Cannabidiol: The Ultimate Guide to CBD
Cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD, is one of the cannabinoids contained in the cannabis sativa plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated as THC, is another cannabinoid, known for having psychoactive effects. On the other hand, CBD does not have euphoric effects, meaning that you cannot get ‘high’ from it.
So, yes, CBD is legal!
To review: marijuana and hashish contain high amounts of THC so that they can be used as an intoxicant, but CBD is not psychotropic like THC. Again, it does not induce a euphoric effect, otherwise known as a “high”.
As of March 2017, doctors have been allowed to prescribe medicines containing cannabis, such as flowers or extract, as a narcotic. This approval of THC doses, ranging between 100 to 22,000 mg, has been controversial, for as the title suggests, THC has been criticized for having addictive effects and harmful properties.
There is a vast, indisputable research available showing that CBD has far greater health benefits and aids far more medical problems than THC.
Production of Cannabidiol
The following section is sourced from “Basics of CBD – What is CBD” from Nordic Oil’s Wiki Page.
To make CBD oil, it’s important to select a hemp source which is naturally potent in CBD. Producers extract oil in a number of ways. Alcohol extraction is known as the original method that some producers still use. The problem with alcohol extraction is that it’s difficult to regulate how much pure CBD is extracted from the plant. The gentle CO2 process requires highly specialized equipment and significantly higher operator knowledge/competency than a simple ethanol extraction.
If you want to be certain that you are getting pure CBD and nothing else, it’s ideal to use CO2 extracted concentrate /”full spectrum”. Nordic Oils products undergo a particularly critical CO2 extraction process, thus preserving the valuable cannabinoids and terpenes of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa), resulting in a full spectrum of natural cannabinoids. In addition, the THC content is reduced and removed as far as possible, that is, the substance that gives euphoric effect.
The reason behind the intensifying research in the field is due to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, the human body’s own cannabinoid system, which several researchers believe is one of the most important systems in the body.
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.
How Cannabidiol Works
How can CBD affect so many different aspects of the body? And why does this substance have such counteracting effects, such as improving sleep quality but also increasing alertness?
First of all, these questions are best answered by the adaptogenic effect (adaptive or modulating effect) of CBD. But what actually is an adaptogen? Adaptogens or adaptogenic substances are used in herbal medicine for the claimed stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis.
Secondly, it is helpful to remember that you are a multitude of complex systems, all constantly interacting with each other under your main nervous system. Here are a few examples of the your body’s regulated systems: the hormone system, cardiovascular system, exocrine system, gastrointestinal system, respiratory system and immune system. The list seems endless. If you remember that you are a multitude of complex systems, all constantly interacting with each other under your main network, the nervous system, then it is easy to understand how one ailment can easily spread negative effects to other systems. Thirdly, it is important to understand the relationship between the nervous system and the endocannabinoid system (named after the plant that led to its discovery).
The nervous system sends neurotransmitters, i.e. messages, throughout your body. These neurotransmitters are like packages of information, providing signals from one cell to the next and to the next. In other words, the nervous system sends a variety of neurotransmitters to transmit commands and sensory effects; a message binds to the receptor of the cell, which then triggers another electrical signal, passing the message onto the next cell, and so on and so forth. Thus, the nervous system involves your motor skills and reflexes; sensation of pain and mediation; emotions; the psyche and its disturbance; regulating organs and digestion; the day and night rhythm; and so much more.
