CBD (Cannabidiol) oil is a hemp derivative. Many people associate marijuana with cannabis, but a very different plant is cannabis. The same scientific name, Cannabis sativa, can be shared with marijuana and hemp, but they are not the same.
Marijuana is grown mainly for its recreational and therapeutic usage as a psychoactive cannabinoid, a chemical compound called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. In marijuana, both THC and CBD are present.
Hemp contains only a trace of THC, less than 0.3% compared to the hefty 5-35% of marijuana. CBD is the key cannabinoid in hemp, but there are over 100 other cannabinoids in hemp, as well as compounds that create terpene-like tastes and scents (e.g. citrus orange odor, unique pine fragrance, or lavender sweet flower odor).
Hemp has been cultivated for fruit, garments, fiber, and fuel for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest domesticated crops in the world. Hemp was a critical crop in the U.S. in the early days. Colonial farmers cultivated hemp primarily for its strong fiber during the 1700s.
However, after the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, cannabis manufacturing came to a screeching halt. Mainstream cannabis views have begun to sway dramatically towards the negative. Hemp is the “evil weed” because, while it does not contain marijuana’s abundant THC, it shares the same species as marijuana.
Many have suggested over the years that the real reason for the anti-cannabis movement boiled down to the fear that hemp might become a low-cost paper pulp alternative. William Randolph Hearst, an American industrialist, and the DuPont family had large investments in the timber and newspaper industries.
For fear that the growth of hemp would undercut their profits, they launched a smear campaign to disrupt the lucrative hemp market. Years later, however, it became clear that hemp does not contain a sufficiently high cellulose content to be an efficient paper substitute.
Eighty years later, following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp gradually regained its legal status in the U.S. Hemp is excluded from Schedule I controlled substances, classified as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC. As long as they come from licensed hemp producers, hemp-derived products are legal. It has started to be researched by more and more universities and hospitals. Americans are now able to legally use CBD. It can be purchased and delivered to all 50 states online.
Marijuana laws are evolving across America at a rapid rate as well. Though it is still illegal at the federal level, marijuana has been legalized by several states. Some have approved it for medical use and some recreational use for the remaining states.
The Endocannabinoid Mechanism for Human Beings (ECS):
Endocannabinoids (the prefix “endo” means within) are called cannabinoids produced by our own bodies. Researchers made an astonishing discovery in the 1990s that the ECS plays a significant role in our overall health.
For every organ system in the body, the ECS maintains continuous contact.
Messenger molecules called endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors on any cell that recognizes them are involved in this contact. Think of it as a method of “key and lock.” Receptors are locks, and endocannabinoids are keys that bind to and unlock these receptors.
Within the ECS, there are two major types of receptors-type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) and type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2).
In the body, researchers identified more than 1,000 receptors. The CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and spinal cord nerve cells, as well as in the eye and retina. In the immune system, organs, and tissues, such as the brain, spleen, blood cells, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary tract, CB2 receptors are primarily identified.
Two kinds of endocannabinoids-anandamide and 2-AG-are formed by the body. This is transferred via the CB1 and CB2 receptors into the cells. The body becomes less successful at generating anandamide and 2-AG as we age. The adequacy of omega-3 in the diet also depends on the right functioning of the ECS.
Many individuals have encountered the feeling of being healthy or “high” after strenuous exercise. The mood that is lifted comes from the release of endorphins. Researchers now know that it is also due to an anandamide rise, which specifically targets CB1 receptors and, to a lesser extent, CB2 receptors.
The other endocannabinoid, 2-AG, transmits signals and stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain cells. 2-AG encourages brain health, immune health, as well as immunity to insulin.
Researchers have now found that both anandamide and 2-AG endocannabinoids have a significant effect on a number of functions, including appetite, energy and balance, immunity, memory, metabolism, nervous system, sleep, and response to stress.
Health Benefits Proof for CBD:
The Cannabis Plant has over 100 cannabinoids in it. Such compounds closely mimic the endocannabinoids of humans. CBD is the key cannabinoid in hemp and THC in marijuana.
CBD does not bind directly to our cannabinoid receptors, unlike THC. Nevertheless, without specifically tapping into them, it does induce the activity of both CB1 and CB2 receptors. A National Institute of Health study found that CBD causes more endocannabinoids, especially 2-AG, to be released by the body. In addition, the degradation of anandamide is inhibited by CBD.
Scientists are able to discover many of the health benefits of CBD now:
Epilepsy in Childhood:
CBD has been touted for a wide range of health issues, but its efficacy in the treatment of two unusual drug-resistant childhood epilepsy disorders, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS), is the best clinical evidence.
