What is CBD
CBD 101: Everything You Need to Know
From gummy bears to lattes to tinctures, we’re in the middle of a huge CBD moment. Derived from the industrial hemp and cannabis sativa plants (aka marijuana), cannabidiol or CBD is a phytocannabinoid that works with our body’s endocannabinoid system to keep everything in balance. A natural anti-inflammatory, products containing CBD have been designed to target everything from anxiety to pain relief. It’s popping up as an add-on to spa treatments, an ingredient on cocktail menus and is being added to a wide range of personal care products (think scalp scrubs and eye creams). And there are no signs of slow down. The Hemp Business Journal estimates that hemp-derived CBD industry will grow to $736 million by 2020.
So how exactly does CBD work? Will it get you high? What product is right for you? We talked to experts from our favorite CBD brands to tell you everything you need to know about this growing trend.
HOW IT WORKS
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules that play a role in regulating everything from physiology to mood, including modulation of pain and inflammation. Joel Greengrass, CEO of Theramu, describes it as “the thermostat for all cell functions in our bodies.” When your ECS is out of balance, everything is out of balance. CBD works to keep your body in homeostasis (balance) by engaging these cell receptors. “The receptors in our ECS are located throughout all of the cells in our skin,” explains Greengrass. “CBD binds to those receptors to restore homeostasis and [acts] as a catalyst for healing.”
CBD VS THC
First things first: you will not get high from CBD. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive. Most products on the market are made with CBD isolate, containing only the cannabidiol molecule. Broad-spectrum CBD has a more limited cannabinoid profile with the THC removed. Products made with full spectrum CBD, meaning it has a full range cannabinoid profile, do contain trace amounts of THC (amounts are below the legal limit of 0.3% THC). Always read the ingredient labels before ingesting a product and feel free to reach out to the brand if you have questions. Cosmos Cbd provides a batch certificate of analysis for products upon request.
What Are CBD’s Best-Known Health Benefits?
The list of possible health benefits associated with CBD runs into the dozens (and in fact probably into the hundreds), but here, we have narrowed it down to just ten:
1. Reduces Seizures Associated with Epilepsy
The case of Charlotte Figi is well-known to CBD aficionados. Charlotte is a young girl that suffers from Dravet’s Syndrome, and had hundreds of seizures a week. After taking a high-CBD marijuana strain later named Charlotte’s Web in her honor, the number of seizures was reduced to a couple per month.
A 2017 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine backed this ‘miracle’ up. The study involved the use of CBD on children with Dravet’s Syndrome, and it was found that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures by almost 23%!
2. Chronic Pain
With millions of Americans forced to use addictive painkillers and opioids, CBD’s capacity to reduce pain is significant, to say the least. It is especially useful for patients with pain stemming from fibromyalgia, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Sativex is an oral spray that contains CBD and THC. A 2006 study by Blake et al. compared this drug with a placebo in 58 patients over a five-week period, and found that those who used Sativex benefited from improved pain during movement and rest, along with improved sleep quality.
3. Anxiety & Depression
Up to 18% of Americans suffer from anxiety, while 6% live with depression. Research has shown that CBD reduces stress and anxiety in individuals with conditions such as OCD, social anxiety disorder, depression, and PTSD. CBD apparently reduces depression symptoms by increasing the rate of glutamate cortical and serotonergic signaling, which studies have shown that patients with depression are severely lacking in both.
CBD is fast becoming the anti-inflammatory of choice for Americans. Chronic inflammation is associated with a variety of non-infectious diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer. Although diet and lifestyle are important players, CBD oil can help you with inflammation if you’re already optimizing your lifestyle by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.
5. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Research suggests that CBD could help individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A 2013 review published in Phytotherapy Research, for example, said that CBD is a “promising drug for the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).”
When the body produces its THC-like compounds, it increases the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria to get in. CBD oil blocks these cannabinoids and helps to prevent the permeability, ensuring that there is a tightened bond in the intestinal cells.
Millions of Americans fail to get enough sleep, and chronic insomnia is a growing issue. We can help ourselves by reducing late evening exposure to the ‘blue light’ emitted by electronic devices, and also by avoiding caffeinated drinks after 6 pm. However, CBD oil can relax your mind and body, resulting in a lower energy level. CBD is especially effective for sleep when combined with melatonin.
7. Cancer-Related Symptoms
There is evidence that CBD oil could reduce cancer-related symptoms and side effects of treatment, such as pain and vomiting. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management analyzed the effects of CBD and THC on 177 patients with cancer-related pain, who did NOT derive any significant benefits from traditional pain-killing medicines. The research team discovered that patients who consumed both compounds enjoyed a significantly greater reduction in pain.
8. Better Heart Health
Did you know that CBD could have a range of benefits for your heart and circulatory system? A study published in JCI Insight in June 2017 found that a single dose of CBD reduced the blood pressure of healthy volunteers. Ten males took a single 600 mg dose of CBD oil, and experienced less of an increase in blood pressure after completing a stress test.
9. Diabetes Prevention
A study published in Autoimmunity in March 2006 administered doses of CBD to a group of non-obese diabetic mice, and discovered that there was a 55% reduction in diabetes among mice that consumed CBD. They also benefited slightly from decreased inflammation.
10. Acne Reduction
Acne is a skin condition that affects up to 9% of the population, and is probably caused by bacteria, genetics, the overproduction of sebum and underlying inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, and its ability to reduce sebum production, means it could be a safe and effective way to treat acne.