What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of over 60+ naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds found in Cannabis, an annual herbaceous flowering plant.
CBD oil is derived from an organic substance formed in the plant’s secretions. Both marijuana and hemp are forms of cannabis.
However, cannabis does not mean marijuana. Cannabis is the genus name and general umbrella term, under which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall.
Until recently, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, was the most well-known and studied cannabinoid due to its abundance in marijuana.
However, as the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana and the top non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp, CBD has been gaining momentum in the scientific community and media.
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause any feeling of “high,” which contributes to its legalization across the United States. CBD does not typically have any immediate noticeable effect, though some customers have reported otherwise when using isolates.
How does CBD work?
CBD primarily interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a grouping of millions of cannabinoid receptors found throughout your body, but are primarily clustered in the brain and central nervous system.
While CBD is a phytocannabinoid, or plant-based cannabinoid, your body also naturally produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system has four primary purposes including neuroprotection, stress relief, immune response, and regulating the body’s general state of balance, impacting faculties such as appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.
Unlike THC, CBD does not interact directly with the two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). This is why CBD does not cause any psychoactive effect.
Instead, CBD inhibits the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids, leading to an increase in your body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids.
CBD’s molecular formula is C21H30O2, and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636.
Health Benefits Of CBD Oil
CBD May Protect Against Neurodegenerative Diseases
CBD was found to prevent toxic effects of neurotransmitter glutamate and radical oxygen species (ROS) in the brain, thus preventing brain cell death.
It has antioxidant activity greater than vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (α-tocopherol).
This may also protect brain cells from beta-amyloid toxicity, making it a potential therapy in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
It may also protect the brain in cases where blood flow is reduced (ischemia).
Early human studies showed a dose-related improvement in patients with Parkinson’s disease treated with 100 to 600 mg/day of CBD over a 6-week period.
However, another study failed to show any beneficial effect of a mixture of THC and CBD either on Parkinson’s disease or dyskinesia.
In animal models, CBD reversed the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer’s disease.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, CBD may be a promising agent to treat and prolong survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients.
Chronic inflammation is a huge problem in our society that contributes to many non-infectious diseases including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, and more, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Diet and lifestyle play a huge part in chronic inflammation but when folks are already eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and optimizing their lifestyle (getting enough sleep and exercise for example), CBD oil can help. Research also shows that CBD oil can reduce chronic inflammation that leads to disease.
Improves Skin Conditions
CBD oil can be used topically to treat skin conditions. Studies show CBD oil has a high potential for treating skin conditions like eczema by encouraging abnormal cell death.
It can also help regulate the skin’s oil production, reducing acne. CBD also contains many nutrients like vitamin E that help improve and protect the skin.
CBD Reduces Anxiety
Cannabidiol reduces anxiety in both healthy individuals and patients with social anxiety disorder.
Studies showed that CBD significantly reduced anxiety and discomfort caused by public speaking.
CBD also reduced anxiety caused by the use of THC.
Researchers suggest that it may be effective for panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cannabidiol May Help with Insomnia
Research suggests taking CBD before bed improves sleep in people with insomnia.
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Many small-scale studies have looked into the safety of CBD in adults. They concluded that adults tend to tolerate a wide range of doses well.
Researchers have found no significant side effects on the central nervous system, the vital signs, or mood, even among people who used high dosages.
The most common side effect was tiredness. Also, some people reported diarrhea and changes in appetite or weight.
There is still a lack of available long-term safety data.
Also, to date, researchers have not performed studies involving children.
Side effects of Epidiolex
Concerning the product that the FDA approved to treat two types of epilepsy, researchers noticed following adverse effects in clinical trials:
- liver problems
- symptoms related to the central nervous system, such as irritability and lethargy
- reduced appetite
- gastrointestinal problems
- rashes and other sensitivity reactions
- reduced urination
- breathing problems
The patient information leaflet notes that there is a risk of worsening depression or suicidal thoughts. It is important to monitor anyone who is using this drug for signs of mood change.
Research suggests that a person taking the product is unlikely to form a dependency.
What is the best way to take CBD?
You can take CBD under the form of oil, which can come in the form of capsules, pre-made edibles, or as it is, added to the foods and drinks you consume daily.
It is worth knowing that CBD oil is extracted through a variety of ways, the CO2 extraction method being the one you should prefer best because it is the cleanest and most efficient. This doesn’t mean that the others methods don’t work, but, in case of solvent use, such as butane, toxic residues can be left behind if the process is not performed with maximum attention.
You can also use CBD in the shape of a tincture, which allows you to put a few drops directly in your mouth, under your tongue, or in your food and drinks. This form is quite appreciated by many people, as it is a discreet way of taking CBD, even in public spaces.
There are the CBD oil that is specially made for vaping pens, a method ideal if you want to enjoy the effects of CBD in a very fast manner.
And don’t worry, vaping CBD does not have the same unwanted side-effects as smoking. If you are not sure if this method is for you. Do know that there are disposable vaping pens, with a limited number of uses, just in case you want to try it out before deciding.
Sublingual sprays, just like tinctures, were meant to be used discreetly, by pulverizing the product under your tongue. They can be found with a various amount of CBD content, depending on the desired effects, representing a fast and easy way to get the treatment you need.
If you experience muscle and joint pains, you can opt for using topical CBD products. Which are made to be used externally, by applying them on the skin, on the painful spot.
They are created and used due to their pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Helping people that suffer from conditions like arthritis.