Cannabidiol: The ultimate guide to CBD
Cannabidiol which is abbreviated as CBD is one of the Cannabinoids contained in the cannabis sativa (Marijuana) plant. Cannabis extract contains up to 40% of cannabidiol. However cannabis Sativa also has Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, that is known to have Psychoactive effects. On the other hand, Cannabidiol is known to have anti-psychoactive effects. This means that this chemical (CBD) does not make people ‘high’ as THC does.
Several pieces of research have been conducted to ascertain the health benefits of CBD. Some of these kinds of research have not been concluded yet. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration, FDA in the U.S, classify products that contain Cannabidiol in the class of dietary supplements.
Where is cannabidiol found?
The main source of cannabidiol is the Cannabis sativa plant. There are 2 methods that can be used in the production of CBD:
1. Natural production of cannabidiol:
In the beginning, the Cannabis plant produces Cannabigerolic acid. The acid, CBGa is then transformed to Cannabidiolic acid, CBDa. With suitable conditions (proper heat and light conditions with enough time) available to the cannabis plant, CBDa then loses the carboxylic group by giving out CO2 to finally leave the compound as CBD.
Both Hemp and Marijuana contain CBD. However, the difference between the two varieties of Cannabis plants is that marijuana contains high amounts of THC as compared to Hemp which only has small amounts of THC. Marijuana is mainly used for recreational purposes. Besides, the CBD contained in Hemp is legal in the United States while the level contained in marijuana is illegal.
The human body is also known to produce molecules that have properties of CBD. For instance,
2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2-Ag, found in breast milk is known to have the
same effects as CBD in the human body.
2. Laboratory production.
CBD can also be synthetically produced in the laboratory. Legally, there are rules that guide the possession and use of cannabinoid that has been produced synthetically. Using this CBD out of these special circumstances is considered illegal and may lead to prosecution.
How cannabidiol works.
To work effectively in the human body, the CBD attach on the specific receptors in the body. The human body is also known to produce cannabinoids through receptors CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found all over the body and mostly in the brain. These receptors are responsible for important activities in the body such as coordination, controls the thought, emotions among others. This is where THC attaches.
The CB2 receptors are found in the immune system. They are responsible for inflammation and pain. Previously, it was thought that CBD acted on these receptors. Modern research has come to confirm that CBD influences the body to make use of the cannabinoids produced by the body.
Uses of CBD
CBD products are safe for use by everyone regardless of age. This is because CBD contains low levels of toxin and does not have any psychoactive effects that are common in THC. Moreover, it does not have any serious side effects.
Some of the uses of CBD are exhaustively explained below:
1. Reduction of pain for those suffering from Multiple sclerosis.
Sativex is a product that is only available through prescription and is administered through a nasal spray. It contains CBD as well as THC in the ratio of 1:1. The product is known to reduce the amount of pain felt as a result of Multiple Sclerosis, MS. More than 25 countries located outside the United States use this product. However, the information that is available does not prove whether it is effective when used
2. Treatment of tobacco addiction.
There was a research that pointed to the fact that inhalation of CBD reduces dependence on tobacco smoking. The research showed that those who took this product using an inhaler for one week smoked fewer cigarettes. This shows that it is useful for those who want to quit smoking.
Other researchers have also shown that there is a reduction in the symptoms for those who suffer from disorders that result from substance use such as insomnia and increased anxiety.
Though it may be too early to conclude, CBD reduces withdrawal symptoms.
3. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD alone or combined with THC has the ability to reduce pain as well as chronic inflammation.The study has only been conducted in some rat and mice. However, there has not been a research that supports this research that has been done on human beings. Researchers have a strong belief that CBD can be used for chronic pain relief.
4. Treatment and management of epilepsy.
There have been researches suggesting that CBD reduces incidences of seizures and other side effects of epilepsy. Other pieces of research have often shown that CBD can also treat patients with other disorders such as Schizophrenia.
However, some of these researchers give information that contradicts with each other in some cases. The reasons that have often been given for this inconsistency is that these kinds of research have been few and they have not been conclusive. To bridge this gap and provide more accurate and reliable results more time and resources should be made available for research.
5. Reduction of anxiety.
Patients who suffer from chronic anxiety are discouraged from using THC since it triggers anxiety. However, CBD reduces the level of anxiety especially for those who suffer from social anxiety disorders. Those who suffer from anxiety associated with public speaking can also find CBD useful.
6. Reducing insomnia.
For people suffering from insomnia, taking cannabidiol may improve their amount of sleep.
7. Treatment of acne.
CBD has been found to reduce the production of sebum. This is because acne is known to be partly caused by overworking of the subcutaneous glands which are in the skin. Acne Vulgaris can, therefore, be comfortably treated in future.
