CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD (Cannabidiol) Header Image

CBD (Cannabidiol)

This post is also available in: Français (French)

A non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD). Behind tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabidiol is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis. Analgesic, seizure-suppressant, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory are some of the many potential therapeutic benefits. Both hemp and cannabis plants can be used to source CBD.

CBD Molecule

What is CBD?

Resulting from the heating, or decarboxylation, of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating molecule. Lower concentrations of CBD vs THC are found in most cannabis strains. Lots of CBD-rich strains began cropping up all over the place following an explosive discovery in 2009 .

Dropper CBD Oil

How CBD works

Within the body and brain, CBD’s actions are quite complicated. Rather than by a single action, it’s very possible that the good effects of CBD operate through diverse biological pathways. The mechanisms by which CBD relieves ailments such as seizures requires more research to be fully understood.

CBD interacts directly with a number of proteins in the central nervous system and body, a few of which are parts of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD is attracted to both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Several other receptor proteins that our bodies have participate in the endocannabinoid system, such as GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1 and TRPV2. CBD’s possible pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects may occur through these pathways since CBD binds to all of these.

CBD plays some other very important roles outside the ECS. Possibly explaining its effects of anxiety and depression for example, CBD mildly activates one of the brain’s predominant serotonin receptors (5-HT1A) in mice. Possibly indicating its usefulness in fighting inflammation, it also acts at the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in mice.

Resulting in much higher levels of some prescription drugs in the bloodstream, similar to grapefruit, CBD can inhibit certain drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver . Check with your doctor before using CBD if you are taking any medications just to be safe.


Is CBD a drug?

Since CBD can subtly alter mood and perception it fits the definition of a psychoactive substance . Unlike weed though, CBD does not cause intoxication. CBD can’t stimulate the level of psychological and sensory effects that THC does as it’s a non-intoxicating substance.


How does CBD relate to THC?

CBD seems to minimize some of THC’s less desirable effects such as heart palpitations, impaired thinking and paranoia but the relationship between CBD and THC is much more complex than that. Combining CBD and THC may offer enhanced therapeutic value. Commonly referred to as the entourage effect this is the process of cannabis-derived molecules working more synergistically together than they do in isolation.


Medical uses

Much more research is needed to determine the ailments and symptoms CBD can most successfully treat, but consumers report using CBD for a huge variety of health and wellness reasons. There are more than 100 clinical trials currently running that are examining the effectiveness of CBD for a variety of conditions.

Pain relief and anti-inflammation

The body is prevented from absorbing a pain-regulating compound known as anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid, when CBD is introduced to our endocannabinoid system, according to research . Excess quantities are shunted into the bloodstream by inhibiting the absorption of this compound that in turn, may reduce pain. Helping to suppress inflammation and pain CBD may also target specific spinal receptors . CBD seems to have a number of anti-inflammatory properties in both animal and human models.

Epilepsy and seizures

Anticonvulsant properties are one of CBD’s chief benefits. Since 1881 CBD has been documented as a potential antiepileptic; it wasn’t until 2018 that it was approved by the FDA in the US for treating severe types of childhood epilepsy. We still don’t fully understand its anticonvulsant mechanisms. Its interaction with NMDA receptors may be a possible explanation for CBD’s perceived neuroprotective effects as these receptors play a key role in the type of neuronal activity that is a hallmark of epilepsy.

Addiction treatment

A comprehensive review of CBD as an intervention for addictive behaviors was conducted in 2015 by researchers from the University of Montreal. CBD may have a beneficial impact on cocaine, opioid and psychostimulant addiction was the conclusion. Studies also suggest that CBD might also be helpful in the treatment of tobacco addiction . Easing the anxiety that leads people to crave drugs such as heroin may be a reason that CBD works in these situations.

Does CBD affect mood?

CBD could help treat some anxiety disorders according to existing evidence. CBD can alleviate situational anxiety, like public speaking , at doses of 400 to 600 milligrams as an example. Cannabis strains that are high in CBD and low in THC may be better than other strains for alleviating depression .

Single compound vs. whole plant

The potency of single-molecule CBD extract vs the potency of whole-plant CBD-rich extract was published in a study in 2015 by The Hebrew University of Israel. Extract taken from whole-plant CBD-rich cannabis seemed to be therapeutically superior to single-molecule extract it found.

Researchers had been utilizing pure, single-molecule CBD, which resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve as noticed by the scientists behind this study. CBD’s efficacy plummets at very high and very low doses as indicated by this curve.


Industrial hemp and whole-plant marijuana

CBD-rich strains such as Sour Tsunami and Harlequin contain far more CBD by weight than industrial hemp. Significantly more hemp is required to be cultivated and extracted to produce a 10 milliliter dose of CBD than whole-plant cannabis, raising the risk of exposing users to more contaminants. Hemp is classified as a plant that naturally absorbs toxins from the soil, or a bio-accumulator.

The incredibly diverse profile of different terpenes and cannabinoids found in whole-plant cannabis is lacking in industrial hemp meaning that it seems to have a weaker entourage effect.

High-CBD strains

Harlequin: This strain was bred by crossing classic landraces from Nepal, Switzerland, and Thailand. Its consistent 5:2 CBD to THC ratio ranks it among CBD-rich staple cultivars.

Sour Tsunami: One of the first strains bred for its CBD content, this strain typically sports a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC

AC/DC: A sativa-dominant phenotype of Cannatonic, this strain boasts one of the highest ratios of CBD to THC, clocking in at 20:1.


CBD products

CBD is as versatile as THC, if not more so, and has worked its way into a host of products.

Flower: Combusting or vaporizing CBD weed allows you to feel the potential therapeutic effects of CBD almost immediately.

Isolate: CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form: a fine white powder. This crystalline form of CBD is versatile and allows you to measure precise doses.

Concentrates: CBD can also be purchased in concentrate form, including raw CBD oil, cartridges, vape pens, syringes, and more. Concentrates bridge the gap between CBD flower and CBD isolate.

Infusions: Research and opportunity have driven chefs and chemists to infuse CBD into all sorts of readily usable products, including edibles, elixirs, sublingual sprays and even topicals.

This post is also available in: Français (French)

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