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The Cannabis-derived Compound Set to Change Healthcare
Cannabis has been described as a pharmacological treasure trove. As we move towards the wide spread legalization of cannabis, the more research confirms that this remarkable plant has the potential to transform how we think about pain relief and therapies for conditions as diverse as cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
One of the most unique and compelling features of the cannabis plant is cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical compound found in both hemp and marijuana. Chances are, you’ve already heard talk about CBD or CBD oil, and are curious to learn if the hype surrounding it is justified. Read on.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a unique chemical compound found in cannabis. Cannabis contains more than one hundred cannabinoids, most of which we still know little about. CBD is one of the better researched and understood cannabinoids, along with THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that stimulates the feeling of getting high.
CBD has captured the attention of both researchers and users due to its diverse therapeutic benefits. Research into CBD is currently exploding, with clinical studies and anecdotal evidence from patients and users expanding our knowledge all the time.
CBD is a very safe, natural supplement. Research has uncovered zero evidence of serious adverse side effects or risks associated with its consumption: the only side effects noted thus far have been a dry mouth, and changes in appetite and energy. CBD may alter how your liver processes other drugs, so if you are thinking about consuming it but currently take other medication, talk to your physician.
How does CBD act on the body?
CBD acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system influences various physiological processes, including:
- the regulation of pain and inflammation;
- appetite and energy levels;
- learning and memory;
- emotional regulation.
The endocannabinoid system extends throughout the body, with cannabinoid receptors on cell surfaces. There are two types of receptors: CB1 receptors, and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain, and CB2 receptors are found mostly in peripheral organs and the immune system.
Imagine cannabinoids as keys, and receptors as locks. THC is a perfect fit to unlock the CB1 receptor. CBD does not perfectly fit CB1 or CB2, but actually wields a strong influence over both receptors.
When we ingest or inhale CBD, it binds with the cannabinoid receptors in our body, supplementing our existing cannabinoid levels. CBD is therefore far better integrated into our physiological system than synthetic drugs: it’s almost like a perfectly designed therapy, straight from Mother Nature herself.
What does CBD help with?
The therapeutic reach of CBD oil is astonishing. Most studies into CBD are presently engrossed in its benefits as a treatment for anxiety and epilepsy. However, there is a wealth of emerging research that has also identified it as a potential therapy for:
- Psychotic disorders
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pain
- High blood pressure
- Pruritus (itching)
- Neurodegenerative diseases
These conditions are frequently treated with prescription medications that are sometimes accompanied by severe side effects. CBD has the potential to treat these conditions in a much more natural and holistic manner. It also serves as an alternative form of pain relief, helping to alleviate opioid addiction.
How can you consume CBD?
As the availability of CBD has grown, so too have methods of consumption.
If you’re looking to experiment with CBD, these are the the most popular ways you can get your fix:
- Sublingual tinctures: These come in a dropper bottle, with drops held beneath the tongue for easy and quick dissemination through the bloodstream. Look for products that use organic carrier oils and list minimal ingredients.
- Gel capsules: Ideal for those who are used to more traditional methods of consuming supplements or pharmaceutical products. Another bonus: no guessing with dosage.
- Vape pen: This method enhances the bioavailability of CBD, allowing the user to reap the benefits of CBD immediately. Vaping means the CBD bypasses the gut and liver and diffuses directly into the bloodstream. CBD vape pens come with a CBD cartridge, so all you need to do is charge the device and you’re ready to go. Those who are more experienced with vaping can also combine CBD with a vape juice.
- Edibles: A delicious way to ingest CBD oil. Think gummies, brownies, chocolate–get your sweet fix with a wholesome side of CBD. Edibles generally come with a recommended serving size, so it is easier to monitor your intake.
- Lotions and salves: These are applied directly to the body to promote muscle relaxation, and ease chronic pain. Often most effective when paired with a tincture.
As of yet, the FDA has not determined the ideal daily intake of CBD. So how can you gauge the right dosage? If you are starting out on your CBD journey, rest assured that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on high-quality CBD, and you can experiment to find your optimal dosage without fear of complications or serious side effects.
Take the following factors into consideration:
- The concentration of the CBD oil;
- how quickly or slowly you’ve metabolized medicine in the past;
- your weight;
- the severity of the condition you are treating.
You may also like to use a CBD dosage calculator, such as this one created by Honest Marijuana, to get started.
Calculate your doses relatively conservatively when you first begin, pay close attention to your body’s responses to the cannabinoid, and then adjust accordingly. CBD is biphasic, which means its effects can vary as the dosage increases or decreases.
So is CBD legal?
Yes, and no. CBD that is derived purely from industrial hemp is legal across the United States. Buzz CBD only sources CBD from high-grade hemp, thus is available in all fifty states. CBD that has been derived from the marijuana plant, which is also a source of THC, is legal in some states but illegal in others. CBD can be isolated from marijuana and extracted into an oil with minimal traces of THC, meaning you won’t get high.In fact, some clinical studies have shown that CBD can counteract the psychoactive properties of THC.
CBD and THC: More than the sum of its parts
According to some researchers, experienced growers and anecdotal reports, the beneficial and therapeutic properties of CBD are significantly enhanced when combined with a healthy dose of THC. This is because cannabis is a highly synergistic plant. Naturally occurring crops of cannabis generally contain moderate concentrations of both THC and CBD, along with other advantageous cannabinoids, terpenes (these are the properties that endow cannabis with its unique fragrant scent), flavonoids and phytonutrients.
These compounds represent more than the sum of their parts, and work collaboratively to enhance the effects of cannabis, a process referred to as the entourage effect. The entourage effect is difficult to prove, however, because marijuana is still categorized under federal law as Schedule 1 drug. It’s very difficult for scientists to gain a research license to better understand how CBD behaves in concert with other compounds such as THC.
Are some CBD oils better than others?
With public interest piqued in this powerful plant compound, less than scrupulous opportunists have leapt at the chance to sell hemp CBD products from suspect origins. The FDA lists CBD oil from hemp as a dietary supplement, and the efficacy of dietary supplements are not necessarily confirmed before they hit the market.
What’s more, there is a range of ways to extract CBD oil from hemp (and marijuana), with some techniques more effective than others. Ideally, CBD oil should be extracted without the use of solvents such as ethanol. High quality products are free of artificial ingredients, chemical preservatives and diluting agents. Buzz CBD utilizes CBD sourced from organic, natural hemp with absolutely no additives or solvents.
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BuzzCBD’s Health and Wellness Tinctures are made from the highest quality ingredients. Formulated from specially selected 100% organically US-grown hemp, our tinctures capture the full spectrum of the plant’s original terpenes and cannabinoids to bring you a high-quality whole-plant supplement. CBD (cannabidiol) provides relief from pain and anxiety, acts as a mood stabilizer and promotes a […]
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