The study concluded that whole-plant, CBD-rich extract had a superior therapeutic value to single-molecule CBD extract. Though there may be cases, depending on an individual patient’s condition and physical restrictions, where a CBD isolate is a more appropriate prescription, a whole-plant, high-CBD product has the advantage of working in tandem with other potentially therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes. This synergistic relationship is commonly referred to as the entourage effect. For instance, some studies have demonstrated CBD’s ability to minimize the undesirable effects of THC, including paranoia and cognitive impairment.
Despite the growing popularity of CBD products, there is still a fair amount of misinformation surrounding this non-intoxicating cannabis compound, prompting a need for more educational resources and guidelines for the average consumer. What is CBD? How does it work? Is it legal? What should consumers look for in CBD oil and other CBD products?
5. Not all CBD oil is the same
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
One major explanation for CBD’s wide range of potential benefits is the complex way it interacts with our bodies, particularly through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), an internal system made up of endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, the receptors that these cannabinoids bind to, and the enzymes that break them down. CBD and other phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, bind to cannabinoid receptors when they enter the body, and elicit a wide range of effects, depending on which receptors they activate.
When it comes to finding the most effective CBD dosage for a specific condition, there is no exact measurement or universal guideline that works for everyone. Part of the reason may have to do with the fact that genetic mutations of our cannabinoid receptors cause variances in the way a body reacts to CBD. If you, for example, are walking around with a different CB1 receptor variation than your friend, the two of you may react differently to the same dose of CBD. In other words, an effective CBD dose for one patient may not work for another. There are several other factors that determine the effectiveness of a CBD dose, including the product itself, the method of consumption, as well as the patient or consumer’s physiology.
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
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CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a "high." According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."
The bottom line on cannabidiol
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?