What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a molecule found exclusively in the cannabis or marijuana plant. Cannabidiol belongs to a class of compounds called cannabinoids, of which there are currently 113 discovered that exist naturally in the cannabis plant.
Clinical studies conducted on all cannabinoids have associated them with specific medicinal properties. This probably includes the most famous compound found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. CBD is becoming popular over THC because it appears to have medicinal benefits, but unlike THC, it does not exhibit the same psychoactive effects. This means that the user is not going to “get high” and therefore has no chance of being abused for recreational purposes.
Cannabidiol Oil (CBD) is simply a form of cannabidiol that has been extracted from cannabis buds / flowers, purified and then suspended in a carrier oil, such as hemp oil, walnut oil, coconut or MCT oil. These oils are then typically consumed sublingually (placed under the tongue) for five minutes and are commonly used to treat chronic pain or to reduce inflammation.
Cannabidiol can be taken / consumed in a number of different ways, not just in the form of CBD oil. The buds / flowers of a cannabis plant can be inhaled by smoking or vaporizing them. Cannabidiol can also be extracted from the plant and placed in different sprays, creams, balms, and e-liquids. All of which may have different uses, bioavailability, and different associated health benefits.
What products are available on CBD?
If you want to get the most out of your CBD products, it is important to choose the method of consumption. Bioavailability is the amount of a substance that enters the bloodstream. Here are some of the most common methods of consuming CBD and their associated bioavailability:
- Smoking CBD – Burning hemp buds and inhaling the smoke causes CBD to be transported via the smoke to the lungs where it is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability by combustion is approximately 15-50%.
- Vaping CBD – You can vape CBD buds, so that the plant material does not burn, but turns into a vapor that you inhale. You can also extract CBD in vaporizable e-liquids. The bioavailability of CBD vaping is 50-90%.
- Edible CBD – CBD can be extracted from the flower and placed in a food that can then be consumed. The bioavailability of edible products is 5-20%. This is because once they enter the digestive system, they are processed by the liver with very little absorption.
- CBD Oil – CBD, extracted from the buds, can be placed in a carrier oil. These can be consumed sublingually (placed under the tongue). This has approximately 75% bioavailability.
- CBD Balms / Creams – These work by being applied topically to the skin. They do not have an associated bioavailability because they do not enter the bloodstream.
What are the health effects of CBD?
In the United States, Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved epilepsy drug that contains CBD and it is primarily used for rare forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome. In other countries, the situation is essentially the same. The only types of drugs that can be prescribed are again for rare types of epilepsy as well as for multiple sclerosis.
However, judging by the vast amount of internet stories from celebrities, athletes and medical professionals, CBD is much more than what it is prescribed for. It helps against a lot of different health problems.
There are so many diseases that CBD is believed to be effective against. It has been linked to types of autoimmune diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It does this by controlling the autoimmune response, stopping the symptoms of inflammation and pain that occur when the immune system responds falsely to the invasion, attacking its own cells in the process.
CBD is also commonly used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne. These two conditions are also autoimmune conditions, although they are generally considered to be skin conditions. Again, since CBD is an anti-inflammatory, it suppresses the inflammatory response of the immune system, which helps control the physical effects of these skin conditions.
How does CBD interact with the human body?
The human body (and almost every other living creature on earth) has a network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. These receptors fall into two main groups called CB1 and CB2. When CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, there appear to be a number of health benefits.
CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system which is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. In fact, CB1 receptors are one of the most abundant types of receptors in the brain. They are mainly associated with effects on sleep, memory and depression.
CB1 receptors are what THC binds to in order to induce its psychoactive effects. CBD does not physically bind to CB1 receptors, but in fact changes the way other molecules bind to them. Because CBD does not bind directly to CB1 receptors, it does not cause the same mind-altering effects as THC.
