trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) responsible for the feelings of euphoria and “high” that people experience after ingesting marijuana. Instead, CBD acts like a medicine in our bodies, activating the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a central regulatory system essential for establishing and maintaining health.
The Endocannabinoid System is connected to nearly every major organ system in the body, and functions to balance the body and mind via homeostasis. A healthy ECS shows potential to alleviate pain, decrease inflammation, and address other maladies without the sometimes disorienting feelings of euphoria that come with THC.
Effective or Just A Fad?
CBD has taken the health industry by storm, and many are wondering: is CBD effective, or is it just a fad? You’ve probably heard your friends and family members lauding the benefits of CBD: how it helps with chronic pain, sleep, menopause, aches and pains, and more. Are these claims true?
Forty years of clinical research shows that CBD is not only a powerful pain reliever, but it’s an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotectant. CBD is here to stay as a safe and effective alternative to opioids, that often come with undesirable side effects. CBD, in contrast, has minimal side effects, and it’s safe in high quantities. To date, there is no record of anyone overdosing on CBD.
CBD continues to be explored and studied for a number of conditions, including anxiety and mood disorders, neurodegenerative conditions, cancer, epilepsy, and more.
History of Cannabis
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is traced back to the ancient world. It was first used medically in China around the years 1 – 100 AD, where theiroldest pharmacopoeia recognizes cannabis as “useful for more than 100 ailments, including rheumatic pain, gout, and malaria”.
In the United States, cannabis was widely used in patent medicine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, until hemp was made illegal under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 because of its relation to marijuana. In 2018, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalize hemp again, acknowledging that American consumers were buying foreign CBD products for its health benefits, despite the outdated laws.
Scientists and researchers continue to study the efficacy and potential of CBD for health management. A simple search for “cannabidiol” on Google Scholar returns 30,000 results, and the more time passes, the more we understand it’s amazing benefits.
How CBD Works
Although CBD has the same molecular makeup as THC, it does not have the same effect on your body. CBD is not psychoactive. And while caffeine and painkillers act on only one receptor site in the brain, CBD acts on multiple receptor sites within the nervous system, “appear(ing) to involve several signaling systems… including a serotonin receptor”, according to theNational Institute of Health.
These receptor sites in the nervous system have various roles in the body. For example, the 5-HT1A (hydroxy tryptamine) serotonin receptor, located in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and amygdala, plays a part in anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, and nausea. When CBD interacts with this receptor, it has a therapeutic effect on all these functions.
CBD also binds to the TRPV1 receptor to help manage pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature.
There are multiple other receptors in which CBD interacts. It blocks some receptors to help decrease bone reabsorption and to slow the growth of cancer cells. It may even help slow tumor growth in human lung cells and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by activating the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor (PPAR).
Since CBD has little effect on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, they do not make people high or cause disconcerting feelings of euphoria or increased senses. Instead, CBD interacts with receptors in the nervous system that helps with a myriad of medical conditions. It is, of all accounts, a safe drug with very few adverse side effects.
The Best Way to Begin
This can all seem like a lot of information. How does someone begin the process of finding the right CBD solution for them? Instead of using the trial-by-error method, we suggest saving time and money with a self-testing kit.
A self-testing kit can give you a sense of direction to see which CBD works best for you. It helps you define your goals in what you need CBD for, and how CBD can most effectively help you. The self-testing kit also helps you try out different CBD products to find the best fit that works with your physiology. After all, there’s no better way to know than to try.
Some Common Questions From Our Customers
Will CBD get me high?
No. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means it will not produce unwanted feelings of euphoria. The cannabinoid known to cause psychoactive effects, THC , can be present in CBD, but in such low quantities (below 0.3%) that it’s not enough to get you high. CBD is known to cause relaxation both physically and mentally, so you might notice a chance in your physical or mental states.
Is it Possible to Take Too Much CBD?
CBD is very safe in high doses. In fact, there is no reported incidence of overdose, which cannot be said for typical opioids prescribed for pain and other maladies. However, when taking any nutritional supplement, it’s good practice to start with a very small amount and increase dosage in steady amounts to find your Minimum Effective Dose (MED). The MED, once determined, is the best way to ensure that resources are not being wasted from over- or under-consumption.
According to theWorld Health Organization, “there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” In fact, a 2017 review in the journalCannabis and Cannabinoid Research reported: “the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite/weight.”
Is CBD Legal?
CBD is derived from agricultural hemp, not marijuana, so it is a perfectly legal, agricultural product, not a controlled drug from the marijuana plant.
Will I Pass a Drug Test After Using CBD?
It depends. Full-spectrum might throw off results. Even if your CBD has very small amounts of THC – too small to get you high – your drug test might still register that small amount of THC.
CBD is found to be both safe and effective for alleviating side effects of multiple health conditions. Whether you’re looking to relieve pain, reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, get better sleep, improve bone mass, or reduce inflammation, it’s worth taking the time to find the right CBD for you.