Is CBD a Cure All : Understanding Cannabidiol And How it Impacts The Human Body
A quick look at the science and mythology behind CBD.
We’ve all heard it before: but everyone else is doing it! Sure, if you grew up in a small town, you know that the bridge over the river outside of town is a great place to jump and go for a swim. It’s your hometown’s secret spot.
However, there are plenty of bridges you don’t want to follow people off of. That’s especially true when you don’t know much about what’s at the bottom.
So, when hearing about everyone using CBD, is that a leap you’re willing to take? If you’re not ready yet, here’s a quick guide that will take us the bottom of CBD. Is it really the harmless panacea some people are making it out to be?
What Is cannabidiol?
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘what is cannabidiol?’ In layman terms, it’s a plant-made compound. Other plant-made compounds include:
- Amino acids
- Lipids (fats)
- And more
Plants in the Cannabis genus produce a series of important compounds called cannabinoids. Within the classification of cannabinoids is the plant compound, cannabidiol. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most important cannabinoids when it comes to human consumption. Here’s what we know about it.
Cannabidiol is more commonly known as CBD. The most interesting thing about CBD is that it mimics a compound already created within the human body.
Yes, the human body makes its own cannabinoids. They’re called endocannabinoids. CBD is nearly identical to the endogenously created cannabinoid known as 2-AG.
Since CBD is molecularly similar to 2-AG, they produce similar effects. According to research published in 2015 in the journal, Biology Psychiatry, the endocannabinoids play a significant role in the human body because “activation of CB1 or CB2 receptors exerts diverse consequences on cellular physiology, including synaptic function, gene transcription, cell motility, etc.”
For example, the researchers noted that “2-AG is an important metabolic intermediate in lipid synthesis and also serves as a major source of arachidonic acid in prostaglandin synthesis.” That means that this compound plays a major role in functions that are outside of the endocannabinoid system.
Unsurprisingly, then, CBD consumption appears to have a multitude of uses for human health. However, does that mean CBD is the panacea it’s made out to be?
CBD does seem to help a variety of health conditions. In fact, a 2008 report published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management demonstrated that a series of studies show that CBD is an analgesic in a modality of treatment methods. Its clinical applications, according to Dr. Ethan Russo, range from treating intractable chronic pain to nerve pain and beyond.
More specifically, a 2015 study published in the European Journal of Pain looked at the transdermal applications of CBD treatments. They found that CBD not only reduced pain in rat models of arthritis, but that is also combatted inflammation. More importantly, they found that transdermal treatment of arthritis with CBD treated pain and inflammation “without evident side-effects.”
While there is much more to what CBD might offer someone, there is a lot of confusion that needs to be cleared up.
Busting the Myths that Surround CBD
Clearly, there are plenty of good reasons to use CBD. However, there is an equal amount of misinformation out there that should be dismantled. Here are a few CBD myths to forget.
1. Cannabis has no medicinal value.
According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, cannabis is a Schedule I drug. That means the government recognizes zero medicinal value to its consumption. However, as stated, the research suggests otherwise, and the CSA is an outdated and misguided piece of legislation. It was designed to demonize cannabis and prevent research into its uses. Forget the idea that it has zero medicinal value. That’s simply untrue.
2. You can overdose on cannabis.
In order to ‘overdose’ on cannabinoids, a person would need to consume an amount of cannabis that an elephant couldn’t eat in a day. According to The Independent, David Schmader identified that a human would need to consume 1,500 pounds of cannabis in 15 minutes.
While THC is a psychedelic compound produced by cannabis plants and people may experience a negative reaction to the effect, cannabinoids cannot kill humans as opioids do.
3. You’ll develop a tolerance to CBD.
Although heavy cannabis consumers will develop a tolerance to THC, the same does not appear to happen for CBD. Once someone finds their minimum threshold for ideal CBD efficacy, that threshold doesn’t seem to change over time. To be sure, 2018 research published in Frontiers in Pharmacology mentioned specifically that “CBD does not seem to induce tolerance.”
4. CBD isolates are better than full-spectrum extractions.
When it comes to consuming cannabis, experiences vary from person-to-person. It’s a highly individualistic plant.
Therefore, any comparative absolutes—in terms of which cannabis product is best for someone—are largely superfluous. There’s no one best cannabis product.
However, CBD is clearly effective at helping people in a variety of ways. CBD isolates give people the option to limit their cannabinoid and plant compound uptake. Full-spectrum extractions retain the terpene profile of the plant which, along with the flavor, may provide even more benefits.
5. CBD comes from cannabis, so, it will make you high.
CBD doesn’t induce the psychoactive effect of THC.
The high associated with cannabis consumption occurs as a result of THC binding with the CB1 receptors. In fact, CBD is more effective at binding with the CB2 receptor.
Furthermore, it even makes it more difficult for THC to bind with CB1 receptors. In that way, CBD slightly mitigates the psychoactive effect of cannabis consumption.
CBD is not the panacea people make it out to be, but it is an effective tool for many people. Due to its versatile and practical nature, its popularity has reached beyond its common understanding. Its efficacy largely depends on the person, the method of consumption, and the desired outcome. It’s important to understand the medicinal plants you’re using. If you have more questions about how CBD may be able to help you, feel free to contact us today!