Even though Cannabidiol (CBD) has been around since the 1940s however lately it seems to have been discovered by the mainstream; beauty products, lattes and hemp oils are everywhere. More and more people are turning to CBD for health and wellness throughout the world thanks to its many properties.
But CBD is not just a buzzword in lifestyle magazines. Cannabidiol is one the 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Researchers have found health benefits for anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain as well as other benefits that make it a very sought product in the wellness market.
Maybe you have heard about CBD; some say it's a miracle drug while others decry it as a scam. As usual, the truth is more complicated than the extremist would want you to think. Cannabidiol is a natural substance that's proven to help people in several ways and it’s safe to use.
Finding reliable information about CBD may be difficult among the avalanche of sites and magazines that report about it. In this article we want to give you a complete guide on Cannabidiol: benefits, how it works, the right way to use it and more so you too can enjoy all its properties.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a natural occuring substance in cannabis plants. It was first isolated in 1940 while its molecular structure was established in 1963. It is one of the 113 cannabinoids identified so far and it makes up about 40% of the extract. Unlike other substances found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive.
This substance is safe to be taken into the body so that is why there are a great number of edible products with CBD as well as oils, lotions, capsules or as a liquid solution. These are some of the ways we can be consumed to take advantage of its properties.
In recent years the scientific interest for CBD has been increasing which has lead to a series of discoveries about its effects on health and wellness. While the full range of effects has not been studied yet, many researchers have found that it could help combat epilepsy, social anxiety disorder, arthritis, etc.
One of the most frequently asked questions about Cannabidiol is whether it gives a "high". The answer is no. CBD is not a psychoactive substance as opposed to the other popular compound found in cannabis: THC. For first time users of cannabis products, this is an important fact to know in case they have any reservations about trying CBD.
As a matter of fact, CBD can neutralize the effect of THC which is ideal for people who want the health benefits of Cannabidiol without feeling high or stoned.
In the United States, there are a lot of products available The FDA has approved a drug called Epidiolex to treat two epilepsy disorders. There are also a great number of alternative medicine products with CBD in them. It also has been proven to have neuroprotective properties and its effects on cancer are being researched.
Cannabidiol is a versatile substance that can help the quality of life of people with chronic illnesses as well as people who want to try alternative ways to treat pain and some mental health issues.
The Endocannabinoid System
Another important question you may be asking is: How does CBD works? The answer is in the endocannabinoid system in our bodies which regulates several functions in our bodies. The name of the system is not a coincidence, it takes it from the similarity to the compounds found in cannabis.
The endocannabinoid system runs throughout the whole body and it has hundreds of thousands of receptors which bind themselves to CBD and any other cannabinoids you may consume. This system is responsible for the way our body interacts with CBD and the effects it may have on our body.
Research shows that the endocannabinoid system regulates many physiological functions such as our moods, energy levels, immunological system, intestinal fortitude, appetite, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism and even how we process emotions like stress or even pain and hunger.
We have known about the endocannabinoid system since the nineties when scientists started researching how exactly THC works and its interactions with the human body. They found the receptor CB-1 and later CB-2 as well as a vast network of receptors that interact with cannabinoids.
Even though the full scope of what the endocannabinoid system is still unknown, the discovery of this system has changed the way scientists understand the body and illness. Whenever there's a disease, researchers have found an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system.
With this change of paradigm, doctors and scientists have had a newfound interest on Cannabidiol and how it can help slow down or even stop diseases from progressing as well as other therapeutic uses that can help regulate any alteration to the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system or ECS as it is also known is in charge of maintaining our bodies in balance which is why it's no wonder that when researchers study diseases there are usually changes in the ECS. This is true for everything from neurological disorders to diabetes and arthritis. It stands to reason that learning how to regulate and balance the endocannabinoid system might help curbing disease.
Scientists believe that the ECS may be at the root of some disorders in what they have called the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, which they think can be helped by the intake of cannabinoid supplements such as CBD to relieve symptoms and restore health.
CBD and other cannabis products can help bring balance to the ECS, like our ancestors and some native cultures have known for years even if they did not use that term. With the scientific discovery of the endocannabinoid system a new biological basis has been given to medicine derived from cannabis.
Other ways to enhance the ECS are regular exercise as well as a balanced diet. Aerobic exercise such as running can increase the cannabinoid levels in the body while adding Omega 3 (found in fatty fish or flax and hemp seeds) to our diet can also increase our levels. Combined with a healthy dose of CBD we can maintain our ECS running smoothly.
