CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a prominent naturally-occurring cannabinoid component found in cannabis that comprises up to 40% of the plant. After THC, CBD is by far the most studied natural cannabinoid. According to many researchers, CBD may be the single most important cannabinoid ever discovered. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural substance that has recently come into the spotlight for a number of reasons.
It is a relatively new dietary supplement that is still being researched, and while the initial results are promising, there is a lot of doubt, misinformation, and sheer confusion surrounding it.
Recently, CBD oil has become an accepted means of relief from anxiety and inflammation, and the substance’s popularity is rising fairly rapidly.
As the use of CBD oil as a dietary supplement is very new, there are still significant gaps in what we know about its effects. While we can confidently say the substance is safe and legal, its exact benefits are still an issue of hot debates and fervent research.
What Are the Benefits of CBD?
Numerous people are reporting success in using CBD to ease a variety of symptoms, and the scientific community is currently experimenting with the substance on a wide scope of medical applications for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, spasms, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, nausea, convulsions, inflammation, and many other conditions, including cancer.
However, the effectiveness of CBD in helping with the above conditions (and many others) hasn’t yet been scientifically proven, and many trials are still in pre-clinical stage.
What we know with fairly high certainty is that CBD has been shown to be effective for decreasing anxiety and helping in a number of inflammation-related problems, including arthritis and other inflammatory ailments as well as multiple sclerosis.
CBD is also proven to inhibit the growth of the MRSA bacterium (a strain of staphylococcus resistant to antibiotics), which causes several difficult-to-treat infections. Strictly as a chemical substance, CBD also has strong antioxidant properties, a fact that so far has been largely ignored by the broader dietary supplements industry.
As each person is different, and because CBD’s beneficial effects are still under study, we strongly encourage you to do your own research before incorporating CBD to your daily life.
What is it for?
CBD can be used to alleviate the symptoms of many ailments including:
ADD, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety, Arthritis, Cancer, Colitis and Crohn’s, Depression, Diabetes, Endocrine Disorders, Epilepsy, Heart Disease, Glaucoma, Inflammation, IBS, Metabolic Syndrome, Migraines, Mood Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Nausea, Neuropathic Pain, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s Disease, PTSD, Rheumatism, Sickle Cell Anemia, Sleep Disorders, Stress, Stroke, and so much more.
What is the Difference Between THC and CBD?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two types of cannabinoids found naturally in the resin of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Both of these substances interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body, but the types of effects brought about by these compounds couldn’t be more different. For this reason, CBD is more often used as a medical treatment than THC.
What is THC?
THC is the main psychoactive component of the marijuana plant. In other words, THC is the primary agent responsible for creating the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use. This compound works by imitating the effects of anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced naturally by the human body to help modulate sleeping and eating habits, as well as the perception of pain.
The effects of THC include (1):
* Altered senses of sight, smell, and hearing
* Reduced aggression
What are the medical applications of THC?
Research studies have indicated that this cannabinoid may be able to help treat:
* Side effects of chemotherapy – Reduce nausea and vomiting while increasing appetite (2)
* Multiple sclerosis – Improve spasticity and bladder function while reducing painful spasms and central pain (1)
* Glaucoma – Reduce pressure inside the eye (1)
* AIDS – Alleviate symptoms by stimulating appetite and eating (1)
* Spinal injury – Lessen tremors (1)
What is CBD?
CBD has the same chemical formula as THC, but the atoms are arranged differently. This slight variance causes THC to create a psychoactive effect while CBD lacks such an influence.
CBD accounts for up to 40 percent of cannabis extract (3). Its plentiful nature, coupled with its failure to produce a “high” effect, make it a strong candidate for medical applications.
The effects of CBD include (3):
* Reduction of psychotic symptoms
* Relief from convulsions and nausea
* Decreased anxiety
* Decreased inflammation
What are the medical applications of CBD?
Research indicates that CBD may be useful in treating (3):
* Schizophrenia – Reduce psychotic symptoms
* Social anxiety disorder – Lower anxiety
* Depression – Reduce depressive symptoms
* Side effects of cancer treatment – Decrease pain and nausea while stimulating appetite
Why is CBD used more than THC for medical treatments?
THC is classified as an illegal drug with considerable immediate and long-term cognitive side effects, including impaired thinking and reasoning, reduced ability to plan and organize, altered decision-making, and reduced control over impulses. In addition, chronic use of THC is associated with significant abnormalities in the heart and brain (1).
CBD lacks the harmful cognitive effects of THC. In fact, CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC, both in plant form and when administered from extract (4). Cannabis plants containing small amounts of CBD and high levels of THC result in a stronger “stoned” feeling, while plants with more CBD and less THC create a weaker “buzz.” Given the increasing popularity of medical marijuana, breeders are currently creating strains with higher CBD to THC ratios to minimize the psychoactive side effects.
Overall, the lower health risks of CBD, combined with its efficacy, make it a better candidate for medical applications than THC.
- (1) Tetrahydrocannabinol. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol.
- (2) Questions and Answers about Cannabis. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/patient/page2.
- (3) Cannabidiol. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabidiol.
- (4) Cannabinoid. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid.
CBD is legal in all 50 states.
Purveyors of imported, CBD-infused hemp oil claim it’s legal to market their wares anywhere in the United States as long as the oil contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Actually, it’s not so simple. Federal law prohibits U.S. farmers from growing hemp as a commercial crop, but the sale of imported, low-THC, industrial hemp products is permitted in the United States as long as these products are derived from the seed or stalk of the plant, not from the leaves and flowers. Here’s the catch: Cannabidiol can’t be pressed or extracted from hempseed. CBD can be extracted from the flower, leaves, and, only to a very minor extent, from the stalk of the hemp plant. Hemp oil start-ups lack credibility when they say their CBD comes from hempseed and stalk. Congress may soon vote to exempt industrial hemp and CBD from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Such legislation would not be necessary if CBD derived from foreign-grown hemp was already legal throughout the United States.
CBD-only’ laws adequately serve the patient population
Fifteen U.S. state legislatures have passed “CBD only” (or, more accurately, “low THC”) laws, and other states are poised to follow suit. Some states restrict the sources of CBD-rich products and specify the diseases for which CBD can be accessed; others do not. Ostensibly these laws allow the use of CBD-infused oil derived from hemp or cannabis that measures less than 0.3 percent THC. But a CBD-rich remedy with little THC doesn’t work for everyone. Parents of epileptic children have found that adding some THC (or THCA, the raw unheated version of THC) helps with seizure control in many instances. For some epileptics, THC-dominant strains are more effective than CBD-rich products. The vast majority of patients are not well served by CBD-only laws. They need access to a broad spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just the low THC medicine. One size doesn’t fit all with respect to cannabis therapeutics, and neither does one compound or one product or one strain.