What is CBD?
One of the hottest buzzwords this year in terms of health and wellness has to be cannabidiol, also known as CBD. You have probably seen it everyone know that it is legal. CBD water, CBD coffee, CBD gummies, CBD vape juice, CBD lotions and CBD-infused hemp oil. What does it all mean? How is it going to help you? And why are your coworkers and parents dropping CBD tinctures onto their tongues?
Yes, we are going to answer those pressing questions and more. Here is everything you need to know about the wondrous chemical compound, including what is CBD, what does CBD do to you, and much more.
What Is CBD?
For starters, CBD stands for cannabidiol, an organic compound from the resinous blossom of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been used for nearly 3,000 years in ancient medicines, but only in modern times is CBD growing in favour with the masses for its medicinal properties and benefits. Science has also enlightened us to what CBD can do and how it works within the body.
What you need to know is that CBD is non-addictive, non-toxic, and legal within the United Kingdom, unlike another famous chemical, THC. Both CBD and THC are one of the hundreds of phytocannabinoids, or plant-derived cannabinoids, that are found in Cannabis sativa. Though THC and CBD share the same molecular profile and are extremely similar in their chemical structure, they interact with the body in different ways.
Where Does Hemp Come In?
One confusing thing about CBD oil is that where it comes from gets muddled. You have no doubt heard the terms marijuana, cannabis, and hemp all used in relation to CBD. Cannabis sativa is separated into two species, marijuana and hemp. CBD can be found in both, but you will find that it more abundant in hemp and has low levels of THC when compared to marijuana.
If you hear someone talking about hemp oil, it’s important to know that hemp oil does not equal CBD oil. Hemp oil has no CBD or THC in it and is mainly used in cosmetics.
So, What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil refers to an extract of cannabis or hemp that has high levels of cannabidiol and, possibly, other levels of cannabinoids. It should also be known that sometimes CBD oil is used as a catch-all to categorize all forms of CBD. In reality, there are multiple forms, which will be introduced later in the article.
How Does CBD Work?
Having learned what CBD is, you should also know why it works the way it does. CBD and THC have various effects on the body, but the main way is through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD can mimic certain natural compounds in our bodies, known as endogenous cannabinoids, which, incidentally, are structured similarly to phytocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is essential to a healthy life, because it deals with a number of physiological functions. The ECS can influence everything from you mood, immunity, digestion, blood pressure, metabolism, stress levels, hunger, pain threshold, and bone density.
When the endocannabinoid system isn’t functioning properly, it leads to disease.
There are two receptors within the ECS that get the most attention from THC and CBD. They are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and central nervous system, as well as in other tissues with plenty of nerve endings, such as the digestive system. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral organs and cells affiliated with the immune system.
You can already begin to see how CBD works with the body to provide relief from various physical and mental ailments.
What Does CBD Do To You?
Cannabidiol has become a popular choice for dealing with ailments around the world and in the UK. Because CBD does not have the same effects on the body as THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid from marijuana, you do not have to worry about getting “high.”
Let’s have a look at the how CBD can benefit you:
Pain and Inflammation
Depending on the kind of pain you are experiencing, CBD may not always be as effective as a mixture that contains both CBD and THC. However, there is no reason you shouldn’t give it a try. As mentioned earlier, CBD works within the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD influences the activity of ECS receptors, thus preventing some neurotransmitters from communicating with the rest of your system.
CBD also halts certain immune responses, particularly those that are unnecessary. CBD stops cytokine production and boost the production of T-regulatory cells. Cytokines are tiny proteins that get released from immune cells and cause inflammation.
This is usually for your benefit, since such interactions often result in reduced inflammation and pain. Autoimmune diseases often occur when there is an imbalance between cytokines and T-regulatory cells. CBD also works well for chronic pain caused by autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gastrointestinal diseases, like colitis and Crohn’s.
Anxiety and Depression
If you suffer from depression and anxiety, CBD might be worth a try. CBD has been found to interact with various chemical receptors in the brain, including ones that deal with serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates social behaviours and mood. This explains one way CBD helps you calm down and soothes an overzealous “fight or flight” response.
CBD oil has also been used to treat anxiety and insomnia in children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is well-known that cannabis can help with all kinds of pain and nausea. Studies have long looked into the effects of both CBD and THC on cancer patients, especially those suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy. Results have proven that people who use medical marijuana and CBD products, like tinctures, experience less pain and nausea.
Other studies suggest that CBD may even slow the growth of cancerous cells by antagonizing GPR55 receptors. When activated, GPR55 receptors could be responsible for the growth of cancer. Another study found that CBD oil may be able to turn off the ID-1 gene, which is responsible for breast cancer.
