What is CBD – The Cannabinoid in Hemp / Cannabis

What is CBD - Cannabidiol

To understand “What is CBD” one need to understand where it comes from: CBD, like THC, is one of about 85 different Cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. And like THC, CBD is a cannabinoid.

Cannabidiol or CBD is a natural chemical found in the cannabis plant, which became rather famous after stopping a seizure triggered by epilepsy at the American national television. It was then when very many people realized the great potential of this substance, discovering that CBD can do more than to alleviate epileptic seizures.

It can also decrease anxiety and stress, calm down various types of pains, and can stop spasms. Still, even so, there are many people that don’t know much about CBD and how is this substance different from THC, another chemical contained by cannabis, notorious for its psychoactive properties.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is quickly changing the debate surrounding the use of marijuana as a medicine. As the ingredient in marijuana that “gets users high”, most people have a fair general knowledge about a chemical called THC. THC has long ago obtained the status of “illegal psychoactive drug”, and has retained that status even until today. THC is still illegal in most of the states of America, and also in most parts of the world.

Fairly recently, however, attention has been focused on another abundant compound making out a part of the total marijuana cocktail, if a herb can actually be called that. This substance is called Cannabidiol (CBD) and it was for a good reason that the focus has shifted. There is some rapidly growing evidence that CBD has a great many medical benefits regarding various diseases and the general health of any person that uses CBD. Hopefully, you will find all the information you need and want to know about CBD in the following lines.

What is CBD?

what-is-cannabidiolCBD is a substance that abounds in the cannabis plant and, in comparison with THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, it is non-psychoactive. So, if one consumes this substance, the person will not manage to get “high” due to CBD, as the substance induces relaxation without any intoxicating effects. In other words, CBD will indeed have an effect on your organism, but will not alter reality or your senses by affecting your brain.

CBD being, as previously stated, one of 85 key ingredients present in Cannabis. As a part of a group of micro elements known as cannabinoids. Out of all of these cannabinoids, CBD and THC usually accounts for the highest percentage of cannabinoids contained in Cannabis plants.

For so many years scientists and researchers disregarded this aspect, because everybody was focusing way too much on the effects of the psychoactive ingredients of cannabis. Luckily, CBD started to create a positive reputation in the medical world, due to the great effects it has in aiding numerous health problems.

How can CBD help? Many studies and preclinical trials discovered that CBD can help as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotector, anxiolytic, analgesic, antidepressant, anti-psychotic, and as an anti-tumoral agent. So it can be used in a wide variety of cases in which any of the previously mentioned conditions are mentioned.

When scientists studying Cannabis, these two cannabinoids gets more recognized and studied than any other substance found in Cannabis.

What are Cannabinoids?

cannabinoidsCannabinoids are the most important group of active compounds found in the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has approximately 500 different compounds, cannabinoids representing 85 of them. Their importance is not given by the fact that these compounds are numerous, because, as can be seen, they are not. While cannabis also contains other compounds such as terpenes, vitamins, minerals proteins and chlorophyl, the cannabinoids are the most important.

Cannabinoids got our attention due to the effects their produce, being the ones responsible for making people feeling buzzed after consuming cannabis and for producing the medical effects that can treat various health conditions. It is worth mentioning that not all cannabinoids are psychoactive, certain compounds of this group having medicinal purposes only, without the buzzing effect.

Cannabinoids are also responsible for the user experiencing a high. What is mainly caused by the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). In turn, other cannabinoids like CBD do not have any psychactive effect and even diminishes the psychoactive effect of THC. What makes these cannabinoids exceptional is their unique medical use.

Cannabinoids act in the human body through the body’s endocannabinoid system, which forms with receptors the interface to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

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CBD and THC

THC vs CBDAs mentioned earlier, there are some cannabinoids that are psychoactive and some that are not. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive cannabinoid, while CBD or cannabidiol is not psychoactive. As it is easy to tell, both of these compounds are cannabinoids, the difference between the two is the way each of them interacts with the human organism.

THC makes people feel high when smoking cannabis because it binds directly with a cannabinoid receptor located in the central nervous system. This produces symptoms like euphoria, altered reality, and even paranoia in some severe cases. CBD does not produce the same effects because it does not interact in the same manner as THC.

Because of this, CBD is capable of altering the psychoactivity of THC, reducing the “high” sensation THC produces. It also makes CBD more suitable for alternative medical treatments, making the use of cannabinoids for alleviated various symptoms connected to a number of health conditions safe and free of unwanted side-effects.

CBD and THC levels vary from strain to strain, and Marijuana grown for recreational purposes usually contains more THC than CBD.

By using certain selective cultivating techniques, Cannabis growers have succeeded creating strains that have high levels CBD and nearly no THC at all. These strains are becoming more popular because of the good effects that CBD has on certain diseases.

