CBD is a nutritional health buzz word at the moment. Open any newspaper and everyone from grannies, sports people, and even the odd soap opera actor are raving about its vitality-boosting effects. But what exactly is CBD, where does it come from, how does it affect the body, and how can we safely add CBD to our wellness routine?
CBD - The Lowdown
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring molecule known as a cannabinoid found abundantly in hemp and cannabis. Cannabis and hemp are effectively the same plant, only CBD sold legally in Europe as CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants containing less than 0.2% of THC (the cannabinoid that gets you high). As a result, CBD oil will not make you feel stoned and is safe to take just as any other dietary supplement.
In fact, CBD’s safety and lack of toxicity was recognised only last year by the World Health Organisation. They recommended that CBD should not be scheduled as a controlled substance as it is not addictive, has next to no side effects, nor does it pose any risk of abuse.
Despite this, many people still ask the question, “Is CBD legal?” The good news is that as long as a CBD product does not contain more than 0.2% THC, it is indeed considered legal. So, no need to worry about getting busted by the police for taking CBD oil.
CBD Makes History
When CBD was first isolated in the 1940s, scientists initially assuming the cannabinoid was inactive as it didn’t produce a high. However, Israeli Scientist, Raphael Mechoulam realised CBD was a compound to be reckoned with in its own right, when he discovered that administering CBD could significantly reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy.
Mechoulam’s findings, published in 1980, went barely noticed. However, this all changed when twenty years later a small child called Charlotte Figi was given CBD oil for her rare and untreatable form of epilepsy. Charlotte’s parents faced an uncertain future when one of the hundreds of seizures a week might kill her. They certainly never imagined that CBD oil would eventually reduce her seizures to almost zero, allowing her to live the normal life they’d always longed for. Charlotte’s story was picked up by CNN, and soon, CBD was big news around the world.
But it wasn’t just cases like Charlotte’s that got everyone talking about CBD. As more research into the compound bore fruit, exciting results were published uncovering the compound’s complex mechanisms in the body. Right now, several clinical trials are taking place examining CBD’s potential for conditions as varied as anxiety, chronic pain, psychosis, and addiction. However, most are at the preliminary stage and further studies on patients are required.
How CBD Works
Cannabidiol (CBD) is known as a pleiotropic molecule because it produces multiple effects in the body at once. What this means in effect is that CBD binds with different types of receptors, creating a host of often seemingly unrelated physiological responses.
CBD for anxiety is one of the most frequent reasons people take CBD oil, and scientists believe the compound’s relaxing effect could be due to CBD’s activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, potentially boosting mood and promoting feelings of wellbeing.
CBD is also considered anti-inflammatory, reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and binding with the TRPV1 Vanilloid receptor, which also mediates pain perception.
Sometimes though, CBD creates an effect in the body by blocking receptors. For instance, CBD inhibits the GPR55 receptor, highly expressed in different types of cancer, as well as blocking the endocannabinoid CB1 receptor, counteracting the psychoactive effect of its cannabinoid cousin, THC.
However, it is important to point out that most of this research has been carried out using CBD in isolation, and almost entirely on cell cultures or animal models. Until now, relatively little investigation has taken place testing CBD oil products on humans. So, while we know CBD is safe and non-toxic, we cannot say whether the CBD oil you buy as a nutritional supplement has any specific health benefits.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Back in the 1990s, scientists studying the effects of cannabis in our bodies discovered a hitherto unknown cell communication network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Made up of special receptors (CB1 in the brain and central nervous system and CB2 in immune system, organs and gut), they are activated by chemicals called endocannabinoids similar to those found in the cannabis plant. One endocannabinoid in particular, anandamide named after the sanskrit word for bliss, is thought to have mood-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists have called the ECS a homeostatic regulator, meaning it is constantly working to create balance or homeostasis in the body. It’s been likened to a dimmer switch, turning up or down cell activity in body as needed. The ECS is present in all biological functions such as appetite, sleep, memory, mood, immunity, pain, sexual reproduction, and cell proliferation. Therefore, it makes sense if we want to live in a state of optimum health, our ECS must be operating efficiently.
Unfortunately, due to the unhealthy habits of modern life - sitting down all day on computers, sleeping less, high stress levels, drinking too much alcohol, and eating junk food, our ECS can become deficient. Conditions like IBS, fibromyalgia, MS, and migraines, with a common oversensitivity to pain, have been associated with Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.
It’s thought phytocannabinoids such as CBD may help to strengthen the ECS. CBD itself does not directly activate either of the endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, it may allow the bliss endocannabinoid, anandamide, to be present in the body for longer by blocking the enzyme that breaks it down.
What is CBD Oil?
So if CBD is the molecule, what is CBD oil?
CBD, as well as other cannabinoids like CBDA, THCA, CBN and CBG, are found mostly in the sticky buds of hemp and cannabis flowers. When hemp is harvested in order to make CBD oil, CBD as well as all the other active molecules are extracted, creating a thick, oily paste. This paste is then further filtered and mixed with a carrier oil making the CBD oil most of us are familiar with.
You may be wondering why, if there’s so much buzz around CBD, how come it isn’t it better to make CBD oil containing CBD and nothing else? Turns out that there’s a unique synergy in hemp whereby the minor cannabinoids, terpenes (that provide hemp’s distinct aroma), and flavonoids, act as a supporting cast to CBD’s star turn. It’s called the entourage effect and explains why whole plant CBD oil is more effective than isolated CBD.
At Good Remedy CBD, we have sourced the highest quality organic hemp grown outdoors in the Colorado mountains to make our Broad Spectrum CBD oils. Containing no THC, they are abundant in CBD, as well the other key players such as minor cannabinoids, CBG, CBN, and CBDV, as well as a host of fragrant terpenes. But don’t just take our word for it. All our products are independently lab tested proving not only their CBD content, but that there are no hidden nasties such as pesticides, mould or heavy metals.
Ways To Take CBD
CBD oil is classed as a nutritional supplement, but compared to your average bottle of vitamin C, there are many different ways to incorporate CBD into your wellness routine.
Many people choose CBD tinctures for their convenience and favourable absorption rates. Administered sublingually with a dropper, CBD is travels straight into the bloodstream through capillaries under the tongue and is generally reasonably fast acting.
The hempy flavour of CBD oil isn’t to everyone’s taste, that’s one reason why CBD softgels are gaining in popularity. They also make dosing easy as you know just how much CBD is in each capsule. While CBD softgels offer a long lasting effect, onset is somewhat slower and some absorption is lost through the digestive process.
Inhaling a nutritional supplement is probably a new experience for most of us, but there are some good reasons why many people choose to vape CBD. Vaping is the fastest acting way of getting CBD into the bloodstream. So, for those who want to feel their CBD benefits quickly, inhaling CBD through a vape pen is both a popular and effective choice.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the vitality-boosting benefits of CBD oil. At Good Remedy we have tried to make your CBD journey as safe, simple, and enjoyable as possible, creating high quality, organic, whole plant CBD oils designed to calm, mend, and create better flow in your body.