Cannabidiol, known by the acronym CBD, is a very important aspect when it comes to the understanding and workings of medical cannabis, as well as hemp. Today we, know more about CBD, and all the other cannabinoids, than we ever have before. In fact, we know more about the way marijuana and hemp works than we have ever dreamed of! Thanks to the efforts of modern science, we now understand, on a molecular level, how these chemicals work, as well as the positive and negative effects that they may have on us when consumed. From calming anxiety, and stopping spasms to reducing chronic pain, CBD has been shown to help patients with a variety of ailments. But what actually is CBD? Where does it come from and how does it work? While many people may understand that it is related to marijuana, they do not exactly understand how or why. This can lead to some issues regarding the In order to help you understand the drastically important role that CBD plays in the world of medical marijuana, today we will be helping you become more familiar with many of the important aspects of CBD. As we learn more about these chemicals, one thing if nothing else becomes clear; they are very complicated. From their effects to smell and taste we have worked out a great deal about them, but there is still so much left to learn. While it is true we know more than we ever have before, it seems that each discovery leads to another one, which opens a whole new world of discovery and things to understand. But let’s forget about all of that for a moment. What actually is CBD you’re probably asking yourself, and why might you even care what it does? Well, over the course of this article you are going to find out! So sit back, relax, and let’s get started!
WHAT IS CBD?
Before we can get into the who’s and whats of how CBD works, it’s important to understand just what CBD is! CBD, which is an acronym for Cannabidiol; belongs to the chemical family of cannabinoids. Other members of the cannabinoid family include THC and CBN, among many, many others. Over the last few decades, many scientists have been working on isolating the CBD and observing what benefits it could have on a person, versus the entire cannabis plant. Various preclinical trials have shown some promising results as far as CBD is concerned. The results show that CBD can work in a wide array of ways.
CBD is the second most “popular” cannabinoid, coming closely after THC. This is because we know more about how THC and CBD work, as well as their interactions with each other than other cannabinoids. Along with that, THC and CBD are the most abundant molecules found in said plants. This does not mean that they are necessarily less important in the entire process of cannabis usage. Unlike THC however, CBD is nonpsychoactive, meaning that its use will not get you “High”. It is this factor that makes CBD an option for various medical ailments. Patients can take CBD and not worry about it making them high. CBD can be cultivated from both the Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica species, as well as from Hemp plants. The CBD from either the cannabis or hemp plant is however identical. However, since cannabis is illegal federally, so is the CBD harvested from it, however since Hemp is legal, any CBD harvested from that, can be bought and sold like any other commodity. Well, now that you have a basic idea of what CBD is, let’s get a little more complicated!
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
So how and why does CBD have such dramatic effects on our bodies? Well, while there is a simple answer to that, the how behind it is a bit more complicated. CBD, like all cannabinoids, reacts with our ECS, or endocannabinoid system. Yes, we have a bodily system that produces, and reacts to cannabinoids, as they are after all elements that we find in nature! The cannabinoids that our body produces are called endocannabinoids, while the ones found in cannabis are called phytocannabinoids. While of course, these chemicals are different in some ways, they are also extremely similar in the way that they work. So in order to understand why CBD, (and other cannabinoids) affect us so much, one must understand how this system works.
The ECS consists of special receptors in your cells, spread throughout the body, with most of them being focused on the nervous system itself. When we consume CBD, the Cannabidiol, which are agonists, are so close to the endocannabinoids that we produce naturally, that the phytocannabinoids in the cannabinol can actually bind to the cannabinoid receptors within our cells, and like a key opening a lock, the magic begins to work; adding all of these receptors together, we then get the entire Endocannabinoid System.
The ECS seems to serve four primary roles with our bodies;
- Managing Homeostasis
- Immune Balance
- Stress Recovery
As one would expect, these four major categories play huge roles within our bodies and we simply would not be able to live how we do without these systems, without theses cannabinoids. The ECS, within the four categories, is responsible for managing, and helping to regulate the following:
- Motor Control
- Immune Function
- Pain Perception
- Bone Development
- And so much more!
CBD can truly play a very important role in the way that our bodies work, improving and helping the natural functions of our bodies, and so far without any negative effects!
CBD VS. THC
So we have already discussed briefly the differences between CBD and THC, the main one, of course, being that CBD is non-psychoactive. Now, however, we will go into a little more detail on these differences, and just what they mean. Basically, the main difference between the two is just how our bodies react and process them. As we know, the cannabinoids that we consume bind to the receptors in our ECS, however not all receptors are the same. Since this is not a neurology class, we will not be going into the exact technical differences between receptors, but its good to know that there are different types, even within the ECS. THC binds with the cannabinoid receptor 1, or CB1, which concentrated in the central nervous system. However, unlike THC, CBD does not react the same way, as described by Dr. Ethan Russo, “[CBD] doesn’t tend to bind directly to what’s called the orthosteric site [on cannabinoid receptors] where THC binds. Rather, it binds on what’s called an allosteric site, another site on the receptor, and so it alters the binding of both THC and the endogenous cannabinoids, the endocannabinoids.” So this can help explain the difference between the two, and why the effect us so differently. It is important to remember, however, that research seems to show both of these chemicals work more efficiently while in tandem.
