What is CBD?
CBD is one of the many cannabinoids you can extract from a hemp or cannabis plant. The CBD that is used for CBD oil comes from industrial hemp and not from psychoactive cannabis strains; while the two plants are related, industrial hemp doesn't contain nearly as much THC (another cannabinoid).
To extract the CBD oil from the cannabis plant, producers isolate the CBD from the bulk of the THC to ensure that the oil does not have any psychoactive effects.
How does CBD work?
Chances are you've heard of the health benefits of CBD or cannabis in general in the media several times. The supposed medicinal purposes are incredibly diverse. From autoimmune and neurological diseases like Alzheimer's to cancer. According to the media, CBD and cannabis are veritable panaceas. If all of these claims are correct, then how does CBD do it? The answer to this question is a huge and complex system, some of which has not yet been researched:
This system in our body was not discovered by researchers until the 1990s. Today we know that this system regulates many of our physical functions, such as: appetite, sleep, mood and memory.
At that time, the scientists isolated phytochemicals from cannabis plants - so-called phytocannabinoids (“phyto” stands for “plant”). They wanted to study the effects of these chemicals and came across a network of enzymes and receptors that enable the body's own cannabinoids to be produced and used. These cannabinoids originate from the own body (endo) and are called endocannabinoids.
It was also found that these neurochemicals exist not only in humans and mammals, but in almost all animals, such as birds, fish, amphibians and marine animals. Scientists suggest that the endocannabinoid system is 600 million years old.
- Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2)
- pCBs (Phytocannabinoids)
- eCBs (Endocannabinoids)
- The enzymes that make endocannabinoids and break them down again
CB receptors are distributed all over your body. They regulate a wide variety of cell reactions and cell types. Every type of cell has a different receptor. Each of these receptors respond to certain endocannabinoids. The main receptors in the ECS are called CB1 and CB2.
These receptors are important for your brain health and are distributed throughout the nervous system. Depending on the region in your brain, they can affect mood, pain perception, motor skills, and memory. These receptors also cause the well-known psychoactive effects when they receive THC.
The CB-2 receptors, on the other hand, are most common in cells that control our immune system. These help to fight pathogens and reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that cannabis can help with diseases related to the immune system (e.g. autoimmune diseases, allergies, arthritis or asthma). This effect is thanks to CB2 receptors.
Most endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids can bind to both receptors (CB1 and CB2). The phytocannabinoid CBD works a bit differently, however. It does not directly stimulate these receptors, but rather modifies the way the receptors receive cannabinoids. CBD also influences your natural endocannabinoid levels by interacting with certain enzymes.
No. The popular psychoactive cannabinoid is called THC. CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. Some so-called full spectrum CBD oils do contain THC, but this is not enough (<0.3%) for a psychoactive test. Nonetheless, a full-spectrum oil can affect the outcome of a drug test.
Is CBD safe or is it addictive?
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued the following position on this subject:
“In humans, the CBD does not show any effects that indicate a potential for abuse or dependency ... To date there has been no evidence of public health problems associated with pure CBD use ”.
A 2017 meta-study concluded that CBD oil could cause the following side effects:
- altered feeling of hunger
- weight changes
However, it must be pointed out that most of the studies cited have used very high doses of CBD oil for their experiments.
Note: On our website, we will never claim that CBD will help with certain diseases. We are only referring you to studies whose results suggest that CBD may offer healing effects in a particular disease. Read these studies carefully and make up your own mind on this interesting topic.
There is new knowledge about CBD almost every day. The following studies are only a fraction on the subject.
Many study results suggest that cannabinoids (including CBD) may reduce neuropathic pain, nausea, and loss of appetite due to cancer and cancer treatment. CBD is also considered to be a trusted source with anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties. In addition to these potential palliative (i.e., symptom relief) benefits, there are also animal studies suggesting that CBD may help with curative treatment.
Here are some promising studies over the past few years:
- An evaluation of 35 in vitro and in vivo studies found that cannabinoids show promising effects for the treatment of gliomas (brain tumors).
- A 2014 in vivo study suggests that CBD could inhibit the spread of colon cancer cells. A meta-study of in vitro and in vivo studies of pancreatic cancer published in 2019 concluded that cannabinoids can help slow tumor growth, decrease tumor invasion and induce tumor cell death.
- Another study found that CBD might be effective as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
As already mentioned, the CB1 receptors influence your pain perception. Studies have shown that CBD can help effectively relieve chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with certain neurotransmitters.
One animal study found that a CBD injection reduced the sensation of pain following a surgical incision. A second animal study suggests that CBD may reduce the inflammation and pain of the sciatic nerve.
A study on 58 people with rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated that an oral THC+CBD spray could reduce pain and improve sleep quality.
CBD oil has been used as a treatment for insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Several animal studies suggest that CBD can have an antidepressant effect.
A test tube study found that CBD oil was anti-inflammatory, preventing sebum cells from secreting excess sebum.
Another study backed CBD's anti-inflammatory effects with similar results.
In one study, 214 people with severe epilepsy were given 2-5 grams of CBD oil per pound of body weight. Their seizures were reduced by an average of 36.5%.
Another study showed that CBD oil greatly reduced seizure frequency in children with complex epilepsy.
Some studies also demonstrated that CBD treatment can improve the quality of life and sleep for people with Parkinson's.