CBD is currently undergoing a boom in popularity with an influx of products varying from vapes to gummies coming onto the retail market. It can now be consumed in a whole range of ways all supposedly providing a myriad of benefits in doing so.
What is CBD? In the cannabis plant, there are many cannabinoids. The two most publicly known ones are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). CBD and THC both share the same chemical formula but arranged differently. This difference means THC gives you the ‘high’ and CBD does not.
CBD holds many benefits without feeling that ‘high’, it has been shown to help:
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Ease pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Improve heart health
This is only a short summary of some of the most common disorders that CBD is used to help with.
There are many more, check out our big article on this here.
With all these supposed benefits, more research and studies are still being done to find what else CBD can be associated with helping with.
There are many common misconceptions when talking about CBD. People often fear the fact that it is derived from the illegal (in the UK) cannabis plant.
When, as aforementioned, the ‘high’ comes from the THC in the plant and not the CBD. Nonetheless, the majority of the public are still misinformed on the subject and this next section should help to clear these up and ease your mind on the usage of CBD.
Many variables have to be considered with CBD because it depends on the product, the quality of it and how some people metabolize CBD differently, just as with any biohacking supplement.
Clearing up common misconceptions
In the UK a THC content of less than 0.2% is allowed for growth and sale with a license, 0.3% is commonly used as a guideline in the US, Canada, and Australia.
The Hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC contents, making it legal to industrially grow with a license in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.
Common side effects of CBD include fatigue, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. Due to its recent introduction to the market, it is barely studied and long term effects of CBD have not yet been outlined. The World Health Organization has stated that there’s no evidence
of any “public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.
In summary, no it won’t get you high due to the absence of a tiny amount of THC, and yes it is legal to have CBD as it contains less than 0.3% THC contents.
What does it do and how does it work?
To go into what CBD does we need to understand how it works. So, how does it work?
The human body actually produces cannabinoids of its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, aptly named CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are more commonly found in the brain and they are linked with many functions including coordination, movement, emotions, mood, appetite, memories and pain.
Explaining how THC affects these functions, as it attaches to the CB1 receptors. CB2 receptors are found in the immune system, they affect pain and inflammation.
It was once believed that CBD attached itself to these CB2 receptors however this is not the case. Rather, it helps the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
So what CBD does is help the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
What does this mean?
These cannabinoids have an anti-inflammatory effect, blocking the pain signals from getting to the brain. Explaining some of the supposed ailments that CBD is linked to.
How much should I take to feel its effects?
When taken orally CBD takes between 2-5 hours to reach its max concentration levels in the bloodstream. It has been shown that CBD has a half-life of 60 hours, meaning that it stays in your system for more than one day.
On the label of all CBD, product guidance is given as to how many or much to take.
The best advice is to follow this and see how you feel if there are no effects it may be best to take more or find a higher CBD concentration product, but this article will go into more detail
What products are available?
Just to name a few. The best thing to do is to look around, try products out and see what you feel best with.
If you don’t like one type of product there are many other different ones out there to try, take your time and find the best one for you.
Some of the systems and parts of the body CBD is linked to helping:
- Life-threatening illnesses
- Neurological and psychological disorders
- Dermatological and skin conditions
This applies to these illnesses:
- Cardiovascular disease
- HIV and AIDS
- Lyme disease
CBD has been shown to reduce tumor growth and the chances of tumors or cancer returning, as well as limiting and even ending cancer cell growth in tumors.
For Cardiovascular disease, CBD has been shown to aid in reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow to the heart, minimize the chance of diabetes and have antiarrhythmic properties.
CBD’s pain relief and anxiety/depression helping outcomes help increase the quality of life for patients of Cancer, HIV, AIDS, Lyme disease and Lupus.
Neurological and psychological disorders
This applies to:
- Panic attacks
- Mood disorders
CBD calms the distress response in the neurological system, which relieves the feeling of being rushed and the fear of a potentially negative outcome that comes with anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and OCD.
CBD helps with depression, PTSD, mood disorders and bipolar as it goes to the CB1 and CB2 receptors accessing the nervous system.
Then, calming mania, lifting the cloud of depression, balancing and stabilizing the mood. Where antidepressants force the brain to hold onto serotonin in an unnatural process, CBD does not and therefore less of, if any of, the negative side effects are present.
Dermatological and skin conditions
Whether that’s the actual skin or things linked to the skin – like hair loss – CBD has been shown to help.
For hair health, CBD can help as it has been shown to keep hair hydrated, healthy and retain color through an amino acid called Tyrosine which is in it.
Furthermore, the effects of the skin condition Keratosis Pilaris which affects the hair follicle by inflaming the skin in and around can be improved due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.
As CBD is an antioxidant (full of Omega 3,6 and 9 essential fatty acids) it is very effective in maintenance and hydration of healthy skin.
The aging process of skin could potentially be slowed as well due to its regenerative powers. However, testing has not yet been done on this theory.
There’s a full article on biohacking and your skin that goes into much more detail with other amazing tips.
CBD comes from the cannabis plant. It is completely legal to have as it contains less than 0.3% THC and will therefore not get you ‘high’. It has a vast array of benefits spreading over multiple diseases and illnesses.
All this with minimal potential side effects of diarrhea, appetite loss, and fatigue.
Research is continually being done on CBD, presenting more and more benefits/side effects, once research has been done for a long enough time backing may come if it is all that it is said to be – a medical miracle.