CBD-WHAT IS CBD?
All about the alternative cannabis treatment that’s making serious inroads in the world of alternative medicine.
What is CBD?
Have you heard of Cannabidiol (commonly abbreviated as CBD)? It’s a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants belonging to a class of chemicals called cannabinoids. Out of all of the cannabinoid molecules in these plants, CBD is present in the second highest concentration. Consequently its one of the most recognized and studied cannabinoids in this era.
This controversial supplement has amassed a fast growing popularity in the market and for a good reason. Whilst medical professionals can’t seem to look past the mind-altering effects of certain cannabinoids, CBD is totally non-psychoactive. Unlike its illegal cousins, it’s non-toxic and non-intoxicating. It has attracted a lot of experts and researchers for its knack to improve one’s state of well-being.
Hemp Vs Cannabis-Derived CBD
When striving to wrap your head around the distinction between cannabis and hemp, it’s important to note that they come from the same species of plants. Uncertainty about the difference between these two plants stems from this very fact.
CBD derived from cannabis is made by extracting the resin of the female plant’s flower with a solvent. After it’s dissolved, the solvent is evaporated to leave the concentrated extract behind. The process is the same for hemp strains only that the extract is mixed with hemp seeds oil to facilitate ingestion.
The main difference regarding these plants is in the amount of cannabinoids they contain, CBD included. There are close to four hundred cannabinoids in both hemp and cannabis. That said it’s key to note that cannabis produces natural cannabinoids at a greater concentration than hemp strains do. By that logic, one would infer that cannabis-sourced CBD has and consequently efficiency.
Albeit this is utterly true, contention arises from the fact that cannabis also boasts of greater concentration of psychoactive cannabinoids. This makes its legality an issue in every other country in the world exclusive of Uruguay, whereas hemp is legal in 40 countries around the world.
Growers have employed selective breeding techniques in the effort of creating a cannabis-sourced CBD that has next to zero psychoactive cannabinoids. Although rare, they are slowly increasing in popularity.
CBD the Healer.
More and more people are waking up to the reality that CBD brings a lot of health benefits to the table. If you are considering joining their ranks but are still on the fence here are a few studies entailing why you should pull the trigger.
Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disease. It affects how a person behaves, feels and thinks. Thoughts will be distorted, and so will perception. This will result in co-occurring changes in mood as well as actions. Scientists say it is caused by an imbalance of substances that the brain cells utilize to communicate with each other.
The search of a proper cure has been hindered by its complexity. It involves dysfunction of multiple brain transmission signals inclusive of useful endogenous cannabinoids. As a result of this fact, the exogenous non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD was considered as a possible treatment.
In the recent studies undertaken in March 2015, it was found that CBD may be helpful to attenuate the psychotic symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia. In the small scale clinical trial, schizophrenic individuals taking 300mg CBD improved compared to those who were on a placebo. There is currently little compelling evidence to hold up the stance that CBD completely cures schizophrenia, but its tremendous effect on the symptoms cannot be scaled down.
Decrease Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder also dubbed social phobia is the most widespread form of anxiety. It’s distinguished by overwhelming fear in one or many social situations. The fear can be so intense to the point of crippling daily functioning.
The relationship between anxiety and cannabis is undoubtedly fascinating. Most of the psychoactive cannabinoids are often tied to bouts of anxiety and paranoia. Conversely, it’s been recently documented that CBD can counteract this effect.
A Brazilian research spearheaded a clinical study to this end by recruiting ten people diagnosed with SAD. In the first trial, 5 of them received an oral dose of 400mg CBD while the rest were given placebos. In the second trial, roles were reversed such that the ones who got placebos were given the oral dose of CBD. At the end of the trials all had received CBD at some point. Their findings proved a decrease in subjective
Epilepsy is a disorder where one has repeated seizures or convulsions. They are unprovoked by any neurological or systemic insult. This definition, however, falls short in capturing the helpless feeling family members endure when watching a loved one experience a seizure-especially if it’s a child. It’s the first thing they worry about when they wake up and the last thing they think of before going to bed.
GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK-based company, produced Epidolex which is a high-CBD standardized drug. Preliminary results from the Clinical Trial of Epidolex were recently released. The trial had a total of 27 epileptic patients. They were submitted to an uncontrolled trial at two different US hospitals for 12 weeks. This was in accordance with the Investigational New Drug applications as required by the FDA. The drug was used to supplement their current treatment regimen.
At the end of the trial, Epidolex had reduced seizures by more than 50%. This proves that touting CBD benefits is not just a mere hype-infested sales spiel.
Treats spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis
MS is an inflammatory autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the outer shell (myelin sheath) of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The condition may lead to irreversible destruction of the nerve cells. The brain and spinal cord being the command center for the body, numerous body systems may be compromised.
One of the most debilitating symptoms accrued is spasticity. It may lead to involuntary movements, overactive reflexes, difficulty with hygiene and care and an abnormal posture. In a study conducted by Zajieck et al, patients were given capsules containing 0.9mg CBD fortified with other elements. The results showed the trends were in favor of active treatment seen for spasm mobility, frequency and getting to sleep.
Pain relief for chronic diseases & the Endocannabinoid System
To fully understand the role of CBD in pain relief you have to be well versed with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Don’t let the long name scare you; it’s not as technical as seasoned scientists make it out to be. It is a series of endogenous cannabinoid receptors that maintain a stable internal environment despite changes in the external environment.
This stability is known as homeostasis, and the endocannabinoid system promotes this at the most basic level. One of the mechanisms by which this system achieves this balance is by minimizing pain from any external damage or injury. People suffering from chronic illnesses (such as fibromyalgia, migraine, cancer, AIDS and irritable bowel syndrome) have been implicated to have clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. This results in pain where there shouldn’t be a pain. CBD being a natural nonpsychoactive cannabinoid supplements ECS thereby helping the body to offer pain relief.
Possible breast cancer cure
McAllister, a scientist who has been studying cannabinoid compounds for ten years now, made an astonishing discovery about CBD. He revealed that Cannabidiol could impede cancer cell, metastasis, tumor growth, and proliferation. The outcome of his experiments on breast cancer cells showed that as more CBD was applied the number of cancer cells diminished. Essentially this may be the way to treat breast cancer patients instead of infusing them with aggressive therapy that leaves them worn out.
Studies show that CBD also seems to suppress the sleep-inducing effects of cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN). This may explain why some strains of cannabis are said to increase alertness. This effect is possible when taken at small doses of 15mg.
According to the authors of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2012 CBD also has the following medicinal effects.
- Reduces nausea and vomiting (antiemetic)
- Combats inflammatory disorders (anti-inflammatory)
- Combats neurodegenerative disorders (anti-oxidant)
- Treats insomnia at higher doses of 160 mg (hypnotic)
No matter how you slice or dice it, CBD has tremendous health benefits.
CBD’s Legality & Research
As with many new supplements, there are hurdles and gray areas. CBD’s kryptonite is legality and research rescheduling. Despite the much promise it shows as a medicine, it’s still yet to attain a legal status in many countries in the world. It has been classified as a Schedule II drug in Canada and a Schedule I drug in the United States. This means the Drug Enforcement Agency deems CBD as having a high potential for abuse. Apparently, it’s paying for the mistakes of its illegal cousins. This has made it difficult to fund research of CBD based medicine.
Needless to say, this hasn’t deterred certain people to skirt a few laws to obtain the yellow colored cannabinoid. That said, the odds of the DEA or FBI knocking at your door are pretty slim, but it could still happen.
CBD’s Awareness & Education
The stigma associated with cannabis-based product caused the untamed popularity of this supplement. It has discredited the myth that all cannabinoids have nicotine and are highly addictive. However, many people still have a hard time differentiating it from the psychoactive cannabinoids. It takes individual effort and drives to dig up the truth about CBD.