In fact, it has been shown to alter the way THC binds to CB1 receptors and, therefore, has been associated with reducing the intensity of the psychoactive effects of THC. CB2 receptors are mainly found in areas other than the central nervous system, therefore on tissues and organs as well as cells of the immune system. They are mainly associated with effects relating to the immune response and inflammation.
CB1 and CB2 are not the only two types of cannabinoid receptors. They are just the most abundant, the first to be discovered and therefore the most studied and understood.
What are the side effects of CBD?
When consuming CBD, assuming little or no THC is present, the intoxicating effects are so weak as to be non-existent. It is weaker than coffee and about the same as cough medicine.
CBD is biphasic, which means that in small doses it can act as a mild stimulant, helping to reduce anxiety, and in large doses it can act as a mild depressant, with CBD helping you fall asleep. The amount of milligram of CBD that is needed before working as a depressant rather than a stimulant varies from person to person.
CBD does not have the same psychoactive effects as cannabis in any way. However, it would be wrong to say that he is not psychoactive. Anything that causes an effect in the brain is classified as a psychoactive drug, and therefore the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world is coffee or caffeine.
Whether CBD benefits the body, feels relaxed, or may help cure your anxiety means it’s psychoactive, but that’s not a bad thing. Much of the internet can get its description of CBD wrong when they say it’s not psychoactive, but they just mean it doesn’t get you “high” the way cannabis does.
A similarity between CBD and medical cannabis is that they have both been reported to cause dry mouth. This is because when the endocannabinoid system is involved in inhibiting the production of saliva. This is a mild side effect which can be turned off by drinking water.
According to the WHO, CBD is completely safe to consume, but like any substance, it can cause effects such as:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
It is also strongly advised that you speak with a doctor before taking CBD if you are currently taking medication or are about to start medication so that you can know their opinion on what CBD is. It is also strongly advised that you avoid any cannabis product, including CBD oil, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is CBD Legal?
This is a big question and the legalization of CBD is still unclear. In the United States, other than Epidiolex, there are no drugs authorized. In UK, CBD is allowed, but it must follow standard standards for purity and THC-free. In the European Union (as usual), it’s very complicated … A judgment of the European Court of Justice considers that CBD does not have narcotic properties like cannabis and therefore, it can circulate freely like any commodity in the world. European area.
On the other hand, the European Court considers that each country can regulate CBD as it wishes, taking into account the precautionary principle and the associated side effects if the CBD product contains THC. In the case of the WHO, a 2018 report finds that there are several ongoing clinical trials on the benefits of CBD, but that there are no abuse or health concerns in consuming CBD.
So depending on your country, you need to look at your national laws to determine if CBD is legal.
What is the difference between CBD extracted from cannabis and that from hemp?
A common misconception found not only on the internet, but also in the national media, and even among people selling CBD products, is that CBD is something found exclusively in hemp plants, which is incorrect. To understand why we must first understand the difference between hemp, marijuana and cannabis to understand what CBD is.
Marijuana and hemp are variants of the species called Cannabis sativa, known to have 3 subspecies called sativa, indica and ruderalis. These three subspecies can be classified as marijuana or hemp based on one property: their THC content.
Literally, the only thing that differentiates marijuana from hemp is the amount of THC present in the plant. A marijuana plant is a plant of the C. sativa species that contains more than 0.3% THC, and a hemp plant is a plant that contains less than 0.3% THC. It doesn’t matter how much CBD is.
The distinction between marijuana and hemp was made for purely legal purposes, as THC is the main psychoactive component and has the potential to be abused. Authorities needed a way to separate high THC cannabis from low THC cannabis, because the cannabis plant has multiple industrial uses. It’s not just something people consume for recreation or medicine.
It should be noted that if a company sells hemp oil or cannabis oil, this does not tell you anything about the concentration of CBD in the bottle. The oil could possibly be made from the seeds of the hemp plant which does not contain any cannabinoids. Therefore, it is always important to verify that the bottle explicitly states that it contains CBD.
To do this, you need to look at the product description for both the mg amount of CBD in the bottle and his percentage.