Have you ever wondered what CBD is and what does CBD stand for? CBD, which is short for cannabidiol (say can-a-be-die-al), has been widely covered in the media, and you may be familiar with advertising that promotes it as a health supplement. What exactly is, CBD, however, and what is it used for?
What is CBD? Are cannabidiol and marijuana different?
CBD is not the same as marijuana; it is a cannabinoid, an active ingredient found in the hemp plant (a biological relative of the marijuana plant), and it is capable of positive effects on the mood. It is not psychoactive, however — which means that it doesn’t produce a high the way marijuana does. A World Health Organization report states that cannabidiol has no abuse potential, and there is no evidence that health problems have ever occurred with its use.
Cannabidiol doesn’t show up in regular drug tests. If you’re an athlete, however, you may need to subject yourself to more stringent drug tests that show up the trace quantities of THC present in CBD products.
The existence of scientific evidence in support of CBD as a health supplement
From pain to inflammation, depression, and insomnia, cannabidiol has been tried on people to treat a wide variety of health issues. The strongest scientific evidence of its medical effects, however, lies in its ability to treat serious childhood epilepsy in conditions such as the Dravet syndrome. Children who suffer from this condition tend to not respond to regular antiseizure medications, but do see marked improvements with CBD. The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, a drug that contains cannabidiol, for such epilepsy. It is beyond doubt, then, that cannabidiol does have medical relevance.
The application of cannabidiol to the treatment of other health conditions is under various stages of research. Some studies, for instance, indicate that CBD may help people who suffer from insomnia, and both help them fall asleep, and stay asleep.
Research published in the European Journal of Pain shows that cannabidiol used to treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis in animal trials, is often effective. These studies are in their early stages.
Human tests done in a study in California find that cannabidiol is of some use in the treatment of some cancers.
How does CBD work?
One of the main methods in which cannabidiol acts on the body is by mimicking the effects of the body’s own native cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. These are a part of the body’s endocannabinoid system (or ECS).
The endocannabinoid system plays an important part in regulating a wide variety of physiological processes that are important to the way humans experience life on a daily basis. It regulates mood, energy levels, digestion, immunity, blood pressure, and the way you experience hunger, stress, and pain. When something goes wrong with the endocannabinoid system, you experience a variety of health conditions.
Modulating the endocannabinoid system with help from cannabidiol, it is believed, can help slow or reverse the progression of many kinds of disease.
Should you try CBD for pain management?
Chronic pain can be musculoskeletal or nervous in nature. There is some evidence to show that cannabidiol, on its own, can help with some kinds of pain. For other kinds, however, cannabidiol, when blended with small quantities of THC, tends to be the most effective in what’s called the entourage effect. While cannabidiol alone is an over-the-counter product, cannabidiol blended with THC requires a prescription.
Will cannabidiol help with a painful condition that you suffer from? While studies don’t adequately reveal what kind of doses would help, it is usually safe to try CBD for pain. It might help in some cases.
Does Cannabidiol help with anxiety?
Cannabidiol has the effect of acting on the nervous system and toning it down. Anecdotally, many people do claim that cannabidiol products help them calm down and relax. If you struggle with the symptoms of anxiety, it could be a good idea to try cannabidiol.
What form of hemp derived CBD is best?
CBD is available for consumption in a variety of forms – as edibles, tinctures, vape pens, and so on. Vaping is the way to go for fast relief, but the effects usually wear out in a couple of hours. If you seem to have pulled a muscle, for instance, but you really need to go to work, consuming cannabidiol through a vape pen can help get you up and running in a matter of minutes. Edible CBD products and sublingual (under the tongue) tinctures take a half-hour or longer to act but can continue to be effective for four hours. cannabidiol, if it works for a condition that you suffer from, can be effective, no matter what form you use it in.
Is CBD safe?
The use of CBD does come with some side-effects, including the potential for fatigue and nausea. It is also able to raise the levels of some medications in the blood by the same mechanism seen with the consumption of grapefruit juice. While CBD supplements are widely consumed by the public, their sale isn’t overseen or regulated by the FDA, which means that consumers wishing to try the product need to be careful to locate good, reputable brands that offer quality.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017, dozens of CBD products on the market were found to contain about 25% less active ingredient than what was stated on the label. In general, you can judge the quality of a product by checking out the label to see if it shows a certificate of analysis from a third party.
CBD is not a cure-all, but there is anecdotal evidence to show that it can be safe and effective for a variety of health conditions, including autoimmune diseases, metabolic syndrome, digestive disorders, cardiovascular dysfunction, chronic pain, and skin conditions. Once you do your research, find a quality product containing adequately high levels of CBD, and take the right kind of dose, you might find that it helps you.