Introducing CBD (Cannabidiol)
What do you know about cannabis ?
Cannabis gets a bad rap publicly, but its reputation is quickly changing. The primary problem with cannabis is the psychoactive, “high” property, but as it turns out, not all cannabis has that effect. In fact, quite a lot of cannabis and cannabis products on the market today have no psychoactive effects. They seem to offer a wide range of health benefits. They can actually be part of a healthy lifestyle.
The leaves of cannabis plants contain one main compound called CBG. This is turned into the THC and CBD compounds when heated or exposed to UV light.
Different strains of cannabis have different proportions of THC and CBD. The lower the proportion of THC, the fewer “negative” psychoactive properties the cannabis will have. CBD has no psychoactive properties. It was actually discovered on accident in the 1940s when high-CBD strains of cannabis were patented in the hopes of discovering a better psychoactive high.1
Needless to say, scientists quickly discovered that it was impossible with high-CBD cannabis.
Instead of psychoactive properties, we’ve discovered in the past 50 years the high-CBD cannabis has several other, more interesting properties that are primarily health-related.
CBD acts in the endocannabinoid system in our bodies
A system of receptors and compounds that respond to the presence of cannabis. There are a particularly large number of endocannabinoid receptors in the eyes and the gut – which is why CBD seems to have particular benefits to these areas. The presence of these receptors is one of the reasons that CBG is thought to be helpful with mitigating glaucoma.
CBG has also been found in some animal experiments to reduce inflammation associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Other studies have shown the CBG can be neuroprotective – that is, protective of the brain.
There’s evidence that CBG can protect neurons from degenerative diseases like Huntingon’s.2 It may also assist with reducing cancer growth – one study has shown that CBG specifically blocks receptors that cause cancer cell growth.3
Having personally experimented with various brands of CBD over the past couple of years. I have been very intrigued on why some have not effected me and some brands have. There is certainly a quality component. It has led me to figuring out what works for me and helped me to share the benefits with my clients.
CBD – Powerful Potential Health Benefits
Overall, activation of the endocannabinoid system has shown therapeutic promise for a variety of health conditions, from Huntington’s disease, MS, neuropathic pain, spinal cord injuries, strokes, hypertension, sleep disorders and others. There are even rumors that Queen Victoria used cannabis in the 19thcentury to relieve menstrual cramps.4
There’s a lot of introductory evidence suggesting that CBD can also help with anxiety and addiction, as well as general inflammation.5 The FDA just approved the first CBD-derived drug to treat severe seizure disorders, and there are currently studies being conducted to assess whether CBD can help with prevention of opioid relapse and reducing alcohol use in PTSD participants as well5– the body of clinical research is constantly growing!
Other users report that CBD oil can help with arthritis, inflammation, diabetes, PTSD. CBD also works on brain receptors that process serotonin and GABA, which influence anxiety and depression,6and can help improve those conditions.
CBD interferes with neuron signaling of pain through the endocannabinoid system, and thus can help with pain relief.6 Terpenoids, another component present in all cannabis strains, have pain-relieving effects as well.7
Since CBD is a relatively new product, there’s still need for more extensive research – but initial findings are promising and reports from users of a variety of CBD oils, capsules, lotions, edibles and other products support the notion that these products can be extremely helpful. It also seems like CBD is safe for everyone, according to the World Health Organization,8 but it might still be worth checking with your doctor before diving in!
CBD – Delivery Systems & Dosing
There are a variety of delivery systems for CBD, so there’s something that works for almost everyone and every health need.
- Sublingual – Consuming CBD oil sublingually preserves the structure of the compounds and prevents them from being damaged by stomach acid or other parts of your digestive system – which means that the CBD is more bioavailable, or there’s more of it available for your body to use since less of it gets broken down.9
- Inhalation – Like sublingual consumption, smoking or vaping also leads to high bioavailability of CBD since the compounds bypass your digestive tract and enter your bloodstream directly. This is also the fastest delivery method – effects can be felt in a matter of minutes.9
- Edibles – CBD can also be consumed in an edible form – whether it’s a capsule, gel, or an actual food item. The downside to these methods is that they can be more expensive and since the CBD has more limited bioavailability when passed through your digestive system, it’s not as good of a value.9
- Dermal – Creams and body oils are another delivery system for CBD. You’ll find their most commonly used for things like massages, soothing inflamed skin, and easing aching joints and muscles.
No matter how you’re consuming it, one of the challenges with CBD is dosing.
Dosage varies based on both consumption method and individual genetics. The same amount of CBD in a capsule and a vape will lead to different results, since they have different bio-availabilities and delivery methods.
On top of that, individual genetics play a role in how we react to CBD. Some people have anomalies in certain enzyme systems, which causes them to break down CBD differently – they’ll require a different serving size from someone with a “typical” system.10
When it comes to dosing CBD, slow adjustments are needed. Start with the lowest dose possible, and slowly bring the amount up until desired results are felt. Taking too much can worsen the problem you’re trying to solve! Keep in mind that usage over time will result in a tolerance to CBD, so over time larger doses will likely be needed.
CBD accessibility is growing quite quickly. At the state level, CBD from either marijuana or hemp is clearly legal everywhere other than Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Every other state, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C, has legalized CBD, either alone (18 jurisdictions) or also with THC.11
It’s readily available online, and can be purchased in many natural/alternative stores.
A few high quality brands that I’ve had real success with are through my partnership with an online company HelloMD
HelloMD – one stop shop of highly curated selection of high quality and lab tested cannabis and Hemp CBD products. Use Code 139b5 to get $ 20 off your first order. Follow me on instagram where I share my tried and tested favorites !
What has your experience been with hemp derived CBD ?
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