What is CBD?

What is CBD?

With the rapid popularity of medical marijuana, what is CBD has become a common question. Cannabidiol or CBD is a natural remedy used for many health concerns.

CBD production occurs when the compound is extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD is then combined with oils, such as coconut oil or olive oil to form non-psychedelic medical marijuana.  

Research on the effects of marijuana led to the discovery of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the balancing of physiology and mood. It also interacts with CBD oils, resulting in obvious health benefits. The endocannabinoid system got its name from cannabis because of the strong ties between the system and the plant’s effects.

Some concerns about CBD are often misguided. The main being that CBD has the same psychoactive results as marijuana.

What are the Differences Between CBD and Marijuana?

Cannabis plants contain 85 different compounds, and two of them include Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC and CBD have similar effects on the body in terms of alleviating pain and anxiety, but critical differences in how they make you feel.  The stigma of “getting high” doesn’t apply to those taking advantage of CBD oil benefits.

CBD does contain some trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less) but not enough to experience any high-like mood alteration. Marijuana is abundant in THC with a high concentration of 15 percent or higher.

Cannabis plants have two distinct classifications: Sativa and Indica. Marijuana belongs to both classifications; however, CBD is in the Sativa or hemp family. Hemp is a versatile plant, used for medicinal purposes to products ranging from clothing to paper.

Hemp and marijuana have essential differences in chemical makeup, use, and plant structure.

Forms of CBD

The main form of CBD is oil products like creams, essential oils, and tinctures. You can even consume CBD through edibles and vaping. Regardless of the way, the effectiveness of CBD is the same. In the past, CBD was only accessible in alternative medicine, but since the legalization of cannabis in some States, the stigma has lessened making CBD a viable mainstream option.

CBD oil uses the whole-plant methodology, meaning instead of using only one synthetically created compound, it uses the entire plant to alleviate pain and disease. The whole-plant method is called the Entourage Effect. The main idea is that the compounds work together to heal the body and in isolation have a lesser effect.

Health Benefits of CBD

Could Help With Pain Management

One of the most significant uses of CBD oil is to treat chronic pain. Unfortunately, many people live with daily aches and pains for a variety of reasons. Since CBD binds to the receptors in the Endocannabinoid System, the cannabinoid helps the body to balance physiologically. Animal studies have shown that rats injected with CBD experienced less nerve pain.  

May Reduce Inflammation

One effective treatment for inflammation is CBD supplementation. The causes of inflammation range from everyday activities to Rheumatoid Arthritis. The same study showing a reduction in nerve pain also revealed that CBD reduces inflammation.

Possibly Helps with Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common for many people and have devastating effects on health and well-being. CBD oil is a natural method of treating anxiety and depression. Synthetically derived medications may have serious side effects that could outweigh the health benefits.

Could Provide Treatment for Epilepsy

Studies show that alternative treatments using CBD liquid in small amounts reduces seizures in epileptic patients. One rare and life-threatening form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome doesn’t respond well to many drugs, but some evidence is showing that CBD oil helps control seizures.

May Help with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Several studies have shown the therapeutic benefits of CBD to help reduce symptoms associated with MS. The neurodegenerative disorder leads to impairing vision, loss of muscle control, and all bodily functions. CBD has significant antioxidant and neurological properties that combat the deteriorating effects of MS. Some people report a significant difference in the quality of life when using CBD oil.

Can Alleviate Cancer-related Symptoms

People with prostate cancer or breast cancer, for example, experience drastic changes in appetite, extreme hair loss, nausea, and headaches.  Research shows that CBD alleviates symptoms for people with cancer.

Could Help Prevent Migraines

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is thought to cause migraines and endometriosis. CBD is an option for reducing pain caused by these health conditions.

Other Potential Benefits

The benefits of CBD oil also help relieve other health concerns, other than the ones outlined above.

  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Encourages weight loss
  • Improves sleeplessness
  • Helps heart disease
  • Relieves Parkinson’s Disease symptoms

Some Possible Side Effects of CBD

Even though the side effects of CBD are minimal and not thoroughly studied, some anecdotal results have been reported.

These include:

  • Nausea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Lower fertility

Dosages of CBD

The best advice is to start with a small amount and increase as needed. CBD, available in tinctures and creams, comes in varying quantities.

Quality of CBD

You should also review the quality of the CBD. Since CBD isn’t highly regulated, quality can vary. Some things you should look for is the CBD manufacturing process, cultivation, and labeling.

Hemp manufacturing includes using solvents to extract the CBD. Companies will cut costs by using more toxic solvents, such as propane and butane, to produce CBD oil. Higher grade CBD uses organic, pharmaceutical grade ethanol, to remove the CBD.

The hemp plant gains nutrients from the soil. If the hemp grows in high-quality soil, using natural fertilizers, and cultivated with the total health of the consumer in mind, the quality of the CBD oil increases.

CBD isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but the best CBD oil uses the whole-plant. The reason is that research shows that all the compounds in the hemp plant work together to fight disease and isolating one isn’t as effective. Bottom line if the CBD oil is too cheap, the effects are not as strong for women’s health or men’s health.  

Cannabis is a fastly-growing industry with many health benefits. More people are turning to CBD to alleviate a wide variety of ailments. The stigma has lost its luster because CBD works.

Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2017.0017

Flachenecker, P., Henze, T., & Zettl, U. K. (n.d.). Nabiximols (THC/CBD oromucosal spray, Sativex®) in clinical practice–results of a multicenter, non-interventional study (MOVE 2) in patients with multiple sclerosis spasticity. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24525548

Genaro, Fabris, F., A. L., Crippa, S., J. A., Prado, . . . Antônio W. (2017, June 06). Cannabidiol Is a Potential Therapeutic for the Affective-Motivational Dimension of Incision Pain in Rats. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00391/full

Johnson, J. R., Burnell-Nugent, M., Lossignol, D., Ganae-Motan, E. D., Potts, R., & Fallon, M. T. (2010, February). Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326

McCoy, B., Wang, L., Zak, M., Al‐Mehmadi, S., Kabir, N., Alhadid, K., . . . Snead, O. C. (2018, August 01). A prospective open‐label trial of a CBD/THC cannabis oil in dravet syndrome. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/acn3.621

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