WHAT IS THE PROPER DOSAGE?
Determining the proper dosage of CBD is nowhere near as easy or as near of a science as prescription medications. Since there are no doctors around to help you determine the dosages you should be having, it can help to know how to do it yourself! Before we continue it is important to consult your healthcare provider before changing anything with your health regimen, now once you have gotten the green light, here is what you will want to do. What you want to determine, is the lowest effective dose. What this means is, you’re going to want to consume the least amount of CBD, which gives off the greatest effect. Why consume say, 10 mg of oil, when five does the same thing? It’s not only healthier but much more cost effective. So keeping that in mind, start with a very low dose. Either of vapor, oil, etc. You’re going to want to monitor any changes in your conditions, both positive and negative, as well as any new effects that might also be occurring because of the CBD. As soon as you no longer see any gains or any negatives stop upping your dose. By doing so you will be able to determine at which level, your donations are best effected. Now at this point, you might be wondering, How do I even use CBD? Well, wonder no longer, for next up we are going to discuss the methods of consumption!
WAYS TO CONSUME CBD
Now that we have learned a great deal about CBD, including how it works, what it is, and what the proper dosages are; its time to discuss just how you consume CBD. CBD can pretty much be consumed in any of the ways you would consume cannabis normally, I.E edibles, smoking, vaping etc. but there are many other methods as well. From tinctures to oils, lotions, and concentrates, CBD comes in all shapes and sizes. Let’s highlight a few now:
- Vape: Vaping CBD can be a very pleasant and enjoyable experience for anyone who enjoys traditional vaping, or even smoking, cannabis, tobacco or otherwise. With Vaping you’re going to be getting cartridges, that can range in the potency of the CBD. Anywhere from pure CBD, to CBD and THC as they occur naturally. With this method, you can easily control your dosages (how many puffs you take) and is a great starting place for CBD users.
- Edibles: Yes those edibles; while of course there is the typical “pot brownie” there are also edibles that come with a majority of CBD contained therein. The issue with edibles, however, is it can be very hard to determine how much to eat (unless it states so on the package), and along with that, they are typically very potent. While they are easy to use, and if you know how much can be a great experience, if you don’t; they can be very potent.
- Oil: CBD oil is a very potent, and easy to use method of consumption. While there are varying types of oil, and varying strengths, if you find out your dosage you can easily control it by how much oil you use. Potent, fast acting and easy to make yourself even, CBD oil are favorite of many.
While there are many other types of cannabis consumption, we will leave off there to learn about the benefits CBD can provide you!
BENEFITS OF CBD
While many people swear by the medicinal value of marijuana in general, it seems that CBD (while in tandem with other chemicals) is responsible for a wide range of these therapeutic effects. In fact, before marijuana became illegal in 1937 in the United States, it was prescribed like any other medication to treat a wide range of ailments. However, due to issues with legality today, things are not that simple. While there have not been many true clinical research trials done on the effects of CBD on certain ailments, patients from around the world can attest, and their doctors can confirm, that CBD can have astonishing health benefits. People even use CBD for their pets to help with joint and coat health! It is really amazing what CBD can do.
Typically, CBD will be consumed either by oil, smoking, vaping, topical or even edibles. These days, anything you can do with standard cannabis, you can find in high CBD content specific products as well. The world sure is a different place when it comes to cannabis than it was even ten years ago!
So it all sounds pretty great huh! But there have to be negative side effects right? Nothing in this world is perfect, where is the bad news. Well, as far as we can tell CBD itself, seems to have no drawbacks. Yes, you read that correctly. While limited studies have been done, it has been shown time and time again there are few, with no negative side effects. So amazingly, nothing to worry about! Of course, as we learn more about CBD and how it works, there is always a chance we will find something adverse, but as far as we know CBD is completely harmless.
WHERE TO GET CBD
Now that we have learned all of this about CBD, you might be telling yourself something along the lines of, “well, now where do I get some?” Well, guess what! We are here to help you out! In fact, there are many places where one can obtain CBD. The most common place people will get CBD products is from their local cannabis dispensary, these versions of CBD will typically have small amounts of THC to activate the CBD, which is a great thing. The second most common place would be of course the Internet. This is where things can get much more tricky. While there are great options, such as https://www.caliberbio.com/products/, but there are many more out there that are not only frauds but can be dangerous to you and your health. Being able to identify good sources for CBD is crucial. Your body is a temple, and you should be careful what you put inside of it. If the website looks sketchy, if there is missing info etc. its possible you’re looking at a bad brand of CBD. The good brands will explain what CBD is, and how it works, as well as explain to their customers where their CBD is sourced from. So when purchasing CBD, be it from a dispensary or online, just try to only get it from places that know their information. And that’s it for that!
Well, that was a long journey into the world of CBD! And to top it all off, this was only the briefest of introductions! As we have hopefully learned, the world of CBD is a broad one, with many angles, beliefs, and scientific findings. Each year, there are dozens of discoveries related to CBD and how it works with our systems. Our understanding of CBD is constantly evolving. While there is still much to learn, this guide hopefully has prepared you to get out there and explore the world of CBD yourselves! The only way to truly experience CBD is to try it! Now you have the tools to do so! So get out there and enjoy!