5 Quick Facts On CBD (Cannabidiol)
CBD (cannabidiol) is suddenly everywhere and is one chemical that is quickly shifting the discussion on the issues that surround the use of industrial hemp plants as a medicine. Whenever hemp enters conversation everyone’s mind always turns to THC and its sister plant strain marijuana, the ingredient in this plant that makes users high or “stoned”. Recently though, the compound in hemp which has been making headlines is CBD and for more than one reason.
Due to the well-known side effects of THC, many people can’t get past the negative connotations of marijuana use, but CBD oil from industrial hemp plants do not have these side effects, instead the list of its potential benefits continue to grow.
Check out 5 facts on CBD that you should know:
1. CBD does not cause psychoactive effects in its users.
Unlike its cousin THC, CBD does not cause its users to become high or “stoned”. Which gives it a step-up in the medical field since health professionals, are looking for a compound with minimal side effects. CBD is not a psychoactive compound because it does not affect the same areas of the brain the way THC does.
On a more scientific note, these pathways are called CB1-receptors and there are many of them in the human brain. When THC bonds to CB1-receptors, it is what causes the known mind-altering effects of THC.
A study published in the 2011 Current Drug Safety has concluded that CBD “does not affect physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature), does not affect gastrointestinal transit and does not alter psychomotor or psychological functions.” The scientists behind the study even suggest that CBD is “well tolerated in humans” even at high dosages.
2. Cannabidiol or CBD is a crucial ingredient in cannabis.
CBD belongs to a family of molecules called cannabinoids and is one of over 113 different compounds found in cannabis. CBD and THC are the two compounds present in cannabis that have the highest concentration, which is why they are the two most studied and known.
The levels of CBD and THC vary greatly between different plant strains; the plants that are grown for recreational use are known to contain more THC over CBD. By using selective breeding techniques, cannabis breeders are able to create new varieties of plants that contain higher levels of CBD with almost zero presence of THC. These newly created strains are referred to as industrial hemp plants and are now becoming more popular due to the increase of CBD use.
3. CBD is known to reduce the effects of THC.
Interestingly, CBD presents a natural protection to the high that THC produces. Scientific studies have shown that CBD reduces the intoxicating effects of THC such as paranoia and memory impairment. Another trait of CBD is that it counteracts the sleepy effects of THC, which makes sense being that CBD specific strains are known to increase the alertness of its user. CBD and THC present no risk of lethal overdose like other known drugs, though medical experts prefer plant strains with high CBD as its use does not present the known side effects of THC.
4. CBD has a long list of potential benefits.
CBD and THC have the same effects on the body even though they act on different chemical pathways. One of the main reasons why CBD is becoming more popular is the positive applications that is has. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD is known for the following effects when used:
1. Reduces seizures in sufferers.
2. Fights psychosis disorders.
3. Temporarily reduces the effects of neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s Disease & Parkinson’s Disease.
4. Combats tumors and cancer cells.
5. Combats anxiety and depression in sufferers.
Though most of the evidence gathered in the report linked above comes from studies done on animals, as at the moment there are very few studies done on human patients, the positive effects of CBD use is still being praised by the medical community.
Due to the positive outlook on CBD and its uses, a UK drug company called GW Pharmaceuticals has recently developed a pharmaceutical version of CBD named Epidiolex—a purified form of cannabidiol (CBD). They are currently funding clinical trials on CBD as an effective treatment for schizophrenia and certain forms of epilepsy, with specific use on children. Epidiolex contains 98% CBD and no THC, it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for trials on children with certain forms of epilepsy.
In the US, researchers from the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister, has stated that his team hopes to begin trials on CBD as an effective therapy for those who suffer from breast cancer.
5. There is more than one way that CBD can be used.
Sublingually: CBD hemp oil can be dripped directly under the tongue for use.
Vapor: CBD can be vaped alone or can be added to a favorite e-liquid flavor.
Orally: Some CBD products are turned into edibles, lozenges, gel caps, or beverages for easy consumption.
Topically: Companies have also created lotions and creams with added CBD oil that can be used on the skin.