CBD or Cannabidiol - 10 Things You Should Know
You've probably seen someone on your Facebook mention CBD or share an article on CBD oil.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis. There are 85-100+ compounds in this plant, with CBD and THC getting the most studies.
Related - 3 Substances That May Help With Anxiety
In many states and countries around the world, cannabis is illegal. But CBD, with some specifications needing to be met, is legal worldwide.
So How Does That Work?
CBD does not cause the high that is associated with cannabis – THC is what causes the high.
THC works by binding to certain nerve receptors throughout the brain and body. These are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CBD does not bind to those receptors, instead, it causes its therapeutic actions through a more indirect means.
This means that supplementing with CBD for parents, workers, and anyone else who doesn't want to compromise mental clarity is great.
But let's face it, many conditions "have a pill" for them. Many pharmaceutical drugs cause unpleasant or even dangerous side effects. As research continues, CBD may offer a non-toxic natural medicine to replace the number of pills you have to take.
CBD products derived from hemp plants that have a THC level of less than 0.3%. This level of THC in CBD products are legal and will not show up on a drug test or induce any mind-altering effects.
10 Things You Should Know About CBD
1.) Our Body Already Produces Cannabinoids, CBD Just Helps
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids derived from plants. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally in the human body.
One example of an endocannabinoid is anandamide, also known as the "bliss molecule." This molecule works by activating the CB1 receptor.
Studies have suggested that activating the CB1 receptor may:
- Lower your blood pressure
- Lower your anxiety levels
- Relieve depression
- Increase myelin formation
- Decreases your intestinal permeability
- Lowers intestinal inflammation
- Reduces your feelings of paranoia and fear
- Lowers prolactin
- Increases your BDNF levels
- Increases your PPARy expression
- Reduces GPR55 signaling
The enzyme in our bodies that breaks down anandamide is known as FAAH. CBD is an inhibitor of FAAH, so that means there is more anandamide available to our CB1 receptors.
Studies on anandamide have suggested it stops the proliferation of breast cancer cells, increases neurogenesis, and shows anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Anandamide has also shown a role in memory and forgetting – which has been creating a potential natural value for individuals with PTSD.
2.) CBD Oil Effects Neurotransmitter Receptors
CBD has been found to be an allosteric modulator in several neurotransmitter sites in our bodies. Allosteric modulators change the shape of receptors to alter their ability to interact with neurotransmitters.
CBD is a positive allosteric modulator to the delta and mu opioid receptors. This means that CBD will enhance the ability of these receptors to receive endogenous enkephalins which increases our quality of life and naturally reduces pain.
CBD is also a negative allosteric modulator to the CB1 receptor. This means that it reduces its ability to bind with THC. Many new strains of cannabis with high levels of CBD help mitigate unwanted side effects one could have from THC.
CBD is an antagonist to the GPR55 receptors, which are widely distributed in our brain and cerebellum. It helps control bone density and blood pressure. But when activated, GPR55 promotes cancer cell proliferation. The antagonistic action of CBD may help explain the natural value that CBD has for individuals with cancer, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
Lastly, PPAR-gamma receptors are activated with CBD. These receptors are located on the cell's nuclei and play a role in liquid uptake, insulin sensitivity, dopamine release, and the degradation of beta-amyloid plaque. Studies have suggested this may provide great value to those with diabetes, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.
3.) CBD May Help With Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency or CECD
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CECD, is a condition where an individual's endogenous cannabinoids are lower than considered necessary to promote health and well-being.
Scientists believe CECD may play a role in these conditions:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Huntington's Disease
- Parkinson's Disease
- Motion Sickness
To be frank, many of these conditions are treated with medications that have some pretty adverse side effects. As research continues and CECD is found to be a culprit behind these conditions, CBD would help improve our endocannabinoid amounts in our body without the pharmaceuticals.
4.) CBD Targets Tumor Growth
There are a lot of supplements and "miracle foods" that claim to prevent cancer, but none of them have much scientific evidence to back their claims.
