CBD from Cannabis - What You Need to Know | cannabisMD

CBD and Cannabis – What You Need to Know

Detailed guide to CBD and cannabis

Image Credit: Artem Bali on Unsplash

CBD seems to be all the buzz these days. It’s all over online news and social media platforms today, so much so that it has become something of a household name. Yet still, many people have a very limited understanding of it and are left asking themselves some big questions; What exactly is CBD, how does it relate to cannabis, and in what ways can it help me?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the many phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. These are chemicals which are naturally occurring. Interestingly, many of these chemicals are also produced in the body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for producing and processing them. There are over a hundred of these chemicals and each plays a different role in the cannabis plant. CBD is now the most well known of them.

This is because it is the one with the most medicinal value. However tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also very well known. It is the effects of THC which cause the euphoric “high” that many people experience with recreational cannabis use. Not all cannabis sativa plants have the same CBD and THC content though.

Some strains of the plant have high THC levels than others, whereas others have higher amounts of CBD. Each strain is uniquely suited to different illnesses and some have become world famous as the best of the best.

The Medical Purposes of CBD

Medical cannabis is used to treat a baffling array of illnesses, medical conditions and diseases. Countless Americans use this ancient plant medicine to manage the symptoms of everything from chronic pain to neurological disorders. CBD is probably the most popular cannabis product in the United States today. This is primarily down to the fact that CBD allows patients to benefit from the medicinal qualities of cannabis without experiencing any psychoactive effects.

It can be used safely without any negative impact on day to day life. The extensive research which has been conducted into the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) have highlighted several key health benefits. These discoveries have led to the use of CBD as an experimental treatment for the following.

It is the uses of CBD products in the treatment of epilepsy which have led to the sensationalism of medical cannabis in the media. Stories of how extremely sick children have flourished under CBD treatment have captured the hearts of people all over the world. Epilepsy is a severe neurological disorder. It causes symptoms such as life-threatening seizures, sensory disturbances, unconsciousness, and convulsions.

When not treated, epilepsy causes neurodegeneration and can lead to death in severe cases. CBD acts as a neuroprotectant, helping restore healthy brain functions in epileptic patients. Since CBD is a neuroprotectant, it delays epileptic progression. CBD also reduces epilepsy symptoms, such as seizures nausea.

Mental Health
Mental health is one of the most topical areas of health and wellness today. Society’s understanding and awareness of the range of mental illness is growing rapidly. The social stigma which has long been attached to mental illness is starting to dissipate too. Cannabis has been found in many studies to have mood stabilizing properties.

Researchers know that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating mood and that CBD acts as a natural supplement to this system. While the majority of research suggest that CBD can dramatically reduce anxiety, some research suggest that it could cause anxiety in some patients. More research is needed in this area to reach a conclusive understanding of the relationship between cannabis and anxiety. Nevertheless, CBD is now being widely used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of anxiety.

Skin Health
Another discovery in relation to the endocannabinoid system is the vital role it plays in the health of the skin. The majority of receptors in this system are actually found in the skin, and it’s believed that they regulate the condition of the skin throughout the body. CBD is commonly used as a treatment for acne and eczema today.

It can be very effective at treating these most common common skin conditions as it is a natural antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral agent. CBD is also known to be a powerful antioxidant. In fact, it’s now believed to be the most powerful natural antioxidant in the world. Antioxidants are hugely important in the anti-aging process. This is because they fight the effects of free radicals and the oxidation of skin cells which free radicals cause. In layman’s terms – CBD can reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Pain and Inflammation
Perhaps the most well known use of medical cannabis is its ability to act against pain and inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response by the brain to signal to the immune system that an injury or attack has taken place. The immune system then sends an army of white blood cells to the area to begin the healing process.

These cells can cause the release of certain chemicals though, which can in turn lead to swelling and pain. Chronic inflammatory conditions are quite common. Rheumatoid arthritis is one which most people have heard of before. This condition can cause stiffness and pain in the joints and can become so severe that it significantly limits movement. CBD has been found in many research studies and clinical trials to be a powerful anti-inflammatory.

As a result of this, it is used to treat a whole host of chronic pain conditions. These include Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and migraines. As well as being just as effective as modern day pain medications, CBD appears to be infinitely less risky in terms of the side effects it can cause. Many people are even saying that CBD represents the solution to America’s opioid epidemic.

