Cannabidiol (CBD) is an oil derived from the cannabis plant. Possible health benefits include reducing inflammation and pain. However, it is not legal in all states, and there may also be some risks.
What is cbd?
CBD is a molecule that is part of the cannabinoid family. Like THC, it is an active substance present in the hemp plant (there are about 500 cannabinoids including CBD and THC). However, it is found in smaller quantities than THC (between 0.6 and 1%, compared to 12 to 25%), in particular due to the production choices made in recent decades. Since THC is more sought after for its “high” effects, cannabis seeds circulating illegally contain it at higher levels.
But today, as the medical benefits of hemp are gaining more and more attention, varieties are being bred specifically to contain significant levels of CBD. It is thus possible to find seeds of therapeutic cannabis or well-being hemp (for medical purposes) with more than 6% CBD, which is enormous… And quite rare. A concentration of 1% is largely sufficient to cover the needs of consumers, CBD proving to be very effective.
History of CBD or Cannabidiol
Too often we confuse, when it comes to hemp (or cannabis, it’s the same plant), THC and cannabidiol (CBD). And yet, the second is distinguished from the first by its health benefits and its use in a medical setting. Of the two most well-known active substances in hemp, CBD is, in fact, the most interesting from the point of view of consumers who use it to soothe pain, anxiety, inflammation, as well as many other symptoms. A kind of wellness hemp or sometimes called cannabis light , now legalized by many countries due to its therapeutic benefits. Explanations.
Where does CBD come from?
CBD comes from the cannabis plant. People refer to cannabis plants as either hemp or marijuana, depending on how much THC they contain.
The FDA note that hemp plants are legal under the Farm Bill, as long as they contain less than 0.3%Trusted Source THC.
Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to contain high levels of THC and other compounds that suited their interests.
However, hemp farmers rarely modify the plant. CBD oil comes from these legal hemp plants.
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
Of the 500 different cannabinoids that exist in cannabis, THC is certainly the most familiar to consumers, although CBD is starting to take hold. Quite simply because THC (9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the so-called “psychoactive” component of cannabis. By acting directly on the nervous system, it affects brain function and can change perceptions, alter moods and transform behavior. It is usually for these effects that THC is consumed: it makes you “high” or high!
Unlike THC, CBD does not “high”. Its role is even exactly reversed: it tends to counter the psychoactive properties of its big brother, and sometimes delays them (can also last longer). This explains its medical orientation. However, it is not completely devoid of psychoactive effects: CBD generates a feeling of relief like a sedative. For information, coffee is also psychoactive.
Together, THC and CBD see their effects increase tenfold. The conjunction of the two molecules makes it possible to act powerfully on anxiety and pain, with better results than in the case of THC alone (the effects of which are sometimes badly felt by users).
Note, however, that cannabis with a high CBD content cannot replace THC, for those who are mainly looking for the psychoactive effects of the substance. The appropriate properties are only achieved at high doses of CBD, and even then, without going as far as a relaxing effect equivalent to 100%. In other words, CBD cannot serve as a substitute for heavy users of high-THC cannabis.
How does CBD work?
In the body, CBD acts as a catalyst. It optimizes the natural response to pain, but also to anxiety and anxiety. Let us be clear: CBD does not eliminate or prevent pain and anxiety, but it acts on the nervous system to reduce the impact of both. This, by sending signals which, in essence, tell the body not to worry about it and to go about its business.
This substance is all the more effective as it works as an extension of our nervous system’s own natural defenses. If cannabinoids have an effect on us, it is because the human body has the appropriate receptors and produces a kind of natural THC itself, albeit in very limited concentrations. We speak of “CB1 receptors” (mainly present in the brain and the central nervous system) and “CB2” (essentially installed in peripheral organs and in cells linked to the functioning of the immune system).
These receptors “fix” the molecules of THC, but also those of CBD, in a more indirect way.
The body produces two receptors:
CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, particularly in the brain. They co-ordinate movement, pain, emotion, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, and other functions.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.The latter also interacts with other receptors in the body, which enhances its medical properties.
What are the benefits of CBD?
The positive effects of CBD are very numerous, and have been known for fifteen years. They far surpass all other cannabinoids when it comes to fighting:
- The pain
- Anxiety attacks
- Certain mental illnesses (schizophrenia, etc.)
- Cardiovascular illnesses Epilepsy
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The list is long, and continues to grow. Remember that CBD mainly helps to counter muscular and neuropathic pain. Symptoms difficult to alleviate with conventional treatments. Cannabidiol can thus work miracles in reducing painful symptoms of neurological origin and in improving the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia, for example. It should nevertheless be kept in mind that the study of CBD (isolated from the other active substances of cannabis) is relatively recent. Medical research continues. It already suggests that the impact of CBD on the treatment of patients could open the door to revolutionary treatments, equivalent to the discovery of antibiotics. Some studies show, for example, that THC and CBD molecules act against rheumatism, help reduce necrosis following heart attacks, and can even attack cancer cells, all the more effectively when combined.
How to use CBD
There are several ways to consume CBD, but the most effective are through natural routes – as CBD is considered a dietary supplement. What are the most popular methods?
- In the form of an oil , which is absorbed using a dropper. Just add a few drops to food or drink, or simply place the pipette under the tongue for a faster effect.
- In the form of a paste, taken with food or alone.
- In capsule form, usually gelatin, each containing a fixed dose of CBD paste. Like a medicine, the capsule dissolves in the stomach. This dosage is not optimal in case of intestinal permeability: the effects of CBD will not be felt.
- In the form of chewing gum, a method appreciated because it is both simple and practical. CBD paste (fixed dose) is mixed with natural ingredients for a very discreet dosage.
- In the form of e-liquid , used in an electronic cigarette. Absorbed by the lungs, CBD passes very quickly into the blood (faster than in the case of ingestion).
- In the form of cosmetic products, to be applied to the skin. CBD is mainly used in this way to treat localized disorders (joint pain, acne, skin diseases, etc.),
in addition to conventional products. It is up to everyone to choose the most effective and pleasant dosage.
The legal status of CBD in the U.S. is complex. Hemp and hemp-derived products are legal under the Farm Bill, as long as their THC content is less than 0.3%.Trusted Source
However, there is still some confusion over the specifics.
People should check the laws in their state and any travel destination.
It is worth remembering that the FDATrusted Source have not yet approved any nonprescription products, which means people cannot be sure about what their product contains.
Risks and side effects
As with most therapies, CBD use may entail some risks. It may interact with supplements and other drugs. Most CBD products do not have FDA approval, which also means they have not undergone thorough tests.
It is not possibleTrusted Source to know if a product:
is safe and effective for everyone to use
has the properties or contents stated on the packaging
Anyone who is using CBD – whether as a prescription drug or in other forms — should first speak to a doctor.
Possible adverse effectsTrusted Source include:
interactions with other drugs and alcohol
changes in alertness, which can make driving dangerous
gastrointestinal problems and loss of appetite
mood changes, including irritability and irritation
a reduction in fertility for males
Future research may prove CBD effective in treating various conditions. For now, however, the FDA urge people not to depend on CBD as an alternative to conventional medical care.
ExpertsTrusted Source believe that using marijuana during pregnancy may affect the fetal development of neurons. Regular use among teens is associated with issues concerning memory, behavior, and intelligence.
The FDA adviseTrusted Source people not to use CBD during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.