In the pharmaceutical world, there is a lot of excitement with both the discovery of the endocannabinoid system and the potential of CBD as well as other compounds found in cannabis. However, previous legislation made it hard for a scientist to research all of CBD properties and benefits.
Recent changes in the regulations regarding cannabis have opened a new world of possibilities regarding its uses. On June 25, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. approved the first pharmaceutical formulation based on CBD in the form of Epidiolex.
So far, we have talked about CBD, its properties, health benefits, possible applications and how the ECS helps maintain the balance of our bodies. But we still haven't talked about CBD oil, one of the easiest and fastest ways to use cannabidiol.
CBD oil is derived from cannabis plants, especially those with high levels of CBD like hemp which also has little or no THC in them; this is one of the main concerns first time users have when researching CBD products.
Since cannabidiol became mainstream there has been a lot of buzz about what it can do it can curb and prevent diseases and there are even some products aimed at pets. Celebrities, scientists and influencers of all ages have promoted its use and CBD oil is easily available everywhere.
CBD oil is better consumed directly however for those who don't like the taste of oil it can be combined with sweet sauces or honey to help make it taste better.
Scientist believes cannabidiol can help with diseases, disorders, and ailments such as:
- Pain relief
- Neurological disorders
- Metabolic conditions
- Neuropsychiatric illness
- Gut disorders
- Cardiovascular problems
- Skin conditions
The whole spectrum benefits is not yet known so this list can grow over the next few years as more research is done on the subject. Scientists now think that CBD can help with cancer and other degenerative diseases. In 2010, German researchers found that CBD can help restore the growth of new brain cells in adult mammals.
As a pain reliever, CBD binds itself to the endocannabinoid system receptors to help with inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. This can help patients who suffer from chronic pain or rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies have found that patients with multiple sclerosis have shown improvements in walking, pain and muscle spasms.
Cannabidiol is a versatile compound and it could be useful in the treatment of mental disorders like anxiety and depression as well as some conditions like PTSD or mood changes caused by hormonal changes such as PMS.
Besides helping with psychiatric disorders, CBD could help patients with neurological disorders: Alzheimer, dementia, Parkinson and people recovering from a stroke.
However, people without a diagnosed disorder can benefit from CBD oil by taking it in small doses as needed to cope with a hard day of work or financial woes that may be taking a toll on our mental health. The possibilities are endless when it comes to CBD and wellness.
Other potential health benefits include reducing acne. This skin condition affects 9% of the total U.S. population and CBD oil can help clear it up with its anti-inflammatory properties as well as reducing sebum production. According to one particular study, CBD oil has prevented sebaceous glands from secreting too much sebum.
While another study showed how CBD oil's anti-inflammatory effects blocks the activation of pro-acne agents such as cytokines. Although these findings are promising, more research is needed before it can be used as an approved drug for acne treatment.
Finally, CBD oil could be beneficial for the heart and circulatory system. High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions in America and it increases the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and metabolic syndrome. CBD could be a natural way to fight those ailments.
The studies in this area have found that small doses of CBD can decrease resting blood pressure and prevent it from increasing during stress tests. More tests are needed to discover the full scope of CBD's benefits for cardiac health but so far it looks like it could play a big role in the future.
Hemp oil and CBD
CBD is produced and extracted with a variety of methods: alcohol, CO2, isolated or from the whole plant. However, CO2 extraction is the newer and more effective method thanks to the high-quality product that it yields. It is a complex process that forces CO2 into the hemp plant so the oil can be extracted.
CO2 extraction requires state-of-the-art and expensive tools which makes it difficult for amateurs to do it by themselves. We recommend CBD oils from brands that use this method of extraction.
However, the raw and unprepared extract does not have an agreeable taste. Which is why CBD oil is usually diluted with other preparations such as corn syrup or honey. But in order to use it to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we prefer other options like hemp oil.
Thanks to the rise in CBD oil sales, hemp plantations have increased all over America. The reason is simple: hemp plants has a very low concentration of THC.
Hemp oil is free of cannabinoids both THC and CBD, it has its own benefits such as Omega 3 acids which makes it the perfect solution to the problem of taste and CBD oil. This way we can reap all of the benefits of both substances.
CBD oil can have some side effects like drowsiness but they are unusual in most people.