INTRO TO CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD AND MARIJUANA
The psychoactive effects of marijuana on the brain are caused by a cannabidiol named “THC”
or tetrahydrocannabinol. In industrial hemp plants used to extract CBD oil, there is less than 0.3 THC present.
Studies confirm that anything less than 1% THC results in zero psychoactive effect on the brain. CBD oil can be processed to have trace amounts of THC along with other, very beneficial cannabidiols present in the plant such as CBN. Or, the CBD oil can be processed to have trace amounts of THC along with other, very beneficial cannabidiols present in the plant such as CBN. Or, the CBD oil can be distilled to take out all THC and other trace cannabidiols depending on the intended use. Both CBD and THC have significant therapeutic attributes. But unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned” or intoxicated. That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.
CBD can actually lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without the high. The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent as well as non-intoxicating, makes it an appealing treatment option.
CBD: THE MULTIPURPOSE MOLECULE
Many people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects – medicine more in synch with natural processes. By tapping into how we function biologically on a deep level, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and many other conditions.
Extensive scientific research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – and mounting anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):
+ Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)
+ Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, --- Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)
+ Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)
+ Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)
+ Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
+ Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)
+ Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)
CBD has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.” This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance. Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
CBD and THC interact with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways they impact us is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” - so named because of their similarity to the compounds found in the cannabis plant. These “endocannabinoids” are part of a regulatory system called the “endocannabinoid system”.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease. It has major implications for nearly every area of medical science and helps to explain how and why CBD and THC are such versatile compounds.
Imagine a drug that has been used medicinally for over 8,000 years. A medicine of choice in the early 1900’s used to help with sleeping, pain, inflammation and seizures. Today, that drug is recognized by researchers for its ability to control seizures, suppress cancer growth in cell cultures, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and provide protection to the brain after a stroke. A drug like this could be considered a medical miracle, right? It may come as no surprise that this “miracle drug” is in fact cannabis.
For decades, marijuana research has lead the way for new initiatives in the areas of human biology, health, and diseases, and in the 1990’s something wonderful happened. The Endocannabinoid System was discovered, and with it the realization that it is a crucial molecular system that helps the human body function.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
According to Project CBD, a California-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting and publicizing research in CBD, the endocannabinoid system is a “biochemical communication system in the human body…which plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience.” Researchers have determined that the endocannabinoid system works to regulate processes like:
+ Motor control
+ Immune function
+ Reproduction and fertility
+ Pleasure and reward
+ Temperature regulation
However, the endocannabinoid system can only regulate these areas when working properly. When this system fails, we see an increase in disease and disorders, like migraines, fibromyalgia, and IBS. Thanks to advances in medical science, we’ve discovered that when the body fails to produce enough of its own endocannabinoids, we may be able to supplement with plant cannabinoids.