01 Apr What is CBD? What are the potential benefits?
- CBD (or cannabidiol) is a compound found in relative abundance in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
- It has been shown to help manage a variety of health conditions, including anxiety, inflammation, insomnia and chronic pain.
- CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning that it will not make the user ‘high’, and therefore it is not addictive and may be consumed legally in the UK.
For centuries, Cannabis sativa (the plant more commonly known as hemp) has been regarded as a botanical powerhouse for its medicinal properties. Despite being somewhat neglected in the modern medicinal era, recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the plant and its therapeutic potential.
The popularity of hemp as a natural remedy for various health conditions is owed to the more than 80 compounds found within the plant, among which is a phytocannabinoid known as cannabidiol, or CBD.
Over the past few years, intensive research has been conducted to explore the potential of CBD in terms of health management, and its use has grown at an astounding rate. Currently, there are almost 1.6 million people using hemp in the UK, and this number just keeps on growing.
So what exactly is CBD?
Here’s our comprehensive beginner’s guide to the world of CBD – we’ll explain what it is, where it came from, what it is used for, and some other facts you might not be familiar with.
What is CBD?
As mentioned above, CBD is short for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating plant-based compound found in relative abundance in hemp. CBD is the main active ingredient in hemp-based products, including oils, tinctures, edibles (capsules, gummies), topicals, skin care products, and many more.
But how does CBD interact with our body? Well, it works its ‘magic’ via an intricate network of cannabinoid receptors which, along with certain enzymes, form the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The CB1 cannabinoid receptors are primarily found within the brain and central nervous system (CNS), whereas the CB2 receptors are mainly present in the immune system.
Once this vast inherent system of receptors is stimulated, they assist the body in manufacturing chemicals called endocannabinoids, which play a huge role in regulating vital daily functions including mood, sleep, and appetite.
Understanding how CBD affects the body can help understand how it can fit into a potential wellness regime. However, before getting into its potential uses and effects, let’s find out where CBD comes from.
Hemp is believed to have come to Europe around 1,200 BC before it subsequently spread throughout the world. Even back then, the plant was mainly exploited for its medicinal benefits, with folk remedies and primitive medications using various parts of the hemp plant to manage complications during childbirth, convulsions, dysentery, arthritis, rheumatism, and even insomnia.
The compound CBD was initially discovered in the 1940s, although scientists back then were more interested in another phytocannabinoid in hemp known as THC, which we will talk about later in the article. In 1946, Dr. Walter S. Loewe directed the first CBD testing on lab animals, concluding that CBD did not alter their mental state.
That same year, a research team headed by Professor Raphael Mechoulam (commonly recognized as the grandfather of cannabis research) discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the three-dimensional structure of CBD – two discoveries which would bring CBD into the limelight and transform our understanding of cannabis.
Ultimately, British pharmacologists released the first CBD oil intended for therapeutic uses. Thereafter, research into the potential health benefits of CBD continued to gain momentum around the world.
In 2007, hemp cultivation licenses were granted to two farmers in North Dakota. In 2014, US President Barack Obama signed the ‘Farm Bill’, authorizing research institutes to start piloting hemp farming programs.
A later amendment to the Farm Bill in 2018 completely separated CBD and hemp from scheduled drugs banned by the Controlled Substances Act, which meant that hemp-derived CBD could not be treated as an illegal drug anymore. The same year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first cannabidiol (CBD) oral medication, Epidiolex, for the treatment of seizures in epilepsy patients aged 2 years and older.
Currently, hemp is being used fervently in pharmaceutics, therapeutics, cosmetics, and even weight loss regimes.
Is CBD oil made of marijuana?
Now that we’ve explored the history of CBD, let’s move on to common questions associated with the compound.
It seems that many people are unsure about where CBD comes from, and they often wonder whether hemp and marijuana are the same plants.
Technically, the answer to this question is “yes”, since both hemp and marijuana are derived from the Cannabis sativa species of cannabis. However, their chemical properties are significantly different from each other.
Hemp is the non-intoxicating form of cannabis, cultivated largely for industrial and agricultural purposes. It is a classification of the Cannabis sativa plant which is rich in CBD and contains only trace amounts of the intoxicating phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), i.e. less than 0.2%.
