CBD A-Z

WHAT IS CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis or hemp plant with enormous therapeutic potential. Although CBD 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 to treat a wide range of conditions_ chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, antibiotic-resistant infection, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and more.

Academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere are currently studying the effects of CBD on these and other ailments. Scientists refer to CBD as a “promiscuous” compound because it confers therapeutic benefits in many different ways while tapping into how we function physiologically and biologically on a deep level. Extensive preclinical research and some clinical studies have shown that CBD has strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotective qualities. Cannabidiol can change gene expression and remove beta amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, from brain cells.

 

    WHICH IS BETTER CBD OR THC?

CBD and THC (The High Causer) are the power couple of cannabis therapeutics; they work best together. CBD and THC interact synergistically to potentiate each other’s curative qualities. CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anticancer properties, while lessening THC’s psychoactivity. CBD can also mitigate adverse effects caused by too much THC, such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat. British researchers have shown that CBD potentiates THC’s anti-inflammatory properties in an animal model of colitis. Scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco determined that a combination of CBD and THC has a more potent anti-tumoral effect than either compound alone when tested on brain cancer and breast cancer cell lines. And extensive clinical research has demonstrated that CBD combined with THC is more beneficial for neuropathic pain than either compound as a single molecule.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO TAKE CBD?

The most appropriate delivery system for CBD is one that provides an optimal dose for a desired duration with few unwanted side effects. CBD can be delivered by smoking or vaping, but many CBD patients prefer non-inhalable products made with cannabis oil concentrates. CBD remedies are available in many non-smokable forms and can be utilized in various ways. The time of onset and duration of effect vary depending on the method of administration. CBD products can be taken sublingually, orally (as edibles, lozenges, beverages, tinctures, and gel caps), or applied topically. Concentrated CBD oil extracts can also be heated and inhaled with a vape pen. Inhalation is good for treating acute symptoms that require immediate attention; the effects can be felt within a minute or two and typically last for a couple of hours. The effects of orally administered CBD can last for four hours or more, but the onset of effects is much slower (30-60 minutes) than inhalation. 

WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL DOSAGE OF CBD?

An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD to a gram or more. Its best to begin with a small dose of full-spectrum CBD. Every person is unique, as well as their bioavailability of Cannabinoids. It’s best to start out with a low dose and increase every 4 days to a week, until you find the effects you are looking for. A good delivery method for the most people, is something they can take orally to be absorbed through the mucosa in the mouth. It can then be swallowed and absorb through the GI tract. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose for several days before adjusting. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it. Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects. Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabinoid therapy.

WHAT SHOULD ONE LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A CBD PRODUCT?

Look for products with clear labels showing the quantity and ratio of CBD per dose, a manufacturing date, and a batch number (for quality control). Select products with quality ingredients: No corn syrup, transfats, GMOs, artificial additives, thinning agents or preservatives. CBD products should be lab tested for consistency and verified as being free of mold, bacteria, pesticides, solvent residues, and other contaminants. Best to avoid products extracted with toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane or other hydrocarbons. Opt for products that utilize safer extraction methods such as supercritical CO2 or food-grade ethanol.

 

IS IT SAFE TO INHALE HEMP CBD OIL FUMES FROM A VAPE PEN?

Many CBD vape oil products include a thinning agent, which dilutes the oil that is heated and inhaled by vape pen users. Beware of vape pen oil that contains propylene glycol. When overheated, this chemical additive produces formaldehyde, a carcinogen, as a byproduct, according to a 2015 report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Other additives to avoid: polyethylene glycol (another thinning agent) and, in general, flavoring agents. Look for cartridges that contain only natural, cannabis-derived terpenes. That means that the flavor of your vape cartridge came directly from the cannabis flower from which it was extracted.

DOES CBD HAVE ANY ADVERSE SIDE EFFECTS? WHAT ABOUT DRUG INTERACTIONS?

CBD is a very safe substance, but it can interact with many common pharmaceuticals. At sufficient dosages, CBD will deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize painkillers, statins, blood thinners, insulin & more. CBD-drug interactions can be dangerous, but they can also help mitigate side effects while synergistically improving a patient’s quality of life. Cannabinoid-opioid interactions show great therapeutic potential. THC enhances the painkilling effects of opiates, while CBD can reduce withdrawal and dependence. Patients taking Big Pharma meds should monitor changes in blood levels and, if need be, adjust dosage. Problematic interactions are more likely when consuming high doses of CBD isolate products. 

THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

The endocannabinoid system (eCs) is a very complex regulatory system, broad in its function and found within all complex animals. It is perhaps the most important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.  

The main function of the eCs is to regulate our bodily functions and to maintain its balanced state of homeostasis (the body's stable state). It performs many different functions and can be very specific to each area of the body. The regulatory functions can affect: memory, digestion, motor function, immune response, inflammation, appetite, pain, blood pressure, bone growth, protection of neural tissues, internal and external injuries, etc. In each tissue, the eCs performs different tasks but the goal is always the same. Homeostasis; the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.  

All vertebrate species share the endocannabinoid system as an essential part of life and adaptation to environmental changes. By comparing the genetics of cannabinoid receptors in different species, scientists estimate that the endocannabinoid system evolved in primitive animals over 600 million years ago.

Emily Held