Author: Joy Hughes
It seems everyone is talking about Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound that has shown promise for its therapeutic effects on a number of ailments. Let’s explore what CBD is, its
history, how it works in the body, potential health benefits, and the legal implications of using it.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid — a cannabinoid that naturally exists in cannabis plants. It is the by-product of Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), the second most common phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants1.
There have been over 100 different cannabinoids identified in cannabis plants. Of these cannabinoids, THC and CBD were the first two discovered2.
History of CBD
In 1940, a plant chemist named Roger Adams was the first to discover CBD. However, he remained largely unaware of the many therapeutic effects this chemical compound had6.
Then in the 1960s, Dr. Ralph Mechoulam isolated the chemical compound CBD and began further testing. He soon discovered that CBD was a non-psychoactive chemical compound (it doesn’t get you high). This is unlike the psychoactive THC, the other most-common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant.
Fast forward about 40 years, and we had the discovery of the endocannabinoid system — a collection of cell receptors and cannabinoids that are naturally present within and throughout our body — our organs, brain, immune system, etc. As researchers began studying the effects marijuana had on the brain, they also discovered our bodies’ endocannabinoid system and the effects of phytocannabinoids. Dr. Mechoulam stated in his findings, “By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance… We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.”
How CBD works within our body
Now, to understand what CBD is and how it works, we need to look at a couple of receptors — CB1 and CB2 receptors — which are found within our bodies’ endocannabinoid system.
The CB1 receptors are most commonly found in the central nervous system: our brain and spinal cord. The CB2 receptors are most commonly found in the peripheral nervous system: our organs, digestive system, immune system, and overall body function. Although these receptors are more abundant in these areas, they are found all throughout the body1.
Our endocannabinoid system’s role is to promote healthy communication and balance in our bodies — a.k.a. homeostasis — keeping everything as it should be. The endocannabinoids that are present throughout the body help manage a balance in our health and overall function. They have an impact on pain, memory, mood, sleep, immunity, appetite, and cellular health. When these cannabinoids bind to the receptors, they then promote a homeostasis4.
In a 2004 study, researcher Dr. Ethan Russo suggested that the cause of some diseases and other negative health conditions are the result of an endocannabinoid deficiency — the lack of cannabinoids a person produces that promote a regular homeostasis to receptor cells. This study explains why CBD is so effective5.
When CBD enters the body, it helps reduce the manifestation of several health conditions. It does this by helping the body produce endocannabinoids, which directly activate the receptors and bring balance.
Multiple studies have been conducted around the world on CBD’s therapeutic effects on various health conditions:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Epilepsy / Seizures
- Sleep / Insomnia
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- And many more
Studies have even seen the effects CBD has on pets. With more and more medical studies being done, people are definitely seeing improvements in their health with the use of CBD. Studies over the past century have confirmed that CBD does not get you high… which is a relief, as most prescription drugs cause a number of side effects and can even lead to abuse.
Ways to consume CBD
There are a number of ways to consume and use CBD. Depending on your lifestyle, what you’re treating, and your health goals, CBD is available in a number of forms.
CBD oil is typically produced using the process of CO2 extraction — controlling the temperature of the CO2 through the cannabis plant, which then isolates the molecules of CBD. CBD oil is typically utilized in food or ingested orally. It’s usually purchased in a small bottle with a dropper for easy administration. CBD oil can also be used in vaporizer pens9.
A tincture is a liquid extract that’s combined with, or dissolved in, alcohol. (Alternatively, some tinctures combine the extract with vegetable glycerin or even apple cider vinegar.)
Although CBD tinctures are a form of CBD oil, their uses differ. The main difference is that tinctures cannot be used in vaporizer pens. Because tinctures are most commonly dissolved in alcohol, the alcohol cannot combust like oil, which can be very dangerous if applied in a vaporizer pen. As for the other differences, because of the alcohol, tinctures generally lack the bitter taste of CBD oil9.
In order for CBD Tinctures to be effective, it's important to consume the recommended dosage based on your weight, medical condition and the severity of that condition. Use our simple CBD Oil Dosage Calculator to find your dosage now!
CBD Skin Care Products and Topicals
Another way to consume CBD is through skin care products and topicals. CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties along with the ability to relieve pain. People suffering from arthritis, muscle spasms, acne, and skin disorders have seen improvements through the use of CBD skin care and topical products. For example, a study showed that CBD contains a neuroprotective antioxidant that helps in alleviating acne10. Researchers have also found that CBD has the ability CBD slow down the aging process of the skin11.
CBD isolate can come in the form of powder or crystals, and is considered the purest form of CBD. You can do a number of things with CBD isolate. As a powder, you can add it to baked goods, smoothies, and other foods; you can also vaporize it, create a skin cream, or make a homemade tincture. You can “dab” it — inhaling the concentrates of cannabis crystals after applying them to a hot surface. Many people consider this form of CBD very therapeutic and effective. However, it’s important to do thorough research before dabbing, as it involves extreme heat13.
Is CBD Legal?
Though CBD can be purchased and consumed in many ways, it’s important to know that not all CBD products are legal. While we know that CBD is doesn’t get you high, but THC does, and this is where the legality of CBD gets complex. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states. Because hemp only contains up to 0.3% of THC, there is a zero percent chance of a euphoric effect. As for marijuana-derived CBD, these products are only legal in states that have legalized marijuana. Marijuana plants can contain up to 30% of THC, causing a mind-altering effect8. Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC.
To ensure you’re following the law, be sure to check your state laws before purchasing a CBD product.
CBD has already shown to have amazing therapeutic effects. Hopefully, with more research, CBD will shed harmful stigmas and emerge as a mainstream natural medicine.
Have you benefitted from CBD?
We love hearing about how CBD has helped people with a variety of health conditions. Please share your experience with CBD to help spread the word!
Author: Joy Hughes Obesity is a major epidemic affecting men and women around the world. Caused largely by bad eating habits, chemicals, and hormones found in a number of foods, obesity is one of the main contributors to health problems, disabilities, and death in the United States. Proper diet and exercise can help combat this…
Author: Joy Hughes When ingesting CBD, it first must metabolize through the digestive system and then filter through the liver. It is in the liver that CBD, along with other medications, must filter through a system known as the cytochrome P450 (CYP 450) — a family of various enzymes. It is through this system that drugs…
Author: Joy Hughes Known for its amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects, multiple studies have shown Cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid — is a highly effective remedy for arthritis, pain management, insomnia, nausea, stress, skin acne, cancer, PTSD, digestive problems, fibromyalgia, etc. However, from recent scientific studies, CBD is becoming more well known for its effectiveness…
Author: Joy Hughes If I take CBD, will I test positive for marijuana in a drug test? The short answer is… it’s possible but unlikely for CBD to test positive in a drug test. As more and more people are using CBD products for the health benefits, some are concerned about the drug testing implications.…
Author: Joy Hughes Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining more and more popularity due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-spasmodic effects, along with many other health-promoting properties. There are many ways to consume CBD, which can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. Here we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the most popular ways to consume CBD. Jump to:Ways…
Author: Joy Hughes CBD has been gaining popularity lately, but it’s actually been studied for its health benefits for decades. Here are some health issues that CBD has shown promise for — either in scientific studies, or personal anecdotes. Jump to: Health Conditions Treated by CBD Acne Arthritis Asthma Anxiety and Stress Cancer Chronic Pain…
Author: Jason Beverly “One is regular coffee, while the other is decaf” Sometimes a lot of amazing benefits can result from the most unusual sources. This is the case when it comes to marijuana. Since some state laws have been lifted, more research has been completed which resulted in a better understanding of the chemical…