CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in a number of plants associated with the cannabis family. While the name conjures images and connotations of marijuana, cannabis is in itself a genera of plants within the family of cannabaceae, which also includes other flowering plants such as hops, hackberries, certain species of elm and others.
Cannabidiol is found in a number of plants within the cannabis family, which includes the two primary strains of the cannabis genera, namely hemp and marijuana.
The difference between the two plants is that the latter contains tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC, which - along with other compounds found in the marijuana plant - is the psychoactive compound. Cannabidiol is not, however it has been observed to have some beneficial effects.
Does it even work? How DOES it work, anyway, if it isn't psychoactive?
A lot of people make outrageous claims on social media and elsewhere about CBD benefits. What it's done for them, people they know, a friend of a friend, their father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate and so on.
Maybe it did, maybe it didn't, maybe it was just the placebo effect. What actual evidence is there?
CBD wasn't isolated until the mid-20th century, and wasn't tested for any medicinal or other benefits until closer to the end of the 20th century. In fact, it is only approved for use as a medicine in one drug, a CBD oil called Epidiolex, which is used to treat two specific forms of childhood epilepsy.
All other effects are, to date, purported. In fact, CBD cannot be sold as medicine nor advertised as such. Some studies have shown some promising benefits, however.
The European Journal of Pain, according to Harvard University, published a study indicating that animals that were treated with a topical CBD application had lower inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Another study that appeared in Frontiers of Veterinary Science found, according to the NIH, that elderly dogs suffering from osteoarthritis had reduced pain and better quality of life when treated with CBD.
A study from New Zealand , according to the NIH, found that non-cancer patients treated with CBD oil reported better quality of life overall, reduced pain and improved quality of mental health, and according to the American Journal of Psychiatry, a human trial showed very promising use of CBD oil as being effective as a palliative in treating addicts in recovery, taming cravings for drugs and reducing anxiety.
Other human trials have been published in recent years, but the promise of the drug is that it helps to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation and also alleviate anxiety, as discussed, as well as its known efficacy as an antiepileptic.
How does CBD do this, though?
Exactly how CBD works isn't fully understood, however what is known...seems quite odd.
Part of the human body is a class of neurotransmitters called the endocannabinoid system. It is literally made of nerves that detect cannabinoid compounds, such as THC. However, CBD, oddly enough, doesn't really interact with them very much, which is the strange part.
Instead, what appears to be the case is that cannabidiol interacts positively with certain other neuroreceptors, including pain receptors, reuptake receptors - the nerves in the brain that detect neurotransmitters such as serotonin - and also interacts positively with adenosine reuptake receptors. Adenosine is one of the compounds that creates inflammation as well as anxiety, meaning the less of it that's present in the system, the better.
Again, this is emerging science; hardly anyone thought to find out what CBD did in the body and to check for any positive effects until only a few years ago.
In short, what appears to be the case is that CBD interacts positively with a lot of the parts of the brain that gives us bad signals such as depression, anxiety and pain. At least, that's what appears to be the case.
Bear in mind that you need to consult with a doctor about any treatment for any disease, disorder, symptom or otherwise. CBD has only been approved by the FDA to treat two specific forms of epilepsy, and as a palliative treatment for terminal cancer patients...in Canada. We here do not sell medicine, we sell CBD oil that can be used as you see fit.
However, what evidence has emerged shows great potential.
but you can opt out at any time.