In one study, scientists discovered that cannabis prevented metastasis and increased the death of abnormal cells. CBD has been found to target certain cancers in particular — including prostate, breast, and leukemia.
As new research emerges, cannabis may also have pro-apoptotic abilities, meaning they can help prevent the migration of cancer throughout the body.
5.) CBD Helps Children with Seizures and Epilepsy
I remember years ago stories about CBD oil helping children with seizures. I think that's one of the most exciting things about CBD — its potential impact for adults and children with epilepsy.
There is a huge increase in children receiving prescriptions for ailments, but CBD could provide a non-toxic natural alternative to big pharma's treatments.
This could prevent children from experiencing long-term damage or side effects.
6.) CBD and THC Both Have Different Benefits for Our Pain
Studies have concluded that CBD may be best for inflammation and neuropathic pain, but THC excels with spasticity and cramp-related pain.
Due to the increase of popularity and research emerging on CBD, breeders of cannabis are creating powerful strains with high CBD levels, and even lowering THC levels to minimize psychoactive side effects.
7.) CBD Protects and Regenerates Our Nervous System
CBD has many neuroprotective properties, giving it an ability to preserve and protect brain neurons and how they communicate with each other.
Today, there are many neurodegenerative disorders, so having the ability to influence a wide variety of receptor systems in the brain and body is important to learn more about. There is immense promise in helping to maintain a balanced nervous and immune system, while also promoting everyday wellness and health.
8.) CBD May Reduce Acne
Acne is a common skin condition that affects at least 9% of our population. Often thought to be caused by a lot of factors such as genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation, and the overproduction of sebum, CBD oil may help treat acne.
This is because CBD exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce sebum production.
A test-tube study took CBD to see if it would prevent the sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum. The study found that it did prevent the activation of "pro-acne" agents like inflammatory cytokines.
Another study confirmed that CBD may be an efficient and safe way to treat acne due to its remarkable anti-inflammatory qualities.
While more human studies to explore the benefits of CBD need to be performed, the results are promising.
9.) CBD May Benefit Our Heart Health
Recent studies have been linking CBD with several benefits for our heart and circulatory system. This includes the ability to lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been linked to numerous health conditions including stroke, metabolic syndrome, and heart attacks.
Recent studies suggest CBD could be a natural and effective treatment for high blood pressure. One recent study took 10 healthy men and treated them with a 600 mg dose of CBD oil. They found that it reduced their resting blood pressure when compared to a placebo.
In the same study, they gave the participants a stress test that would normally increase blood pressure. The researchers found that the single dose of CBD led the participants to have a smaller blood pressure increase compared to the placebo.
Some researchers suggest that the stress-reducing and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are also responsible for its ability to lower your blood pressure.
There have been several animal studies that demonstrate that CBD could help reduce inflammation and cell death that is associated with heart disease. This is due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.
Another study found that treatment using CBD reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart damage in diabetic mice with heart disease.
10.) CBD Has Numerous Natural Benefits
Along with everything listed above, CBD has been studied for treating other health issues.
While more studies need to be performed, CBD may provide the following health benefits:
Substance Abuse Treatment - CBD has been shown to modify circuits in our brain that is related to drug addiction. A study in rats was shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.
Diabetes Prevention - In a study with diabetic mice, treatment of CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56% and significantly reduced inflammation.
To recap, here are some illnesses that medical professionals once deemed untreatable, but ongoing CBD research is starting to change their minds.
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Broken Bones
- Mad Cow Disease
- Bacterial Infections
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Substance Abuse/Withdrawals
- Heart Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
CBD Side Effects
Studies show that CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, but there could be some adverse reactions in some people.
Studies noted the following possible side effects:
- Anxiety and depression
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
CBD has been proven to interact with several medications, so please discuss it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
Wrapping It Up
While there's a need for more research on this compound, studies have made it clear there could benefit a wide range of individuals.
CBD helps with cancer — providing an alternative for pain and symptom relief. It can also play a role in treating anxiety, depression, acne, and heart disease.
Recent studies all suggest that CBD may be a safe, powerful natural treatment for many health issues. But please talk to your doctor before supplementing with CBD.