Everyone and their third cousin have heard about CBD and its many benefits. From your favorite convenience shop to online stores, CBD oil and products are everywhere. And this begets the question of why this substance is making waves. This guide answers every question about CBD, from CBD to how it works in the body. Although these products are becoming pretty much popular, there is also a need to be cautious. Below are the answers to all your questions and usage concerns.
Firstly, What is CBD?
Let’s take the first thing first by answering the question, what is CBD? According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound in the cannabis Sativa plant. This plant is also known as marijuana or hemp. Unlike its sister compound THC, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. This compound, CBD, is a natural substance that is popular for producing a relaxing and calming effect. You can find it in different CBD products like oils, gummies, and topicals.
How Does CBD Help Medically?
Firstly, you should know the body has an endocannabinoid system that regulates many bodily processes. And CBD helps this endocannabinoid system carry out its desired function. CBD works with the neurotransmitters present in the brain. It helps with cognition, motor skills, pain, and memory.
At the moment, researchers are still studying the diverse therapeutics effects of CBD. The uses of this compound range from its interaction with the immune system to the gastrointestinal system. The intake of CBD propels the body to increase endocannabinoid production. This increase may help treat conditions such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and stress.
So, How Is It Effective?
We’ve explained what CBD is and its medical uses. Let’s look at how this compound is useful. How does CBD work? CBD produces its effect through many molecular pathways. Here are some of them:
CBD at high concentrations directly activates the serotonin receptor, 5-HT1A. This activation then convenes an anti-anxiety effect on the consumer. Additionally, this protein receptor is linked to many biological processes like appetite, sleep, nausea, and pain perception. The neurotransmitter named serotonin is what activates this receptor.
CBD also works by interacting with different ion channels to produce its therapeutic effect. For example, it can bind to TRPV1 receptors, which also act as ion channels. These TRPV1 receptors are mediators for inflammation, pain perception, and body temperature. TRPV means the Transient receptor potential cation channel of the vanilloid subtype. Thus, TRPV1 is one of the many TRP that act as sensory receptors.
Another name Scientists use for TRPV is vanilloid receptor. This name is after vanilla bean, which contains eugenol. Eugenol has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Traditionally, people use vanilla beans to cure headaches because it’s an analgesic. When Cannabidiol binds to TRPV1, it can influence pain perception.
GPR55 – Orphan Receptors
Although CBD can function by activating the 5-HT1A receptor and TRPV ion channels, it also works as an antagonist. What is Cannabidiol’s antagonist role? Research suggests that CBD can deactivate or block a G protein-coupled receptor called GPR55. It is called an orphan receptor because it’s unclear if GPR55 belongs to a larger family of receptors.
GPR55 is expressed in the brain, mainly the cerebellum. It takes part in many biological processes, including control of blood pressure and bone health. GPR55 promotes the function of osteoclasts, which aid bone reabsorption. Research also suggests that the activation of GPR55 receptors can promote cancer cell proliferation.
Therefore, by blocking this receptor signaling, Cannabidiol can help reduce bone reabsorption and cancer cell proliferation.
PPARs – Nuclear Receptors
Another anti-cancer effect of CBD is the activation of PPARs. PPARs is an acronym for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. These receptors are present on the surface of the cell’s nucleus.
CBD is a PPARs-gamma agonist. The activation of these PPARS-gamma receptors indices an anti-proliferative effect. Also, it can result in tumor regression in the lung cancer cell line. The activation of these receptors degrades a key molecule, amyloid-beta plaque, linked to Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, Cannabidiol may be helpful for people with Alzheimer’s.
Cannabidiol passes through a cell membrane via fatty acid-binding proteins (FABP) to get into the body. These intracellular transport molecules also convey THC and the body’s endocannabinoid anandamide and 2AG to target sites.
Endocannabinoids and CBD compete for the same transport molecule. When anandamide gets inside the cell, a metabolic enzyme breaks it down. However, Cannabidiol interferes with its breakdown, slowing the passage of endocannabinoids into the cell. Studies suggest that this process increases the level of endocannabinoid in the brain’s synapses. And it may be the mechanism through which CBD delivers health benefits like its neuroprotective effects.
Why Has CBD Become So Popular?