Because CBD is non-psychoactive and does not cause a “high”, Cannabis with low THC levels is not very popular among users who buy Cannabis for recreational purposes. But that very fact is responsible for the growing popularity among health care givers. Because they prefer treatment with minimal side effects.

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What are the health benefits of CBD?

cbd oilThe recent studies concerning the health benefits of CBD discovered a wide range of medical applications of CBD. Because it wasn’t properly understood and its effects well known, the laws of so many states banned a plant that could become the next breakthrough in modern medicine.

It is true that studies on CBD are very difficult and complex, because this compound interacts with the human organism in so many ways at once. So it is hard to determine the precise action of CBD on a certain health condition. Still, the people that used it as an alternative treatment stated that they felt immediate improvements and alleviation of symptoms that in many cases alter the quality of life.

CBD has a wide range of medical benefits. And although CBD does not act on the same pathways as THC, it does have many of the same medical qualities as THC.

For what health conditions is CBD used? It seems that CBD can aid in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, lupus, nicotine addiction, motor disorders, Parkinson’s disease, chronic and neuropathic pain, obsessive compulsive disorder, osteoporosis, various pediatric conditions and many more.

A review published in 2013 states that studies have found that CBD possesses anti-emetic properties.

For treatment of nausea, anticonvulsant properties for suppressing seizures, antipsychotic properties for combatting psychosis and anti-inflammatory properties for treating inflammation.

But among all these conditions, CBD helped achieve the best results in the case of epileptic disorders. CBD is a cannabinoid that significantly reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures, both in the case of children and adults, promoting the health of brain cells and reducing their damage due to the disease.

It can also help a lot in the case of schizophrenia and other psychosis, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. And it showed positive results in alleviating anxiety symptoms, reducing stress and helping patients reach a more balanced state of mind.

It also has anti-oxidant properties for treatment of nerve related conditions. Anti-tumoral and anti-cancer properties to combat tumor and cancer cells. And anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties to fight anxiety and depression.

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How does CBD work?

endocannabinoid-system CB1 CB2To get the benefits of CBD a person does not have to smoke cannabis. CBD comes as medical oil, extracted from those varieties of cannabis that have the highest concentration of CBD. In case you are wondering why CBD is so efficient, the secret lays in the human body, which has special receptors, the cannabinoid receptors, in its cells that bind with cannabinoids.

The highest number of cannabinoids is located in the brain, although they are present, more or less, in almost any organ of the body. So, each time cannabinoids are ingested, with the help of the oil, the cannabinoids will find these special receptors and form a connection with them, allowing the body to feel better and alleviate the existing problem.

But, as scientists discovered, CBD does more than just bind to cannabinoid receptors. When introduced in the body, CBD has a broad spectrum of actions, affecting it in very many ways. Still, among the actions that can be certainly pointed out by scientists are the direct or indirect effects of CBD on vanilloid receptors, which are the ones that modulate pain, on adenosine receptors, very important for the sleep and wake cycle, and on the serotonin receptors, the one that control the mood and manage stress levels.

Some studies on rats also showed that CBD can prevent certain fatty acids to destroy the so-called “bliss molecule”, scientifically known as anandamide, a molecule that helps regulate a set of functions, such as appetite, sleep, pain, memory, reward, and even ovulation. If nothing will end up breaking this bliss molecule down, our body will abound in it and will improve all the above mentioned functions.

But, the studies concerning humans showed that CBD will not prevent the fatty-acid amide hydrolase to break the anandamide, although it is responsible for a spike of this chemical when present in the organism. How this can be possible it still remains unknown to the scientific world.

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Where does CBD come from?

how does cbd workWe talked about the fact that CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant. But, where does it come from? CBD is extracted from the resin produced by the plant, more precisely by the female buds of the plant. The female plants of CBD-rich strains will produce this resin in their blooming stage. Once maturity is reached, the plant will bloom, developing flowers that are covered with trichomes.

These trichomes look pretty much like tiny hairs, covering the flower buds, the leaves that are closest to the buds and in a lesser extent on the plant’s stem. These trichomes are covered by minuscule but many crystals of resin, a rather viscous and gooey substance.

So CBD is obtained from this resin, which can be extracted from the buds, leaves, or stem of the plant, although the highest quality resin and, respectively, CBD oil, comes from the buds of the cannabis plant and not from the rest of the plant’s parts.

The CBD Movement

charlotte figiVery many years passed until CBD was discovered to help patients that suffer from severe conditions, from very early ages, such as the Dravet syndrome. A young girl, by her name Charlotte Figi, was born a healthy baby, but lost her smile and the ability to communicate before she reached the age of 5. The Dravet syndrome is a very rare and severe form of epilepsy, affecting 1 out of 30,000 babies in the entire world.