Similarly, CBD might halt the spread of cancer through the body by affecting cellular function. Although this still needs research, CBD has been seen playing a part of apoptosis—cell death—for cancer cells. In other words, CBD may be able to stop cancer cells from undergoing mitosis. Again, more research has to be done, but the develops are truly exciting.
With acne being so common, it is no surprise people are willing to turn to more natural solutions for the problem. Although acne can be caused by a number of things, including bacteria, diet, inflammation, sebum production, and genetics, it may be controlled with CBD usage.
CBD contains anti-inflammatories and can halt the overproduction of sebum, thereby preventing the skin from becoming swollen and oily. Though more research needs to be done, current test tube studies have been promising. If you have skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis, or eczema, you should consider trying CBD oil.
Some recent studies have found that CBD can benefit the heart and circulatory system by lowering blood pressure. Even a single dose of 600 mg of CBD was found to reduce resting blood pressure. Because of this, it has been suggested that the anxiety and stress reducing properties of CBD assist with lowering blood pressure overall.
Other notable studies found that CBD can also benefit patients afflicted with cardiac arrhythmias and atherosclerosis.
Neuroprotective and Antipsychotic
Unlike THC, which has been shown to influence psychosis in adolescents at higher doses, CBD shows potential in being used as a neuroprotectant. Research posits that CBD stops the breakdown of anandamide, an endocannabinoid. Additionally, CBD can bind with the D2 dopamine receptor, which is usually the focus of antipsychotic medications.
These two abilities of CBD can help more than individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. People impacted by depression, bipolar disorder, or psychosis from Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, or substance abuse may also find relief when using CBD.
How To Find The Best CBD Oil For You
If you are up for giving CBD oil a try, then you need to know how to shop. There are many products available in stores and online all throughout the UK that sell various forms of CBD oil.
Here are some types of CBD oil you can purchase:
• Tinctures: These are liquids applied under the tongue using a dropper. CBD is absorbed, enters the bloodstream, and then begins to work its magic from there. Usually, tinctures comes in glass bottles with a dropper built into the lid for proper dosage.
• Capsules: Taken like typical supplements. The gel capsules are filled with oil and swallowed.
• Rick Simpson Oil (RSO): Different from other kinds of CBD oil. CBD RSO refers to an extract with an alcohol base that can either be applied to your skin or ingested. It usually comes with an applicator or plastic plunger.
• Vape Oil: CBD can be vaped one of two ways—as a pre-filled cartridge or as vape juice.
• Dabbable Oil: Pertains to hash oil, rosin, live resins, or any other form of CBD oil that can be used in flash vaporization, or dabbing. This is not recommended for beginners. It is merely being mentioned so you know what (not) to search or ask for when shopping around.
Another aspect of CBD oil that must be kept in mind is the lack of strict regulation. The consumer is ultimately the one who has to figure out which items contain the highest concentrations of CBD. You should always purchase organic oils that have been tested and reviewed, if it is available.
You also need to know that there are three kinds of CBD oil on the market:
• Full-spectrum CBD contains the complete array of compounds from cannabis, including CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids and terpenes. This kind of oil is not legal to purchase or possess in the UK.
• Broad-spectrum CBD contains an array of compounds from cannabis but does not have any THC. This is allowable.
• CBD Isolate contains solely CBD. Every other compound has been removed.
Broad-spectrum and CBD isolate are ideal for users who do not want to experience the effects of THC.
Lastly, CBD can be derived from either traditional cannabis (the smokable kind) or hemp. There are a couple of characteristics to note:
• Hemp-derived CBD is much more accessible than cannabis-derived CBD, partially due to legality. You can only find cannabis-derived CBD in areas that have legalized cannabis.
• Hemp will readily absorb contaminants in the soil through the process of bioaccumulation, making it more likely to contain heavy metals. Always buy organic when you can.
• Hemp is limited in chemical diversity, meaning the CBD derived from hemp may not always have a consistent effect.
Be sure to purchase from a reputable shop that sells only high-quality, authentic oils. That way, you know are getting the best CBD oil and will have relief soon.
You should now know that CBD is a form of cannabinoid that comes from both hemp and marijuana. Although CBD will not make you high, it is being touted as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Whether you are suffering from anxiety or have a medical condition that keeps you from living fully, CBD oil may benefit you. Why not give it a try and see what it does for you?
Ready to learn more about CBD or sample what it can do for you? Fill out the contact form to receive more information. We look forward to hearing from you.