Since industrial hemp plants were legalized, CBD became increasingly popular. It made its way into various sectors, from health and wellness to beauty products. People’s curiosity about its effects is also on the rise, which is why different researches are going on. Hemp vs. CBD oil discussions is also of interest. Below are some of the factors that contribute to the exponential growth of Cannabidiol over recent years.
The President signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized CBD derived from the hemp plant. After this act, the demand for Cannabidiol and its products began to ascend. The CBD products from hemp plants must contain 0.3% THC, or less, to be considered legal.
CBD is projected to have many health benefits. People with different health conditions like arthritis, seizure, and cancer have benefited from this substance. Although researches are inconclusive on the effects of CBD, some of the results are promising. Other benefits include treatment of anxiety, depression, inflammation, and pain.
Anxiety levels are always almost on the high. There are different stressors from the environment and personal life. People want to feel calm, focused, and relaxed, and this is where CBD comes in as the solution.
Additionally, the beauty industry is not left out. CBD has shown to have benefits that help maintain or improve skin condition. Because of this, it’s an active ingredient in many beauty products like creams and sleeps masks. Also, since Cannabidiol is a natural solution, people are willing to embrace it instead of other alternatives.
Variety and Availability
CBD products are widely available in many stores around the world, both online and offline. Not just that, they also come in different forms, from tinctures to gummies. There is always something to suit your taste, style, or demand.
How Can You Take Your Cannabidiol?
The next common question after what is CBD is how to use CBD oil, extract, and other products. Fortunately, you can consume cannabis and its extracts in many ways. Each of the methods has its advantage and disadvantage. The effects of each also differ. The key, however, is to find your ideal form of consumption.
Sublingual method of consuming CBD is commonplace. The drug moves directly to your bloodstream when you place it under the tongue. In this application, the effect usually begins after fifteen to thirty minutes. When using tinctures or sublingual sprays, pay attention to the dosage guideline. That will help you avoid an overdose of CBD.
Edibles and Capsules
When you ingest cannabidiol, it takes about an hour or two to feel its effects. This effect will last for a long time, sometimes over six hours. The use of edibles and capsules is recommended in chronic conditions because it’s long-lasting.
This method is one of the fastest ways of administering cannabidiol. The onset takes seconds to minutes. However, the effect is short-lived. Inhalation is more appropriate for conditions like acute pain.
Another way to use CBD is through topical application. These are effective for skin conditions and relief from joint pain. In this method, the Cannabidiol doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream.
CBD Safety and Side Effects
In explaining What is CBD, it is also essential to consider safety concerns and side effects. For oral consumption, Cannabidiol is safe when you ingest or spray under the tongue. Cannabidiol has been taken safely up to 300mg daily for six months. Also, higher doses up to 1500mg are safe for up to four weeks. People use Cannabidiol sprays in doses of 2.5mg for up to two weeks safely. Some of the CBD side effects individuals’ reports are dry mouth, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and drowsiness.
For topical application, there is not enough information on the side effects and safety. Meanwhile, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid the use of cannabidiol. There is a possibility Cannabidiol products may have ingredients that are harmful to the fetus or newborn.
How to Buy CBD Products
You’ve learned what CBD is, how it is useful as a healing substance, and possible side effects. So, how do you buy CBD products? Several retail stores near you sell CBD products. For instance, places like a CVS pharmacy, gas station, or convenience store. Alternatively, you can shop on the internet directly from the manufacturer or through established retailers.
When buying CBD products, you need to read the label and find out what it contains. If this information is not available, it shouldn’t go into/on your body. Also, check out for third-party test results, dosage guidelines, and storage information.
Where Is CBD Completely Legal to Use
The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act made hemp plant and its derived product legal on a federal level. In other words, you can use Cannabidiol so long as it contains 0.3% THC or less. However, if the Cannabidiol is from marijuana, the federal government still considers it illegal. Cannabidiol from marijuana is only legal for medical purposes.
The Bottom Line
Responding to the question – what CBD is reveals why it is popular and everything you need to know. Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound, has many health and therapeutic effects. However, it’s not a one-cure product for every health condition. Aside from its diverse uses, Cannabidiol is also available in different forms. You can find these products in stores close to you or even online. But, because of the growth in the industry, there there’s almost a saturation of products.
It’s crucial to vet both the company and its product offerings before buying. Also, do your research on which method of consumption is best for the result you want to achieve. Cannabidiol is generally a safe substance. However, always follow the instruction on the label to understand how to use the product.
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.