For these conditions, the FDA has recently approved the first-ever CBD-derived medication, Epidiolex. CBD has been able to minimize the number of seizures in several trials and, in some cases, it has been able to avoid them entirely.
Relief of Pain:
For the treatment of various forms of chronic pain, CBD can be an option: fibromyalgia, gout, HIV, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic, and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have found that it helps to relieve pain and inflammation by applying CBD oil directly to the problem region. By influencing the function of cannabinoid receptors in the body, minimizing inflammation, and communicating with neurotransmitters, CBD works.
Researchers have found that participants did not develop a tolerance for CBD effects, so there was no need to constantly increase the dose. CBD is not addictive, unlike other pain killers, and has no intoxicating effects, giving people with chronic pain a great deal of relief.
In a number of countries in Europe and Canada (but not in the United States), an oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of CBD and THC, has been approved to treat pain and muscle spasms linked to multiple sclerosis.
Another controlled study showed that in people with rheumatoid arthritis, Sativex significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest, and sleep quality.
Depression and Anxiety:
Clinical studies have shown that cannabis and CBD may be successful in reducing various types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD.
Participants in the trials not only felt better, but they also reported decreased cognitive impairment and anxiety. Scientists propose that CBD can influence receptors involved in the modulation of serotonin, a chemical messenger that plays a role in anxiety control, in addition to influencing the endocannabinoid system.
Furthermore, some study has shown that CBD relieves stress and helps with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. (Please note that cannabis does not help with any of these and can actually make psychosis worse.
Symptoms Linked to Cancer:
Researchers found that there was a substantial decrease in the pain of cancer patients treated with CBD and THC, the psychoactive marijuana compound. Furthermore, a one-to-one combination of CBD and THC gave by mouth spray decreased the side effects of cancer treatments such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
At present, further work needs to be done on whether the same beneficial results can be achieved by CBD alone.
In different forms of cancer, including brain, blood, breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancer, a number of cell culture studies have found that cannabinoids can help slow tumor development, minimize tumor invasion, and induce tumor cell death.
Scientists agree that CBD is likely to function by starving energy cancer cells, rendering them more responsive to the body’s immune response, and blocking a cancer pathway linked to newly discovered cannabinoids. However, before further conclusions can be drawn, human trials are needed.
Other possible benefits of CBD
- Lowers blood pressure (caution when taking medicine for blood pressure).
- Lowers cholesterol in LDL (bad) and total cholesterol.
- Lowers levels of uric acid and decreases symptoms of gout.
- Helps with insomnia due to the benefits of relaxation and anxiety reduction.
- It allows people to avoid smoking and is a promising therapy for opioid addiction patients.
- Reduces neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Some research suggests that CBD might protect brain cells from oxidative stress and damage. Early outcomes have been generally positive, but further research is needed.
- It reduces the risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, especially at the early stages of the disease (no human trials yet).
- Lessens inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease symptoms (no clinical trials yet).
Important Considerations When Buying CBD Oil:
- Do not purchase from manufacturers who sell on Amazon. The authenticity and consistency of the items are difficult to check.
- It is best to purchase hemp grown in the USA from licensed farmers. China is now a major CBD oil exporter and has over 10 % of the global demand.
- Buy only CBD products that use the entire cannabis plant, not synthetics and not isolates, since the whole plant contains the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes, the active compounds that give taste and smell to the plants. Herbalists claim that the terpenes in hemp interact with the cannabinoids synergistically to create an “entourage effect” that improves the healthy effects of each portion.
- Buy only organically cultivated hemp, without pesticides and herbicides, using eco-farming methods.
- Make sure that the hemp is treated with a gentle, clean CO2 extraction that does not use harsh solvents, ETO (ethylene oxide), or gamma radiation.
- There is no heat needed for this process and the entire spectrum of cannabinoids is preserved in the blend.
- Only purchase all-natural CBD products that have no additives, preservatives, emulsifiers, or flavorings.
- The label should state how much CBD is in the bottle (in milligrams or mg) and its concentration (e.g. 1 drop = 2.4 mg of CBD) when purchasing CBD oil.
- Buy only from a company that offers lab-verified test results from third parties for each batch of CBD it sells. As CBD oil is not regulated, there is no assurance that the customer will get what a business advertises. The Certificate of Analysis (COA) verifies that both what it says and the concentration of the CBD is actually present in the product. An investigation showing the levels of pesticides, herbicides, molds, fungi, mycotoxins, and heavy metals in the substance should be included. If a COA can not be developed by the company, do not purchase its products.