Again, the illness does not manifest right from the start, the first part of a child’s life appearing relatively normal. But, in a few months, the development of the child starts to severely deteriorate. So, under the desperate eyes of her parents, Charlotte started having intense seizures. These seizures can affect babies are young as 3 months old, triggering lost of conscience and convulsions that can last for hours.

For years the Figi’s spent their time doing their best to take care of their daughter and rushing to the ER room each time she had a seizure. These parents became desperate, facing numerous complications, trying all sorts of experimental drugs in the hope that they will make a change, and hearing numerous doctors say that they hit the end of the line, with no hope for improvement.

The decision they made, concerning the treatment of Charlotte, was about to start a large social movement and open doors to other children that were suffering from various epilepsy forms. The Figi’s decided to use CBD in the treatment of their daughter, managing to keep the symptoms of Dravet syndrome under control and redeeming their daughter’s life back.

Today, CBD produces amazing results among numerous children that have their lives affected by epilepsy.

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CBD long neglected

charlotte's web strainIt wasn’t easy for the Figi’s to find cannabis that was not psychoactive, because, since the 1980s, the main purpose of cannabis growers was to obtain cannabis that was highly potent and psychoactive. No one even bothered looking at the medical benefits of non-psychoactive CBD. Growers focused on the THC content when creating cannabis hybrids, which made CBD experiments a mission impossible.

Even today it is highly common to find cannabis products in dispensaries that have a THC content of 20%, in comparison with the THC content that was found in the 70s, of only 6 to 8%. This shows that the demand for psychoactive cannabis increased over the past decades and cannabis growers did their best to satisfy it.

But, after long searches, the Figi’s found one family in Colorado that was able to provide the precise type of cannabis that they were looking for. The Stanley Brothers did what the rest didn’t and that was to develop a cannabis strain that was rich in CBD and have low levels of THC. The psychoactive effects of such a strain are minimal or lack completely, because the CBD content erases the action of THC on the human brain.

Many reports showed that CBD has the power of calming excitability without making a person suffer from cognitive disorders. Before having CBD oil on a daily basis, Charlotte suffered a severe seizure at every 15 minutes, which caused violent muscle contractions and loss of conscience. This means about 300 seizures per week. Once CBD oil was part of her daily habits, the seizures were completely gone for a whole week and the Figi’s could not believe it.

The life of young Charlotte improved considerable and she made a lot of progresses since them, due to her treatment with CBD oil.

CBD Hemp Oil

cannabis oil conclusionCBD hemp oil is the medical cannabis extract obtain from cannabis strains like Hemp (Cannabis Sativa, Strain Felina 34, Fedora 19, Ferimon 12) that are CBD-rich and have very low content of THC.  It is a non-psychoactive product and it brings benefits by being ingested. By using special cannabis strains for CBD oil, a product that contains high quantities of cannabidiol is produced, together with various minerals, vitamins, flavonoids, fatty acids, and terpenes.

Besides being used as an alternative treatment for a wide variety of health problems, CBD hemp oil is also used as a supplement, to improve functions like appetite, sleep, mood, hormone imbalances, pain, and get a better response from the immune system.

Long ago, in the not so distant past, people used to rave about the strength and potency of the Cannabis plant. The more potent, the more desired. That was because in those times Cannabis was “just” a recreational drug. And the more kick they could get from it and the higher they could float on the wings of their “high”, the better.

But somewhere in the midst of all this controversy, something curious was taking place. While this controversy about Cannabis was slowly being driven to a climax by a certain faction of the public, another faction began growing the Cannabis plant for the lowest level of THC that they could get!

The reason? CBD. Why? Because Cannabis was now being researched to find out about its numerous healing properties. While certain strains of Cannabis was still being grown for THC, a whole new division of the Cannabis industry began to emerge.

These researchers has discovered something completely new about Cannabis. While THC still made up the highest percentage of the inherent chemicals within the Cannabis plant, CBD now emerged as the second most abundant chemical in Cannabis. And research was uncovering a vast multitude of good qualities about CBD.

Studies still in its infancy

cbd studiesAlthough current results of medical and scientific studies show promising results, the studies and market that involves CBD products is still in its infancy stages. Scientific and medical studies began only recently and there are many things that need to be learned about CBD. There is also a lack of high-quality trials and studies on humans, to determine the precise action of CBD when it comes to various health conditions.

But, the positive feedback from people that suffer from all sorts of illnesses and began using CBD products may boost research in this particular sector in the near future.

Unfortunately not many of these studies were done using human subjects; therefore most of the evidence came from tests that were done using animals as subjects.

A pharmaceutical version of CBD was recently developed in the UK. The company responsible, GW Pharmaceuticals, is currently funding clinical trials on CBD as a treatment for schizophrenia and certain types of epilepsy.

