10 CBD Facts You Need To Know: You Won’t Believe #9
Although CBD was isolated from the marijuana plant as early as the 70s, it only started getting media attention in the last few years. For as long as humans have been using cannabis, it’s surprising how little we know about it.
At the same time, the fact that our understanding of cannabis and its constituent parts is continually growing makes the research of this plant particularly special. Chances are that most people don’t know as much about CBD as they could or should. If you’re someone who wants to try CBD, it’s worth knowing these top 10 facts before you buy it.
One of the biggest hurdles for the marijuana movement is the lack of knowledge about it. Following a 100 year prohibition which impacted how much research we could do about cannabis, so many people so know little about the plant.
Cannabis is not spoken about in medical school and so even medical professionals don’t always know how to accurately advise their patients about it. Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished this article, you’ll know a little bit more about this very special compound.
1. CBD Is Extracted From Cannabis
Well, hopefully, you know that CBD is, in fact, extracted from cannabis. Together with THC, these are the two most prevalent compounds in the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp.
However, because of legal reasons in the USA, it is mostly extracted from hemp (marijuana-derived CBD is illegal federally in the USA).
The hemp plant contains very little THC (less than 0.3 percent) but contains higher levels of CBD. Extractions usually contain CBD and other terpenoids and flavonoids that are present in the hemp plant.
2. CBD Does Not Make You High
One of the reasons that CBD is so accessible to so many people is because it is not psychoactive. Although it is derived from cannabis, it doesn’t have the same cerebral effects as THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for the stoned effect.
The reason CBD doesn’t make you high is that it does not interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain the same way that THC does. Rather, it works in more peripheral ways, encouraging the body’s natural mechanisms and processes.
The effect is not felt in a cerebral way but has the potential to mitigate issues such as pain or nausea.
The fact that CBD is non-psychoactive means that it is a suitable remedial product for those who are sensitive to THC. That includes children, pets and elderly people for whom it is not really appropriate to get high.
However, despite the fact that it doesn’t make you high, it’s still full of many remedial benefits.
3. CBD Is A Natural Pain Relief
One of the biggest reasons that people are prescribed pharmaceutical medicine in the USA is to treat chronic pain. This has lead to an epidemic of opioid abuse, with many people in the USA dying of opioid overdoses. CBD poses a natural alternative to treat chronic pain.
The mechanism by which CBD does this is by targeting many of the biological processes involved in pain perception. By inhibiting the hydrolysis of certain enzymes and targeting certain cell proteins, CBD is able to interfere with the nervous system’s perception of pain, providing temporary analgesic effects.
4. CBD May Help You Quit Smoking And Drugs
There is a growing body of research which suggests that CBD can assist people to stop some of their addictive behaviors, including smoking and other drugs. It is being employed more and more as a means by which people can interfere with addictions to opioids and stimulants.
The physiology behind this is extremely complicated and involves the way that an addicted person employs the reward system of their brain. CBD can reduce the stress response and therefore reduce compulsive behaviors, thereby assisting a person to break a habit.
When it comes to smoking, in particular, preliminary research has been conducted. In this study, 24 smokers who wished to stop smoking were supplied with either a CBD inhaler or a placebo inhaler. They were advised to use the inhaler whenever they had the urge to smoke.
In the findings, the researchers published that there was a significant reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked during the period (~40 percent) and a reduction in cravings between day 1 and day 7.
However, more research needs to be conducted on CBD’s ability to interfere with addictive behaviors before any conclusion can be accurately drawn.
5. CBD May Fight Cancer
Cannabis has been considered a potential anti-cancer solution for quite some time. However, there is almost no substantial research that confirms it as an anti-cancer compound simply because of difficulty in obtaining licenses for research.
There has also bee the issue of the psychoactivity of THC, making cannabis less credible as an anti-cancer remedy. However, in the advent of CBD and CBD products, greater research is being conducted on the anti-cancer properties of CBD.
CBD has been shown to have pro-apoptotic properties as well as anti-proliferative properties in many different kinds of tumors. For those who don’t know what that means, CBD has the ability to encourage cell death of tumors as well as inhibiting tumor cells from reproducing.
This can help to stop a tumor migration throughout the body. As we mentioned, hard evidence is lacking due to a lack of research.
6. CBD Reduces Anxiety
There is quite a lot of preclinical evidence to suggest that CBD can be used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. We would need an entire article to go into the biological detail of how CBD can mediate anxiety responses. However, the most important thing to know is that CBD can target certain parts of the brain that deal with responses to threat (which plays a huge role in anxiety responses).
Certain neurotransmitter receptors, such as the serotonin receptor, are affected by CBD ingestion. This can lead to less negative emotions and by effect, less anxiety.
7. CBD Helps Children With Epilepsy
Everybody remembers Charlotte Web, the strain that was grown to treat a young girl who was suffering from epilepsy. Since then, the argument continues to grow for the remedial effects of CBD on seizure-related conditions.
Plus, the fact that CBD is non-psychoactive means that it is appropriate for children and does not interfere with their emotional or mental growth. Interestingly, this is one of the few areas of research that contains hard evidence for CBD’s efficacy.
The largest research that has taken place until now is a physician-sponsored expanded access program that took place across 11 epilepsy centers in the USA. CBD was offered as an anti-convulsant intervention to a total of 214 patients aged 1-30. The average decrease in total seizures was about 35 percent.
Some patients seizures were decreased by up to 55 percent and 9 of the patients treated (7 percent) hadn’t had a seizure four weeks after the follow-up.
8. CBD May Protect Against Diabetes
Although the research for CBD treatment of diabetes is still growing, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD can decrease the prevalence of diabetes in those that are not obese. Of course, this study took place on rodents – mice in particular. So it’s hard to say anything about humans with any substantial grounding – unless mice are closer to humans than we think.
The incidence of diabetes in this study was reduced by 56 percent in mice that were treated with CBD. Inflammation of pancreas tissues was also decreased in the mice that were treated with CBD.
9. CBD Has Little To No Side Effects
For many people, CBD poses no side effects for use. However, there are some circumstances where CBD has caused side effects of lethargy, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight. It’s worth noting that in a review of the literature, the side effects caused by CBD were considerably less than those experienced by the person’s conventional pharmaceutical treatment.
So while CBD may cause some side effects, they are generally less uncomfortable than those experienced with pharmaceutical medication. When it comes to harm reduction, CBD wins!
10. CBD Is Legal
There is always a little bit of confusion surrounding the legality of CBD. This is due to the fact that there are two kinds of CBD products: CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana. Any product derived from marijuana is illegal under federal law.
However, CBD derived from hemp is legal across the USA. The signing of the new Hemp Farm Bill also means that there will be greater availability of CBD products made from hemp grown in the USA.
Until now, most hemp derived products have been manufactured with hemp sourced from outside of the USA.
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to CBD. Modern science has only just begun to touch the surface. With the cannabis movement steadily gaining traction in the USA and across the world, hopefully, the opportunity to do more research opens.
Greater research will lead to greater understanding, greater credibility and a piece of greater public knowledge.