The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating pain, immune system, sleep, appetite and much more. So in other words, the body produces endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. CB1 receptors are located in the nervous system (connective tissues, gonads, glands and organs) but there are also CB2 receptors in the immune system (spleen, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands and reproductive organs). (Researchers today suspect that there may even be a third cannabinoid receptor which has yet to be discovered!) In other words, the endocannabinoid system regulates many bodily functions. The peculiarity of the cannabinoid receptors is their location. To explain, your nervous system is built of transmitters and receptors, i.e. first and secondary cells. So, normally, receptors are located at the secondary cell to forward the signal on. However, oddly, the cannabinoid receptors are located on the former, i.e. the transmitter cell. This means that CBD is not directly responsible for the forwarding of the signal, but the transmitter cell retrograde, that is, returns information in a retrograde manner. Cannabinoids thus provide feedback to the transmitter cell. The messengers of the endocannabinoid system are therefore referred to as retrograde neurotransmitters or neuromodulators. So although CBD has little direct binding affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, it can influence the actual information transfered, also modulating several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. Essentially, CBD works alongside the CB1 and CB2 receptors, supporting your whole endocannabinoid system, such as by enhancing or inhibiting the binding action of certain G-protein coupled receptors. For example, Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and King’s College in London have found that CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an anti-anxiety effect. Another example, CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors, which also function as ion channels, TRPV1 being known for mediating pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.
Treating Illness with CBD
CBD products are safe to use by everyone, regardless of age, but pregnant women should take precaution.
CBD is a versatile remedy, having been extensively researched for its positive effects on various physical pains and discomforts as well as moods from Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Hepatitis, Psoriasis, Eczema, acne, depression, PTSD, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, migraines, Diabetes, improving appetite, Menopause, maternity, Asthma, nicotine withdrawal, Autism, Glaucoma, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, progression of Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, symptoms from cancer treatment, and much more. On Nordic Oil’s wiki page, they have detailed articles for more than twenty-five illnesses. Here, we simply offer eight brief introductions for the most frequently asked pains and discomforts.
1. The Most Significant Effect of CBD: Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo can constitute a potent treatment modality against inflammatory disorders… [The Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina, School of Medicine has researched] the potential use of cannabinoids as a new class of anti-inflammatory agents against a number of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that are primarily triggered by activated T cells or other cellular immune components.
CBD oil acts as a muscle-relaxer and has anti-inflammatory properties in it, so it relaxes the areas that cause pain to the body.
2. Multiple Sclerosis
CBD and THC are believed to have therapeutic properties. These properties that can help improve mobility and pain reduction. CBD is shown to be anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic. This can help with the pain as well as the depression brought on by MS. CBD treatment can also help with abdominal discomfort and muscle spasticity. MS patient and American TV personality Montel Williams uses medical cannabis to manage his MS symptoms. He is a prominent medical cannabis advocate and has been speaking about the legalization and acceptance of CBD for decades. It’s a movement that is gaining momentum in the MS community in recent years.
A recent study on CBD by Freidbert Weiss produced positive results on using CBD to treat addiction. The study was conducted on rats with either conditioned cocaine or alcohol addiction. The rats were given a topical gel containing CBD daily for a week before being tested to see how they react to any of the familiar addiction triggers. The rats passed the tests, indicating they were less likely to relapse, even when provoked. Additionally, the rats that were on CBD displayed reduced anxiety and impulsivity – both characteristics of addiction. To sum up, the research was more than successful in proving that CBD is an effective way of reducing cravings and relapse.
Various studies have been conducted to confirm the role played by CBD in treating Epilepsy. These studies have paid off since significant findings were made. They include the following;
• In 2,700 BC archeological excavations unearthed an old grave that contained a large amount of cannabis. It had been preserved and presumably used as a medicinal agent for treating various diseases including epilepsy.
To date, there is no stable treatment for Epilepsy. However, researchers have identified CBD as a perfect remedy for Epilepsy. This chemical compound in Cannabis contains anticonvulsant properties. These properties are necessary for reducing the number of seizures and its related symptoms.
Patients who suffer from chronic anxiety are discouraged from using THC since it has been known to further trigger anxiety. However, CBD actually reduces the level of anxiety especially for those who suffer from social anxiety disorders. Those who suffer from anxiety associated with public speaking, for example, can also find CBD useful.
