What is CBD? (And what it means to you)
If you are here, it is very likely that you have heard about the benefits of CBD and are seeking more information on what it actually is. Well, CBD is short for Cannabidiol the cousin of Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Fortunately, CBD packs in many of the same health benefits as THC without the high that comes with it.(1) This is because your body has what is called an endocannabinoid system.
In the endocannabinoid system (ECS), your body produces its own cannabinoids (called endogenous cannabinoids) and has cannabinoid receptors for taking in chemicals such as CBD and THC. This system relies on these endogenous cannabinoids to work properly, but for our body to create these cannabinoids we need a proper supply of Omega-3 fatty acids. Without these Omega-3 fatty acids your body will not properly create endogenous cannabinoids and will cause improper growth and slow the repair of the cannabinoid receptors. Without maintaining proper care of your endocannabinoid system it can cause a lack of endocannabinoids in your body called Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome.(2)
But what does this mean for you? Surely having a lack of cannabinoid receptors can’t be too bad for you. Well maybe so, while not being accepted by the department of health, Ethan Russo M.D., Director of Research and Development of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute, has some research to stand on. Dr. Russo’s research suggests a higher risk of migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome as a cause of Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome.(3, 4)
This means that CBD is naturally occurring in your body and it is possible that if your body is lacking of Endocannabinoids (caused by the lack of Omega-3 fatty acids) you increase your risk of disease. So know your body, love your body, and your body will love you back.
Where does CBD come from?
The answer to this question is simple, but also complicated. In simple terms, CBD comes from hemp. But what is hemp? You may have heard that hemp is the male cannabis plant and marijuana is the female plant, but this statement is false. Simply put, hemp and marijuana are 2 classifications of the cannabis plant. Hemp contains .3% or less THC and marijuana contains anything above .3%. This has been the definition as of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.(5) But the term “hemp” has been widely accepted publicly to mean cannabis that does not give the user a “high”.
What benefits does CBD hold and possible side effects?(6)
Cannabidiol has a plethora of benefits that have been backed by scientific research.
- pain relief
- reduction of anxiety
- reduction of depression
- alleviation of cancer related symptoms (these include nausea, vomiting, and pain)
- neuroprotection (many studies are based on treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s)
- decreasing high blood pressure
- antipsychotic effect (may help with schizophrenia and many other mental disorders with psychotic symptoms by reducing them)
- preventing the spread of tumors and cancer
- fights diabetes
- shown to help fight substance dependence in rats
But this is just the benefits that have been proven by studies thus far. There are still many more still being researched. But with anything that has this many benefits there has to be some kind of side effects. We have found that these side effects are negligible, and typically result from over consumption. Like everything, we recommend that you use CBD in moderation.
CBD can also interfere with medication. But this is about as much of an effect on medications as grapefruit. So if you have any medication that you take that come with a “grapefruit warning” speak to your doctor and see if CBD is right for you.