A team of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister, has indicated that they hope to begin trials on CBD as a breast cancer therapy.

Another great plus point is the fact that CBD seems to naturally protect users against the marijuana “high”. Various studies were done, suggesting that CBD reduces THC’s intoxicating effect. This includes memory impairment and paranoia.

CBD also counteracts THC’s effect of sleepiness, which may be the reason why some users appear more alert while using Cannabis.

Both of the high percentage cannabinoids in Cannabis, CBD and THC, were found to have no risk of lethal overdose. However, CBD-rich Cannabis may be the better option for reducing potential side effects.

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Major Facts about CBD hemp oil 
  • Cannabidiol is the main ingredient of CBD hemp oil.
  • CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and will not make you high.
  • It combats the psychoactive and negative effects of THC.
  • CBD extracted from hemp is legal, as hemp does not mean marijuana.
  • It helps with the treatment of a variety of health conditions.
  • You don’t need a prescription to get CBD hemp oil.
  • It protects the mind, fighting against depression and anxiety.
  • It aid in cancer treatment by not allowing cancer cells to spread.
  • It alleviates epileptic seizures in children and improves their life quality.
  • The levels of cannabinoids may vary from one plant to another, so it is worth checking the provenience and content of cannabinoids of the CBD products you are about to purchase.
  • The medicinal applications of CBD are wide. CBD is current being used for relaxation, diabetes, seizures and even cancer. Click here to learn more.
  • The main objection used when you recommend CBD for whatever purpose, is that it is derived from marijuana. But that objection is actually not valid. Since the use of CBD is well known to counteract the negative impacts created by THC.
  • As mentioned before, CBD is legal in most parts of the world. There are factions of society that are trying their level best to get CBD declared a “controlled substance. But each time in the past that they have tried this they did not succeed. They will also not succeed anytime soon.
Cannabis does not mean Marijuana

hemp terpenesCannabis does not mean marijuana, because they are not one and the same thing. Cannabinoids can be found and extracted from industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa, Strain Felina 34, Fedora 19, Ferimon 12), which contains almost no THC but all other Cannabinoids, making it legal for human consumption even in the states where marijuana is illegal.

On the other hand, cannabinoids extracted from marijuana can contain various levels of THC, making products with cannabinoids content be considered illegal in some states. So, verify the origin of the CBD product you wish to purchase, to make sure it comes from hemp and not from marijuana. Just do have in mind that even medical marijuana contains a certain amount of THC.

Merchants in CBD Hemp Oil are therefore not to be considered to be “marijuana dealers” of any kind. Remember that CBD oil does not only contain cannabidiol as its sole ingredient. There are a number of other phyto-cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, CBC which are also included in the package. Along with these, a number of different amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins are also an important constituent of CBD oil.

Medical Quality without getting high

CBD hemp oil provides a wide range of medical benefits, without producing the “high” effect of cannabis used for recreational purposes. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, so it can be used safely by everyone, including children.

Although it does produce relaxation, of both the mind and body, a person using CBD hemp oil will remain active from a cognitive point of view, being able to focus on his or her daily tasks without any alterations in behavior or way of thinking. In fact, research has shown that CBD can actually counteract the psychoactive properties of THC.

The fact that CBD-rich cannabis does not have the psychoactive tendency of THC-rich cannabis, makes this an ideal option for people seeking relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions, without the patients having to be concerned about upsetting sensations such as lethargy or dysphoria.

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CBD in its highest concentration is found in industrial Hemp. Industrial Hemp has long been utilized in the production of rope, wax, resin, etc. CBD is still scientifically being researched for its huge range of effects and applications.

CBD is also abundantly available in common marijuana varieties. And we can state with safety and accuracy that CBD, the Hemp or Cannabis ingredient that is being scientifically investigated, happens to be the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis that is not psychoactive either. We also have to mention CBD oil is essentially the cannabis oil that may be derived from the industrial hemp or the common marijuana. The CBD oil contains a high amount of cannabidiol contained within it.

Long story short, CBD is now available as CBD Hemp Oil, and is used as a medicine for various purposes, and as a food supplement. Even THC has medically become available in a large part of the world in the guise of Medical Marijuana.

Conclusion

We have many things we still have to discover about CBD, especially the way this natural chemical compound manages to interact with the human organism, but the start looks great and the future looks promising. No one can deny the fact that CBD produced significant positive changes in the lives of so many people that are suffering from various severe illnesses, without the risk of developing unwanted side-effects.

The medical benefits of CBD can become the next major discovery of both the scientific and medical world, once more studies unroll and researchers manage to learn more about this amazing compound that occurs naturally in a plant and its actions on our health and well-being.

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