You’ve likely seen the letters ‘CBD’ around or someone has told you about CBD. It seems a lot of people are trying to wrap their head around what CBD is all about and whether or not they would like to try it. The goal of this blog post is to give you a very quick overview in hopes to help you gain some understanding on what CBD is, what it does, and whether you would like to look into it further.
Firstly, CBD does come from Cannabis sativa. CBD stands for cannabidiol, just one of the many chemical components found in cannabis. However, CBD products come from hemp. “Only cannabis with less than 0.3% THC can be legally classified as hemp”.
So plants with little or no THC and high CBD are best utilized for medicinal uses. The reason cannabis plants can vary so much in THC and CBD levels is the presence or absence of certain enzymes in the plant. One could do a lot of research on the varieties of cannabis plants!
How does CBD effect the body?
Within the body is the endocannabinoid system comprised of various elements including cannabinoid receptors and naturally occurring endocannabinoids produced by the body. The two primary receptors that are currently studied are cannabinoid binding receptor 1 and 2 or CB1 and CB2. CB1 is thought to be located primarily in the central nervous system. CB2 receptors are located throughout the body, thought to be more concentrated in the lower body and immune system.
Here’s a summary of THC and CBD effects on the receptors from RawlsMD:
In contrast, THC binds to anandamide’s CB1 receptors even more tightly than anandamide itself, triggering an exaggerated or euphoric response – in other words, you get high.
Compared to THC, CBD has very different properties. It weakly binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body, gently stimulating and blocking them at the same time. This not only mildly activates the receptors, but is also thought to trigger the body to create more CB1 and CB2 receptors, a process known as upregulation. It also results in increased natural levels of anandamide (a naturally occurring endocannabinoid also sometimes referred to as the ‘bliss molecule’).
When the body experiences an increase in CB receptors, it becomes more sensitive to the natural endocannabinoids (anandamide and others) already present in the body. The end result of taking CBD is an uplifted mood and improved pain tolerance without an exaggerated euphoric response, so you don’t get high when you use it.
THC is the only constituent in cannabis found to clearly have psychoactive effect on its own. CBD is not psychoactive.
There is a lot of research being done on the specific benefits on various conditions and symptoms. If you do a google scholar search you can find a lot of papers on the observed effects of CBD. Some proposed benefits of CBD are
- Decreased pain
- Enhanced sense of well-being
- Increased calm
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress
And so CBD is thought to be helpful for people with chronic pain, nervous system conditions, immune dysfunction, chronic illness, gut dysfunction, cancer symptoms and possibly more.
Cannabis plants contain many other cannabinoids and other chemical components with medicinal properties. Terpines, also found in Cannabis, are thought to enhance the effects of CBD. So, whole plant products may be the next step in utilizing hemp as medicine.
At the Health Hutt we carry Plus +CBD Oil and they have a lot of great information on their webpage regarding CBD. Here is a link to their blog: https://pluscbdoil.com/blog/. We also carry Queen City Infusion, CBD Living, Charlottes Web Hemp, Suukuu, Empower and expect to carry more from some of our existing brands as more CBD products are released. For more reading you could also visit Dr. Bill Rawls’ blog post cited below.
Rawls, Bill. “The Science Behind: CBD Everything You Need to Know.” RawlsMD, January 30, 2019, http://www.rawlsmd.com/health-articles/science-behind-cbd-everything-want-know#overdose.
Hazekamp Arno et al. “Chemistry of Cannabis” Comprehensive Natural Products II Chemistry and Biology, Vol 8, 2010.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.