Cannabis has more than a hundred cannabinoids. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are two of the most commonly known ones. While the former is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, the latter does none of that.
People use CBD to relieve many health issues. However, the use of CBD is still controversial up to this day. Even though two of the largest countries in the world (U.S. and Canada) have legalized recreational and medicinal cannabis, the populace is still divided on the healing properties of CBD.
Are CBD and Cannabis the Same?
CBD is not a type of marijuana, but it is one of the primary compounds found in the plant itself. There are different marijuana strains, and best cannabis farmers harvest, dry, and cure different marijuana flowers. Each strain is unique as well. Some strains have a higher THC content which is classified as Sativa strains, and some strains have a higher CBD content which is classified as Indica strains. On the other hand, Hybrid strains have balanced THC and CBD content. Nowadays, people are more aware of the benefits of marijuana and the online dispensaries such as XpressGrass dispensary have simplified the process by letting them have premium quality marijuana products at their doorsteps.
Some users may prefer THC-dominant strains to have a euphoric experience while some users want a CBD-dominant strain to get a clear-headed effect and creativity enhancement.
Why Do People Use CBD?
According to the World Health Organization, there had been no recorded news, circumstances, or evidence for any public health-related issues linked with CBD use. Because CBD does not give cannabis users that “high” effect, it doesn’t indicate any potential for drug dependence. In short, people purely use CBD for medicinal purposes.
According to Medical News Today, CBD may aid in many health issues such as:
- Pain relief
- Relieve inflammation
- Heart diseases
- Neuropsychiatric disorder
- Type 1 diabetes
- Skin issues
- Alzheimer’s disease
The Endocannabinoid System
Experts have linked CBD to the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system in the body is comprised of endocannabinoids. These are the retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to the two primary receptors which are CB1 and CB2. These receptors (CB1 and CB2) are mainly found in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. They are also found in peripheral organs and tissues.
There are also three different kinds of endocannabinoids and physiological ligands which the cannabinoid receptors work hand in hand with. They are anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamide, AEA), arachidonate-based lipids, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
Overall, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for a variety of physiological and cognitive functions such as:
- Pain sensation
- Endorphin release during exercise
How Does CBD Affect the Endocannabinoid System?
Experts say that the body’s endocannabinoid system does not only react to the naturally-produced endocannabinoid compounds, but it also interacts to induced external cannabinoids like CBD in cannabis. Because CBD does not have a binding property, they do not bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors directly. Instead, CBD activates receptors called TRPV1 which are responsible for relieving inflammation, regulating temperature, and mitigating pain.
Also, CBD prevents fatty acid hydrolase (FAAH) which in turn, results in elevating endocannabinoids like anandamide. This type of endocannabinoid is responsible for giving humans those pleasurable and motivational feelings. That’s why CBD has been linked to alleviating a variety of mental conditions such as anxiety and depression.
And since the endocannabinoid system is considered as a vital system that aids in the overall endocrine, immune tissue, and brain functionality, some experts say we could be improving our overall bodily functions if we include CBD in our daily diet.
CBD and CECD
CECD or Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome is a condition where the body’s endocannabinoid system does not yield ample amount of cannabinoids resulting in several health issues such as pain, anorexia, migraines, depression, fibromyalgia, PTSD, and more.
Due to this, a lot of people suffer from these destructive health conditions overtime leading to high death rates in some countries. Based on a 2017 study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top five causes of recorded deaths in the United States in particular order are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and stroke.
In line with this, CBD has been revered for its ability to quell inflammation and lower blood pressure. It even helps promote “vasorelaxation” in the blood vessel walls and prevents patients with heart diseases from experiencing strokes.
On top of that, suicide is also one of the leading causes of death in the United States. And depression is also a significant contributor to these suicidal incidents. The endocannabinoid system is a complex system in the body. Deficiency is not the only factor one must consider to have balanced overall wellbeing; the levels of the endocannabinoids must be “just right” for the body to function. Enzymes do their job in raising the endocannabinoid levels and destroying some of them to lower the levels as well. However, it’s unfortunate how the endocannabinoid system is sometimes neglected. People do not realize how important it is to keep its functions regulated at all times.
Since CBD interacts with two of the most important receptors in the body, regular intake of CBD products will help the enzymes in modulating the endocannabinoid levels in the body. This allows people to have well-rounded mental and physical health.
CBD and Epilepsy
Last June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an oral medication called Epidiolex. This drug contains the same cannabidiol components found in cannabis. This was a massive breakthrough for Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome patients because they will finally have a chance to access prescribed medication to help them with their seizures.
In fact, a clinical trial where 225 patients were divided into three groups showed the majority of the patients had positive reactions to cannabidiol. One group took 20 mg of Epidiolex, the second group received 10 mg of CBD, and the third group was the placebo group.
The trial demonstrated that the second group showed almost the same reduction in seizures as the first group with 20-mg Epidiolex medication. Although the administration of 20 mg Epidiolex is more effective, the effects of the 10-mg CBD were more favorable for the parents of the patients.
So the biggest question remains: Is CBD an essential nutrient missing from our diet? The answer also relies entirely on the consumer. The best part about trying to incorporate CBD in our diet is that you can control the intake to observe the following effects. Remember to start with a low dose then increase gradually if necessary.