7 Facts About Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound in cannabis that offers many benefits without any high.
Most people have heard of THC, which is the ingredient in cannabis responsible for the high. But recently, attention has shifted to another compound in cannabis called CBD.
CBD appears to be helpful for many people and while research is still in its early stages, doctors are generally supportive of CBD because it has very few side effects.
Today, CBD is available in a variety of products ranging from oils and tinctures to edibles and vaporizers.
Here are seven facts that you should know about this unique compound:
1. CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD is one of over 113 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied.
CBD and THC levels tend to vary among different plants. cannabis grown for recreational purposes often contains more THC than CBD, but high-CBD strains are also available.
2. CBD is non-psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. While many people enjoy the cannabis high, health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects.
CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same receptors as THC. These CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC.
3. CBD can work together with other compounds
One of the most interesting effects of CBD is its ability to interact with other compounds in cannabis, such as THC and terpenes.
In a 2011 research paper, Dr. Ethan Russo describes the combined effect of THC, CBD, and terpenes as an “entourage effect”. He believes the compounds work together to benefit the user more than they would alone.
In Dr. Russo’s words, CBD makes “synergistic contributions” to the effects of cannabis in the body.
4. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
CBD seems to naturally counteract the cannabis high. Numerous studies suggest that CBD acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia.
People who have used both cannabis and pure THC report a preference for natural cannabis when it comes to side effects. It’s thought that CBD plays a role in this preference.
5 There are many different CBD products available
CBD has gained a reputation as a safe, non-psychoactive treatment for a range of concerns. As a result, many different kinds of CBD products have been developed, including oils, topical's, edibles, and vaporizer liquids.
CBD oils are concentrated, pure extracts from the cannabis plant, often taken by mouth. Edible products containing CBD are also available.
CBD-rich topicals can be applied to the skin, and are often used to treat pain in a localized area. CBD can also be vaporized using E- liquids.
These products may be derived from cannabis or industrial-grade hemp. CBD products made from hemp are often referred to as “Hemp CBD” or “CBD Hemp Oil”.
6. Some people give CBD to their pets
When it comes to your furry friends, CBD is often preferred over THC because it has fewer side effects.
Some people feel uncomfortable giving their animal something that could make them high, but CBD offers the benefits without the high.
Dr. Wendy Kramer, a B.C. veterinarian, explains: “If we use part of the cannabinoids that are involved with the plant, we get great benefits. It’s the THC… that makes them stoned.”
7 CBD can affect your sleep-wake cycle
CBD has what is called a “biphasic effect” on sleep, meaning it has different effects depending on dosage. Small doses of CBD appear to increase wakefulness, while large doses are sedating.
CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, which may explain why some strains of cannabis are known to increase alertness.
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
Have you ever wondered how THC works? Well, it just-so-happens to be a similar shape to a compound our bodies create naturally. Thanks to its shape, THC is able to tap into a network in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system. It’s this ability that gives THC it’s psychoactive effects. But, what is the endocannabinoid system and what does it do?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) refers to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules. You can think of cell receptors like little locks on the surface of your cells. The keys to these locks are chemical molecules called agonists. Each time an agonist binds to a cell it relays a message, giving your cell specific direction.
The endocannabinoid system is the name for a series of cell receptors that respond to certain kinds of agonists. Two primary cell receptors make up the ECS, Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2). The keys for these receptors are called endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are like the body’s natural THC. In fact, endocannabinoids got their name from cannabis. Plant cannabinoids were discovered first. Endo means within, and cannabinoid referring to a compound that fits into cannabinoid receptors.
There are two main endocannabinoid molecules, named anandamide and 2-Ag. Funny thing, scientists wouldn’t have discovered anandamide without THC. Psychoactive (THC) was first discovered by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam back in the 1960s. His finding quickly spurred a rush to figure out how THC worked, and whether or not our own bodies produced a similar compound.
More than two decades after the search began, anandamide was found. Yet, once they isolated the chemical, they faced another challenge. What should it be called? They turned to Sanskrit. Anandamide comes from the Sanskrit word Ananda, which means bliss. So, basically, anandamide means bliss molecule.
What does the ECS do?
Cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout the body, giving them a wide variety of functions. However, certain receptors are more concentrated in specific regions. CB1 receptors are abundant in the central nervous system. CB2 receptors are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system.
The diversity of receptor locations shows just how important endocannabinoids are for day-to-day bodily function. They can help regulate the following:
- Appetite, digestion, hunger
- Motor control
- Immune function
- Reproduction and fertility
- Pleasure and reward
- Temperature regulation
Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving and when to stop. They help maintain optimal balance in the body, also known as homeostasis. When the ECS is disrupted, any one of these things can fall out of balance. Dysregulation in the ECS is thought to contribute to a wide variety of conditions, including fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.
The ECS theory of disease is termed “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency“. The idea is simple: when the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses that affect one or several of the functions listed above.
Where do endocannabinoids come from?
If your body cannot produce enough endocannabinoids, you might be in for some trouble. But, where do endocannabinoids come from, anyway? This question has another simple answer: diet.
Your body creates endocannabinoids with the help of fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for this. Recent research in animal models has found a connection between diets low in omega-3s and mood changes caused by poor endocannabinoid regulation.
Fortunately, hemp seeds are a quality source of omgea-3s. However, fish like salmon and sardines produce a form of omega-3s that is easier for your body to put to use.