On the other hand, marijuana is a form of Cannabis sativa which contains high levels of THC and is cultivated mainly for recreational purposes. So when it comes to CBD oil, it is important to recognize which plant species has it been obtained from.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabis compound that, unlike CBD, is intoxicating and responsible for creating the ‘high’ feeling normally associated with cannabis.
Research shows that THC stimulates brain cells to release dopamine, a chemical that causes feelings of euphoria. It also obstructs information processing in the hippocampus, the region of the brain in charge of forming new memories.
As mentioned above, the marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa contains high levels of THC, reaching levels of up to 40%. Like CBD, THC is also available in the form of oils, edibles, tinctures, and more. However, when both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, they produce very different effects. Indeed, they are often used in a synergistic combination in commercial products to yield various medicinal benefits.
Will CBD Make You High?
This is another common question among people new to CBD. The answer is “no”.
Cannabidiol is 100% non-intoxicating, meaning that it produces no mind-altering effects, unlike THC. This means it will not create the euphoric feelings commonly associated with other strains of cannabis. Moreover, CBD derived from hemp contains less than 0.2% THC; hence the extract is considered to have negligible amounts of the latter and is safe for use.
A small 2016 study based on 31 adults showed that active THC caused significant physical and psychological effects, including increased heart rate and euphoria, whereas CBD did not adversely affect heart rate, blood pressure, or cognitive functioning.
When describing the effects of CBD, some people claim to feel more energized and focused, while others claim to experience feelings of calm and relaxation. This adds to the beauty of CBD; everyone’s response will be different, based on their particular brain and body chemistry.
Can CBD Be Addictive?
Since it is not intoxicating, CBD does not produce addiction-related effects.
As per a 2017 pre-review report by the World Health Organization (WHO), results from a well-controlled human experimental trial indicated that CBD was not associated with abuse potential. Moreover, CBD might even help in the treatment of drug addiction.
Early evidence from scientists suggests that CBD may lower the possibility of developing methamphetamine (meth) and cocaine use disorders, and also help avoid relapse after detoxification and sobriety.
Is CBD Legal?
In the UK, any product derived from cannabis containing less than 0.2% THC is regarded as safe and legal for consumption.
The CBD content of products can vary; hence different products offer different doses, amounts, or portions of CBD, measured in milligrams.
What is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil?
The terms “CBD oil” and “Hemp oil” are often used interchangeably. However, there is one major difference – their origin of extraction.
CBD oil is derived from hemp but is a broad term used to describe any oil containing CBD. In certain cases, CBD oils can be obtained from other strains of the plant which contain a higher percentage of THC.
On the other hand, hemp oil is a natural extract obtained from the hemp plant, with high concentrations of CBD and trace quantities of THC. It is obtained from various parts of the plant, including the stems, stalks, and flowers, and is used to produce oils and tinctures.
So simply put, hemp oil is always extracted from the hemp plant, whereas CBD oil may be extracted from other varieties of the hemp plant. Just remember: hemp oil can be called CBD oil, but CBD oil isn’t always hemp oil.
What is CBD used for?
Having discussed the properties of CBD in detail, let’s discuss some of its benefits.
· Reducing stress and anxiety
According to a study published in 2015 in the journal Neurotherapeutics, CBD shows significant potential in the treatment of epilepsy. CBD has also been demonstrated to have substantial anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects in animal studies, cited as being explained by how CBD interacts with receptors and chemicals in the brain.
Among the few human trials conducted, a 2019 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry investigated how 57 men behaved before a public-speaking event after being given either CBD oil(containing 100, 300, or 600mg of CBD), or placebo. Anxiety levels were evaluated using physiological symptoms, including blood pressure and heart rate, and a relatively reliable test for mood was also performed. Results showed that men given 300mg of CBD exhibited the least symptoms of anxiety.
· Relieving Inflammation and Pain
Many studies, mainly involving animal subjects, have demonstrated how CBD might help alleviate chronic pain and inflammation by influencing endocannabinoid receptor activity and interacting with neurotransmitters.