Studies have revealed that a high concentration of CBD could fight anxiety and depression, suggesting that CBD exhibits anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in their animal models. As mentioned earlier, specifically Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and King’s College in London have found that CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby inducing relaxation, not to be confused with the type of relaxation acquired by THC. This 5-HT1A receptor is involved in regulating not only sleep and anxiety but also processes such as addiction, appetite, nausea, vomiting and even pain perception.
Hippocampus is a fundamental part of the brain that plays a significant role in various functions of the brain. It’s well-known for its role in cognition and memory formation. Brain scans of individuals suffering from anxiety and depression frequently reveal a smaller hippocampus. Successful treatment of the condition is connected with the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus. Another animal study using mice revealed that repeated administration of CBD enhances regeneration of neurons from the hippocampus. And additional studies show that CBD, as well as SSRIs, promotes neurogenesis. This is a significant aspect since evidence suggests that critically impaired neuronal plasticity influences suicidal behavior.
The increased number of Insomnia cases has spurred the need for a lasting solution. As a result, has led to a number of studies dedicated to handling this sleep disorder. Some of the studies include the following:
Findings have shown that CBD does not actually induce sleep, but it can positively affect sleep quality through various effects in the body. The anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects can help reduce subconscious and emotional stress. The anticonvulsant effect reduces muscular tension. CBD supports the relaxation of the body.
Melatonin, on the other hand, primarily acts as a sleep inducer. An increasing concentration of this hormone in the blood initiates the resting phase in the body. Nordic Oil’s “Mani Drops” are a combination of CBD and Melotonin, thus help with problems of falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD oil is usually diluted by a carrier oil, for instance, hemp seed or coconut oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to minimize sebum production reduces acne. Sebum production is minimized by controlling the sebaceous gland cells ability. Overall, CBD creams, particularly Nordic Oil’s Valkyrie cream for acne, nourishes the skin, calms inflammation and limits the sebaceous gland cells to producing only the necessary amount of sebum.
8. Cancer Treatment
CBD continues to prove its effects in fighting cancer and tumors. The cannabis plant from which CBD is extracted has seen a fair share of use in different societies over the centuries. From the traditional Chinese medicine to Greek lore, India’s Ayurvedic practice and more, this herb has established a foothold in the medical world.
There have been numerous studies of CBD oil for cancer. In 1975, researchers looked into cannabis as an ideal drug for cancer treatment. Despite legal restrictions, the medical industry has studied and discovered exciting evidence of the herb’s effect on cancer patients. One of the outstanding aspects about CBD is that it doesn’t initiate psychoactive effects on patients. This makes it stand out from other cannabinoids from the same plant.
According to preliminary research, CBD for cancer treatment targets the condition in several stages. Among the things that research has shown that CBD can do includes triggering cell death. It also helps prevent migration of cancer cells. Further, it contains angiogenesis properties. This helps it block any formation of new blood cells. Hence, it can slow down the spread of any cancer cells. Above all, it reduces cancer invasion.
Are There Unwanted Side Effects of CBD?
Research reports little side effects, which include increased level of fatigue, a change in appetite, drowsiness and in some cases low blood pressure. More clinical-based types of research with humans need to be conducted for more conclusive results. To read more, check out our article “Side Effects of CBD“.
Please read below about guidelines for determining dosages as every body reacts differently to CBD.
How can you take CBD?
There are four major ways of taking CBD: edible, topical, sublingual and inhalation.
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.
- Oils, Pastes, Drops
- Creams, Balms
- Vaping liquids
To read more, about How to Take CBD and what might be the best method for you, see our other article.
As mentioned before, every person is different and everyone’s reaction to CBD is different. On an average, 25mg of CBD a day is effective for most people. The dosage of CBD can be increased slowly until the symptoms improve.
