Marijuana and hemp plants have become even more interesting for researchers and the public due to the numerous chemical compounds found within these plants. All these chemical compounds are more famously known as cannabinoids and have a unique ability to interact with the human body. So, what is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is particularly distinguished and is one of over 100 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants. It is known for providing many therapeutic benefits and so has gained immense attention in the consumer market. You will find CBD oil, gummies, CBD tinctures, and even CBD skincare products with a promise to enhance your health without any side effects.
CBD is not psychoactive and does not alter a person’s state of mind like marijuana but can create a profound effect on a person’s body in terms of relief from anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia, and many more.
How Does CBD Interact With The Body?
The human body has multiple systems that work in many different ways. One such system was discovered in 1992, which has a network throughout the entire body. The system is known as the endocannabinoid system and works to create an equilibrium state in the human body by producing certain receptors.
The entire system consists of three main components including;
- Cannabinoid receptors
The endocannabinoid system produces two types of receptors that are found in the peripheral and central nervous systems. The two types of receptors include;
- CB1 receptors
Cb1 receptors are located in the entire body and, more specifically, in the brain. These receptors are responsible for controlling mood, appetite, thinking, pain, emotions, memories, and movement coordination.
- CB2 receptors
CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system and control inflammation and pain.
The endocannabinoid system produces cannabinoids that interact with the human body to stimulate certain functions within it. In this way, the endocannabinoid system creates equilibrium throughout the body.
Enzymes break down the endocannabinoid receptors as soon as the equilibrium state of the body is restored.
So, how are CBD and endocannabinoid system related to each other?
CBD indirectly stimulates the endocannabinoid receptors to produce the body’s natural cannabinoids. Unlike THC, which directly binds to these receptors creating a euphoric feeling on the brain, CBD boosts the production of these receptors and thus provides relief from numerous ailments.
Benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol or CBD became the star compound as it can treat various diseases while providing relief from pain, anxiety, distress, and inflammation. All these unique properties have made CBD more attractive to both research and consumers.
Some peculiar health benefits of CBD include;
Pain relief and inflammatory properties
Whether used combined with THC or alone, CBD has proven to help reduce pain and discomfort for various diseases, including chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) within our body produces cannabinoids to provide relief from pain and suffering. CBD gives a boost to these ECS receptor activity which helps the body to deal with pain much more effectively.
Several studies conducted on the pain-relieving properties of CBD show promising results. An oral spray of CBD named Sativex is often prescribed to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, and patients reported improvement in pain and movement.
Helps to treat epilepsy
Patients with epilepsy suffer from seizures that are difficult to control, but CBD is found useful in controlling seizures.
Epidiolex is the only Cannabidiol containing drug approved by the FDA due to its effectiveness in treating seizures during epilepsy episodes without displaying any side effects. It is prescribed to children.
Assist in reducing cancer symptoms
Cancer patients suffer pain, nausea, and vomiting, which drains all the energy out of them. Chemotherapy is another painful experience for cancer patients with lots of side effects.
CBD has the potential to reduce cancer symptoms and side effects, according to medical experts. It soothes the pain and prevents nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. According to a study, patients undergoing chemotherapy were given a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC. It was noticed that CBD helped patients fight the side effects of chemotherapy.
CBD neuroprotective properties
CBD interacts with the human brain and the endocannabinoid system in a relatively unique way. Based on this discovery, it is further speculated that CBD may provide benefits in dealing with different neurological disorders.
Along with reducing pain and inflammation in diseases such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, CBD also produces a profound effect on patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. In a study, mice genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease were given CBD. The results showed that CBD reduces the neurodegenerative effects of the disease.
Risks and Side Effects of Using CBD
Although CBD has many benefits, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of CBD effects on the human body. It is recommended to take advice from a medical consultant to decide a suitable dosage for CBD as it can interact with other drugs or medications you might be taking at the time or if you are a pregnant lady.
Though CBD is found to be generally safe for all genders and age groups, some common side effects people may experience include;
- Changes in alertness
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
Legal Status of CBD
After the Farm Bill 2018, CBD was given legal status by the Federal government but only if it is hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3% THC. However, the state laws on hemp-derived CBD vary from state to state. So, before you go looking for products containing CBD, make sure to check your state laws on this matter.
So, now you know all about Cannabidiol, its benefits and risk factors.