What is CBD? This is a question you may be asking yourself as it has become a very popular topic of conversation in recent years. In fact, this compound which is a schedule 1 substance per the Controlled Substances Act is decriminalized in many states across the United States due to its potential medicinal attributes. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what CBD is and some of the conditions it may be efficient at treating. Before we look at CBD specifically though, let’s break down the chemistry of the cannabis plant at a high level.
An Introduction to the ECS and Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are compounds in the cannabis plant. To date, there are roughly 100 of these compounds known to man. These cannabinoids when introduced to the body interact with what is known as the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous system within every mammal that was discovered in 1992. Within this system which is located throughout the body there are receptors known as CB1 and CB2 receptors.
When cannabinoids are introduced into the body by consuming cannabis in one of many different ways, they are absorbed by the CB1 and CB2 receptors. When saturated with cannabinoids these receptors help to create a state of homeostasis within the body which helps them to provide a plethora of different benefits. CBD is one of these cannabinoids.
What is Cannabidiol or CBD?
Different cannabinoids provide different effects due to how they are metabolized and broke down by the body. For example, the cannabinoid that you’re probably most familiar with is THC or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This cannabinoid is what contributes to the “high” cannabis provides. THC is known for its psychoactive effects and is often attributed to the relaxing, and sometimes sedative effects that people experience when consuming cannabis.
CBD is also one of these cannabinoids and is the second most commonly found in cannabis. CBD is short for the cannabinoids’ scientific name which is Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol however unlike THC does not provide any intoxicating effects. In fact, CBD has been scientifically proven to combat the intoxicating effects that THC produces!
CBD gained international attention when the story of Charlotte Figi was featured in an article on CNN. Charlotte Figi is a young lady who was born with a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet’s syndrome. Her parents began treating her with Cannabidiol cannabis-derived products after many traditional and experimental treatments failed to bring her relief. CBD, on the other hand, produced and has continued to provide consistent relief.
Conditions That Science Says CBD May Help
Epilepsy isn’t the only condition that Cannabidiol may help. In fact, there is quite an extensive list that is supported by both anecdotal stories as well as scientific research. Let’s take a look at some of the conditions that CBD may help with and the scientific proof surrounding it.
A German-based study that was focused on Cannabidiol as a treatment for patients who did not respond to traditional pharmaceuticals concluded that CBD could drastically benefit patients who have ADD/ADHD. Participants in the study showed substantial improvement in concentration as well as a reduction in impulsivity.
The study “In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Disease,” published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2017. This study concluded that Cannabidiol could reduce neuroinflammatory response as well as reactive gliosis which is attributed to the neurodegenerative effects that Alzheimer’s presents as well as the progression of the disease.
In 2015 researchers analyzed previous studies focused on CBD and anxiety and found that CBD oil could be a promising treatment for many different types of anxiety including but not limited to obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
A study published in 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that 43% of the study’s participants saw at least a 50% reduction in seizure activity after Cannabidiol was introduced to their treatment regimen. The study included 120 participants of various ages and was a placebo-controlled study.
Researchers at the Imperial College London concluded in a study that CBD can drastically reduce inflammation per research conducted on mice. This study shows that inflammation is reduced as much as 50% when CBD is administered at the right dosage. This is just one of many studies surrounding CBD as a treatment option against inflammation.
A survey conducted by the Czech Republic concluded that 46% of Parkinson’s’ patients who utilized cannabis products high in CBD reported improvements in their condition. A non-placebo study also showed that CBD could offer improvements in pain, sleep, tremors, bradykinesia, and rigidity in Parkinson’s patients.
These are just a few conditions that Cannabidiol may help. There are also scientific studies to back the efficiency of CBD as a medicine to treat ailments and conditions such as, acne, depression, nausea, obesity, Fibromyalgia, heart disease, Rheumatism, kidney disease, Huntington’s disease, anorexia, Glaucoma, and Osteoporosis to name a few.
As you can see, there is significant research surrounding the medical benefits that Cannabidiol has to offer. Thanks to research and advocacy of patients, the laws surrounding this miraculous compound are changing in many places. Cannabidiol derived from Hemp is “legal” in all 50 states. However, this is still a grey area due to the federal government’s classification of the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol derived from the cannabis-plant directly is only legal in a handful of states. We hope that this article helped to answer the question, what is CBD?
Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about this amazing cannabinoid, where it is legal, where to obtain CBD oil and the differences in products that contain cannabidiol as well as many other aspects surrounding this compound that is bringing relief to people around the globe.