Nordic Oil has put together a simple dosage guide which follows the dosage guide spelled out in a book titled CBD: A Patient’s Guide To Medical Cannabis by Leonard Leinow and Juliana Birnbaum. Leonard Leinow founded Synergy Wellness, a not-for-profit medical cannabis collective in Northern California and has three decades of experience growing and studying medical cannabis. They are specialists in CBD pioneers in this aspect of the industry. Juliana Birnbaum has lived and worked around the world and founded Voices in Solidarity, an initiative that partnered with tribal leaders from the Brazilian Amazon to support the development of a community-led environmental education center.
This book is an excellent resource for those new to CBD and its medicinal properties. The book is full of information about CBD from the history of its use, dosing, studies on its use for a variety of illnesses/conditions, and much more.
Based on the guideline in the book, we recommend the step-up approach were you gradually increase the dose until the most desired results are reached. The term used in the book is “Titration.” This is a term borrowed from chemistry that means taking small steps over time in order to allow for adjustment slowly. By using this method, you’re tailoring the amount of the oil to fit your needs. Every person is different and everyone’s reaction to CBD is different.
As there is a wide range of dosing possibilities, the authors have identified three dose ranges that can be useful for different conditions:
There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when finding the perfect dosage of CBD for you. Some of the factors that play an important part in your experience using CBD are:
- Your medical condition or problem
- How intense your problem is
- How you respond to CBD
- Body Weight
- Sensitivity to cannabis
- Your personal body chemistry (this includes any other medications you may be taking)
0.5mg to 20mg of CBD per dose per day (CBD/dose/day) A microdose is recommended for sleep, headache, mood disorders, nausea, PTSD, stress and metabolic disorders, and daily dietary supplements.
For the microdose, we recommend our 5% CBD oil. 1 drop of 5% oil contains 1.67mg of CBD. You can take 3 drops 3 times per day which will give you 15mg of CBD. Of course, you can always adjust the dosage to your tolerance level.
10mg to 100mg of CBD/dose/day. Standard doses are used for Pain, Inflammation, autoimmune disorders, Lyme disease, Anxiety, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, IBS, Arthritis, and weight loss.
For a standard dose, we recommend our 15% or 20% CBD oil. 1 drop of the 15% CBD oil contains 5mg of CBD and 1 drop of the 20% oil contains 6.7mg of CBD.
For the 15% oil: 3 drops 3 times per day = 45mg of CBD.
For the 20% oil: 3 drops 3 times per day = 60mg of CBD. If you take 6 drops 3 times a day, you will consume 120 mg of CBD.
Macro (Or Therapeutic) Dose
Macro doses are at the high range between 50mg-800mg of CBD/dose/day. This is for cancer, epilepsy, seizures, liver disease, and serious life-threatening conditions.
For a macrodose, we recommend our 30%, 40% or 50% CBD paste.
30% paste: 1 milliliter contains 300mg of CBD
40% paste: 1 milliliter contains 400mg of CBD
50% paste: 1 milliliter contains 500mg of CBD
Where to get Cannabidiol?
CBD products are available in a number of retail stores, but they are most popularly sold online. It is very easy to purchase these products. However, this also comes with the risk of buying an ineffective product. It is, therefore, important to purchase from a trustworthy source like Nordic Oil. The seller should be able to clearly explain the process through which the CBD has been extracted as well as the exact purpose of additional ingredients.
What is the Future of CBD?
A great deal of research has ascertained the health benefits of CBD, but many studies remain open, i.e. have not yet reached conclusive results. For instance, the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA, classifies products that contain Cannabidiol as dietary supplements.
More and more countries are discussing the legalities and technical classifications of both CBD and THC. It is expected that there will be changes to said legal frameworks and labels of CBD. Of course, the laws regarding both the use of CBD and THC products do, and will, vary from one area of jurisdiction to another.
With the increasing demand of CBD products, we can expect more and more researchers to test the effects of CBD for a variety of illnesses. Keep checking out our blog here for new updates on results from current studies.