Beyond cell receptors
Cannabinoid receptors are often what we associate with the endocannabinoid system. But, the ECS is more complicated than that. Enzymes also have a crucial role to play in the process. In a way, enzymes are kind of like Pacman. They gobble up various compounds, change them, and then spit out the parts. In the ECS, enzymes break down leftover endocannabinoids. Enter non-psychoactive CBD.
Enter non-psychoactive CBD. While THC binds with cannabinoid receptors directly, CBD does not. Instead, it works it’s magic on an enzyme. The enzyme in question is called FAAH, and it is responsible for pulling excess anandamide out of circulation.
CBD puts a stop to this. Psychoactive THC works by mimicking the body’s own endocannabinoids. But, CBD increases the amount of endocannabinoids in your system.
CBD stops enzyme FAAH from breaking down all of the anandamide, and therefore makes more of it available for use by your cells. This is why CBD is a natural mood-lifter without psychoactive effects.
This is just a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system. Each year, new studies shed light into what this amazing network does inside our bodies. The discovery of the ECS is what makes medical cannabis such a big deal.
People often joke about the herb’s ability to heal a wide variety of seemingly unrelated conditions. But, we now understand that these conditions are all regulated in part by the ECS. The medical implications of this finding are endless.
What is the recommended amount & what is the best way to take legal hemp CBD?
CBD’s versatility makes it the perfect health supplement for both people (and animals) of all ages. Depending on the method of use, the best way to take CBD (and how to use CBD oil) varies. With each method of consuming CBD, yields a different amount needed to achieve your desired results.
In recent times, the health benefits of hemp CBD are developing a growing list of practical daily applications. If you’re wondering “is CBD legal,” the quick answer is yet. Yes, hemp CBD is legal worldwide for several reasons.
Legal hemp CBD is derived from a plant whose history reaches back thousands of years. Its modern use is now beginning to be heard by more and more as we become properly educated on cannabinoid science and the ECS (EndoCannabinoid System).
Each method of ingesting hemp CBD has a different bioavailability. Bioavailability simply means, how much of the CBD “actually” gets into your body for use. One method of CBD consumption isn’t necessarily better than the other. Specifically “how” you should take your CBD depends entirely on what method you can “keep down” long enough for CBD to take effect.
One example is if you have severe nausea and you can’t keep a CBD capsule down long enough to take effect. In this specific situation, the best method is NOT swallowing a pill. Rather, the best method for you could be to vaporize and inhale CBD as a method to avoid vomiting the capsule back up. With all these variables, how to use CBD oil properly that will meet your specific needs?
How to use CBD oil? What is the best way to take CBD?
(In general, there are four basic ways to use CBD).
- Inhale. (Vaporise -E liquids)
- Ingest. (Capsules)
- Sublingual. (Drops and Extract Paste)
- Topical. (Skin balm)
Determining the best way to take CBD requires a little bit of quick basic research. Understanding all the various methods of consuming CBD will bring you closer to achieving the relief you want.
*At the end of the day, research shows us that CBD is safe and tolerated in humans for chronic use in high doses up to 1,500 milligrams per day. Even at this high amount, you might still be wondering, “does CBD oil get you high?” Still, chronic use at high levels does not get you high.
Inhale: The first best way to take CBD is Inhalation (vaporize e-liquid)
If you find yourself asking, “how much CBD Should I take,” you wouldn’t be the only one.
Inhaling hemp CBD is one of the easiest and most popular ways of consuming CBD. This includes vaporization with E-liquid. Inhaling CBD requires about 2-100 milligrams per day. Inhaling is ideal when you need fast relief. This method is ideal for emergency situations that require a “quick fix” as you seek professional help.
Advantages of inhaling CBD is that it is easy and fast acting. One issue to be aware of is “some” people can be sensitive to vapor and should take this into consideration when choosing what is the best way to take CBD.
Ingest: The second best way to take CBD is ingestion (Capsule)
When it comes to taking capsules, how much CBD Should I take? Ingestion is a common method in the form of capsules. The dosage range is also about 2-100 mg. This is an ideal way to take CBD for anyone from the elderly and for children who can swallow a capsule. Ingesting CBD is an affordable option that is very popular and culturally acceptable. Some people suggest adding the CBD to smoothies in a blender.
Eating CBD takes a little bit more time to take full effect. When ingesting CBD the first time, start with a low dose and wait one hour before ingesting more. On average, you’ll begin to notice effects at around the hour mark. Even though ingesting legal hemp CBD is a tad slower to come on, the good news is that the effects of CBD tend to be longer lasting.
Sublingual: The third best way to take CBD is sublingually (under your tongue)
How much CBD Should I take when I use a CBD tincture? CBD Tinctures are often used sublingual and results in 15-25% bioavailability. This tends to be the preferred route for children too young to take a CBD capsule.
CBD extracts are potent, and the recommended dose ranges between 1 to 100 mg. Depending on your weight, age and experience with CBD, it is always recommended to start with a low measurement and gradually increase as needed. Taking legal hemp CBD under your tongue is simple, effective and relatively fast acting.
(please see the below link for a table according to weight etc)
Topical: The fourth best way to take CBD is topical (skin balms)
How much CBD Should I take when applying CBD topically? Topical CBD is available as a balm like topical lotion that you spread over the “external” surface of your skin. Legal hemp CBD balms have the benefit of providing relief directly to the affected area. It is particularly useful for athletic recovery of muscles, swollen areas, skin diseases, and joint relief. The ideal dose range is 10 to 200 mg.