9 awesome facts about CBD
Medical cannabis has changed a lot over the decades, and in the past few years, we have seen a range of products enter the market, made primarily from cannabidiol (CBD). But what exactly is CBD, what can it do, and what makes it different from regular cannabis?
Here are 9 awesome facts about CBD.
CBD is non-psychoactive
Perhaps the most well-known benefit about CBD is that it’s a non-psychoactive compound. While CBD is a cannabinoid like THC, it doesn’t make the necessary connection in the brain to induce a euphoric high.
Therefore, those who could otherwise benefit from medical cannabis, but are not prepared to experience the psychoactive effects, can get several benefits of the herb from taking CBD instead. And we are seeing the positive impacts of this, with both children and seniors using CBD to treat or provide relief from certain ailments.
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system
As a cannabinoid, CBD can influence the body’s endocannabinoid system, and importantly, it appears to do so in a regulatory way. Medical scientists are constantly learning about the importance of the endocannabinoid system, and its role in promoting good physical and mental health.
Typically, endocannabinoids (lipid-based neurotransmitters that bear a resemblance to cannabinoids) bind to cannabinoid receptors to produce various reactions. But sometimes, the endocannabinoid system needs a little help. CBD improves functionality, often by increasing endocannabinoid levels, so that there are more of these neurotransmitters to bind with receptors.
CBD negates the effects of THC
THC works in the body by binding with the CB1 receptor, which is known to regulate mood – usually, anandamide binds with CB1, but THC is much stronger and takes longer to degrade, hence why it has such powerful effects. However, research has shown that the high from THC is not as potent when CBD is also present, and this is down to an anti-psychotic effect that CBD produces by affecting the THC-CB1 link.
CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, and it enacts this suppressant effect by joining to the receptor through a “backdoor” connection. Therefore, when CBD makes this indirect link to a receptor that is already bound to THC, the psychoactive “high” is reduced.
CBD can treat intractable epilepsy
CBD has been found to be more effective at treating intractable epilepsy than pharmaceutical drugs like Clobazam and Diazepam, and it doesn’t cause the severe side effects that some epilepsy treatments do. With intractable epilepsy conditions like Dravet’s syndrome mostly affecting children, it’s even more important that CBD is a well-tolerated treatment.
The anti-epilepsy properties of CBD have made headlines all over the world and have been essential for pushing forward the argument of medical cannabis legislation. While some conditions also require THC, many forms of epilepsy are treatable with a non-psychoactive CBD-rich oil.
CBD relieves anxiety
Anxiety is a mental health disorder that can significantly impair quality of life if untreated – the condition causes doubts to fester in the mind, affecting self-confidence. Anxiety attacks can come on suddenly, inducing panic and tightness in the chest. While some find success through meditation and talking therapies that help to put fears and worries in perspective, CBD is also beneficial.
Anxiety causes over-excitement in the brain, which can be brought under control by GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming effect. CBD boosts GABA by making it easier for the neurotransmitter to bind to the necessary receptor (GABA-A). Anxiety attacks are best managed by vaping CBD e-liquid, because of the quick effects.
CBD controls inflammation
Inflammation is a notorious health problem and tends to be behind most conditions – even skin conditions are caused by inflammation in the skin. Experts have struggled to develop efficacious inflammation treatments in the past. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and Naproxen may ease the pain, but regular use can cause stomach ulcers and other unwanted side effects.
CBD tackles inflammation in a novel way, via the CB2 receptor. Now we know that inflammation can be regulated through the endocannabinoid system, it may become easier to treat conditions that have stumped experts for so long.
CBD can be administered in several forms
There are several ways to both take CBD and interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. For example, for skin complaints, external application of cannabinoids with a CBD cream is the most prudent method of reducing inflammation, which can cause itchiness, redness, patchy skin, oily skin and more.
For up to eight hours of relief, CBD capsules are suitable and easy to consume. The discretion offered with capsules and edibles often makes them preferable intake methods than vaping. However, the effects of CBD from vaping are felt faster, although the cannabinoids exit the system more quickly, too.
CBD may correct Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency is not yet a confirmed illness, but some cannabis researchers have suggested that some people cannot produce enough endocannabinoids to keep their endocannabinoid systems regulated. This is thought to be the cause of illnesses like fibromyalgia and migraines, which are known to have symptoms related to dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system.
If this is proven to be the case, then it may be crucial to supplement the endocannabinoid system to correct imbalances that are causing these symptoms. CBD is the obvious candidate for treating Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, as studies have shown the compound to boost production of endocannabinoids, including anandamide.
CBD can be bought without a medical cannabis card
One huge advantage of CBD products compared to other cannabis products at the moment is that no medical cannabis card is needed to purchase them. The 2014 Farm Bill has carved out an exception for CBD products, by permitting hemp-derived products providing there is no more than 0.3 percent THC.
A declaration in late 2017 from the World Health Organization that CBD has “no abuse potential” suggests that it’s safe for people to self-medicate their ailments with the compound. However, if you do have any concerns about using CBD, consulting with a doctor with good cannabis knowledge is advised.