Learn about CBD
The term “CBD” has suddenly been popping up everywhere. We see it in oils, water, capsules, creams, chocolates…but what is it exactly?
What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?
CBD is the shortened name for Cannabidiol (pronounced Canna-bi-dial), is 1 of the over 100 naturally occurring chemical compounds (cannabinoids) found in the Cannabis plant – These powerful compounds are called cannabinoids and are known to support the mind and body in various ways.
CBD along with closely related THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of the most prevalent chemical compounds found within the Cannabis plant. CBD is NON- psychoactive, so it does not produce any symptoms of feeling “high”.
How CBD Interacts With The Body
30 years ago, It was discovered that all humans have their own ECS (Endocannabinoid System) in their bodies. This system is responsible for maintaining balance in the body, which means it affects a variety of functions like sleep, immune responses, pain ,appetite,mood, and more.
CBD interacts with and helps regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). When the endocannabinoid system is in balance, you’re likely to function and feel your best. So,in general, CBD helps regulate important bodily functions which leads to optimal health.
Benefits Of CBD
Many businesses and media outlets are treating CBD extract as if it’s some kind of miracle cure for everything, so you can’t be blamed for wondering, “what is CBD oil good for?”.
The FDA has recently approved a drug called Epidiolex which contains CBD. This drug is approved for certain types of epilepsy that occurs in children. CBD has also been found to help with cosmetic conditions such as eczema, itching and wound healing. As research continues, new uses and benefits of CBD will continue to evolve.
But what ones do we know of right now? CBD is used to treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions. CBD is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments such as:
- Muscle spasms
- And over 50 additional specific conditions…
CBD oil has shown to be very useful in treating a variety of symptoms ranging from chronic pain, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep, and anxiety. But when taking CBD, it isn’t necessarily harmful in large doses, but there is a range of effectiveness that at some point negates the need to take any more.
The perfect dose varies from person to person. The first step to finding your minimum effective dose is to establish a baseline dosage. Since many people report good results with CBD at low doses, we suggest you start with a minimal dose and slowly increase the dosage until you find results.
CBD Dosage recommendations for various illnesses:
- Loss of Appetite in Cancer Patients: 2.5 mg of THC (orally), with or without 1 mg of CBD for six weeks.
- Chronic Pain: 2.5-20 mg of CBD [with or without THC] (orally).
- Epilepsy: 200-300 mg of CBD (orally) daily.
- Movement Problems Due to Huntington’s Disease: 10 mg of CBD per kg of body weight daily for six weeks (orally).
- Sleep Disorders: 40 mg-160 mg of CBD (orally).
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms: Cannabis plant extracts containing 2.5-120 mg of a THC/CBD combination daily for 2-15 weeks. Patients typically use eight sprays within any three hours, with a maximum of 48 sprays in any 24-hour period.
- Schizophrenia: 40-1,280 mg oral CBD daily.
- Glaucoma: A single sublingual CBD dosage of 20-40 mg (>40 mg may increase eye pressure).
What medical benefits does CBD offer?
Before we discuss the potential health benefits of CBD, it’s important to know how it affects the body. It is due to our endocannabinoid system that we feel the effects of the chemicals from cannabis. This system has cannabinoid receptors, and it also produces its own endocannabinoids. Unlike THC, which directly connects with these receptors, CBD is subtler.
“CBD increases the circulating levels of your natural endocannabinoids, which, in turn, interact with your cannabinoid receptors,” says Marcel Bonn-Miller, who studies the effects of CBD.
This is why, Bonn-Miller says, CBD may be beneficial for different medical conditions, both physical and mental. And this list could be extensive. Studies have shown that CBD can help with:
Pain and inflammation
Pain is one of the most common reasons why people take CBD rich full spectrum hemp oil. According to a 2011 study CBD – along with cannabichromene (CBC) – “stimulated descending pain-blocking pathways in the nervous system and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control.” A study a year later using animals found that CBD “suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance.”
CBD may even work better than some steroids to treat inflammation, says Dr. Bruce Nicholson, director of Pain Specialists of Greater Lehigh Valley. “Some studies also suggest that CBD oil can function as a nerve protectant and treat nerve injury pain,” he said.
Stress and anxiety
There have been several studies showing what CBD can do for stress and anxiety. A 2012 research review of multiple international studies determined that CBD can reduce anxiety, especially social anxiety. In 2014, a study was conducted involving animals and stress as related to the endocannabinoid system. Researchers found that “augmentation of the endocannabinoid system might be an effective strategy to mitigate behavioral and physical consequences of stress.”
Because CBD interacts with serotonin receptors, it may be able to help with depression, particularly depression linked to chronic stress, as this can cause reduced levels of endocannabinoids. After a study in 2016 was conducted on CBD and depression, researchers concluded that “CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.”
CBD helps the body turn white fat into brown fat, spurring on weight loss and promoting sugar metabolism and insulin production. In a 2006 study involving lab rats, CBD was shown to decrease the incidence of diabetes in the rodents. In 2015, a biopharmaceutical collective started stage-2 trials related to the use of CBD to treat diabetes.
CBD could help people who have trouble sleeping, says Dr. Sarah Brewer. “CBD is a popular treatment for insomnia, and promotes refreshing REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement – the dream phase) to reduce excessive daytime drowsiness,” she said.
In 2014, a study was conducted with four patients suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). With RBD, there is a total loss of muscle relaxation during REM sleep, and this frequently results in nightmares. When these patients were given CBD, there was a reduction in the frequency of these events.