A study published in 2016 in the European Journal of Pain revealed that applying CBD cream to the joints of rats sometimes reduced their swelling and improved limb posture. Another study in the journal Pain investigated how CBD could prevent pain among rats with osteoarthritis. It was found that CBD blocked joint pain in a dose-dependent manner, while further preventing any future nerve damage and related pain in arthritic joints.
Moreover, several human studies have also found that a comprehensive blend of CBD and THC can be extremely effective in reducing the aches and soreness associated with multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
· Improving Mood and Sleep
Sleep disturbances can be the result of a physical problem (pain), a mental health issue (anxiety depression), environmental conditions (noise, bright light), and even some medications.
Studies investigating a link between CBD and improved sleep highlight how CBD interacts with GABA and serotonin receptors in the brain to promote relaxation and sleep. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter within our body that helps calm excessive brain activity and kindles relaxation. Serotonin is a chemical that helps reduce anxiety and improves mood, both of which promote better sleep.
Moreover, scientists also claim that a combination of CBD and melatonin (a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle) significantly improves sleep.
If you’re looking to buy CBD products, you’ll often come across two very commonly used terms: full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. It is important to recognize the difference between the two. The main difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD is the type of compounds they contain.
A CBD product containing a mixture of naturally-occurring plant extracts such as terpenes and other cannabinoids, and up to 0.3% THC or more, is considered a full-spectrum CBD product.
While broad-spectrum CBD products also contain many plant compounds, they are either completely free from THC, or contain negligible (trace) amounts of it, i.e. less than 0.3%.
You may also be wondering: what is CBD isolate? Well, it is the third common type of CBD – the pure form with no other cannabis-derived plant compounds.
So, the difference between broad- and full-spectrum CBD is that broad-spectrum contains non-detectable levels of THC (the intoxicating compound in the hemp plant that makes the user “high”), while full-spectrum CBD contains traceable amounts of THC, making it unsafe for use.
All our products contain non-detectable levels (<0.01%) of THC.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, CBD affects everyone differently. While there have been no serious reported side-effects of CBD consumption, it is recommended that you start by consuming low doses and slowly increase the amount if you experience no side-effects.
Some reported side-effects of CBD include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Light-headedness and drowsiness
- Changes in appetite
- Mood alterations
CBD oil can also raise levels of liver enzymes; so people with liver disease must use such products under the expert care and guidance of a doctor with regular checks of blood liver enzyme levels.
In addition, CBD oil should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding to avoid any potential risks to the baby’s development, as CBD can pass through the placental barrier.
Now that you’re familiar with CBD and its potential benefits, you may want to try it out for yourself. If so, please explore our wide range of products and select those that best suit your needs.
Naturecan offers an extensive and exclusive range of quality CBD products and supplements. With websites live in over 30 countries worldwide, we use our global reach to deliver the health benefits of CBD to a growing customer base.
All of Naturecan’s products are created using industry-leading technology, and undergo rigorous testing practices with third parties in order to ensure product quality, customer safety and supply chain transparency.
Our CBD oil is a broad-spectrum distillate, with non-detectable levels of THC and high bioavailability, making it the safest and purest oil on the market. It is derived exclusively from US-grown hemp plants, which means that we never use isolates or any man-made synthetic material, and only ever use natural, plant-based CBD.
Disclaimer: CBD products have not been approved by the FDA. However, the WHO does recognize CBD as a non-toxic and safe compound with little to no side-effects.
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What is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating plant-based compound found in relative abundance in the hemp plant. It has many potential medicinal benefits.
What is CBD used for?
CBD has been shown to help manage a range of medical conditions, including anxiety, inflammation, stress, sleep disorders, and chronic pain.
Does CBD Make You High?
No. Cannabidiol is 100% non-intoxicating with no mind-altering effects.
Is CBD Addictive?
No. Since it is not intoxicating, CBD does not seem to have addiction-related effects.
Is CBD Legal?
Any product derived from cannabis containing less than 0.2% THC is regarded as safe and legal for consumption in the UK.
What’s the Difference between Broad-Spectrum and Full-Spectrum CBD?
CBD containing a mixture of naturally-occurring plant extracts and up to 0.3% THC or more is full-spectrum CBD. CBD containing many plant compounds but completely free from THC, or containing negligible (trace) amounts of THC, i.e. less than 0.3%, is broad-spectrum CBD.
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