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.
Almost every organ of your body, including your skin and digestive tract, contains cannabinoid receptors.
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
It was found to prevent toxic effects of neurotransmitter glutamate and radical oxygen species (ROS) in the brain, thus preventing brain cell death.
CBD has antioxidant activity greater than vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (α-tocopherol).
It 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.
CBD Helps with Epileptic Seizures
It may be a promising therapy for treatment-resistant epilepsy.
In a survey including parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, 84% of parents reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking CBD.
These children also experienced increased alertness, better mood, and improved sleep. Drowsiness and fatigue occurred as side effects.
After 3 months of treatment with a purified 98% oil-based CBD extract, 39% of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy had a more than a 50% reduction in seizures.
After receiving 200 to 300 mg/d of cannabidiol for up to 4.5 months, 7 out of 8 patients suffering from secondary generalized epilepsy and resistant to anti-epileptic drugs had improvement of their disease state.
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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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.
Cannabidiol Lowers Incidence of Diabetes
A study, which included 4,657 adult men and women, showed that current marijuana use was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels, and smaller waist circumferences, a factor connected to the onset of diabetes.
Cannabidiol significantly reduced the development of diabetes in young non-obese mice, from 86% in non-treated mice to only 30% in mice treated with CBD.
Cannabidiol can inhibit and delay the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic cells and the production of inflammatory cytokines in diabetics.
This data strengthens assumptions that CBD, which is known to be safe in humans, can possibly be used as a therapeutic agent for treatment of type 1 diabetes at an early stage of the disease.
How to use CBD Oil?
So, how to best use CBD oil? CBD comes in a variety of forms, such as oil, tincture, oil for vaping, sublingual spray, edibles, and topical creams, so you can choose the method that is most suitable in your case.
The main idea behind all the methods of using CBD is to make sure that this cannabinoid ends up in your system in an easy manner, producing the results you want.
But when it comes to choosing the right method, it depends very much on the optimal dose in your case, the results you wish to achieve, and how long you want its effects to last. So, there isn’t a general rule when it comes to using CBD products.
Most people that use CBD prefer the varieties that are not for smoking, contrary to what people may believe, although vaping is great for alleviating symptoms in a matter of minutes, with effects ranging up to a few hours.
CBD administered orally can produce effects that last longer, a couple of hours in a row, but it takes longer for them to kick in, which is somewhere between 10 minutes or an hour and a half since the administration of the product. So, again, it is a matter of personal preference and desired effect.