In the past decade, the national conversation surrounding medicinal cannabis has shifted significantly. It’s no longer a question of if it works, but rather how it can be used for maximum benefit. In particular, it is Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating compound of the cannabis plant, that has garnered the most buzz amongst doctors. CBD oil has been used to treat seizures, chronic pain, and anxiety, amongst other ailments.
It was only in 1988 that we became aware that our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that regulate relaxation, eating, sleeping, memory, and our immune system. CBD, which bears a striking structural similarity to these endocannabinoids, helps stimulate this system, promoting overall mental and physical health.
What is CBD Oil: The Mystery of Cannabidiol Explained
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a compound that interacts directly with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors that interact with cannabinoids to maintain vital functions throughout our body.
In 1995, scientists discovered that we have two different kinds of receptors in our body: CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are found in regions of the brain responsible for mental and physiological processes like memory, high cognition, emotion, and motor coordination, whereas CB2 receptors are found throughout the central nervous and immune systems.
Cannabidiol bounds primarily with CB2 receptors. This means that CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant with enormous therapeutic benefits. Although it doesn’t make people feel ‘high’ like THC does, it’s causing quite a buzz among scientists, health professionals, and medical marijuana patients who are using CBD-rich products for a wide range of conditions – including chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, antibiotic-resistant infections, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and more.
Common CBD Uses for Your Daily Routine
The route of administration is crucial because it influences the uptake, distribution, and elimination of the CBD compound in your body. This is important because the more bioavailable a product is, the lower the dosage needed to produce the desired effect.
Sublingual consumption is an easy way to improve the bioavailability of CBD.
The sublingual gland located underneath the tongue is a direct pathway to the bloodstream. Sublingual CBD oil tinctures maintain a high bioavailability. Instead of having to move through the whole digestive system, they are only mildly degraded by the enzymes in saliva.
CBD oil tinctures are also a wonderful way to take cannabidiol in smaller dosages, and then increase the amount in small increments.
One popular option of taking CBD is through oral consumption. This includes edibles like gummies, baked goods, and even mints.
Edibles can be fun and easy to consume. Often times they are infused in chocolate bars or gummy bears, making for a tasty treat. They offer a good starting place for those looking to dip their toes into the CBD world.
Full spectrum water soluble CBD is similar to sublingual tinctures. But instead of consuming under the tongue, it’s added to tea, coffee, kombucha, or sparkling water. Water soluble CBD intended for relaxation and relief from everyday stress, rather than inflammation and pain. Due to the smaller size of the cannabidiol particles produced in water soluble form, the active impact is estimated to be 3 to 4 times greater than other forms of consumption. This means it’s extremely bioavailable, and fast-acting – best for easing anxiety and regulating mood.
For controlled dosage, CBD gel capsules are perfect for slow release relief from sleep issues and chronic pain. They can also be an easy way to consume that doesn’t involve measuring. You don’t have to measure drops, as you do for CBD oil. And gel caps stay in the body’s system longer than a tincture.
You may have seen people with CBD oil vaporizers, which are easy to carry and offer quick relief.
Inhaling CBD directly through a vaporizer or a joint has an extremely effective bioavailability rate. CBD enters the bloodstream much quicker than something like an infused chocolate bar.
This means that CBD also leaves the body faster. So vaporizers and smokables are best for those looking for immediate relief from anxiety or discomfort.
Instead of taking CBD internally, topical CBD can be great for those with skin conditions such as acne, itchiness, overall redness, inflammation, and pain.
CBD topicals are ideal for relieving muscle soreness, pain, and arthritis. Whether in the form of a face oil, intimate oil, bath bomb, cream, lotion, salve, soap, or patch, topical CBD is a convenient and great smelling way to get relief.
Using CBD Oil with Other Herbs
CBD works wonderfully alongside other herbs that aid in relaxation and pain relief, such as skullcap, comfrey, lavender, passionflower, nettle, and many others. There are many ways of adding cannabidiol to your wellness routine, whether in the form of an edible, an oil, a capsule, a vaporizer, or a topical. The plethora of options mean that you can find a method of CBD that best addresses your needs with ease.
Top CBD Oil Benefits for Your Health and Wellness
Because cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it’s particularly effective for maintaining homeostasis within the body.
Since lessening inflammation is one of the hallmarks of CBD, it’s been found effective against the diseases of neurodegeneration (MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s), the autoimmune disorders (Crohn’s, lupus, arthritis, especially fibromyalgia), and virtually every type of pain modality in which it’s been examined.
It seems particularly effective against disorders of the brain, the guts, the skin, and the lungs. Though it can help a plethora of disorders and illnesses, CBD is particularly beneficial for those experiencing anxiety or chronic pain.
CBD Oil Effects: What Does CBD Do When You Use it Regularly
When using CBD on a regular basis, you may feel relief from anxiety, chronic pain, fatigue, and inflammation.
A common question is: will I feel high if I take CBD? In the cannabis plant, there are two primary compounds, CBD and THC. Because of the placement of a single atom, these two compounds interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors very differently.
Both CBD and THC bind to the CB2 receptor, but they bond with the CB1 receptor differently. THC binds directly with CB1 receptors, which creates signals that are sent to the brain. This results in the psychoactive effects of “getting high.”
Research shows that CBD does not bond directly with the CB1 receptor, and its presence can actually negate the bond between THC and the CB1 receptors. This can help neutralize the psychoactive effects induced by THC if someone is having a tumultuous psychoactive experience. Because of its ability to induce mind-altering effects, THC has been classified as an illegal substance in most countries around the world, including the United States.
While both cannabinoids can offer tremendous health benefits, CBD can deliver many of the same benefits of THC without inducing a psychoactive experience.
What is the Difference Between Isolate and Full Spectrum?
You might be trying to decide CBD isolate vs full spectrum, and which one is best to use in your routine.
A CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like; pure, isolated CBD compound, all by itself. It exists as and appears as white-ish powder, and contains no other active medicinal compounds.
Full-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, contains many other active plant compounds in addition to cannabidiol. This includes other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and CBC, as well as cannabis terpenes like pinene, limonene, linalool, and humulene.
Terpenes are plant compounds that give the cannabis plants its unique fragrance. Even in small amounts, terpenes work extremely well with cannabinoids to add medicinal benefit for the healing of the body.
For some time now, researchers and practitioners have believed that a more unrefined extract taken from the plant itself provided more benefits due to what’s called the “entourage effect.” First described in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, the entourage effect supposes that the multiple cannabinoids and terpenes found within Cannabis Sativa actually work in unison and harmony to produce a better outcome than if they were employed solo.
In other words, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” when it comes to cannabis.
How to Start with the Optimal CBD Oil Dosage
An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched cannabis oil to a full dropper.
Begin with a small dose of CBD concentrate, which is produced for micro-dosing and can be increased over time. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose and ratio for several days.
Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it. Everyone is different, and the body will respond better if you begin with the intention of testing, safety, and care.
And although CBD has no known adverse side effects, too much can be less effective than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.
Is CBD Legal to Buy in All 50 States?
CBD is legal to be purchased in all 50 states of the U.S. under the 2018 Farm Bill when grown from certified hemp farms. Plant Alchemy CBD products are cultivated from cannabis-rich full spectrum flower, fully tested and verified by third party analytical labs, and contains no more than 0.3% of THC, which is the legal limit for THC in CBD.
Posted with permission from our friends at The Alchemist’s Kitchen. Check out their Virtual Learning platform focused on the medicinal benefits derived from the use of botanical medicines and herbal remedies.