8. Cancer treatment.
Research has shown that CBD reduces the rate of growth of cancer cell. The effectiveness of CBD in cancer treatment is enhanced by the fact that it does not contain toxins.
Are there negative effects of cannabidiol?
Several small pieces of research have not shown any severe negative effects of CBD in the human body. The body tolerates different doses of this substance.
The side effects that are mostly reported include an increased level of fatigue, a change in appetite, drowsiness and in some cases low blood pressure.
More clinical-based types of research need to be done to have more reliable results.
Which products with Cannabidiol are available?
Given the several uses of CBD, there are many CBD products that are available in the market today. The number of people who are using CBD supplements is increasing on a daily basis.
Both Hemp and Marijuana can be used in the production of CBD products. Only specific states allow for the use of Marijuana in the production of CBD products with medical Marijuana only used for specific medical conditions.
CBD oil products are available in the market and include:
- Products used for bath
- Vape oils
FDA has not provided any clear guidelines on the use of CBD products. However, it is important to consult a qualified health professional before you settle on a given dosage.
Some recommended dosage for CBD oil dosage are given below:
- To get relief from chronic pain, it is recommended that you take between 2.5mg and 20mg. It should be taken by a mouth for a period that does not go beyond 25 days.
- For epilepsy, a dosage of 200mg to 300mg of CBD should be taken on a daily basis for a maximum time period of 4 and a half months.
- For those experiencing movement problems that come as a result of Huntington’s disease, a dosage of 10mg for six weeks will be helpful.
- Those suffering from sleep disorders should opt for a dosage of 40mg to 160mg.
- Schizophrenic individuals are advised to take 40mg to 1,240mg on a daily basis for four weeks.
- For those with Glaucoma, a dose of 20mg to 40mg is recommended.
With regulations expected to be stricter in future and especially in the United States, more specific prescriptions are expected to come into effect.
Before using any of the CBD products, it is important to do a thorough research to ascertain that it is legal to use it in your country. You should also have a candid discussion with your doctor about the appropriate dosage and any risks that you may be exposed to.
Where to get Cannabidiol
CBD products are available for those who would like to buy in a number of retail stores in the United States. There are also online locations where these products can be obtained. As a result, it is very easy to purchase these products. However, this also comes with the probability that you can purchase a product that is not effective. It is, therefore, important to be cautious when purchasing the CBD products. Ensure that you buy them from a trustworthy source. They should be able to explain the various processes through which the product has passed through.
Is CBD legal?
As mentioned before, the use of CBD does not make one ‘high’ since it does not have psychoactive properties like THC.
The use us cannabis is legally allowed whether recreational or medicinal reasons in some regions. Other countries and states may not permit its use. Still, some regions allow the use of CBD products without allowing the use of Marijuana. With time and increase in knowledge of the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids, it is expected that there will be changes in the legal framework guiding the use of CBD.
Whether a given variety of Marijuana is allowed for the extraction of CBD often depend on the comparative content of CBD and THC in that variety.
In a country like the United States, the cannabinoid is classified as one of the controlled substances. The federal law, thus, prohibits handling of CBD. Some states have allowed the use of products that obtained from cannabis. The regulations specify the maximum amount of THC that should not be exceeded.
In Canada a CBD product, Sativex is used but strictly under prescription. The product is manufactured by a US company, GW Pharmaceuticals and is used in treatment and management of multiple sclerosis. Soon, the government is planning to legalize the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. This means that the people will not need a prescription to use commercial CBD products.
Sweden has also legalized Sativex to be used. Its use has, however, been restricted to prescription.
In Switzerland, THC is illegal. Given that CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, the narcotics act does not touch on its use. Therefore, cannabis products that have THC composition of less than 1% are available for purchase and use in Switzerland.
Generally, the laws regarding the use of CBD products vary from one area of jurisdiction to another. However, its use is approved for treatment of different conditions in a wide range of concentration.
In case you want to use a CBD-related product for whichever reason, and especially for medicinal purposes, it is important to talk to a qualified doctor in your area. You will be informed of any legal issues that may influence the use of the product. It is important to research on any prescription laws that may be applicable where you are. This will ensure that you are using something that is legal in your country and at the same time you are safe.
What is the future of cannabidiol?
There have been several types of research that have clearly shown that the potential benefits that cannabidiol has. Drugs that are made from CBD are also being clinically tested on their potential to treat or manage different medical conditions that affect the human body.
The use of CBD as a prescription medication has been legalized in several countries. The most notable ones being Paraguay and Mexico. Globally, other countries have also allowed the use of CBD as a dietary supplement. World Health Organization, WHO, has also recommended CBD not to be scheduled as a drug. This policy is likely to affect how countries like the United States view CBD and its associated products. These changes in the legal perspective in the use of products made with CBD basically means that the demand for commercial CBD products is going to increase in the near future.