Using Cannabidiol – Dosing and Methods

In states where cannabis is legal, growers create certain strains for CBD medicinal use. Currently, 43 states allow medicinal marijuana and CBD use. CBD is traditionally extracted from the hemp plant. This is a type of cannabis plant which has been used for centuries as a medicine and fibre. To extract the CBD, growers can use a number of different methods.

The most popular method involves using a solvent such as carbon dioxide.As hemp doesn’t contain any THC, it has no psychoactive properties. As a result, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states. But cannabis-derived CBD is only legally available in a state where medicinal cannabis or medical marijuana is legal.

The legalization of medical marijuana in many states has led to some impressive innovations in CBD products. There are so many different ways to use CBD nowadays that customers are spoiled for choice. It is also true that different methods of use are better suited to different people as some will be more effective for a certain medical condition than others.

CBD oil is a liquid. A patient consumes CBD oil in a vape pen to turn the oil from a liquid to a vapor. Vaping itself has become widely popular in the last number of years as an alternative to cigarette smoking. However increasing numbers of people are using vapes to enjoy the benefits of CBD.

When the vapor enters the lungs, it’s immediately processed through your bloodstream. Unlike traditional smoke, vapor is safer for your lungs. However, it is still not strictly safe and can cause damage to the lungs when done on a regular basis for a prolonged period.

Vaping is a great option for people who want to use CBD preventatively, or for a medical condition which affects the entire human body. For example, people who suffer from pain all over their body could benefit from vaping as it would offer body-wide pain relief.

Tinctures and Sprays
Both tinctures and sprays are consumed orally. To make the compound easier to swallow and better tasting, a base liquid is usually combined with CBD oil. Digesting CBD medicine takes longer to experience the results. A tincture comes with an administration tube. You drop the required amount of droplets under your tongue.

For a spray, you can spray as much you need underneath your tongue. For both methods, it’s advised to swish the CBD in your mouth and hold it in a few seconds before swallowing. Even though the CBD takes longer to kick in, this method is preferred by a lot of patients.

Similar to tinctures and sprays, edibles are administered orally. Instead of consuming CBD oil directly, you consume CBD medicine in the form of an edible. These are usually made into fun foods such as gummies or baked goods. However, they are becoming more innovative all of the time.

Many coffee shops in cannabis-friendly states are now selling CBD-infused pastries and coffees, and the number of these businesses is growing rapidly. Edibles are recommended for those who prefer consuming CBD orally but don’t enjoy the taste of CBD. Like tinctures and sprays, edibles take longer for the results to kick in.

Topical Products
Those who suffer with pain and skincare issues will benefit best from topical CBD products. This is because the results of the product can be highly localized as opposed to spread throughout the body. When applied to an area of pain, the CBD absorbs directly into the skin. This provides immediate relief.

Topical products are recommended for those who suffer from joint pain conditions such as arthritis or localized skin conditions such as eczema and acne. However, hemp-based CBD is lightweight and offers amino acids, omega-3s and vitamins such as vitamin D, so anyone can take benefit using these products. A few drops of CBD oil can be added to any skincare product to add a powerful anti-aging, nourishment packed component to any skincare regime.

Should You Use CBD?

Making the decision to use CBD or not is something that is down to each individual. However, there are a number of things to keep in mind when making this decision. First of all, remember that not everything your read online about CBD is true.

Many people are making sensationalist claims that it is a miracle medicine without any scientific backing whatsoever, Be careful where you get your information and always look for studies to support these claims.

Second of all, you must remember that cannabis remains a schedule 1 substance under federal law at this time. Also medical cannabis is not legal in all states. This means that if you do decide to use CBD, you must opt for hemp-derived CBD if you don’t want to break the law.

Thirdly, keep in mind that while the current research on CBD is overwhelmingly positive, there is still much that we don’t know about this chemical compound and its long term effects on the human body. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your family doctor or physician informed of any medications you’re using, including CBD.

Finally, remember that not all cannabis strains are created equal and if you really want to experience the full potential of CBD for your health and wellness, choose a product that is high in CBD from a reputable dispensary.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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